During my travels to New York City the last two years, I have been fortunate to meet many interesting people, who have become great friends.
One of those people is the Chef Miguel.
Miguel has a wealth of international culinary experience, and is currently running a very successful catering business.
So what can someone like me, with very little culinary skills, learn from Miguel?
Here are 3 of the biggest lessons I have learned from Chef Miguel:
1) Passion and postive enegy is everything - When creating excellent dishes it is critically important that you are passionate and fully present in what you are creating. The energy you bring to the process will show in the end result. To have outstanding results you must bring positive energy to the creation process.
"Every job is a self portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence"
2) Always be Learning - The only way to continue to improve is to be open to learning new ways of doing things everyday. Miguel is both a master in the kitchen but equally important, a student; he never stops listening and learning from others.
3) Be Confident in Yourself - One of the biggest things that I noticed when first going to New York, was how often people walked against the little "stop" hand when crossing the road. Nothing wrong with it; it's just a "New York" thing. I still find myself "hugging" the curb waiting for that little "walk" sign to give me permission to cross the road.
To say I have been teased a little about this is a major understatement.
When I asked Miguel, how he just does it, his response: "You have to own the road".
Interesting, and I got the message.
Just yesterday I had a major presentation to make and I thought of Miguel's words as I walked in confidently and "owned" the room. The ironic thing is that I have this confidence in most areas of my life, especially when I am presenting, but somehow Miguel's words struck a cord with me.
Thanks Miguel for the great advice.
Your Canadian Curb Hugging Friend
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Sometimes the best advice we receive is simple, and easy to remember.
A few weeks ago I watched the ESPY awards on ESPN. The annual awards show celebrates the great moments in sports in the past year. Needless to say Michael Phelps was the big winner of the evening.
My favorite moment came late in the show when Don Meyer, a coach from a small school in South Dakota, was awarded the Jimmy V Award. The award is presented to someone who overcomes challenges, and in the process inspires many.
Don Meyer's story definately meets that criteria. Hear about his story and watch his speech.
In his acceptance speech, Don talked about a conversation he had the previous day with legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. Mr. Wooden took out a card from his wallet, that his father had given to him when he graduated from grade school, on it are the words:
"Don't whine, complain, or make excuses"
Simple and profound.
Since then, I've posted those words right beside my computer in my office, and have shared them with a few close friends. I have asked a few friends to hold me accountable to those words and to please let me know when I complain, whine or make excuses.
Although I thought of myself as being a very positive person, I was surprised by how many "little" things I complained about or how many excuses I made daily. It was a great reminder that each of us is 100% accountable for our actions and results.
Thank you Don and John, for the reminder.
Listed below are a few easy ways to keep this message alive daily:
1) Post these words where you will see them daily, beside your computer, on a card in your wallet, by the door in your house, etc...
2) Wear an elastic band on your wrist and snap yourself every time you complain, whine or make excuses.
3) Enlist your friends to hold you accountable, or to hold each other accountable. Make a game of it and deposit one dollar in a jar everytime you complain or make excuses.
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