I know that I’ve referred to Anthony Bourdain a few times over the past weeks as someone who lived a life that inspired me to get out there and be a better human. To get out there and find what connects us by sharing a meal, and talking about real issues that have impacts on the way each of us lives daily around the world. I recently started reading his book Kitchen Confidential and have learned about the experience that jumpstarted his passion for food and culture.
He talks about a summer spent visiting France visiting family, sampling new foods, and immersing his young self in a culture other than his own. He talked about his youthful attitude for testing the rules and his parent’s patience as they traveled around the country as a young family. The defining moment that eventually steered him towards a career in the culinary world, eating an oyster fresh from the ocean on a Frenchmans boat. That was the moment he knew that food was his future and he would eat near anything anywhere in the world. From here he became a chef, writer, and travel documentary maker each of his different professional ventures around food showed the world the flavors that connected us.
In my humble opinion, he lived a life that the “most interesting man in the world” could envy. He taught us how to be less afraid of what we don’t know, to live with others, to live with passion. That is something few of us can say they do well, living each day with a genuine passion for life and its twists and turns. Why are we afraid to follow our passions? Are we afraid of the unknown? Are we afraid to take the route that’s a little more exciting but a little less safe?
Living life with a passion for what we do daily sounds like a challenge for us common folk who work 9-5 jobs that we use to pay the bills just to get by. These jobs may not be our ideal / dream careers but they are a segue to bigger and better things ahead as long as you play your cards right and be invested in what you are doing at that time. Have passion in the little things so as you work to bigger things your passion shines through in full.
Speaking up can be a challenge no matter who you are in a uncomfortable situation. The ability to say what you need to when it’s needed to be said is a tactful gift that few have. A few thoughts on sharing the hard truth.
First off, use your words wisely. Say what needs to be said, don’t beat around the bush when delivering the message but be tactful with the way you say it. People may not appreciate you speaking up and saying what needs to be said at first but will respect you for having the gumption to say it.
Second, keep your message simple and filled with the truth. Allowing the discussion to be built around fluff and misinformation can deteriorate the trust you share with the person you are conversing with. Keep the message as lengthy as it needs to be but not too long. Use clear words that communicate the message effectively without question, use strong statements that effectively relay your message without belittling the person you are talking to
Thirdly, be mindful not to back your communication partner into a corner. When giving a hard message it’s essential to deliver a clean message with the intent to help not harm the other person. Giving others clear options will be a safe bet to avoid emotional defense and rebuttal from another. Although you clearly know where you want or need the conversation to go have options for another than can effectively lead them through the desert to the oasis that is your desired resolution.
Is this an easy skill to learn? Not really. Is it a good way to become a better communicator? Yes, say it as it needs to be said, use your words wisely, share the simple truth of your message, and keep the trail ahead open with options that lead your communication partner to a clear understanding of your desired outcome. You’ll fumble a few times until you get the hang of delivering the hard message, but once the message is delivered and you can breathe a sigh of relief it’ll be easier to relay the next time around.
Tonight we sat down and watched one of my all-time favorite comedies, Hitch. There is a scene where the main character asks a potential date if she knows the definition of perseverance? He then responds with “Continuing a course of action without regard to discouragement, opposition or previous failure.”. Which sounds extremely well thought out to me.
The idea of setting out on a quest to achieve something big that we genuinely want is something most may have dreamt of as a child. At one time we might have dreamed of becoming an astronaut floating in space, a pirate on the seven seas seeking adventure on the open water, a firefighter or police officer saving the day. Those goals/dreams always felt attainable as a kid, because I believed I could be anything I put my mind to. As I grew and my goals changed my ambitions became smaller in ways because I lost sight of that belief that I could do anything.
This is something we need to stop doing to ourselves. We need to keep those dreams alive through the belief that even as adults we can become anything we put our minds to. Is it a bit more challenging as an adult to see and believe that you can accomplish great things? At times yes it is. However, if you pace yourself for the long run instead of a sprint you’ll be able to find greater success in reaching your goal of becoming whatever you might choose to be.
A friend of mine is currently in the process of becoming a pilot, something that she was inspired to become and has put countless hours into training for. The process has not been an easy one, she has had experiences that have tested her patience and confidence these past months Yet, she continues to study, fly, and improve at her craft as a pilot. Did she know all the details of this goal to become a pilot before she started? I doubt it. Each time we talk I hear the excitement in her voice as she talks about the next steps and the opportunities ahead for her as a pilot.
To me, this is perseverance, a journey with its ups and downs, with continued pace forward towards reaching that goal you set out to achieve in the first place.
A word that is used daily by many, with interchangeable meanings is the word chill. Chill describes many things the weather, the mood, a type of fear, or a reaction. With so many interchangeable meanings and the weather as it has been lately here in Utah I felt this was a great fit as today’s word.
As I stated previously the weather has been chilly here at home lately, I’m reminded this every morning when I take the dog out. The brisk intake of chilled morning air alarms my lungs that I ought to return back inside the warmth as quickly as possible. This feeling though often shocking soon leaves as June and I play around in the snow enjoying the freedom of winter mornings. Winter mornings, chilly as they are my personal favorite for getting out and enjoying nature and getting some exercise to start the day out right. 10/10 would recommend.
Another great use for the word chill is when it comes to the emotion of fear. I’ve felt the chill that comes from fear many times over the years. One memory that come to my mind are when I first saw a cougar in the wild as a young boy in central Utah. Riding with my Dad and brother down the canyon road a cougar ran past the truck and somehow in my young mind I convinced myself the lion was following us home and going to eat me. For the final twenty minutes home I was curled on the floor of the truck telling my dad to keep an eye out for that mean cougar that was going to get us.
Looking at all the varied definitions of Chill we can all agree that this word is a jack of all trades and fits many different situations. Chill right?
When I originally thought about spending a year working on a writing project I wondered who was this person who wanted to spend three hundred and sixty five days writing about one word subjects? I suppose that’s who I am these days, a novice writer with big ambitions, and a platform to share them on. This is something I’ve wanted to work on for a few years now; a project to improve my writing abilities, vocabulary, and marketing skills.
For as long as I can remember I’ve personally enjoyed short and simple readings because I’ve always been an on the go person. I feel confident in saying that much of the population is the same. We are busy people who hurry from one place to another and attempt to squeeze in time for a balanced life that combines employment, self education(Autodidacticism, Just learned that.), time for entertainment(on and off screen), wellness, and time with family and friends. Busy people need information that is short and sweet conveying just enough information to spark curiosity and further personal interest in the subject.
This project is my hopes to share easy to read information to potential readers. My hope is to provide messages that can inspire, motivate, humor, and encourage others to continue educating themselves and push forward with their personal goals daily.
A final note to this introduction, recognize is that I’m not a professional writer. This project is designed to aid me in personal growth and confidence as a writer, storyteller and researcher. I’ll do my best to provide value with each post written and hope that you as a reader feel comfortable giving constructive feedback as we grow together this year.
Today is day one of my three hundred words a day project, kicking off with the word Project.