When Life Gives You The Finger

sponge fingers image

(or in my case, the sponge finger)

I use this life story to demonstrate the difference that a positive mindset can have.

While I was out walking the dog this afternoon my mind wandered back to an event that took place while I was at school. It was in a home economics lesson (back then it was just referred to as a cookery class).

We’d been tasked with making 12 sponge fingers. I’d prepared my sponge mix, spooned it neatly into the finger shaped baking tray and place the tray in the oven. As they were cooking the teacher walked by, she looked in the oven and said ‘they look great, definitely worth a house point’. They looked great – I felt great. I sat back and waited, feeling very proud of myself.

The cookery lesson was just before the lunch period. Any other day would have been fine but today was different. In a previous class one of the students had misbehaved and as punishment Mr Davidson, the teacher had chosen to give detention to the whole class and he was quite clear – we were not to turn up late.

The clock was ticking, the end of the cookery lesson was fast approaching, I checked my sponge fingers – they weren’t ready! They needed five more minutes. What choice did I have – stay and finish my sponge fingers and be late for detention or remove them from the oven before they’d finished cooking.

With Mr Davidson’s voice resonating clearly in my head I opened the oven door, removed my sponge fingers and returned to my bench.

You cannot be serious

The cookery teacher walked around the class inspecting everyone’s bakes. She approached my bench, looked at my part-finished bake and uttered those words that I remember to this day, “they’re not cooked properly, I’m sorry but I’m taking the house point away”. Ouch – that was a kick in the balls!

At the time I was probably pissed with the student who’d got us into detention, pissed with Mr Davidson for punishing the whole class and pissed with the cookery teacher for taking the house point away.

When I look back on it now, they were all negative emotions, feelings, thoughts. I couldn’t have changed anything that had happened, I was simply a victim of circumstances.

A positive lesson

As I recalled this event today I thought to myself, what positive lesson could a much, much older and hopefully wiser ‘me’ take from it.

If I look at it again now with a positive mindset what could I have done differently?  Although I had no control over past events, what I did have control of was the future. Given my chance again I would’ve gone home that night, baked 12 perfect sponge fingers and presented them to my cookery teacher the next day in the hope of winning back that house point.

And what would I tell my younger self? Never accept the ‘victim’ mentality – you are always in control of the outcome, strive to make it a positive one.

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