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Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential

Living Your Potential

Selecting from Your Menu

"I'll have one of everything."

Imagine you are out to dinner with a friend at a popular new restaurant.  The waiter asks what you would like to have and you proceed to order every item on the menu!  While this may be tempting, you know that it is neither possible nor desirable to consume all that food.  You must make a selection.

This week’s issue picks up where we left off in our discussion of: When Overwhelm is on the Rise.  Let’s take a look at how the metaphor of a menu can positively impact your mindset, as well as your organizational style.

Menu vs. To Do List

Some years ago I allowed the metaphor of Selecting from Your Menu to replace my To Do List Mentality.  Perhaps it has something to do with how much I enjoy food (!), but this simple shift has had a tremendous impact. 

Think about it.  How often do you approach your day with "eyes bigger than your stomach," trying to engulf a monster list of things to do?  Despite the fact that you created the list yourself, attempting to execute it can sometimes feel devoid of choice.  With a menu mentality, you are shifting from DOING ALL to SELECTING FROM.  The power is in your selection. 

You may be thinking, “But I like my to-do list,” and if it works for you, that’s fine.  Certain situations or projects call for checklists to keep you on top of things.  Also, there are times when items get placed on your menu without having selected them yourself.  There is even an expression for this: I have a lot on my plate right now.  This is different, however, from habitually being a slave to your to do list.

Taking a menu approach is beneficial because it reminds you that you have a choice, it invites breathing room, and it helps you set more realistic expectations.  In addition to positively impacting your mindset, the menu metaphor can carry over to an organizational style.  For example, try this:

Keep a master list of actions to take, sorted by category.  Do this separately for personal projects and work projects.

Each new season and each month, review that list and make your menu selections.  What are the areas that are most worthy of your energy and focus?

Each week, think and plan in terms of those selections only.  You don’t need to keep reviewing the entire menu!

Approach each day by Selecting from Your Menu.  Leave space for the unanticipated.

Selecting from Your Menu

Begin planning your days with the menu metaphor in mind.  Notice the satisfaction that comes from exercising your freedom to choose well.

Here's to you,
Ginny's signature

© 2006, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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