Turning around the chicken

In the last month, I’ve seen a lot of chicken. Our new café has a new rotisserie, a device that no one on our staff has ever used before. We’re focused on making it work, but it’s remarkably complicated. We ask ourselves a variety of questions: How high do you turn up the heat? For how long? Wet or dry brine? What kind of rub? Do we want to go traditional to appeal to everyone, or try something creative that may not sell as well? How do we hold the chickens after they come off the fire if there’s no one there to buy them?

And there was the basic question, which proved oddly mystifying: How do you put the chickens on the spit? This seems obvious, and yet it eluded us for weeks. I’ll save you the details. The short version is, we had them on backwards. Seems obvious now, but for weeks it really didn’t occur to anyone in the kitchen (despite a combined total of 80 years in the food business) to turn them around.

It made me think: What is there in my life that’s like that? What else am I doing that could be turned 180 degrees and made perfect? We spend our days fixing problems by degrees, making tiny adjustments that we hope, over time, will move the needle towards perfection. But there are some things that require drastic change if they’ll ever be correct.  So I’ve found myself asking this silly but effective question to adjust my perspective to many problems I’ve since encountered. Try it — you might have a breakthrough:

Where in your life do you need to turn the chicken?