Vail Daily column: I’ll have the special, please |

Vail Daily column: I’ll have the special, please

Michael Norton
Vail, CO Colorado

You know how it goes when you dine at certain restaurants – the hostess greets and seats you and hands everyone the menu. The server stops by next and takes drink orders but also shares what the chef is preparing in addition to the items listed on the menu, the specials.

Now some servers I have found to be exceptionally gifted at describing the specials with incredible detail and with such passion that I can’t help but say, “I’ll have the special.”

This happened one night recently while I was dining out. After listening to one of those talented and passionate servers I couldn’t help myself and I ordered the special. This time was different, though. After ordering the special, I stopped and thought about how often I do not take advantage of trying something new. I simply just go with what I trust and know to be safe and that I have ordered many times right off the menu.

We do the same things in our own lives don’t we? We continue to order right off of the menu of life, accepting the routines of the day instead of looking for or listening for the special opportunities of each moment.

Sometimes those “specials” are really self-evident, brilliantly illuminated and staring us directly in the face. Other times we need the people in our life to sell us on the opportunity with the same fervor and enthusiasm that a top server in a restaurant uses when talking up the chef’s special dish of the day. But in either case, we still sometimes choose not to act or take a risk. Risks could be dangerous right? So just like ordering a dish in a restaurant that you may have never tried before, you are betting and hoping it is something you will actually eat and enjoy.

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There are special events in life, special opportunities, special people, special friends, special jobs, and special relationships. Doors and windows of hope and opportunity open up all the time even if they are only slightly ajar or open just a crack. They are all around us if we would just be willing to at least keep our eyes and ears open so that when we come across each one we just might be in a position to reply with a very robust and committed “Yes, I’ll have the special.”

Where do you find yourself – are you good with what is on the menu of your life for now? Or is it time to order something different for you, your family, or your career? When was the last time you tried something new? Can I interest you in the “special”?

Let me know if you prefer your menu just like it is or if you just might rethink your routine and order the “special” for yourself today. You can let me know how it goes at Thanks again for all of the emails. Please keep them coming and make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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