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1218HN-Holiday Feasts and Their Messages

Holiday Meals and Their Messages

Dec. 1, 2018
And New Technology, Delight With a Grill, and Chicken Wings —  Share the Love With Saturday Breakfast. Okay, we did blow up the stove once, but it was when my […]

And New Technology, Delight With a Grill, and Chicken Wings — 

Share the Love With Saturday Breakfast.
Okay, we did blow up the stove once, but it was when my father was away on vacation and left us home alone. He was good at keeping all the appliances in good working order even if he wasn’t so great with using them.

My father and I had a 45-year feud over his cooking capabilities. At 10-years-old I was so disgusted with his cooking skills, my younger brother and I took over making family dinner.

What I did though love about my father was that he wanted to be a full participant in taking care of our home and we kids with my mother. He was the first true feminist I ever knew. My mother went to work when I was in kindergarten as a reading consultant in our school district. To help out, my father made dinner every other night. This was a big deal back in 1967.

As we grew up and would join my parents on vacations and visit them at their homes, my father loved to make breakfast for everyone on Saturday morning. His cooking skills never improved much, but he could deliver on an edible ham and eggs with toast. It was when he tried to expand his repertoire where there were problems.

One of those Saturday mornings he noticed there was a leftover loaf of Italian bread from a lasagna dinner the night before. He thought this would be great for French toast. What he failed to realize: it was garlic bread. While you could pull this off with a savory and tasty French toast, he made a traditional French toast with cinnamon, sugar, and syrup. It was a shocking taste bud experience.

Attitude of Gratitude, and Chicken Pot Pie
Early one year, I was inspired to make my own Chicken Pot Pie after seeing that my daughter had made one. She had posted this very appetizing picture on Instagram of her chicken pot pie effort.

(I had such deep containment and satisfaction from these chicken pot pies. I truly appreciate the unique relationships with each of my children and how they continue to spark such happiness in my life.)

This picture to the right of my chicken pot pie reminds me of a saying I heard decades ago by a colleague who had just started studying Buddhism: The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your associations.

I enjoy every day the quality of the relationships I have with both my children in so many myriad ways. I think though this "quality" parameter goes into other dimensions as well.

While I don’t recall the details of this recipe, I do recall that I used puff pastry. I find anything with puff pastry is brought to epic culinary delight. I got this cookbook when the children were teenagers that showed how to make some favorite commercial products. I remember when we first got this cookbook, I made these incredible "pop tarts" using puff pastry. I don’t think the recipe called for puff pastry, but again the puff pastry made our pop tarts out of this world incredible. So maybe this Buddhist saying for me could be The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your ingredients.

Food for Thought from Our 2022 ICT Visionaries

High Performing Business: Technology, Delight, and Chicken Wings!
This last section is adapted from Michelle’s blog post at

We’ve all seen (and maybe even had) those very ugly reactions to challenges with technology — where even the dog goes running for cover. But I prefer to take responsibility for my reactions, so how I react to any type of technology challenge is 100% within my control. Is it possible for me to be delighted with the technology in my world? More often then not though, I have what feels like the all too standard reaction of absolute frustration whenever I introduce a new technongizmo into my world. I’ve been contemplating why this is so. Maybe it is because I go into using a new technology solution with an expectation that I will be delighted by it – which rarely seems to happen. Often, I have such high hopes for new techno gadgets to just have my dreams squashed and feel mislead once again by the marketing hype. I realized though this was all a situation of my own doing. I could in fact choose a much different experience.

When I take the time to consider how I feel about various technologies used to in some way "enhance" my life, I find much to appreciate. The new experience is of open minded curiousity exploring how this lovely technology creation achieves it’s mission, for me. Real people with real talent (and real feelings) created this bit of technology. Don’t they deserve my loving thoughts and appreciative feelings as much as I want acknowledgement for my creations?

A few months back my daughter gave me a smoker called the Big Easy (it’s a radiant heat barbeque grill made by Charbroil). It has a control panel on it that manages the grill through a smart phone app. (She is on the team that created the smart phone app for this grill). She set it all up for me, and it worked great on her iPhone. Actually she could see that I was using it wherever she was and would text me something like, "Mom what are you making on your Big Easy?" I never bothered to set it up on my iPhone as it worked well enough for my purposes just by pushing the button on the front. I discovered it made the most incredible chicken wings on the planet and it became the only item I cooked in the grill.

I am absolutely delighted with this innovative piece of technology. I recently got a second one for another location and even figured out how to use the Iphone app myself — because I was so delighted with it.

Why not approach all technology this way?

Find out what it is about the technology that could and would absolutely delight me if I took the time to work my way through figuring out the best way for me to use it?

What if I talked with the technical support people as the special souls they are for helping me find my way to being delighted by their technology solution?

I’ve tried it on and it’s been an amazing experience.

I had to call tech support on a web conferencing system the other day. I greeted the tech support guy by name: "Jonathon, how is it today in your wonderful world of tech support?" He laughed and our call was off to a great start.

Jonathon is someone’s beloved child as well so why not interact with him as the special being he is?

I mentioned to him the polling feature I found so much fun about the web conferencing service. I then asked him if he could look into something for me about my bill. He became my advocate within the company (I was being double charged). We quickly and very amicably resolved my billing issue.

I’m now approaching more things with this perspective of How can I be delighted about this?

When I worked in a large corporation there were posters around the facility encouraging us to be tolerant of each others differences. But, do I want to be simply tolerated by others or would I prefer to be enjoyed by others? Of course, I would rather be enjoyed!

It’s the same thing with frustration vs. acceptance vs. delight with technology. I’ve had my share of frustrations with technology. I can usually figure out how to come to a level of accepting the challenges of the technology, over time. But what if I shifted my perspective and found out how to be delighted with some element of the technology? There are real people with real feelings creating these technical solutions; they are someone’s beloved child and they are doing the best they can.

And I do in fact appreciate and am quite delighted by many elements of the technology systems in my life. I feel lighter, more energized and enthusiastic since adopting this new perspective with finding and focusing on what delights me with the technology tools in my life.

About the Author

Michelle LaBrosse

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management (PM) to the masses. Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 50,000 people have become "Cheetahs" using Cheetah Learning’s innovative PM and accelerated learning techniques. Michelle also developed the Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) program based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality profiling to help students master how to use their unique strengths for learning, doing projects, and negotiating. Michelle is recognized by the Project Management Institute as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world. For more information, visit To read my business-oriented blogs, please visit Cheetah Learning Blog at,, and read my columns here in ISE magazine at