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Photo credit: D Sharon PruittToday’s technological society keeps us hyped up on status updates, likes, tweets, tips, tricks, and positive re-enforcement techniques. Really though, all that represents is sprinkles on the cone of an ice-cream.

Sprinkles add a bit of flavour and interest to the real substance below and the supporting structure of the cone beneath. The question is, would you enjoy a cup of sprinkles as much?

Or would a palmful of melting ice-cream dripping through your fingers sate your ice-cream dream?

Likely not, but grasping that cone, turning it in your palm, keeping the scoop from becoming unbalanced, it’s a small ritualised process that keeps us returning to the Ice-creamery time and again for the enjoyment.

Life is like that too (no, not a box of chocolates). You may get a ‘hit’ from life’s version of sprinkles, maybe it’s tweets and likes or even this morning’s latest 7-tips to a better you, 5-tips to reduce your waste line or 9-tips for career success and so on. Lot’s of colour and excitement. Underneath those small sound bites and tidbits hides the real enjoyment of crafting a program, swirling it around to see how it fits, plotting a course and grasping the supporting structures required.

Once that’s achieved then comes the process of keeping on course, turning your thinking, adjusting behaviour, keeping your scoop balanced and catching the drips. The enjoyment develops through working at it and seeing the whole of it in front of you.

Just as quickly as the sprinkles run out and you’re biting into the still cool and textured ice-cream scoop, the sprinkles are no longer a care nor is the fact they’re gone, it’s the substance of the middle, the heart of it. It’s what you were dreaming about when you bought the ice-cream that now drives you. You’re focused fast on keeping the drips from escaping.

Now in the centre of the cone, thoughts of how the moment can be savoured take over, how to make the buzz last.

Similarly the thoughts echo when the realisation that your program for new behaviour change or learning new knowledge is starting to stick. The realisation that a shift has occurred is enough to let you know that you’re actually closer to the end than the beginning. Closer to completing your course.

It’s not that the enjoyment is coming to an end, but that it’s now possible to look forward to the next treat, the next project, the next experience. Perhaps even a different flavour.

Whatever it is, 5-steps, 7-tips or 9-ways may draw you in, but it’s the deeper purpose and experience that will hold the long-lasting meaning. Had enough of sprinkles?

*Photo credit: Ice Cream Cone – D Sharon Pruitt.

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