When I was a kid, I loved to roller skate. All the kids on skateboards and bicycles gave me crap, but I didn’t care, they were just too chicken to slap some blades on and roll down a hill at a 6o degree slant.
After skating 10 miles or so I’d reach what I’d been working for. A little joint called Hamburger Wagon.
They served the best sliders. Ground beef cooked in peanut oil, with a pickle, salt and pepper.
I decided I was going to start my own burger selling wagon. So my 13 year old self logged on to AOL and looked up Hamburger Wagon and their flashing banner announced that the business was for sale. Only $500,000 and it included the secret recipe.
Holy smokes, I thought. Who would pay that much for a little wagon cart and some kitchen utensils?
It sold the next week.
Purposeful Life is A Recipe
If we want our dinners to taste better than White Castle, we cook with a recipe.
We do this because we know that a recipe produces reliable results. If you just eyeball your measurements and guess at the ingredients, who knows if you’ll create a success or failure for supper.
Even if you happen to stumble upon a delightful meal, you won’t be able to replicate it because you won’t know what you did! And more often the case is that you get stuck eating something nauseating.
Perhaps you do use a recipe to cook your taco’s on Tuesday but do you use one to design your day? Most of us are more intentional with our meatloaf than our life. And so many wonder why life tastes so bitter.
To make our lives completely and utterly remarkable it takes creativity, imagination, and diligence. It takes a recipe.
You might suck in the kitchen but that won’t stop you from becoming a master chef at life.
What’s Your Secret Recipe?
The thing about your life recipe is that it has an extra dimension than food recipes. McDonald’s Big Mac recipe is designed to delight as many people as possible but some will still think it’s repulsive.
Grandma’s vegetable soup is different. Grandma may have started out with a basic recipe that pleased many, but she enhanced it. She tweaked it several times over several years until it was dynamite! Until she and her family salivated over the thought of it.
You taste your life with your emotions which are much more complex than your taste-buds. Your emotion and perspective of life is the extra dimension.
You can read LifeHacker or a book like the 7 Habits to give yourself a generic start.
But if you want a life that’s customized to you, you’ll have to tweak that recipe, and add little improvements over and over again until you’ve created perfection. A pinch of sugar, a splash of lemon juice, you get the idea.
Start with a vanilla recipe and continue to tweak it until you’ve created your secret recipe.
Creating Recipe Cards
This website is about creating positive habits and routines. To help those changes stick and take hold in our life, we tap into the power of recipes, creativity, emotion, and art.
So gather your markers, googly eyes, or load up Photoshop. Get ready to use whatever creative outlet you’ll have the most fun with.
You’re about to connect with your inner artist. The little creative genius inside you that was chained up during school. School taught us to sit quietly, raise our hands, follow the rules, and conform. Let’s break those chains and get back in touch with the art and creativity that makes us human!
1. Imaginative Ingredients
Brain storm every little detail of the routine or habit you are working on. What are the necessary steps? What’ll make it fun, beneficial, smooth, and enduring? Your goal here is to generate lots of ideas and think outside the box. Creatively think of motivators, enjoyment and other details that’ll help make the change a permanent part of your life.
Now that you know the ingredients you get to assemble them in an order that produces the best flavor. That results in reliable success. The interesting part is that we often lose our footing in the steps leading up to the actual habit.
What steps in your habits or routine should come before others?
For example when I was trying to work on getting up early, I found the following steps needed to take place first:
Habit: Rising Early Recipe
- Set 3 alarms
- Drink a tall glass of water
- Get in bed an hour before bedtime and start reading
- Fall asleep and hope the book doesn’t land flat on my face
Without an initial recipe and lots of tweaking, I would never of know what works best.
If you don’t know what to do at first just take a guess. You can’t know for sure until you start trying your recipe. Create something to get started and tweak as you go. By inventively trying new ingredients and shuffling the recipe you’ll eventually find an optimal order that guarantees you’ll succeed.
3. Set The Timer
From start to finish, how long will your routine take? Can you create enough time to fit it in? By knowing how much time you need, you can make appropriate plans for it.
If you can’t make the time, maybe try alternating days with another habit.
4. Set Down the Spatula and Pick-up the Paintbrush
This is the fun part!
Now you have a recipe, it not’s not a secret recipe but it’s a start.
Don’t just write it down, how boring. To make it stick draw it, paint it, design it!
We connect much more strongly with what we can see, than what we write down. I think that’s because it’s easier to represent our emotions in a drawing than in black ink with a white backdrop. Creating through art helps you more accurately portray your emotions which brings them to the surface much more quickly than words when looking at your recipe each day.
And according to this bright cookie, we get the most power when we engage in our recipes.
Patti Dobrowolski also explains how drawing gets your brain to emit good feeling serotonin and oxytocin. You must design with color, motion, and visualize yourself in the drawing.
5. Display Your Beauty
This step leads to permanent change. You’ve simply got to embrace your beauty for the change to work. Hang it or put it somewhere that you can see it daily. I display my perfect present in a picture frame and keep the other routines and habits on index cards in a recipe box.
Regardless, you’ve got to be able to look at and feel the emotion you captured everyday.
And don’t be ashamed, at least you’ve got the guts to make art which is more than can be said for most!
Plus look how beautifully ugly some of mine are:
6. Tweak It
Create, do, review. You’ve already designed your card. Next you’ll try your life recipe and see how good it tastes. Finally, you’ll review it and decide what needs changed. This may be a daily process in the beginning, then weekly, and eventually yearly.
With a little thoughtfulness, creativity, and persistence you are well on your way to creating one life changing secret recipe!
If you know of anyone who has been struggling to make a change stick please share this process with them. I found it to be insanely helpful.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some habits you can make recipe cards for now!