What is your “dough”?
When my boyfriend Brandon opened his brunch restaurant, there was one dish that quickly became the undisputed superstar of the menu:
The open-face croissant-donut sandwich.
It’s a crispy, flaky, tender, buttery, deep-fried extravaganza topped with a sunny-side up egg, melted cheddar cheese, thick bacon, and finished off with a drizzle of spicy maple syrup.
Customers loved it. They’d scrape their plates clean, moaning “OMG…” in maple-drenched ecstasy. Pretty soon, the local media wrote about it. Photos appeared all over Instagram. Brandon’s croissant sandwich quickly became the #1 most-ordered item on the menu. People went bonkers.
Which was great. Except for one thing.
It was a real pain for Brandon to make.
See, making homemade croissant dough is a long, complicated, multi-day process. It requires specialized skills and lots of attention. It’s almost like having a pet. You have to check on your dough constantly. Is it fermenting correctly? Rising enough? Too much? Croissant dough is extremely high maintenance. It’s definitely the “diva” of the doughs.
Consequently, Brandon’s life was ruled by… the dough. Weekend getaway to the woods? Nope. Brandon can’t go because… he has to watch the dough. Flying out to LA for my brother’s wedding? Nope. Brandon can’t go because… he has to roll and fold the dough. Taking a week off for a summer vacation? Nope. Brandon can’t go because… nobody else on his staff can make the dough.
One day, I exclaimed to Brandon, “That dough is ruining our lives!” I was partially kidding, but… only partially!
Brandon agreed. But what could he do? He needed to make… the dough.
Finally, after several years of this madness, Brandon had an epiphany. He said to me, “What if I just take the croissant sandwich off the menu? What if I just… don’t make it anymore?”
LIGHT BULBS. THUNDER CLAPS. GLORY! HALLELUJAH!
He continued, “I could replace it with something else. Like biscuits ‘n gravy. That’s way easier to make. In fact, I could delegate the entire project to one of my employees.”
YES! SWEET JESUS IN A BACON MANGER!
Both of us grinned at each other, imagining our new, improved, croissant-free lifestyle. So much freedom! So much extra time! Incredible!
Why hadn’t we thought of this sooner? It’s so obvious! Just… take the croissant off the menu! Stop making the damn dough! Duh!
Here’s my question for you:
What is your “dough”?
What is the task, commitment, or chore that you force yourself to do — week after week — even if doesn’t bring you any joy? Even if it’s tedious? Even if it’s inefficient? Even if it’s clogging up your calendar and seriously cramping your style?
We’ve all got some type of “dough.”
For you, it might be a particular errand, or a project that’s going nowhere, or a habit that doesn’t serve you anymore, or an ugly couch in your living room that’s totally blocking the flow. (Why is that even there??!)
As human beings, we slip into mental ruts so easily. We convince ourselves that we “must” make the dough. That it’s mandatory. That there’s no other option.
But of course that’s not true. There’s always another option that’s just as tasty, just as good, or maybe even better. There’s always a simpler way.
Whatever your “dough” is, this week, I challenge you to stop making it, or change how you make it, or delegate the entire project to someone else.
No more dough. You dough-n’t need it in your life. (Sorry. I had to.)