I bookmarked a Forbes article that caught my attention, skimmed it, and then went back to it again today. It had some really good, common sense advice about connecting your passion to your purpose. I have always been very aware of my purpose. I take purpose into consideration when making decisions – big ones and even little ones. Does this contribute to my purpose in life? Everyone has a gift to share with the world – the hard part can be figuring out what the heck the gift is, but that’s what makes life interesting.
The article summarizes a book called Fast Forward: “A reference book for those who want to master and disseminate the data on the business case for women, and a how-to manual for those who want to harness their own power and combine it with purpose.” The author provides a blueprint—know your power, find your purpose, connect with others—for women to achieve a success “that includes not only personal achievement but also meaning, impact and fulfillment.” She includes insight from a pretty impressive list of women (Sheryl Sandberg, Geena Davis, etc); and when I am not reading cookbooks, I have a weakness for self-help/inspirational books. I think Gretchen Rubin’s ‘Happiness Project’ should be required reading on an annual basis.
I have been lucky to find purpose in every internship and job I have had. Some had more purpose than others. I quickly realized that the jobs that had the most purpose (I could see that my work was making an impact on something larger than myself) were the ones that kept me satisfied and wanting to go to work everyday. I recently finished a four month project for a client at work that had an ENORMOUS amount of purpose. It was in the public health realm and while it was a lot of late nights, some weekends, and a little bit of chaos along the way, it was really rewarding for everyone involved.
So, here are the highlights:
- Cultivate confidence: identify your talents and let that guide you. You’re awesome because you have a different skill set than the person next to you!
- Challenge your fears: I am the first to admit that I have failed – the law school example is a great one. I took the LSAT twice and decided I didn’t need to fork over my life savings to obtain my dream job. I had lots of mentors along the way, including lobbyists, that did not have a law degree. In retrospect, I was also way too hard on myself – I wanted to go to only the best school and if I couldn’t, what was the point? I remember being really good at every section except the logic section. You know the part where they say, ‘Joe is on a plane and has a middle seat. Roberto has an aisle seat and only drinks 7Up. Three rows up is Sally and she wants a cookie. There might be 45 cookies on the plane. There are 60 seats. How many 3/4ths of a cookie can each person have?’ You get the point, but they lost me at the 7Up. I would draw the pictures and then realize my time was up! I got a cake question during the test and you can imagine where my thought process went. I write a foodie blog, after all!
- Figure out what matters to you: Really think about what excites you. This is your passion, which will lead you to your purpose. When I joined Junior League I was able to connect my passion (cooking and baking) to my committee assignment. I am on the Kids in the Kitchen Committee and next weekend we are hosting a health fair at a local elementary school with cooking demos and information about healthy eating. Junior League also helps with the school’s food pantry and keeping it stocked.
- Connect with others: This is an obvious one, but you can make a much bigger impact when you work with a team of people. Seek out others with similar passions and your purpose can be multiplied!
Now onto the pizza! I love to make homemade pizza and always keep tomato sauce and toppings on hand. I usually use Trader Joe’s crust from the refrigerated section, but decided to be adventurous tonight and make cauliflower crust. I googled until I found one I like and I am pretty happy with the results. I didn’t miss the traditional crust and you’re basically just eating a lot of cheese. There is cheese in the crust and on the top. Also, not to worry – I made scones for breakfast, so I am not missing out on the carbs today. Get creative with your toppings, but I don’t think you can go wrong with prosciutto.
CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST + LIBBY TOPPINGS
Recipe via Katie Lee and Food Network (slightly tweaked)
1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Really good pizza sauce from Local Folks Foods (an Indiana company) – I like Trader Joe’s too
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I have a pizza stone, but was worried that this may not transfer as well as a traditional crust.
Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. I used a kitchen towel to get all of the moisture out.
In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the parmesan, oregano, salt, and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and add toppings.
Place back in the oven and bake for another ten minutes.
My favorite and so true. Although the cauliflower makes you feel a little less guilty about your large crouton dinner!
Being productive with Winnie