The Recipe for Success

Thursday, 2:42pm: We find Betty Crocker diligently perfecting her new Orange Creme Flan recipe.
 
"A dash of vanilla, some grated orange peel, 3 tablespoons of brandy", she mumbles as she whirls ingredients into her favorite stainless steel mixing bowl.
 
"Mrs. Crocker! Mrs. Crocker!" a distraught lad with wild, flour-powdered hair runs in. "You won't believe what Mr. Finch just made!"
 
Without looking up from her flan, Betty says directly: "Trout Almondine. He has been working on that for days."
 
"No! No!" - the lad begins thrusting his finger in an energetic point down the hall - "You won't believe it! He's made success!"
 
"Pardon me? A successful what?" Betty always stresses the last word in her sentences, even more so when she is agitated. The stress on "what" was palpable.
 
The lad shook his head and quickly went to Betty, taking her wrist and tugging her toward the door. Before recognizing the lad's audacity and having time to express the requisite outrage, Betty found herself pulled out the door and down the hall.
 
"Here, look! Mr. Finch has discovered the recipe for success!", the lad exclaimed and pointed to Mr. Finch.
 
Mr. Finch looked up from a glowing orb, hovering six inches above a pie pan. "That's right, Mrs. Crocker. I have discovered the recipe for success."
 
The orb pulsed and shimmered, radiating heat, light, and, for the first recorded time, waves of success.
 
"I was trying yet again at the Trout Almondine when I accidentally knocked in ------". (Betty Crocker Industries, Worldwide prevents me, your humble author, from naming the secret ingredient.) "Instantly, my dish congealed into an oily substance, then began to ripple as if someone had dropped a stone into the mix. It formed itself into a sphere then levitated itself as you see here."
 
Mr. Finch waved his hand underneath, around, and above the orb, demonstrating clearly that no strings were attached.
 
"After a moment of staring into the hovering concoction, a great calm washed over me. Immediately, every step I needed to follow to make the Trout Almondine became clear. It was as though the fog left by repeated trial and error had been parted clean through by a piercing ray of light. I no longer had any doubt or fear: a surge of overwhelming confidence rushed from my heart to my hands and as if by some divine guiding force I quickly assembled the Trout Almondine."
 
Swivelling around and picking up the platter behind him, Mr. Finch presented the Trout Almondine to Betty.
 
"Mr. Finch! This is a gorgeous preparation! Look at the detail in the braising and the mesmerizing pattern of adorning almonds. This is simply stunning!" The zeal and enthusiasm of the usually reserved Betty Crocker amplified Mr. Finch's smile.
 
Betty removed a sampling fork from underneath a nearby countertop and took a bite of the Trout Almondine.
 
"Oh, and the taste!", Betty's eyes lit up and she swayed. "You have worked wonders and created a truly winning recipe!", she said, having more than a few additional bites.
 
Satisfied with trout, Betty focused on the orb. "Now, this is also a certain winner. We must begin producing this immediately."
 
Mr. Finch nodded, having already thought of the most successful way to sell success. "I will get the dry goods team in at once and assist them in reducing the recipe into powdered form."
 
 "Superb!" Betty exclaimed. "Just add water for instant success!"

* * *
 
If success had a formula, it would already be patented, and franchises on every corner would sell it. Were we to live in Betty Crocker's world, success would be a commodity: bought, sold, and traded like frozen orange juice concentrate.
 
But that is all fantasy. Success isn't a commodity. Success isn't a one-size fits all proposition. Success isn't something you find like treasure, or something you're given at graduation.
 
Success is earned; that is the meat of the success sandwich. Let me introduce you to the bread:
 
Bottom slice: the world owes you nothing. There are no birth-rights and silver spoons do not imply success. Poverty and broken homes are not levied to hinder you from success. God, fate, nature, or whatever dealt you a random hand at birth.
 
Top slice: you deserve success. Every human has dreams of where they want to be, and every human deserves the fruit of those dreams. As Jefferson said "[all humans] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Or, as Churchill said, "Deserve Victory!"
 
Forget about walking into a Subway and having an apathetic teenager make this sandwich for you. You cannot ask for a success sandwich with a side of mayo and hold the pickle. This is the only recipe for success:
 
1. Start with the realization that the world owes you nothing.
2. Spread a thick layer of dreams.
3. Pile on slice after slice of fresh goals.
4. Season with introspection and critical advice from family, friends, and colleagues.
5. Finish with deserving the success.
 
Make, and eat, this sandwich every day, and you will die a happy, full human being.