I learned from Maple syrup?

Distillation is the key

🍁 Be Like Maple Syrup

This week the kids became very interested in geography which led to a lot of conversation about what countries are known for certain foods. After a few of the easy ones (Italy, Mexico, China), the conversation inevitably shifted to Canada*: “What do they eat in Canada, dad?”. I panicked. Suddenly I found myself down a deep Maple syrup rabbit-trail on YouTube.

What was striking to me, as I watched the variety of ways syrup has been made over the years, was how long and arduous the process is. Contrary to my assumptions, the original sap harvested from the tree is about 99% water and 1% delicious-syrup-tasting-stuff. A lot of time and energy is spent to evaporate that water and distill it down to the pure essence.

I’m challenged to be more like the syrup. I want more clarity, and intensity in my life. The key seems to be focus which eliminates the expendables. James Clear talks about the paradox of focus:

Make the most of one opportunity and more opportunities will come your way. Moving boldly in one direction causes more paths to unfold before you. To get more, focus on less.”

So I have three simple questions for you (and me):

  • What is your syrup or the outcome you want?

  • What is your water or the distractions/things in the way?

  • What is your fire or how will you focus and remove the impediments?

For me the answers are: an elevated relationship with God, selfishness/prone to wander, and setting aside protected time for prayer each day. To get more, focus on less.

*note: sorey to any Canadians reading this. I know that you don’t eat Maple syrup all the time and I forgot about Poutine, Canadian bacon, Nanaimo bars, and Fiddleheads. Like I said, I panicked.