Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life's Purpose Update

Since clarifying my purpose in life, identifying that I want to dedicate myself to the culinary arts, I have been doing some intense thinking/daydreaming about the long-range goals in my life, and things have become even clearer.

For one, I don't think becoming a chef is my passion per say, but it is at least my medium-term goal. I love cooking, but my interest is more intensely intellectual, so I don't think I'd be able to gain my happiness in the long-run by dedicating myself to the physical pursuit entirely. So my goals have changed: In the short-term I want to improve my income and finish my project, move to another state in the shortish-medium term (perhaps; definite goal, but indefinite time-frame), and become a chef in the medium term. My long-term goal, however, is different.

While out actually physically doing job hunting -- I think internet job sites are impractical given my current career development -- I have developed a little hobby of collecting restaurant menus. In all honesty I don't eat out that much, but I love seeing what efforts restaurants take to advertise themselves. Aside from the menus I also love looking at the architecture and decorations of the actual dining areas, to observe themes and analyze whether the foods and services fit that atmosphere. Throughout all, the purpose of such collecting and observing is to arrive at my own individual tastes and conclusions on how I'd like to see a business operate.

I think in the long-term I want to be an entrepreneur who operates his own chain of food businesses. The more I think about it, the more I develop my ideas: in what attributes I'd like to see in workers and how I'd treat them, various business practices and services I would utilize, and I've even imagined some innovative technology I would like to bring into existence, either as an inventor or investor with a proposal. I increasingly like the idea the more I entertain it. I'm even going to start an entrepreneurial journal in order to document my musings, observations, and ideas about business for development and future recall.

To your disappointment, however, such writings will be done on paper only and kept private. Some of the ideas I have I consider to be greatly valuable, unrealized since I am unable to use them currently, and I could risk losing monetary rewards, a positive business reputation, and even the ability to achieve other goals if I blab about my ideas and someone decides to implement them before I can. It was a short bit of a conflict, but I almost published a post detailing such an idea, and am thankful to have decided against it.

Anyhow, it is surprising how logically aligned my goals are now that I'm clarifying my purpose in life. Previously it was horrendously difficult for me to even project "five year plans," but now I can conceive of them, and beyond, now that I think I know what my ultimate goal is and the approximate steps I'm going to take to get there. First, my short-term goal entails a project to deal with a problem that is interfering with my productivity. Once I get that out of the way, then I'll work to develop myself into a chef so that I'll establish an actual competence in the processes of cooking and baking, and so will be able to bring to reality dishes that only existed in my mind before. All the while becoming a chef I will, of course, further develop my finances and my technical and business knowledge. Somewhere in there, I don't know where, I'll work on moving to another state in order to live in a more pleasurable climate, more varied food industry, and better local culture. (A healthier local economy is a stretch to ask for right now, I think.) Beyond that, I'll then put my knowledge, skills, and finances to the ultimate test by opening my own business and work to develop into an actual chain, or at least own several businesses in order to be able to properly judge good workers. I wouldn't want good ideas sullied by incompetents.

As to my ultimate goal, since so many of my entrepreneurial ideas are tied up in them, I can only speak vaguely of them. Basically, I wish to operate a breakfast-lunch-dinner restaurant, a bakery, an ice cream shop, and perhaps even a cakery if I find it needs to be distinct from the bakery. Varied, I know, but why not? Aim high.

Perhaps in the future I may make it a separate post on why I like these specific businesses, why I'd like to operate them, and why I think I can be successful, but for now you'll have to be content with the above information.

Of all things, my current project must be completed first. The problem this project sets out to eliminate has been interfering with my concentration, learning, productivity, and even overall emotional health, so I view this problem as a threat to all my other goals and must be dealt with first before moving on. It stresses me out and upsets me that instead of practicing and studying food preparation, studying business, and other values that I must concentrate my efforts on something unrelated, insignificant, and yet undermining. But if it must be dealt with, it shall.

As a small update on my project, things are going moderately fine. I've made tons of intellectual and materialistic progress since the project's conception, but I've still yet to satisfactorily establish the beginning of my career, so still cannot say how many months is left in this endeavor. I still believe I can finish it before the end of the year, perhaps even before my birthday if I meet with success. Until then, I'm pushing on.

Musings about the future become so much more heartening when you know what your direction is. I can't wait to fill up several entrepreneurial journals.

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