Well, this is just how my mind works…I think in metaphors and similes. I blame it on Hip Hop, that disclaimer aside, let’s make a good sandwich today.

Photo by Ahmed Rabea on

When I lived in Belgium there was a bakery across the street from me, a deli not far from that, a produce market next to the deli and other little shops as well. As a person that enjoys a good sandwich, I had a lot of options for really good, fresh ingredients. By fresh I mean, none of the ingredients would last more than 2 days. Totally different experience than what I was accustomed to at the time. I could buy a loaf of bread and it would last at least a week in America, I would have a bag of green dust if I waited a week in Belgium.

Initially I didn’t like Belgium’s ingredients because they went bad so quickly, but I still liked sandwiches so I had to figure it out. I adjusted and began making different types of sandwiches that were different than what I was accustomed to, but still good. It got to the point where these sandwiches were no longer consolation sandwiches, they were what I actually preferred to eat. The bread was better, the cheese was better, the meats were better, the veggies were crisp and though I only had 15 minutes to use them, I was making good sandwiches again. Then I left and went back to the United States where the bread was sugary, the meats were filled with chemicals and the produce was tasteless. Damn!

Sandwiches for real

Naturally someone thinks I’m high, I assure you I am sober at the moment. Well, it is and isn’t about sandwiches at the same time. For this analogy about life, I’m using sandwiches but it can be anything really. We start our days in the store picking out the ingredients that we’re going to use to make our sandwich. Some days we wake up super excited and our list is:

  • positivity
  • resiliency
  • confidence 
  • a lil mayo 
  • some mustard 

 Man these good vibes taste good. Even if we take those ingredients to someone else to make our sandwich for us, it comes out pretty good and because they’re happy to be feeding off of that too, they make it a combo and add chips and a drink. Not everyone is going to make your sandwich the way you want, some will try to mess it up, but it’s really hard to mess it up with the good ingredients that you come with. 

The first step is you have to say that you can

Will Smith
Photo by Bhupendra Singh on

Other days though we subconsciously take a different list and our mood removes our ability to see any of the good ingredients so instead of taking our time to find them, we walk out with:

  • Some self doubt
  • Some anger
  • Resentment
  • Wilted spinach 
  • Horseradish
  • Olive for garnish

We were expecting that good vibes sandwich so we take the ingredients to someone else thinking “maybe I made this wrong” and we let them make our sandwich for us. Wouldn’t you know, it still tastes like shit, except now they added their shit on top of yours.

Mr. Shit Sandwich courtesy of

Shop Carefully

We should always take the time to pick the right ingredients. Even if your store is all out of some, you take the best ingredients available and make the best sandwich you can. On days where you know your mood is off and you go to the store and all you see is self doubt, anger and resentment on the shelves pause for a second and remember you’re in the same store that you got the good vibes sandwich from. Take some time to breathe and walk an extra aisle and if all you can find is resiliency, then make a grilled resiliency sandwich and leave those shit sandwich ingredients on the shelf.

Alright, done with the analogy. I recognized that this is how I’d make my days. I’d start off in a foul mood and go to work hating my job, annoyed with my boss, pissed about the traffic, the weather whatever and let the world make my day with that. The world made some really shitty days, and usually added its own spin to really mess my day up. It was a tough time in my life, but I didn’t know how to look deeper to find the ingredients to make a good day. I recognized that I wasn’t enjoying my days, but I wanted to.

The Hard Part

I make a conscious effort to begin my day with as many good ingredients as possible; I wake up, stretch and breathe for a couple minutes, do something I enjoy and then begin the teeth and body cleansing process. Sometimes the bad ingredients make it in there too though. I may have a work deadline weighing heavy on my mind and instead of grabbing my good ingredients I sit down at my desk and start checking emails and working. It doesn’t typically ruin my day to do this, but my day is not as good as it could be.

It’s inevitable on your journey that some days won’t be sunshine and rainbows, but it doesn’t mean the only things available are doom and gloom. Recognizing that it takes time to get good at grabbing the good ingredients is tough. Many of us want instant gratification for any good effort, but just like I don’t look as ripped as I feel after the first workout, you aren’t always going to grab the best ingredients. It’s ok to skip one thing here and there, but if you are skipping the things that bring you peace every day, you’re adding tiny little pieces of shit to your good vibes sandwich and no one wants that. Ok now we’re done with sandwiches.

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