January 13, 2012

Embracing Failure and "shtoup"

Shtoup! It is the latest and greatest in creations!!
I was attempting to make homemade chicken soup this week. Easy enough, shouldn't need a recipe!? I've seen this done tons of times on TV (love that food network and cooking channel). What can be so hard?
If any of you know my husband you will know that my way of cooking makes him crazy!! I can follow a recipe, I simply choose not to most of the time. Most of my cooking comes from the beginning of an idea. Some thing I saw or have in the fridge and then I just add to it anything else I think may taste good. Willy nilly rummaging through the cabinets and fridge to find inspiration. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much, sometimes
it is awesome! Mostly they are "one pot wonders." Everything put into one pot to mix and mingle and create some new flavors. Kind of how I like to gather together with friends :-)

Well my attempt at chicken soup was one of those creations that started out not so bad. Fresh onions, and olive oil nicely caramelized, added fresh chicken to brown first, some seasoning, then bok choy (first time using it) then  celery and carrots, chicken stock and additional water. Not so bad... a little flat in the flavor department. Add more seasoning....more seasoning, seasoning. Wow this still tastes like water? OK still not so bad. Then I chose to add rice vs. pasta (see bad romance post) so I have one box of chicken stock, and six cups of water besides. Instant rice is a 1:1 ratio so I add two cups of rice, wow that really doesn't look like much two more cups can't hurt I'm still way under the ratio. OK let sit. I open the pot to mix and put in fridge for tomorrow....Uh Oh I have what now looks like rice stew...Uh OK mental note to much rice.

I am now the only one in the house eating the tons of what has been dubbed "shtoup" (combination stew and soup). No biggie I kind of like it. It is still a little flat in the flavor, I should have added the ground ginger that I wanted but I'm the only one that likes that flavor and I figured no one else in the house would touch it if I did. Now I'm the only one eating it anyway... go figure.

The point of this story is not my poor culinary skills but the ability to embrace your failures! If we do not fail we do not learn. ( heard it from Susan Garrett but is general concept) If you do not try and fail you do not grow as a person. Now some attempts/risks are bigger than others but if you allow fear of failure to keep you from trying how will you ever know what you can do? Heck, you can't even figure out what you can't do at that rate!

I taught my agility classes last night. I have one student that is so fearful of what 'might' go wrong she runs all twisted around facing the dog with little tiny steps. She had to be talked into letting him off the leash to run a small sequence last night, she finally did and they did great!! I was so excited for them and so proud that she took the chance. "What if he starts running all around?" she asks with a panic look in her eye. "Then we know that we went to far" was my response.

 If we don't have the opportunity to fail we will never know what might have happened. In stead of the big scary word FAILURE= negative how about failure=information.
 As soon as I made that change most of the stress and fear of showing in agility went away. I'm no longer as nervous as I used to be. I would get all wound up with butterflies two days before a show, never mind how I wanted to throw up before entering the ring! By embracing my failures as information not only I am able to calmly look at them and make a plan to change them. I can now enjoy my runs so much more with my dog and he in turn enjoys running with me so much more.
Failure is not just for agility....but I am able to enjoy cooking so much more and I am a better student in my own classes because I am willing to take the risk and push for the failure so I can see where I need to improve.

How do you interpret the word failure? I would love to hear from you. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word failure?

1 comment:

  1. Good lesson taught here, Kelly! There are quite a few inspirational sayings one can learn from failure.

    I wish my coaches in my younger years were wise enough to pass these types of lessons on to us, but failure ALWAYS equated something negative and bad; hence, why I was the way I was in agility.

    But stepping back and looking at my failures and the failures of others in my much later years, I have gained a lifetime of positive lessons.

    I'd be a different competitor these days if I ever competed in anything again, that's for sure! But I think the damage has already been done.

    "Unless you try to do something beyond what you've already mastered, you will never grow."

    "When you aim for perfection, you'll find it's a moving target."

    "You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you."

    "Failures are part of the dues one pays for a full life." etc, etc, etc.

    I'm glad you're feeling more comfortable in the ring!! Congratulations!