I’ve been working in media for over 30 years… but this has nothing to do with broadcasting or voice-overs! Today’s blog is relevant to ANYONE!
For months, I’ve been banging on to anybody who’ll listen about a simple recipe for shortbread! I kinda claimed it as my own but in reality, it’s been around for longer than Tony Blackburn!
You need 3 parts self-raising flour; 2 parts butter; 1 part sugar. To make this recipe my own, I add the word ‘decent’ in front of ‘butter’ and only use half a part of sugar and top the missing half up with honey. I thought that this would add a golden glow to the finished product! I’ve been itching to make this delicacy for ages and last week, I got the apron out!
I’m no Fanny Craddock but I assumed I could just bung the ingredients into a big dish; mix into a yellowy paste; roll the dough into small balls on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees. Voila!
The truth is, I’ve only ever made shortbread once, 12 years ago after a few vodkas with my flatmate in Cardiff. BUT, having carried this recipe around in my head for ages, I thought I’d give it a go and make some biccies for Mum’s birthday. The finished result was more ‘crumbly-bread’ than shortbread and I think the honey added too much moisture to the mix. Shortbread is supposed to snap. My biscuits collapsed!
But, in my kitchen, I’d had a half-baked idea of what I was doing and I went for it with gusto!
(Now, if this were a script for Sesame Street, you’d see the moral of the story straight away!)
As much as baking shortbread isn’t quite ‘living on the edge’, it’s a tiny illustration of what we can do. If you’ve got something niggling away at your brain that you’ve wanted to try, or do again for the first time in a long time, then give it a go!
How often do we say ‘life’s too short’?
It is true. And when there’s so much bad news around at the moment, we have to hold on to every small win. It could be baking for the first time or, more to the point, trying a new process at work. Rather than sit in a comfort zone, push yourself to try new things. Someone once told me that you should scare yourself at least once a day. (Looking into a mirror every morning means I accomplish this quite easily!) If you’re not working from home, go a different way to and from work just to see what you’ve never seen before. Or, just pop down an unfamiliar road that you keep passing and then come back! Speak to a colleague that you don’t know; learn how to Tik Tok; swap an idea; swap your lunch; ask to work in another department for a week… I’m not suggesting you try surgery for the first time because you fancy a go with a scalpel but look at your boundaries and push them.
We’ve all been walking a lot more lately. If you’ve explored and found new footpaths and discovered new areas near your home, try and do a similar thing in other aspects of your life. Discover new ‘work’ paths and if you’re a manager or in charge of a workforce, give your staff the room and the opportunity to try new things and make new discoveries at work. More importantly, allow a little space for failure and a few mistakes, otherwise we’ll never learn. (The number of paths I’ve walked down lately to find a dead end….!)
I realise that connecting shortbread to pushing your own boundaries is a tenuous link but the process of mixing flour with butter etc did get me thinking! I’ve had a good long look at myself and my business in recent months. I asked a third party to also have a look at what I was doing and this blog is just a small part of the changes I’ve made.
Change is good and in the right mind-set, change is invigorating. Embrace it!
Sitting around, being comfortable and doing what I’ve always done in life… well, that takes the biscuit!
For more, go to my NEW website www.rickydurkin.com