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Go Ahead, Have Some Pancakes

Don't wait for some idealistic version of success to celebrate the little things that make you happy. Dig in today and savor every moment.

I can count on one hand how many times I've had pancakes in the last five years.

I'm not allergic to pancakes and gluten and I are good friends. In fact, pancakes are one of my favorite meals. Pancakes make me happy. Especially blueberry pancakes.

Yet I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a nice fluffy stack with a little maple syrup. Why, you ask?

Well, I never made an official decision to stop eating pancakes. It just kind of happened.

You see, when I was a kid, pancakes were a “special occasion” food in my life – the kind of thing you ate when you hit a milestone or had a big win. But of course, as you get older, those milestones and wins get hazier and harder to define.

The more I think about it, it seems my not eating pancakes had something to do with a feeling I formed years ago that I didn’t deserve pancakes. That I would eat pancakes when I made it. That I would be worthy of pancakes when I was successful. I told myself that I would have pancakes when I felt like I had it all figured out.

Well, I’ve got some news to share. As of a few weeks ago, I’m back to eating pancakes again.

What happened you ask? Did I finally make it? (Whatever that means…) Are you now successful? (According to whom?) Do you have it all figured out? (Nope, I probably never will.) None of that matters. I need pancakes back in my life. And so do you.

On a recent Sunday morning, I made our 1-year-old twins – you guessed it – pancakes. It was their very first time having pancakes and, wow, those pancakes brought them so much joy. They squealed with delight as they mashed the pancakes into pools of syrup.

With each small bite they took, and with every single smile it brought to their faces, it reminded me what got me savoring pancakes smothered in maple syrup all those years ago. They had me wanting to join in on the fun.

And that’s exactly what I did. I had a couple of pancakes.

Ironically, the pancakes I made that Sunday weren’t that great. In fact, they were below average. Fine, they were disappointing. But what was truly unbeatable was seeing my children’s joy. That day, I made a choice.

A choice to eat pancakes again.

This was a choice not to wait until everything was perfect to celebrate my life in little ways. It was a choice to embrace, love, and find success in everything as it is in my life. A choice to live in the syrupy, sticky, sweet mess called life and be fully present and in the moment, instead of waiting for some nebulous version of success.

Give yourself permission to do the same. To be happy. To smile. To play. To shine without apology. To celebrate just because.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting for something to be just right before you make a decision to start something new. The underbelly of this attitude – of waiting until we’ve “made it” – is that, this act of fruitless waiting is actually making a decision to do nothing.

Here’s what we need to remind ourselves: we can’t create momentum by doing nothing. Standing still and waiting for everything to be perfect is a precious waste of time.

There’s never going to be the perfect moment, there’s just now. This year. This month. Today. This hour. This minute. This second. We must make a choice.

The perfect time is when you say it’s the perfect time.

You’re successful when you say you’re successful, regardless of what your bank account shows.

You’ve made it when you’re intentionally giving your all to what matters most.
You were worthy the day that you were born.

Things are just right as they are. There’s plenty to celebrate.

So go ahead, have some pancakes.

Antonio Neves is a nationally recognized leadership speaker, award-winning journalist and author of 50 Things Every College Student Should Know and 50 Ways To Excel In Your First Job (And In Life).

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