In-N-Out and being simple.
I was at In-N-Out the other day and I heard a teenager ask one of the workers for a packet of Ranch dressing, to go with his fries. The clerk simply said, "We don't offer ranch, I'm sorry."
This small conversation was timely since it seems a large slice of my brain has been sitting on top of thoughts. Thoughts on the journey of life and it's ultimate purpose. I've been thinking about how we structure our daily preferences and duties and how those choices will ultimately determine the accumulation of meaning, in the end.
Simple thoughts, right?
Actually, yes. It can be.
I'm not MBA graduate, but I'm going to venture a guess.
Do you want to know what I think the foremost contributing factor is, to In N Out's success?
They keep it simple.
In-N-Out doesn't change their menu. They take care of their employees. They keep the main thing, the main thing.
And I truly believe that (along with knife sharp exec's) is why they are not only a great establishment, but one that thrives when so many other start, hit rough patches and ultimately close.
I began to parallel this with my personal life.
Sure, In-N-Out could offer 19 variations of the cheeseburger but why would they? They could undermine their employee/employer relationship by mismanaging and underpaying but to the detriment of what?
They could try to be the restaurant that appeals to everyone but along the way they would become everyone else.
In the end, simplicity wins. (see here.)
In business and I believe, in life.
I've never fancied myself a simple person necessarily, but the older I get, the more I am drawn to simplistic ways and a simplistic life. I have also began seeing the wisdom behind choosing less and doing it well.
I have tried in the past, with best intentions, to do quite a bit. Sometimes, all at one time. I really don't think I'm alone in this mean predicament and I'm actually quite surprised that more people haven't caught on to the "you can't do everything" mindset. I'm sure we have to each arrive at the conclusion on our own time and for me, it has come within the last year.
I/We can't possibly expect to do 12 different things well but we try, don't we? For myself, I began realizing that if I was doing 12 different things, I can have others PERCEIVE that I'm doing them well, but I know that I'm not. In the end, suffering seeps in and it starts with forgetting small things, little quarrels with loved ones, missing out on events that I would rather be at and a general feeling that I had failed.
There's always a red herring.
Everyone seems to be doing everything but it is ok if you don't. In fact, it's better if you don't. Trust me.
I can't do it all and I'm not going to try to have a business and raise babies and cook and be a great friend and write and be there for my loved ones and be at functions that are important to me and create memories and be peaceful. It just won't happen. Balance and peace can't be achieved if your constantly tilting in multiple directions and peace is Biblical. I desire and crave peace and I'm finding it. Slowly.
Coming to this conclusion has meant giving up things and collateral damage from choosing that I can really only do a few things well.
I can be a good wife. I can be a good mom and I can be a good friend and loyal to those special people who the Lord has placed in my life.
That's about all I can handle (and as you can see, I can't even seem to get a post out on a regular basis!)
Simple is good. And good compounds.
At the end of the journey, I would rather have successfully completed several things then made a substandard attempt at many.