Hungry for success?
We take that phrase to the next level by writing a guide to success with a cooking analogy.
There’s a general structure that you can adopt in your life to encourage successful behaviours and habits. This structure champions focus, discipline and follow through.
1. Decide Exactly What You Want
Just imagine cutting onions, boiling potatoes, frying chicken all day, everyday and not know what you’re cooking. Then, at the end of it all, you realise – you want actually wanted prata.
So naturally, the very first thing to do when cooking is to – decide on what to cook!
In the context of achieving success, this is sometimes (most of the time) overlooked.
Too many people go about their daily work/studies without questioning how much of said work goes towards achieving what they truly want. Without a clear end in mind, the odds of achieving, true and desired success is very unlikely.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows exactly what they want.
So, how do you discover what you truly desire?
– You might not know the answer straightaway, that’s okay, but never stop asking yourself what you want
– Ask yourself this everyday
– Keep a look out for things that excite you and things you excel at
- Be Detailed and Write!
– Think about it this way; if you wanted to cook chicken chop, you wouldn’t stop after grilling the chicken. You’d want mashed potatoes, a garden salad, soup etc.
– That’s the same with planning your goals, be as detailed as possible and write it down
– Achieving your goals might take months or even years and with so many distractions around, it’s easy to forget what you wanted in the first place
– Spend 5 minutes at the start and at the end of the day on visioning exercises
– For example if you desired a particular car; close your eyes and imagine the car, envision the brand, exterior, interior, colour, sound, feel, where you’d go and that you already have it and be a specific about it as possible!
2. What Are You Willing To Do, To Get It Done?
Cooking – there will be a number of restraints apparent to you such as budget, time etc. After deciding what to cook, you’ll need to look into your kitchen and check if you have the everything required to overcome these restraints.
Let’s assume you’ve decided to cook a dish that requires an oven but you don’t have one. What do you do?
The options are that you either buy an oven (give up money) or borrow one (go out of your comfort zone to ask a friend). In both options, giving up the dish is not an option but, some form of sacrifice is required.
Life Goals – There’s no such thing as something for nothing.
After deciding on a goal, you might realise that achieving it requires you to further your education. This will set you back financially in the short term.With this new found focus, you suddenly find yourself cancelling/downgrading that luxurious year end trip or postpone buying a car.
There is no such thing as something for nothing and you will need to outline the sacrifices you’re willing to make for the things that you truly want.
If you want Risotto, be prepared to stir for hours. If you give up, then don’t complain when you settle for instant noodles.
3. Decide on a Clear Deadline
Cooking – Chefs/party hosts understand that the food has to be served at a certain time. This is extremely clear in their minds and is something they work towards.
When dinner is planned to be served at 7pm, a natural process of what needs to be done is suddenly apparent. It becomes clear that the chicken has to be in the oven by 5pm, the table needs to be set by 6.30pm etc.
Your energies, actions and focus become dedicated to that 7pm deadline. Distractions will also naturally become secondary.
Life Goals – Having a clear end in mind helps you work backwards.
Make sure you give yourself a definitive deadline to when you want to achieve this goal of yours. If it seems ridiculous, so be it. You will just need to sacrifice more and work harder.
Just like cooking, having a clear timeline for your goals will help you decide what you need to do along the way to get you there.
4. Draft a Detailed Plan with Timelines
Cooking – It’s 10am, you’ve decided to cook a Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, a duck salad and a nice bottle of wine to be served at 7pm.
Because you know exactly what you want to achieve and by when, the next steps are immediately apparent. This would look something like this:
10 – 11am: Research and decide on recipes to cook
11 – 1pm: Go to the markets to buy ingredients
1 – 3pm: Find a nice bottle of a wine to pair with meal then head home
3 – 5pm: Prep ingredients and prepare table for guests
5 – 7pm: Start cooking
Life Goals – With the end date in mind, think about what you need to do, to get there. Then, break it down one step at a time.
For example, if in 10 years you want to earn at least $10,000 a month, and to achieve that you need a degree with top grades – a simplified version of the plan would look like:
10 Years (19 April 2025) – Earn at least $10k/month
3 Years (19 April 2018) – Get a degree with top grades
1 Year (19 April 2016) – To have started the degree
6 months (19 Oct 2015) – To have applied for a degree programme
3 months (19 Jul 2015) – To have decided field of study
1 month (19 May 2015) – To have compiled research material about school/field of study
This week’s action items (week of 19th April 2015) –
To read up about schools and talk to successful people in industry weekly until 19th May 2015
Have a similar project list breakdown for all action items required to reach your goal. This may seem like hard work, but do it anyway. It’ll help you stay true to your goal.
5. Track, Follow Through and Learn About Yourself
Cooking – it can be easy to get carried away at any given task and forget that something else might be burning. Here’s where you’ll need to be organised and track the progress of each dish along the way.
Also, determine if you need help. Look around at your network, and reach out to friends/spouse/family for help. The experience some of them have can bring your dish to the next level.
Cooking can also be stressful. You will find out more about yourself and how you operate and communicate under pressure. When you cook with people/friends around you, get their opinions on what you did well and what you could have done better. Remember to listen with an open mind.
Life goals –
Always be on the lookout for people in and around your network who have what you want and don’t be afraid to reach out. They can help you avoid making rookie mistakes and speed up the attainment of your goals. Always remember to network to make friends (and not have an agenda), these relationships last longer and tend to be more mutually beneficial in the long run.
- Communication Skills
Your ability to communicate your messages/ideas effectively without harming the relationships around you, will set you apart. You might not know the kind of communicator you are, so ask your close friends/colleagues/customers and be prepared to hear things you don’t want to. Work on these things and continue to get feedback, at the end of the day, you will find yourself a better person.
- Tracking and Following Through
There are many applications available today such as Wunderlist, Apple’s reminder function and your smart phone calendars. Make use of these things to keep tabs on progress.
Set milestone dates in your calendar for the big goal and small action items that will get you there.
Chart your progress – this is where many people fail after awhile. The easy part is to dream and have ideas. To execute them, is another thing.
Print/save this article and use it as a guide as you embark on your journey to success. Keep referring to it, and let us know if/when it has made an impact in your life.
It can take years or it might take months – don’t give up. All the best!