Motivation: The Turkey Soup

When I was a kid, I remember how much I detested my Mom's turkey soup. (You know I love you Mom) The thing is, it wasn't that it tasted bad. In fact, if I remember correctly it tasted delicious. The thing I hated was THE LITTLE BONES! Anyone tracking with me on this?

Fast forward to present, some thirty years later. It was just after Christmas and I decided to tackle my own turkey soup. I took the time and lovingly slow boiled the turkey bones. I added some spices, some of the leftover meat, some veggies and some brown rice. I let this all simmer together for about 6 hours. My soup was almost ready, only thing left: REMOVE THE BONES.

Turkey bones for the most part are really large and easy to find and I had a nice heap of bones out of the pot in no time. As I stirred the bottom however, I realized the neck had fallen completely apart and all the little teeny tiny neck bones were now part of the soup. I was seized by a moment of panic as I realized MY CHILDREN ARE GOING TO FIND THE BONES!! Old childhood memories came flooding back, what to do, what to do.

As I sat there thinking about how I was going to overcome this soup bone problem, a plan began to formulate in my brain. I was focusing on the wrong thing! I was so focused on REMOVING THE SOUP BONES, that I was blind to any other alternatives. Once I embraced that the bones were NOT THE PROBLEM, rather it was how I was thinking about the bones that was the problem, my plan was set.

That night at dinner I sat down with my three children aged 9, 7 and 4. I explained to them that I had made them a VERY SPECIAL TURKEY SOUP! Curious creatures that they are, they immediately wanted to know why it was so special.  I explained that the soup was so special BECAUSE IT HAD BONES IN IT.  By this point their curiosity was unstoppable.


The reason dear children is this: however many bones you find, you will receive 10 cents for each and every one.


The kids wolfed that soup down like I've never seen.  The only problem was (and this was unforseen...) NOT ENOUGH BONES. 

Yes. It's true. My lucky daughter had found four small bones in her bowl of soup, my youngest son had found one as well, however my oldest son had not found a single turkey bone in his bowl of soup. Can you imagine? This was actually a problem. He had not found a bone! He was almost in tears as he was approaching his last few bites of soup. My daughter meanwhile was emitting cheers for each and every bone she found. I ended up tossing a small bone into my sons bowl for him to "find" so that he could get his dime too, and sure enough when he bit into it, he rejoiced as well.

I learned something very valuable that night that I'd like to share with you.
Here it is:
Isn't this how life is?
So often we are focused on trying to make things the way we think they should be, instead of simply embracing things the way that they are and finding a way to turn the really challenging parts into some kind of adventure or game!! Sound crazy? Try and create your own challenge or game with the tough stuff and then you tell me a story! I'd love to hear it!

In the meantime, keep looking for the bones in your soup, every day.



  1. What a great story! Something similar happened at home with my parents, every time with my brothers ate fish, for every spine that showed up, gave us some small coins, which was very entertaining lunch ... brought me great memories your story and I really appreciate it! Have a good week ...

    1. Thanks Porteño! It makes me laugh that others have stumbled upon these kinds of clever ways to motivate without letting on that you are! Glad to bring you some memories! Enjoy!

  2. You know what? That was a very cool way to show "life" with money for bones. I'm impressed :)

    Sharon from EA

    1. Thanks Sharon!! Do you really have 6 kids?? If so you're my new hero!

    2. It been really reading worth...

    3. Love the soup story. I'm telling you, I think you need to write a book of short stories. I could read this stories all day!

  3. I am origin from turkey. Well I never got the idea that my country could taste well as soup:-) Warm regards.

  4. I like the way your blog is displayed. It takes 2 minutes to understand the pattern, but when you get it, it's awesome!

  5. Nice paradigm shift Jordan! It's all in the perspective!

  6. In a way, or at least for me, reading part 2 first made part 1 make more sense. Athough I doubt that makes sense.


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