The Sizzle vs the Steak
I was talking to my brother recently about how much energy can be spent on possibilities that never come to fruition. He used a phrase that hit home when he said, “I don’t want to waste my time being sold on the sizzle. I want to be eating the steak.” Meaning, I want to spend my energy on what is real in the present, rather than chasing a future promise.
We’ve been sold on the sizzle of having our life purpose magically bestowed on us before birth. Once we figure out what our purpose is life will be a breeze. But there’s a catch, we have to figure it out or we’ve failed.
This looks so easy for those in the limelight (athletes, actors, musicians, politicians). We’ve given them the power of our interest because they seem to have figured out their life purpose, as they are succeeding in making money doing what they enjoy, or so it seems. Yet we also love to watch their failures to reassure ourselves that even the famous aren’t perfect and have to suffer.
The truth is that we get to choose our purpose (the steak). It’s not pre-destined. When we struggle to “figure it out,” it’s because we believe the lie of the sizzle. We are looking for an answer outside of our Self. Seeking a sense of fulfillment from a source out in the future depletes our energy. The analytical-mind has kicked-in to drive us to find an answer when we need to be listening to our intuitive-mind for guidance.
The analytical-mind references past information and data to help us make decisions. Our intuitive-mind allows us to read the present and see what we are a “yes” to or a “no” to. Our intuitive mind has access to our entire Being’s wisdom and assists us in recognizing the steak versus chasing the sizzle.
We’ve often defined purpose as having a passion for something. For me writing is a passion, it gives my life meaning and yet it’s not my career nor is it my only pleasure. In fact, often I find it hard to write, to find the words to express what I feel inside that I want to share with others. But once I do, it is such a wonderful sensation of alignment with my Self. The dance between me and words is not a handshake that results in a book deal and assignment to complete a task that I get paid for, defining some measure of success. It’s a bridge that connects the islands of my heart, head, body and soul; then extends that connection to invite others to self-reflect or gain a deeper understanding.
I used to hold tight to words that I’d written, if they didn’t fit in the piece I was crafting, I felt I needed to save them for later lest I not be able to create them again. Now I take pleasure in deleting a sentence that doesn’t work. I trust that I’ll find a new way to express the sentiment in the right context when the time comes. I’m not hanging on to the sizzle of possibility but taking a bite out of the steak in front of me. Saying what needs to be said right now!
Creating anything in our life requires taking steps that are not an end in and of them self. Maybe that seems like chasing the sizzle, but when we are truly present for the moment rather than putting our energy out in the future, we are eating the steak every day while we create our lives.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Natalie. It’s tempting to chase a rainbow and neglect to nurture and enjoy what we have right now. Life doesn’t deliver us easy success or rewards that arent’t hard earned. I’m reminded of our garden, which we’ve put hours of hard work into but at the moment there’s nothing but rich soil in the boxes and a few plants that aren’t productive yet. We can stand back and feel good about the preparation we’ve done but there’s many more hours of labor before we enjoy the fruits of our hard work.