How Do You Order From The Restaurant Of Life?

Waitress Serving

Getting what you want in life is very much like ordering from a restaurant. You have to be clear about what you want, and make sure you communicate that very clearly in order to get what you want. 

Picture the scene … You go to a restaurant with a friend. After taking your seats at your table, your waiter takes your drinks order. He then goes off and a couple of minutes later returns with your drinks.

He then asks, “Are you ready to order your main course?”

“Yes,” you answer.

Your waiter takes out his little book, gets his pen ready to take your order and looks at you, waiting for you to tell him what you want.

You look at him and say, “I’ll have some food.”

The look of puzzlement on his face will probably be priceless.

“Sure, you can have food,” says the waiter, but what food do you want. There are a number of choices on the menu and you’re going to have to be more specific as to exactly which food do you want.

“Oh, OK,” you say. I’ll have a curry.”

“Would you like the red curry or the green curry?”

“The green curry.”

And would you like beef, chicken or lamb curry?”

“Chicken, please,” you say.

“Would you like your curry mild, medium or hot?”

“Medium,” you reply.

“Would you like steamed rice or fried rice?” he asks.

“Fried rice,” you say.

Half exhausted, he then leaves, finally having dragged out of you what you want.

The irony is that all these options were on the menu for you to select. You just didn’t bother to be clear enough about what you wanted and fortunately you had someone to get it out of you.

But there are no waiters in the restaurant of life to drag out of you what you want life to deliver for you. So you just sit there waiting and hoping that somehow someone will bring you just what you want – but you don’t even know what you want.

If the restaurant of life hasn’t yet given you what you wanted, it simply means that you have not been clear about what you wanted from it. That’s what people mean when they tell you to have clear goals in life. They’re really telling you to be clear about what you want to order from life otherwise you will get nothing.

Once you’re clear about what you want, be aware that you will be expected to pay the price of what you want – in terms of effort, time, mistakes and so forth.

And, lastly, you need to be aware that the restaurant of life is a self-service restaurant. You have to help yourself. If you are not prepared to go out there and make things happen, no-one is going to come along and deliver in front of you what you ordered while you casually sit around waiting.

So, be clear about what you want, then set your mind toward achieving it. It’s all about intention determining where you place your attention. And we get the things we focus on!


by Alan Hosking: Publisher of HR Future, South Africa’s human strategy magazine, and a Leadership Renewal Coach for senior executives.



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