2011: You are the Secret Ingredient

A note of warning: this post was inspired by Disney's Kung Fu Panda. Hang in there, it's also about making your 2011 super special and magical. The back story: the night of Christmas after the family had gone home, my Mom, my boyfriend and I were hanging out and looking for something to watch on tv and just veg after all the craziness. We landed on Kung Fu Panda and the message behind the movie inspired one of my biggest goals for the new year: be my own secret ingredient. In the movie, Po doesn't believe he's worthy of being the Dragon Warrior that will defeat the evil white tiger Tai Lung even though the old and wise turtle kung fu master Oogway believes in him (phew, that's a quick summary). He also doesn't believe he's as good a noodle cook as his father (who just so happens to be a duck, how does that work?). Po basically has terrible self-confidence. In the end he gets the special Dragon Scroll that teaches him the greatest power of the Dragon Warrior. It reflects his image back at him and he realizes it's himself. It's further reinforced by an exchange with his father:

Mr. Ping: The secret ingredient is...nothing!

Po: Huh?

Mr. Ping: You heard me. Nothing! There is no secret ingredient.

Po: Wait, wait...it's just plain old noodle soup? You don't add some kind of special sauce or something?

Mr. Ping: Don't have to. To make something special you just have to believe it's special.

Po believing in himself was the secret ingredient that he needed to defeat Tai Lung. And Kung Fu Panda got me to realize that in order to defeat problems, conquer my challenges and become amazing I have to believe in myself; I have to believe I am the secret ingredient.

When you cook, there are many ingredients that come together to make one amazing dish. But many truly amazing dishes have one secret ingredient that really makes them stand out. Think Iron Chef! In your life, you need to believe in yourself and believe that you are the secret ingredient that makes life around you better, sweeter and more delicious. Believe in your special talents, what makes you your unique self, and that they can take life to a better level. Many people may be able to do things similar to you but you give it your own spice. To add that spice, all you have to do is believe in yourself and get to work!

My goal for 2011 is to believe that I am the secret ingredient. As I tackle all the challenges that might come my way, I am going to defeat them because I am me. I will add my spice and cook up a great life.

So whatever you have cooking, percolating, or crafting for 2011, don't forget to add the most important ingredient: you.

"There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the 'present.'"