Following a recipe is a great place to start when we don’t know how to do something. It provides a template to figure things out for the first time. But maturity and true mastery calls for us to eventually grow beyond the stock recipes of life.
It’s hard to make something from scratch when we’ve never done it before.
And naturally we look to the masters who’ve gone before us. They provide many templates and instructions for us to follow.
But rarely is the goal simply for us to mimic what they’ve already done.
Perfectly following a recipe on the box doesn’t make us a great chef. We’re just good at following instructions.
Greatness requires creative risks. We don’t know the outcome but we experiment and try something new anyway.
And this is how we find our voice and make our unique contribution to the world.
All too often we live life either rejecting the models others have provided or remain glued to them without exercising our own mature freedom.
There’s no need to figure out life on our own. There are many great cooks willing to share their recipes of life with us.
But learning from these recipes is not the same as using them as a type of paint by number approach to life. We must become our own man and not merely copy the work of others.
And, perhaps more to the point, life will often present us with situations in which there is no one right answer or recipe to follow.
We tend to grow quickly frustrated in these situations – wanting someone to give us a simple back-of-the-box recipe to follow.
But it’s here our greatness is forged – taking our guiding principles and learning how to create something new.
By all means, learn from the available recipes of life. But grow beyond the recipes into a life of mature freedom and creativity. This keeps your strength out of the box of limitations.