‘If at first you don’t succeed…’
– Thomas H. Palmer
I was never much of a cook – I lacked the patience when younger to learn from my epic Chinese MasterChef of a mother and, when I was older, lacked the time to cook in and audience to cook for, except occasionally. I cook all the time these days and I like to think I’ve mastered some dishes. Lasagne’s not been one of them, though – something always goes wrong. It’s usually the cheese sauce. But, today, everything went perfectly – the sauces, the layering, the cheese top. I was pretty excited when I placed the above in the oven. I then burnt my fingers on its way in and dropped the whole thing.
It hadn’t been my favourite Monday and, having spent money and time preparing the pesky thing, I admit to getting momentarily tearful over this travesty. I had to remove my rings due to my first (/fifth) degree burns and had to scape the remnants of lasagne from the oven door. All those layers lost. Hunger, however, dictated that we patch the mess back into the dish and put it in to bake.
The above is a prime example of ‘first world problems’ and a loss of perspective. Also, a lack of learning – I’d badly burnt my hand placing a roast in a couple of weeks before. Anyway, dinner ended up tasting pretty good. One day, though, I’ll defeat lasagne – which brings me to the art of winning. At least I’m trying. That’s how you end up winning in the end.
I do feel the pinch of jealousy when someone achieves something I long for. I’ve connected with many bestselling and award-winning authors recently and I hunger for their success. You can’t win, however, if you don’t compete. You learn by doing. Sometimes, by failing. One day, I’ll write a brilliant book that you’ll all want to read and, one day, I’ll make the perfect lasagne that you’ll wish you could eat. Neither would be the same as they will be without the practice and the patience that will have gone before.
So, in summary (and a collection of cliches), you’ve got to be in it to win it; risk it to get the biscuit; start in order to finish. You might make a bit of a mess on the way, but it can still taste good, and winning will be worth it. What do you want to win? And when are you going to enter?