My mom always says, "You will eat tomorrow what you cook today" (my mom was a chef, so many of her proverbs come from the cooking world). I think she heard it from her mother, who heard it from her mother, but I am sure that if I trace it long enough back, I will discover this proverb is very ancient, but I doubt most people understand it.
You see, many people cannot find the correlation between their actions and the outcomes they get. When such people are still young, we say it will take them time to learn. When they get older, we call them "stupid". I guess this means we are all stupid, because none of us have the ultimate formula for cause and effect. After all, life is a big guessing game based on trial and error and our level of success depends on which attempt we are at.
Nevertheless, there is one thing I know that definitely works and that is doing things in the right order: First we have to cook, then we can eat!
Life has become so hectic and complicate that many people look for a way of doing things the other way. They search for the way to eat and then cook – the formula for a miserable life.
To understand how each of us somehow suffers from this, think how many times you have said to yourself things like:
- "When I have more money, I will have motivation to…"
- "If I was my ideal weight, I would go to the gym…"
- "If I had more time, I would go and watch the kids play soccer…"
Looking at my own writing, I raise my hand – I am guilty of this too!
You see, it works the other way:
- When you have more motivation, you will have more money
- You must first go to the gym, then you will weigh you ideal weight
- If you organize your time better, you will have time to watch your kids play soccer
I have been in the business world for many years (a year after I finished my university studies). I was a young mother, with great back up of Gal, who worked for a good salary, and support from my father, who understood about money but never wanted to work for himself.
I remember that the harder it was, the more I wished the order would change. I opened an early childhood education center and thought, "If I had 20 kids, I could show how good my program is", but painfully discovered again and again that I needed to show how good my program was before I got to a full class of 20 kids. It happened exactly like that – I convinced 2 and soon they turned to 20. Hundreds of kids around the world have already experienced my programs and workshops and I always say that the first two were the hardest, because I so wanted it to be the other way. First the kids, then the program!
In western society, the majority of people live with credit card debt. They work, they make a little bit of money, the get by for a while, but then they want something nice to wear or to drive or to drink or to play with. Using their credit card seems like a good idea, allowing them to "eat" before they "cook". But the cost, oh the cost!
Sure, there are many temptations out there and when things are looking down, it is hard to resist doing something that will pick us up, even for a little while.
Remember, when launching a rocket to space, most of the fuel goes in the first blast. This is the same with changing your mind or your habits – deciding to do it is the hardest part. Once you are in space, then you can enjoy the stars.
Life is just like cooking. The longer we work in the kitchen to make a meal, the tastier, better smelling and more fulfilling it will be.
So when you struggle and look for an easy way out, ask yourself, "Am I fighting the order of life? Am I trying to eat before I cook?"
And if you are, stop, think and change the way you do things. The universe always wins, so it is better to follow its rules.
Now, take a look at your kids. You can change how they experience life by observing how they handle difficulties. If you see them going for the easy way out or for some temporary relief, tell them what my mom says.
Also, your kids are like little mirrors – they reflect what comes from you. If they are trying to eat before they cook, maybe they have seen it somewhere…