Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Importance of Salt

I read a book recently called "Cure for the Common Life - Living in Your Sweet Spot". I really enjoyed reading about real-life examples of people who found themselves living and working outside of their niche area. At some point in their lives came an opportunity to choose a different kind of life. And with the decision to make a major change came all the fears and concerns about giving up job security, what will family members think, etc., etc. The book reported that these people never regretted moving and rearranging their lives to be able to live and work in their niche area. It's based on Christian principles that each of us has a talent, something we're naturally good at and love to do and it's about recognizing and realizing that God built that into us for a purpose.

I know about this niche because for brief times, sometimes only moments in time in my life I've experienced it. When operating in my niche, others notice and they frequently comment on it. They tell me I'm a natural and doing what I was meant to do. I know they are right--I can feel it. My face reflects the joy I feel inside when I do what I'm meant to do. The size of my smile and the natural glow I get when I operate in my niche is evident with one look in the mirror. Sometimes I'll go to my niche for a few hours and come back to work and people look and say "I know what you've been doing". It's so evident to them... and me.

What holds me back from making a great leap into the niche? Fear of course. Bills to pay and the need for a roof over my head. But I do my best and I'm focusing on angling and positioning, trying to get myself closer and closer to that opportunity. I'm sure at some point there will be a requirement for a leap of faith....

Most of the time life doesn't hand us our niche on a platter and say, "This is it wht you're meant to do. Go to it." Most of us are barely aware and quite frankly afraid to dream that we could actually live in our sweet spot. But the book does try to get parents to pay attention to their children and watch for their sweet spots so that they can be encouragers and enablers to help their children grow into what they are naturally and happily inclined to want to do.

About the salt, I had been attempting to bake on the weekend and found myself always puzzled as to why recipes for sweet desserts always required some measure of salt. I remember years ago asking my Mom about this and she said that the food just doesn't taste right unless you put the salt in. Sometimes I'd opt out and not put it in just to see. But I still kept wondering about it. So, after the weekend baking, while riding into work with my car pool companions, older women who cook and bake, I raised the topic. And I got the answer from the sage old Englishwoman. She said that you add the salt because the salt makes the sweet taste sweeter. And I got it. I finally understood.

So, when reading about living in my sweet spot I just kept thinking that, now after most of my life operating, working and living mostly outside my sweet spot, if I ever get to do what I really want to do (and I know very much what that is) then I will appreciate it so much more because of the salt... because of all the years working at a job and doing what I didn't like. This salty job will make that sweet niche spot so much sweeter.... I can't wait. I just have to keep hoping and praying that I find it. And too, when I do that I'll have the faith to take that leap.

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