What happened to Lesson #1 you may ask…?! Well, it kind of got bypassed… Sure it’s a new skill, or I like to call it “party trick”, but the whole sabering the top off the Champagne bottle wasn’t really the amazing thing about it… What I learned while learning how to saber the Champagne bottle, was really the Key lesson for me.
Let me start from the beginning…
Recently I was at a Leadership Dinner at the Barefoot Bistro in Whistler, Canada, a long way from home (in Australia), rugged up to the nines in my new cashmere & fur shawl, and a hot little Lime / Wasabi / Pistachio / Fluro-Greenish cocktail dress, feeling the part & having the time of my life! (The exact colour of the dress is still debatable & will always be the topic of conversation when I wear it!) We were given the opportunity, as part of qualifying to be at this dinner, to learn how to Saber the top off a bottle of French Champagne. I had decided I was not going to miss out on this opportunity to learn a new skill / party trick – I mean how cool, right before Christmas & New Years Eve, when there’s Champagne popping at every party, to be able to come home & say “Hey, I’ll open that bottle of Cristal for you, does anyone have a Saber lying around the place?!” Very cool party trick indeed to have up my sleeve, not that the in laws thought so over Christmas lunch… So, I put my hand up eagerly to have a turn and was given a short tutorial by the “master” of exactly what to do, reassured that it was oh so easy & really didn’t require a lot of force, but if I did stuff it up on the first try I could have a second chance by rotating the bottle & chopping it off from the other side. So it all seemed pretty simple and hey, 5 people before me had successfully done it, right? So why shouldn’t I?! (Especially since one of those 5 people was my husband & I was certainly not going to let him have success at this & not me! Competitive, much…?) So there I am with freezing cold Champagne bottle in my left hand & the Saber in my right. Thinking “It’s OK, if I stuff it up the first time I can flip the bottle & go the other side“… THAT’S where it all went horribly wrong – I gave myself a back up plan. And of course, stuffed it up on the 1st side, panicked, flipped the bottle & saved my pride (& my bubbly) by lopping the top off on the 2nd go.
Cool, you might say – you did it! Well, as the master then says to me “You took the slow route but you got there eventually!” Dude, story of my life…
So what if I had not given myself a back up plan? What if there was no other option than to just give it all I had, give it my very best shot & whammo! Lop the top off & let’s start drinking the darn bubbly! And it was the very last bottle too! I would have had no other option than to get it right! Or at least give it my very best shot… (and possibly smash it to smithereens in style, but who cares)?!
But I had the back up plan in mind and clearly I opted to use it. I hesitated, questioned myself as to whether I really could do this or not, even though 5 people before me had successfully done it, and let me tell you, one of the girls before me is tinier than me so brut strength in the arms has nothing to do with it!
Why did I not trust myself even with so much evidence & proof in front of me that it can be done? Maybe because I just didn’t completely believe in myself and I gave myself a back up plan.
Straight away when this happened I knew exactly what lesson it was that I was meant to learn from that experience. It wasn’t the new party trick (still cool to have, I know), it was a lesson for me to stop questioning my moves, to stop hesitating & just go ahead in full force motion, get there quicker & get it right! I mean, what’s the worst than can happen?! Smash the bottle & spill a little bit of bubbly?! In life though, what IS the worst that can happen?! There’s a certain level of risk associated with everything we do – there’s even risks associated with doing the grocery shopping! (Probably the biggest risk is that far too many chocolate bars will end up in my trolley but hey, I’ll build up my arm muscles sabering Champagne bottles)! But if we are prepared to take the risk in trying something, why not go full out & leave no room for hesitation, procrastination & giving up half way? Don’t give ourselves the option of a 2nd chance or a back up plan. If it’s what we really truly, want to do & achieve, play full out! Be committed to the action & the end result! And whatever level of pain there is that goes with it is going to be short lived the quicker we go & the rewards arrive sooner… That glass of bubbly tasted sooooooo good, as I sat back & realised exactly what had happened. One of the biggest lessons of my life, so far.
So Cheers to not having a back up plan! And Cheers to an unexpected – but clearly needed – lesson in life!
Tell me about when you’ve played full out & got what you aimed for, or perhaps when you’ve hesitated & missed the mark, and wished you’d done better.
Until next time… perhaps I’ll explain that whole dress colour debate… Actually, I’ll post the “instructions” of how to Saber the top off the bottle – I’ve explained it to a few people who had great fun with it over New Years, so stay tuned for that tutorial…!