The other day, I found myself trapped inside on a treadmill during my morning run.
Any one of you who runs knows that this can be devastating and mind-numbing. Typically, I find this to be the perfect time to tune into a good audio-book or podcast or blast AC/DC, but this day my gurgling stomach wanted to watch the cooking channel.
And this one Italian boisterous chef kept talking about his secret special sauce to make the spaghetti sauce notevole.
I never ended up making the spaghetti for dinner, yet kept thinking about how it only takes one simple ingredient to make a leader unique and potentially remarkable. (Tweet this!)
Every day, I come across creative people who want to step outside the doldrum of their work or school and engage in their creative juice.
They want to be remarkable. And my guess is you do to. But, being remarkable doesn't have to be overwhelming.
Too many people start a project, begin a new class, or write down an extraordinary goal only to find a hundred other people doing it much better than they can.
How many times did you add a new mind-blowing project in September only to regret it come December? (Tweet this!)
It's normal to want to stop here and be overwhelmed, thinking "I can't do that!".
So, here's the key. Put away Google, stop looking outside and look deep within. Find your Yoda. Find your special sauce.
Mastery comes from practice and we all can become experts. After a certain point, however, we all start to branch into our own niche and it's the special sauce that makes us extraordinary.
We all can be good at something, but to be great - you have to reflect, dig deep into who you are, and harness the uniqueness that makes you you.
Here are 2 tips to find your special sauce and once you do, you'll see what makes you unique.
Okay, you're probably thinking…what!!? Just listen for a minute. Pick up a moleskin journal (because they're cool) or open up an Evernote notebook and write in it for 5 minutes a day. Choose either the first 5 minutes or the last 5 minutes of your day.
Forget complete sentences. Use words, or bullet points if you want. Do what Kerouac would do and just separate your thoughts by dashes.
Write about whatever is on your mind. Write about your memories and what they make you think about. You’ll want to stop when you begin to write about really personal stuff, but push through. Don’t worry about who will read it and if this fear does stop you, just rip it up, burn it, or delete the file after you finish writing.
Memories possess a power many people fail to harness. They cause us to act a certain way and many never reflect on them to learn one's own thought process.
Reflecting like this helps you find your drive. What makes you tick. Once you find what makes you tick, you may just find your special sauce.
Be Zen like Steve Jobs
Many don't know, but Steve Jobs practiced zen meditation. It's one of the few key influencers that brought the simple and beautiful designs behind Apple products.
Steve found that, through zen meditation, he harnessed the energy to find his special sauce. In a rare peak into the younger days of Steve Jobs, when he would practice zen rigorously, he once said,
"Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use." (Tweet this!)
Completing a remarkable goal means breaking it apart and going step-by-step or else you'll be normal and stop, say okay, "I give up" to your fear.
So, try it. Instead of just stopping, sit down and look inside your self. Pick up the journal and talk to yourself about it. Or sit and just listen to your breath. As David Life once taught me, breath in and think the word "Let" and breath out and think the word "go".
Eventually, you'll start to fly, then throw a big party and cook your own spaghetti dinner.
Please, leave a comment below. What's your special sauce?