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Nate Davenport

How Many Cookies Do You Want?

Since everyone is getting in the holiday/baking/indoor mood, I figured this was appropriate timing…

When I was a kid, we would regularly be allowed to have cookies. When those times would come, I would ask my parents how many I could have, and they would normally respond with a number in the three neighborhood. Nevertheless, the next time my siblings and I would just ask how many we could have again. I distinctly remember an instance when my dad responded with a question instead of an answer. That question affected my entire thought process, and made an impression that’s lasted the rest of my life:

“How many cookies do you want?”

Simple enough, I know. Often the most profound concepts are expressed in the most basic simplicity. While my dad was probably doing this because he was tired of having to answer the same question every time, rather than consciously harnessing the power of the Socratic Method, it caused me to consider 1) the value of each cookie, 2) the law of diminishing returns (didn’t know the name for it then tho, or how to pronounce the word diminishing), and 3) a proactive rather than reactive mindset. The last one is the most valuable, and has affected the most aspects of my life since.

So many times, in whatever goal we desire to achieve, it’s easy to be reactive. This is not only a useless, but also a detrimental mentality, as it distracts us from being proactive in our goals. One can waste a lot of time waiting to be reactive to some providential force to bestow favor and success, while simultaneously missing opportunities which could have been seized. No matter what your goal is, and I’m sure it’s difficult to achieve, calculate a small step you can take toward that right now. Don’t get lost wondering how many cookies some outside force will let you have, and start deciding things for yourself!


This entry was posted on Saturday, November 10th, 2012 at 4:29 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “How Many Cookies Do You Want?”

  1. Hart says:

    Well put! There is more value than words can describe for having a proactive approach to life. Also, for the record, I’ve learned throughout the extensive wedding planning process that if one is to serve cookies at a party, three is the magic number per guest…sounds like your parents had it right, all the way down to delicious treat consumption :)

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