05/14/2010 09:22 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Turnip or Tomato: How You Live Your Life?

If life were a garden what seeds are you planting? Are you tending the plants that bring you the juicy joy of your heartfelt dreams? Or do you settle for what is convenient? Maybe veggies have a lot to say about your life.

Turnips: Glue Stew

I am not a big fan of turnips. Those little bald heads and blandly bitter taste are a poor use of my taste buds. Why would anyone want to waste their time chewing that mush? All that effort spent planting, growing, and then preparing a vegetable that looks and tastes like glue stew--I just don't see the point.

I know my turnip aversion isn't rational. For some folks, turnips are a tasty treat. In my case, turnips were a casualty of the dinner table "clean plate club" program growing up. (Young parents beware.) Turnips were the bait-and-switch veggie of my youth. They looked like mashed potatoes. Instead of that little piece of heaven, mashed potatoes, I had a clump of sour glop in my mouth. I would forego ice cream so I wouldn't have to put that nasty turnip goo in my mouth.

Turnips were the enemy. I wasn't going to let them win. No way. No how.

Tomatoes: The Sexy Veggie.

Ahh, tomatoes.

That's another story. I'm a self-confessed tomato freak. On summer Sunday mornings, I get up extra early just to pick up my favorite tomatoes from Hans. He is my German organic tomato wizard. When you see Hans, you know you are in Southern California, baby. His tattered straw cowboy hat, wide grin, tie-dyed T-shirts and tomato earrings (tooth picks through his ears with a cherry tomato on each end) make him a far cry from the farmers I grew up with in Bucyrus, Kansas. Hans puts the capital H in Hippie. And he puts the capital H in Happy every time you bite into one of his luscious tomatoes. The sexy feel of their firm flesh can drive you bananas. I'm starting to drool remembering the sloppy sweetness that won't be back until summer.

Why this discussion of vegetables? Every choice you make plants a seed in your life. And every single moment is an opportunity to choose. It is so-o-o easy to forget this--and it is mind-boggling when you really catch what it means. We are each given a seed packet. Each choice we makes something take root. Which one are you planting today?

Are you living in a turnip patch? Do you settle? Are you resigned to eat the turnip (or life as you know it) in front of you whether you like it or not?

Are you going to pick the tomato packet yourself toward your dreams can be sloppy and scary. Trust me. I know this from personal experience. Biting into a great tomato can have unexpected consequences, as the juice drips down your cheek or collar. The same can happen when you are making the choices of your inner calling.

Going against your heart is like my planting turnips instead of tomatoes.

In every breathing, heart-beating moment of your life you are given the opportunity to plant something juicy, positive, and life-affirming, or something that dulls your senses and energy. Each decision, conscious or unconscious, sooner or later grows and bears fruit in the garden of your life. This is why staying aware of your moment-to-moment decisions is so dang smart.

Which seed packet are you reaching into--turnips or tomatoes?

What is your least favorite vegetable? If you actually like turnips I would like to get a recipe or two to try to see if you can change my mind.

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Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and executive coach. Her book, Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for the Savvy, Sassy and Swamped, (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards. Eli is a reinvention catalyst, who can transform your professional and personal life from Funky to Fabulous with her 10 trademarked Turnaround Techniques that create rapid and remarkable results. Check out her blog at

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