Lessons We Learn….(About Getting Things Done….)

We all know that in order to accomplish things in life it takes more than just getting the right pieces in place. We also need to apply the right amount of effort, at just the right time, to the task that we are trying to achieve!

‘I’ve learned that dinner rolls bake a lot faster if the oven is turned on.’

I love to bake bread (unfortunately I also love to eat bread…..).  There is something very satisfying about the process.  The proofing of the yeast to make sure that it is going to do its job, mixing all of the ingredients together, the kneading of the dough into a smooth, silky loaf, letting the formed loaves (or rolls) rise before baking and then the best part, the smell of the bread as it bakes.  It fills the house with warmth and goodness!

There is so much about the process of preparing dinner rolls for consumption that can be a metaphor for accomplishing things in life.

When we set out to accomplish something it usually starts as a germ of a thought that creates enough excitement or desire to actually do the thing that we have imagined.  We consider the pluses and minuses and think about it from different perspectives.  We might ask somebody close to us what they think about our idea and ponder their feedback.  We consider whether it is something that can be done.  Much like the yeast once dissolved in liquid begins to activate and actually grow to give leavening to the bread; this part of the process gives life to the idea.

Then we begin to bring in the other ingredients that we will need.  What resources will accomplishing this task require?  Where can I find them?  Who can help me with this?  What will the timing look like?  We think about all of the things that are going to have to be in place to make this thing happen.  Leaving out this part of the step would be like trying to bake bread with just the flour.  And if you forget one of the ingredients, you will not get the loaf of bread that you are anticipating.  If you forget the yeast, it will not rise; if you don’t add in the salt, it may taste flat.  The ingredients are crucial to a good loaf of bread!

After we have pulled all of the ingredients (ideas and resources) together we begin to mix them.  When they begin to ‘stick together’ we gather them up and start to turn them over.  We manipulate the ideas and resources over and over to make sure that we have arranged them in just the right manner.  Just like kneading brings the loaf of bread together into a nice mass of dough, this step of the process helps us to make sure that all of the ideas and resources that are required to make this idea work are included.

Sometimes it is at this point that we take a step back and let things ‘gel’.  When we take the time to let things settle, we may even gain new insights; think of things that we have not considered before.  The ideas and process might actually grow during this stage much like the bread rises before it is baked.  At times, when I am struggling with something I am working on, I intentionally set it aside for a while.  So often this allows a solution to surface that was not clear to me when I was laser focused on the project!

And then we bake it!  We execute the project or idea.  And if you don’t turn on the oven, those rolls are not going to get baked!  If you don’t put in the right amount of effort toward your project, it is not going to happen.  Not enough effort and your project never gets off the ground just as the bread won’t rise and cook properly if you don’t have the heat up high enough.  But don’t burn your bread by turning the oven up too high either.  If you go full tilt without trying to keep some balance in your life, you could find yourself burned out before you have accomplished the task at hand!

Smelling the aromas of baking bread is just about the best!  It makes me want to grab the butter and a knife to be ready when it comes out of the oven.

Basking in the glow of a task well done is also a great thing.  If you have taken the time to assure that your idea will work, pulled in all the right resources, arranged and re-arranged the resources to make a solid plan, allowed it to grow to its full potential and, when needed, applied the right amount of effort, you will have accomplished your task!

Now, where did I put that butter??

On the journey with you…….Kathy

(Quote:  Age 37- The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)

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