The last concept I'd like you to understand before we start with the rules is one I'll refer to often throughout this book. I call it take it or leave it. You can apply this to relationships, family, career, money, or any other aspect of your life — even cooking. In fact, I first came up with the concept in the kitchen while renovating recipes.
Here's how it works. If, for example, I'm creating a healthier cookie recipe, I might find that the cookies are not just healthier but taste better when I replace white flour with oat flour and white sugar with raw sugar. I'll take it—those are changes that work, so I carry them forward into my next cookie experiment. If, however, it doesn't work to remove all the fat—maybe the cookies are too dry or tasteless—then I'll leave it. I'll discard that idea and bring some of the fat back next time. Take it or leave it—you take the good and build on it; you leave the bad, in favor of a new idea. Most important, you keep moving forward, never settling for what doesn't work.
This applies to any area of your life, and it represents how you can learn from your own experiences. Successes are victories that teach you how to get what you want. Mistakes are opportunities to do something different next time. What worked and didn't work in your last relationship, job, diet, financial endeavor? You can always choose to take it or leave it. Unfortunately or fortunately, life is an obstacle course. You succeed at one thing and then you move on to the next. When an obstacle is tough, you try harder. When an obstacle is insurmountable, you change course. But you never sit down and refuse to finish. And when you do get over each hurdle, it's the best feeling—you're stronger and wiser than before you tried it, and you're even more ready to tackle the next one. The fact that there always is another obstacle can seem overwhelming sometimes, but then again, that's the good news. Life never gives up on you, either—it always has a new challenge, something more that you can succeed at achieving. And if you fail? One more lesson learned.
So stop waiting for someone else to fix things. It's time to step up to the plate. It's your career, your body, your health, your relationship, your money, your path . . . your life. You can be everything you ever wanted to be. You can have it all. Everything is about to change. All you have to do is begin at the beginning. We'll do it together.