My Sweet Spot

Many years ago I read a book entitled “Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot” by Max Lucado.  I didn’t know it at the time I read it, but there were big changes coming down the pike in my life!!! Fast forward to today and I’ve found that – somewhat unknowingly – have I put into practice what I learned in the book.

Lucado offers “the big idea” at the beginning of the book when he writes:

“Use your uniqueness (what you do)

to make a big deal out of God (why you do it)

every day of your life (where you do it).

At the convergence of all three, you’ll find the cure for the common life: your sweet spot.”

He illustrates “the big idea” with this diagram:

Sweet Spot Diagram

So why am I writing about this?  Because today I received the gift of one of those rare glimpses of what it means to live in your sweet spot!  I love teaching cooking classes and I enjoy every class I teach, but today was different from many of the other classes in that it really felt like everything came together at just the right time, in just the right way, with just the right people.

Does that mean that today was perfect?  Nope!  There is no such thing as a perfect day.  But it came pretty close and even those minor glitches in the day caused me no alarm or unease.

So how do you find your sweet spot?  Well, Lucado suggests studying your S.T.O.R.Y.  And, based on my experiences over the last many years, I happen to agree.  So what does S.T.O.R.Y. stand for?

  1. What are your STRENGTHS?  In my case, I believe my strength is in teaching – being able to take a concept and explain (either verbally or in writing (which also made me a pretty good technical writer)) it in a way that is understandable to people. Although there will be a few of you out there who share teaching as a strength, I suspect for most of you your strength will be something else.
  2. What is your TOPIC?  My topic is food.  I enjoy working with it, eating it, experimenting with it, etc.  Again, your topic will likely be different.
  3. What are your OPTIMAL CONDITIONS? For each of us, this will be different – some will like a more structured, predictable situation and others a more loose, variable situation.  I like the variety of coming up with different food combinations and playing with my food!
  4. What about RELATIONSHIPS? Do you function best alone or surrounded by other people?  Do you work best as part of a team or as an individual contributor.  I love the interplay between me and my students and I greatly appreciate the support of the team of people it takes to deliver a great class.  It is never simply about the instructor!
  5. What makes you say, “YES!”  It is when your strengths, topic, optimal conditions and relationships intersect that you find your YES!

Today, I was given the gift of my YES!  So here’s a shout out to all the people who came to the class and worked the class.  Without you I doubt my Yes! would have been possible!!!!!

P.S.  The menu for today included:

  • Creamy Bacon Pasta with Coffee Rubbed Scallops
  • Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Soup w/ Chipotle Coffee Cream
  • Fennel & Prosciutto Salad with Honey -Coffee Vinaigrette
  • Coffee Crusted Filet of Beef
  • Braised Cabbage with Coffee, Molasses & Bacon
  • Cappuccino Cheesecake

The following is a snap of the soup – it looked too pretty not to photograph!!!!

Processed with Rookie Cam

4 thoughts on “My Sweet Spot

  1. Janice:

    How wonderful that you enjoyed class as much as we did! Even though seafood and I are not friends anymore and I don’t eat much red (or other meat), I tried everything and there was not a thing that wasn’t tasty delicious. As a CSA member and a household of 1, I am inundated with winter squash and onions at the moment, so when I got home from class and errands, I did up a batch of b’nut squash soup and slow cooker carmelized onions. I didn’t have the ingredients for the cream, but similarly jazzed up Greek yogurt and toasted salted squash seeds were close! If I’d had any steam left, I might have made the pasta, but … my pillow beckoned.

    • So happy to hear you enjoyed class, Deb! It is always my pleasure to have you there – and not just for the wine!!!!! Glad to have offered you a way to use up some of the squash – I love the soup and am excited to try subbing out the heavy cream for yogurt – great idea!!!!

  2. Well, Jan, it did not take you long to update your blog. I love your comments and am thrilled that your shared your feelings about today’s class. I am still tasting my cheesecake and also the creamy pasta with scallops/ For sure I will be making your version of butternut squash. I will be making a carrot/ginger soup tomorrow and John gifted me with some saffron today which I will add a pinch to it – what do you think? I love making soup and have pages and pages in my collection. It is easy to see why you are a Kitchen Shoppe favorite – your passion is infectious. On the way home I listened to Lynne Rossetto Kasper. on WVIA and the splendid table program so the education just kept rolling and rolling. Sooooooo – I read your blog and LOVE it! See you soon. Gretchen
    PS – so good to be living in my Sweet Spot!

    • Gretchen….thanks for coming to class! I know it’s a long drive for you and am always happy to see your smiling face! I enjoy listening to The Splendid Table when I’m on the elliptical machine at the gym – but I haven’t been there for a while and need to get caught up….thanks for the motivation to get back at it!!!!! 🙂

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