I spent a great week in Hong Kong and was so excited to go cause of the food.
One thing we couldn’t wait to eat was dim sum. If you don’t know what it is, it basically refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.
Basically it’s damn good.
My wife found one famous local place and told me it was going to be different than what I was used to.
For example, when you enter the restaurant there is no hostess to seat you. You don’t line up waiting for people to leave and then go sit down. You have to walk around looking for people leaving. It’s like trying to park your car at the mall during Christmas time. You’re circling and hoping to see a spot free up.
A strategy we used was to see if people were very close to leaving. Then stand by their table patiently waiting for them to leave. It could be five minutes or more. You just hover around people while they’re finishing up. It might feel like you’re bothering them, but you have to do it if you want to get a seat.
When you do find a table, you’re very likely going to be sharing a table with others. When we went, we shared a table with three other small groups.
Might seem awkward, but if you really want to eat, you can’t be picky about where you sit.
The way most people know dim sum is ladies will push around a steam cart with stacks of small wooden baskets filled with food. They come to your table and open each stack to show you what they have. If you like it, you tell them and they give it to you and make a note on your ticket. At the end of the meal, you take that ticket to the cashier, and they add it up.
It’s very organized and it’s exciting to see the carts come by to see what good food they have. It’s also great cause you can eat within seconds of sitting down.
The Hunger Games
This place definitely was different than the dim sum places I’m always used to going to. My wife said it’s cause it’s more traditional style.
Ladies come out of the kitchen pushing the steam carts, but instead of everyone waiting at their table for them to come by, people rush to the cart and quickly surround it. (see photo above and look for the short lady in light blue and the people surrounding her)
They’re all looking to see what it is. If they want it, they get the attention of the old lady by gently shoving their ticket into her face. Poor lady!
When they have their items, they have to walk through a crowd of people who barely move cause they don’t want to lose their positioning.
Eleanor went up many times. She had some success but also walked away empty handed many times too. I tried a few times and had to squeeze my way in if I wanted to get something. Didn’t matter if it was old lady or old guy. I had to stand my ground. Sometimes I had success and other times they ran out of that particular item quickly.
We called it hunger games because it was a battle to get the food. If you didn’t go get food, you would go hungry.
Okay you wouldn’t literally go hungry, but you would miss out on most of the good food.
Sometimes the carts would have leftovers. That happened when the items weren’t as appealing or they made too much of a certain item. This is when the ladies would push the cart around to different tables. Then at the comfort of your table, you can take a look at what’s left and and they’d give it to you.
But that didn’t happen as often.
You could sit on your butt and wait for the leftovers to come around and get full, but if you wanted the really good stuff, you had to take action. Most likely if it was something you really wanted to eat, so did everyone else in the restaurant.
From the time we walked in till we left almost 1.5 hours later, every time a cart came out, the same thing would happen.
This is exactly like life
While sitting there laughing at how chaotic it was and taking pictures, I realized this is like life.
When you want something, you’ve got to get off your butt and go get it. Sometimes you get it, and sometimes you come up empty handed, but at least you tried.
If you sit and wait for it, you’ll never ever get what you truly want.
The life you want isn’t going to be handed to you. No matter how much you wish that would happen, it won’t.
Someone isn’t going to walk around with a cart full of dreams and ask “Would you like to earn more money? Here you go.” or “Would you like to lose weight? Coming right up. Enjoy.”
The point is that you can’t wait for someone to give you the life you want.
Yet that’s what happens all around the world. People want everything to be spoon fed to them. They’re too lazy to take action. They want someone to tell them what to do. They want someone to do the work for them. They want instant results with little work.
Then they wonder why they’re not happy in life. They’re the ones who whine and complain. They try to bring others down in life because they can’t live their dreams.
What happens to those people who wait? They live a mediocre life not worth remembering. They eat the leftovers, while those who take massive action eat like kings and queens.
The $100 Bill
I love the demonstration that best selling author, Jack Canfield uses in his seminars. He holds up a $100 bill and asks, “Who wants this $100 bill?” Of course people raise their hand, wave their arms or shout. But he just stands there calmly holding it until someone comes to get it. Eventually someone jumps out of their seat, runs to the front, and grabs the bill from his hand.
What did that person do that no one else did? Got up off their butt and took action! They took the action that was necessary to get the money. And that’s what you must do to succeed in life.
He then asks his audience why they didn’t come up? What stopped them? He asks them to remember what they told themselves. The usual answers are:
- “I didn’t want to look greedy.”
- “I wasn’t sure if you would really give it to me.”
- “I was afraid I might be doing something wrong and then people would judge me or laugh at me.”
- “I was waiting for further instructions.”
Those same reasons are the reasons they and many of us stop ourselves in our lives.
The ones that have the life that they want have busted their butt to get it. They don’t wait for someone to give it to them. They don’t worry what others think.
They know, in order to have a life of meaning and fulfillment, it requires taking consistent and massive action.
It requires taking risks because that’s where the greatest rewards come.
They create opportunities and luck instead of relying on it.
My life has changed cause of action
At first I didn’t want to go get the food, cause I’m used to sitting at the table while a server would take my order and bring my food. If the restaurant had a self service counter, I’d go up and pick up my food when my number was called. I didn’t want to be in a crowd of people trying to get food.
I thought, “That’s stupid.”
I quickly changed that attitude because Eleanor got tired of going and if we were going to keep eating, I had to go. Plus there were some things I wanted to eat and if I wanted them, I had to go get it.
Old Benny crept back a bit at that restaurant. Before 2010, I kept waiting around for that one opportunity that would change my life. I just needed that one idea that’d make me money or the one secret to everlasting happiness.
I kept expecting it to happen any day now. Just like waiting for a package to arrive from Amazon.com.
Until then I would be sitting on my desk chair watching TV and using my computer.
What I was waiting for never showed up. I’m not the least bit surprised now but back then I always would wonder why.
Why was life like this? I thought I’m a nice guy. I treat people with respect. I say please, thank you and you’re welcome. I graduated from college, don’t do drugs, and am fairly smart so why isn’t good karma coming my way? Where’s my lucky break? Why does that person have success and I don’t.
If I could take a Delorean that went back in time, I’d slap myself on the back of my head. (If I slapped myself too hard, it might cause a concussion and I wouldn’t want that for my future self.)
The point is I was so stupid to think like that. I was too immature and conditioned for things to be just given to me in life.
If I never decided to take control of my life over two years ago, without a doubt my life would still be on that same unfulfilling and boring path. I would still be hoping, praying, and waiting for a better life.
What about you? Are you sitting on your butt looking around to see what’s coming your way? Or are you out there put your life into your own control and doing what it takes to live the good life?
There are only two choices so choose wisely.