Doin Some Cookin?
I was watching this cooking show on TV the other night. I don’t usually watch cooking shows, but this guy was pretty entertaining. One thing I liked in particular was he didn’t seem to measure any of the ingredients. It was a handful of this, a pinch of that, a little bit more of this. Even when he cooked some of the dishes, he never said what level to set the heat to or for how long to cook them. Just throw some stuff together, stick it in the oven until it’s done, and next thing you know you’ve got a gourmet meal on your hands.
I took a cooking class, two cooking classes a few years ago. Asian cooking. We learned to cook Chinese, Thai, and Japanese food. Two different course, and two different instructors. But they had two completely different approaches to cooking.
The first class I took (the classes were each four weeks, one night per week) she was extremely specific. Cut this exactly this way, measure this, make sure to shake the measuring spoon exactly three times to let the ingredients settle, but don’t shake too much, otherwise they’ll settle too much. Make sure to wash your hands and the instruments (cutting board, knives, measuring spoons, etc.) after each and every step. I was even lectured about placing the washed utensils in the drying rack at the proper angle so they would dry properly. Extremely detailed. The food, however, was magnificent. I don’t remember what we cooked exactly, but it was better than anything I had in a restaurant.
The other lady, who was from the course I took a few months later, because I had enjoyed the first course so much, was completely different. She was more like the guy on the cooking show. Put some of this in; add a bit of this spice, and a dash of that spice. Cook until it looks done. The food came out just as tasty, but not as “perfect” as the first class. This lady seemed to have the philosophy of showing us the general idea of how to make stuff, which we could later add to our own tastes. Whereas the method taught by the first lady didn’t seem to lend itself too much to improvisation. Being somebody who likes to cook, but rarely from a recipe, I rely heavily on improvisation. I have cooked some doozy experimental meals in the past, some good, some outrageously horrible. Once I tried making peanut butter popcorn, and it didn’t come out so good. One of the many tragedies of theory meeting reality.
One thing I noticed about the temperament of the two ladies is that the first lady seemed to be what I would describe as a type “A” personality. Detail oriented, always has a shopping list when they go to the store, lives and dies by their personal planner.
The second instructor seemed much more relaxed and a “make it up as you go along” type of person. While neither is better or worse, both characteristics have their strong points and weak points, there is evidence of type “A” people suffering more from stress related diseases. There’s also evidence of type “A” people making more money than the slackers among us.
One interesting idea I read in a book on personal development is that you can train yourself to be either type “A” or type “B” depending on the situation. If you need to perform some consistent behavior to get a specific result, you can train yourself to follow a specific set of instructions to maximize your success. Likewise, when it’s the weekend, you can easily switch into type “B” mode, and sit on a park bench and stare off into space when it’s time to unwind.
The trick is to develop a “switch” that sends you into automatic behavior mode when the situation calls for it, and being able to turn the “switch” off when the job is done.
One way to do that is through modeling. When you model somebody, you unconsciously soak up as much as their behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes as you can to achieve the same result they want. For example, if you are a student, and you have a difficult test coming up, it may help to model the most diligent person in your class. For the time being, simply pretend that you are them, as much as you can.
Where do they study, how long do they study, how many breaks do they take, how long, and how often. How do they motivated themselves, whey they are feeling lazy, what do they say to themselves to keep them focused, what do they visualize when they see themselves achieving their goals. Are there any authority figures from their past telling them supporting messages (in their imagination) while they are studying.
These some things that can collectively turn you into a studying machine. If you need to “switch” on this behavior, develop a kind of external anchor that you can use to put you in study mode. I had a friend once that was studying for a chemistry exam, and one of his “heroes” (as much as you can have a hero if you are a chemistry geek) was the guy that came up with the chemical structure for benzene from a dream he had of a snake eating it’s tale. This guy (the hero) had a relentless desire to figure out how stuff worked, so much that it permeated his dreams.
So when this guy (the student) wanted to get into “the zone,” he would sit at a table, place both palms on the table, close his eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Then he would imagine the ghost, or the spirit of the benzene guy slowly slinking into his body from behind, and giving him all his motivation and desire to figure out how stuff worked. He (the student) said this really helped to study, and he always did well on his chemistry tests.
So if you can figure out what you want to achieve, figure out somebody that has already done it, and come up some kind of physical “switch” along with a useful hallucination to help you take on their behavior. You may find that this can help you more than you realize.
For more similar strategies that can turbo charge your success, visit the link below: