a piece of marbled steakJust ask any butcher and he’ll tell you that a piece of red meat is greatly enhanced by marbling, that white stuff known as fat. The flavor and tenderness are exponentially raised by the amount of fat running through the red, lean parts. Now, this will either cause your mouth to water or you have left the room to vomit. So, what’s all this about steak fat?

If you notice how you navigate your life, you’ll probably recognize some aspects in which you just won’t settle. You’ll pick a Starbucks bold coffee over another brand because you are looking for a certain flavor, aroma, and jolt to your morning ritual. You pay more because you’re worth it. But maybe you’ll shop a discounter knowing that you’ll be able to pick out the designer piece for fractions less than a full retail store because you know your labels and the quality of the goods. You may save on clothing but your shoes are impeccable, fashionable, well-heeled and brilliantly coordinated. Why? Because you command attention down to the last detail.

You consciously decide the value of things in your life and trade-off features and exclusivity because you have criteria operating. It’s that ordered list of what is important based on a hierarchical structure of meaning to you. It only makes sense to you. Your criteria is similar to your choice in meat cuts. If all things were equal, wouldn’t you pick the most marbled pieces of meat that you could afford?

What you believe essential to your life hits the top ten (or vastly more) things you need in your life to function. You don’t compromise on that which you have assigned a critical element in your life. After all, who wants a crappy car, bad hair, or nasty friends. It’s all about the criteria you think is important.

So, returning to the marbled meat example, can you see the value in purchasing only those meat cuts that meet your criteria of tenderness and flavor, not necessarily financial? Do you see the immediate value to a vegan? Criteria builds our reality according to our specifications.

We all have preferences but they are dictated by our criteria. We want the best choice that will satisfy our often times unconscious needs.  And, that having been said, make mine marbled.