Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where Are My Nuts??

I mean that literally.  Maybe not in the way you're reading it though.  This Thanksgiving I'd be grateful for a few minutes of gutter-less thinking, and avoiding sexual innuendo's. Let's finally retire some of these classic non-knee slappers, such as:

- the buns are warm
- the bird is stuffed
- don't play with your meat
- that's a huge breast
- you'll know it's ready when it pops up
- you know what apple pie reminds me of...?
- are you ready for seconds??

Here's the situation - on a recent road trip to Alabama we stopped at a rest stop.  For the first time in at least 15 years, I was craving Cracker Jack's.  Not just for the toy either.  The salty-sweet treat seemed like a great accompaniment to my 8 hour car ride, and watered down vending machine made coffee.  I settled in, buckled up, and waited for a family that could easily challenge the Duggars to get from behind the back of the car, and mosey my way back onto the interstate.

The anticipation is building as I get the car up to cruise control speed, as I try to stomach a sip of this brown "coffee flavored" concoction. I'm actually quite proud of myself for making such a sound snack decision.  Popcorn paired with peanuts, all being held together with caramel.  Surely most people would overlook this simple yet satisfying treat en route to selecting either B8:  Cheetos or A12:  Honey Bun.

Ultimately, they would regret their decision while I'm cruising at 79 mph, wrist deep into my snack sized bag of Cracker Jacks.  They would think to themselves, "This was a poor choice.....What am I doing with my life?"  While I think contently to myself, "Way to go!  Decisions like this is what separate the good from the great - the fulfilled from the unsatisfied. You're on your way good Sir, well played!"

Here's where my trip north goes totally south.  With my knee guiding our steering wheel, I tear into my destiny.  As each handful comes back, I'm more and more disappointed.  I say to my passenger (mom) "Where the hell are my nuts??"  She looks at me with confusion, disgust and I think I even detected slight sympathy as well.  I quickly learned why my fellow travelers passed on Cracker Jacks and this sorry excuse for a surprise, in favor of something more reliable.

When you're missing a key ingredient the entire meal/recipe/outcome suffers.  I didn't want caramel popcorn without peanuts, just like you wouldn't want turkey without stuffing, mashed potatoes without gravy.  Similar to my aunt without a glass of wine, the popcorn without the peanuts just wasn't as fun!  It was missing something.....something I was counting on.

Ok, so, let me finish venting about this huge let down (the popcorn, not my aunt - she did have wine after all). Success in business and in life requires all the right ingredients.  Like the numbers to a combination lock, they all must be right, and in order.  Even the smallest missing piece can cause the biggest problems.  Being a hard worker, but lacking communication skills will hinder your growth.  Providing for your family at the expense of quality time can and will likely cause relationship problems with those closest to you.

It's about balance, and knowing what extra ingredient can take it to the next level.  Without it, you'll be left disappointed, scowling at a half eaten bag of peanut-less Cracker Jacks thinking of where your life could be if you had an opportunity to re-invest that same seventy-five cents.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!!!  Drive safe out there, and eat more than enough!  CHEERS!

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