I titled this blog “You start with an onion…”
I was making a curry the other day, and I was chopping up onions and garlic and adding them to some oil in a pan. It hit me that this is something that many many people do all over the world, every day. It’s a homogenizer, for lack of a better word. It’s the start to so many wonderful dishes. It was a poetic moment for me. I imagined women for centuries on end teaching their daughters or sons how to cook a meal, and beginning with that phrase, “you start with an onion.” This then got my brain thinking about “good beginnings” of all sorts.
How do you start a good meal?
How do you start a good day?
How do you start a good prayer?
How do you start a good workout?
There are things we should always do, patterns that must emerge in our day to day life…the habits that make the things we do come together. I remember in basketball camp, being taught to shoot a free throw the same way, every time. It didn’t matter what your method was. Three bounces, or none, flip the ball, or don’t. Lift, inhale, exhale, shoot. Always the same, always the same, always the same. Pretty soon, you always shoot a good free throw. So how to start each one of my days the same, to begin a good day, to start off with an exhale and “shoot?”
If you know me, you know I’ve been struggling with work a lot lately. I run to high stress, I fret, I overexert, and I have little tolerance for those who don’t care or do as much as I do. I’ve decided to take back control of my life. To enjoy it, and do the things I plan on doing, but never seem to get to – like finally getting back into studying for that MBA, relearning Spanish and learning whatever language comes next, getting to the gym as often as I want, etc. I made myself a daily mantra a week ago. I posted it on a wall that is right before my bathroom coming from my bedroom, so I’ll have to see it every day. It’s my onion, my good start. I want to share it with you, so that you can help hold me accountable to this promise to myself.
I will learn something new.
I will challenge my body to see what it can do.
I will look at problems, not as obstacles, but as challenges on my journey to a better me. I will treat them as challenges on the way up a mountain, and be grateful there is a mountain to climb.
I will not let the stress of work control me, my life or thoughts. I am smarter, stronger, and better than this job. I will make the most of what it is and leave the rest to God.
“We are what we repeatedly do, EXCELLENCE then is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu