Okra with Tomatoes and Bacon

Achievement Poster

What is motivation?

Is it when a speaker gets up in front of a crowd and tells them that they great, amazing people that are capable of doing anything they set their mind to? Is it when your employer offers a good health plan? Does it come from posters on the wall touting a one word description of a person who climbed a mountain as an "achievement"?

After that speaker, did you set out to do whatever you set your mind to? Did you work harder because of your health plan? Did you set out to achieve more because someone climbed a mountain*?

Motivation does not come from other people. It does not come from posters, seminars, stories, pictures, or  books. It comes from within. These things might aid you. They might spark an idea or a thought within your head that points you in the right direction. They might inspire you. But motivation, that comes from within. No one can motivate you but you.

That being said, the only way you can become unmotivated it from within. No one comes along and takes the steam out of your engine. That's all you. That is finding an excuse. Finding the easy way out. Because motivating yourself is hard work. And keeping yourself motivated is even harder. But life isn't easy.

So what inspired you today? Today I was inspired by my mom who went out of her way to write me a letter and mail it, so that I could know how much she appreciates me. I will take that inspiration and use it to motivate myself to pass that inspiration onto someone else deserving. Or maybe someone almost deserving. And that might just help inspire them to motivate themselves to become the person they want to be.

Okra with Tomatoes and Bacon
The Food
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds of okra, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
- 3-4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste

The Prep
To peel tomatoes, score with an "x" opposite stem side and barely cover with boiling water for several minutes until skin wrinkles and peels back

The Method
Fry bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, remove and set aside, leaving, at least 2 tbs fat in skillet
Reduce heat to medium and add onions to skillet; cook until translucent and tender
Add okra, tomatoes, and salt and pepper
Cook, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes until okra is tender
Crumble bacon and sprinkle over top

Enjoy :)

Side note to using okra- it is very sticky! Cooking it with an acidic base helps cut down on that stickyness (aka, the tomatoes in this recipe). If you ever want to just cook it by itself, add some vinegar or citrus juice. It is deliciously different!

*BTW, I am not discounting the person climbing a mountain. For me, that is a very inspiring visual that I reference often to keep on track with my goals for life. What keeps you on track?

Adapted from an About.com's Southern Food recipe.

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