“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” Aristotle
There are few things more important than understanding your own personal strategic recipes for enjoying a positive, fulfilling experience of your own life. What is a Strategic Recipe. Let’s start with what constitutes a “strategy”.
“A Strategy is a system of producing a consistent result”. Tony Robbins
This sentence is deep.
- is a System – repeatable, objective process
- of Producing – there is no strategy without action, “producing” implies that something must be done
- A Consistent Result – time and time, over and over again you achieve a specific outcome.
I would class these systems as “Recipes”. A Recipe is a specific process and clear starting state (quantities of ingredients, saucepans, oven temperature, time required) that consistently delivers an outcome (delicious, tasty meal that impresses the guests).
Let’s call these effective processes Strategic Recipes.
My Strategic Recipes
Running in Nature – In my case, going for a run is a Strategic Recipe. No matter how crap and aimless that I feel before I start running (and often for the first 15 minutes of the run), by the time I have run for 20 minutes, my mental chatter starts clearing out and I start to be present in the day, in my body. I start to reconnect to what is important for me, to the people that I want to be with today. I have (what feel like at the time) good ideas and clarity on actions that are important for today.
The gym doesn’t work the same way for me… it has to be running outside… I don’t know why this is, but that doesn’t matter… it only matters that I have a Strategic Recipe for turning unmotivated fuzz into disciplined productive action.
Brompton with Daughter – Taking my daughter (the 2 years old one) out on the infant seat on my brompton bicycle and cycling around Barcelona is another Strategic Recipe. It feels like a meaningful activity – and I love the way she shouts “Wheee!” and “Faster Daddy!” as we cycle. We don’t have any real destination, but might stop off at a playground or a Starbucks along the way. It has to be the brompton bicycle… going for a walk to the park doesn’t give me anywhere near the same positive emotion as the brompton (my daughter is also necessary… heading out alone is just a lonely loser on a bike without a destination…)
Drinking Makers Mark bourbon whisky at night is another Strategic Recipe. (I don’t like that it is… but as I reflect I have to accept that it is…). Watching TV without the whisky makes me feel ordinary and boring. Throw in a neat whisky and I feel like some sort of awesome sofisticated TV watcher. Nuts. (I don’t do this every night… we had some alcoholism in my family and I really watch out for any regular habitual daily drinking… and stop immediately if I notice it)
Curious this… I am sat in a Sandwichez coffee shop near my house and trying to think of the Strategic Recipes that I have in my life to achieve a positive mental state as a result… and the recipes that I find are random…
Some other Strategic Recipes that I have:
- Write a blog post – like just now… 20 minutes of activity and I feel that I have accomplished something for the day. They often trigger interesting comments or email dialogues with interesting people. This adds a bit of feeling connected and significant to my day.
- Networking on LinkedIn – I have a whole bunch of searches set up (I use the paid Sales Navigator version of LinkedIn) and I can identify a number of inspiring people that I reach out to. My business Vistage depends on building deep, trusted relationships with a wide range of high integrity spanish CEOs. LinkedIn is a gold mine for this. (probably because I spent 15 years blogging, 8 years making videos and generally have what is known as a “personal brand”)
- Cooking a Meal – I love cooking. Gives me a sense of accomplishment, creativing and completion. I start with raw ingredients, end with a tasty meal… all in 20 to 60 minutes. My current favourite recipes are Thai chicken curry (yellow, green or red), Mexican fajitas or Indian curry (korma or tikka masala). I used to love BBQ, but have lived in places where you can’t BBQ for last 4 years… I do miss that.
- Playing Cards with my family – they are very smart and there can be no distraction when I play… or I will be destroyed. Tough to deal with when you are dealing with a 14 year old and an 11 year old. But I always feel connected and intensely present during the games. We currently play Dou-Dhi-Zou, Georgian “Stupid”, Hearts and Gin Rummy. What other good card games are there for 3 or 4 players?
- Watching Big Bang Theory with my older Daughter – we are on season 6… got hundreds of episodes to go. Love the inside jokes that she and I can make based on Sheldon and team’s on screen antics.
It would be good to have a set of Strategic Recipes in our armory that allow us to meet the 6 human needs:
- Safety (or Certainty)
- Risk (or Variety)
What are your Strategic Recipes?
I’ve been going through a 2 month period of feeling unmotivated. I had a very busy May, June, July and it put me off balance… I am only now noticing that I am unmotivated and would like to get more clarity and fulfillment back into my days. I’d love your help. What works for you?
I’d love to hear from you. What are your Strategic Recipes? What set of steps systematically lead you to a consistent positive feeling (through meeting in some way some of the 6 human emotional needs)?
Comments below are excellent, but more than happy to hear from you via email.