man eating crap sandwich

Do You Really Want To Eat That Crap Sandwich?

Springtime is such a beautiful season. So full of promise as new life erupts once again. Trees and flowers bloom with radiant colors and intoxicating smells. It’s a good time to sell your house and move. Children anticipate summer vacation. Weddings and graduations abound.

All these are wonderful and exciting.

Tis the season of celebration and positive life changes.


So what’s with the crap sandwich?


Celebration is the easy part. Cake.

The graduation ceremonies will be full of speeches on following your dreams and finding your life purpose.

That’s not bad. It’s just not complete.

What do I mean?


Hearing inspirational stories and how they challenge us to make a difference in the world are great. The students are on the verge of a major life change and need the encouragement.

They need to be pumped up more than they even know.



There are many books and articles about finding your purpose and living your dreams. It’s not only a topic for the high school or college graduate. It touches the kid entering high school, the newly married, the new parents, the empty nesters, the retiring…

I know it has touched me.

I’ve read some of those books.

So where is the problem?


The single element that’s missing from the motivational speeches and books.

When people talk about purpose or passion all you hear is the satisfaction you get when you do what you were meant to do. They tell you how fulfilling it is.

The line goes if you do what you love you never have to work a day in your life.

It sounds nice, but somethings missing.

It’s the crap sandwich no one tells you about.


Mark Manson wrote an article 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose. The “crap sandwich” as I call it was his first question. “What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich and does it come with an olive?

The title alone compelled me to read as I wondered

Who in the heck wants to eat that?

What is this guy’s deal?

What is he talking about?…

I was not disappointed. He made the much-needed point quite well


Everything sucks, some of the time.


People need to hear that.

I needed to hear that.

EVERYONE eats a crap sandwich.


The thought process of if you aren’t enjoying what you do all the time then you are doing it wrong (or doing the wrong thing) – is wrong!

It’s a load of crap!

Everybody eats a crap sandwich.

What we need to find out is: what is the crap sandwich that comes with what we think we want to do. Then we can make an informed and intentional decision.

We must decide – am I willing to do that?


If the answer makes our skin crawl or makes us want to run screaming in the opposite direction, chances are we won’t be happy with that choice.

However, if the skin crawl or reaction to flee is simply fear due to ignorance, it can be overcome by learning.

But are you willing to do the learning?  Maybe that’s the actual crap sandwich. The important thing is the sandwich must be identified.

Asking yourself these questions isn’t negative. Click To Tweet


This applies to more than just finding a purpose in life.

There is a crap sandwich aspect in everything because Mark is right: everything sucks, some of the time.

Spring is beautiful but there are weeds and insects. Are you ready?

Putting your house on the market means getting an inspection which could lead to a costly repair. Are you prepared?

The new place you buy might have higher utility bills than you planned or a mole problem in the yard. Are you willing to get a second job if needed?

Getting married is awesome but people are people and don’t always agree on everything. Is working through the tough spots an option for you?

The kids being on summer vacation can get bored if not properly occupied. Do you have a plan?

Asking yourself these questions isn’t negative.

Identifying the crap sandwich empowers you.


You can make intentional choices.

Your intentionality will bring endurance and solutions.

You can do hard things but the choice is up to you.

Facing what will become the hardest thing will empower the strongest decision.

Facing what will become the hardest thing will empower the strongest decision. Click To Tweet

There will be a crap sandwich, sometimes more than one of them.

I’ve eaten them.

When I decided to write my story I understood and accepted it required me to revisit old wounds. This was a crap sandwich I was willing to eat.

To endure the pain in the most constructive way I started going to a counselor. It was a wise choice and made the crap sandwich not only edible but as Mark put it—it had an olive.

I not only made it through the process, I grew.

But then I discovered another crap sandwich as I wrote and prepared to publish – legal stuff (yuk). Things like copyright, logos, trademarks etc. I knew nothing about them.

But I had chosen to self-publish so those things fell on my plate.

I found it tedious, bothersome and scary. In spite of the fear, I took up my power to overcome and chose to eat the crap sandwich.


A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.― Colin Powell


Knowing ahead of time gives us the presence of mind to count the cost.

We can decide if our reasons/passions are strong enough to eat the crap sandwich.

It is like a tell in poker. Seeing which is stronger tells us how to proceed.

Is the love, purpose, passion, or reason why stronger?

Or is the crap sandwich stronger?

I discovered even Jesus ate a crap sandwich.

The Bible tells us he was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God! Hebrews 12:2 NLB

In addition to the joy he expected He was empowered with love.

The Bible tells us no one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends. John 15:13 AMP

Jesus knew what he was getting himself into. He chose love.


Sometimes you have to do what you don’t love so that you can do what you do love. – author unknown


Let’s talk:

  • What crap sandwich have you eaten? Or maybe refused to eat?
  • Do you have a crap sandwich on your plate now? Will you eat it?
  • If you want to refuse the crap sandwich you see—and need to make a change read this.
  • Let me know in the comments.

Share this with someone you know who needs it so they can be intentional also.



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12 thoughts on “Do You Really Want To Eat That Crap Sandwich?

  1. Great advice, Danielle! We’ve confused happiness for leisure, thinking more leisure means more happiness. But it’s doing those hard things that help us progress and build resilience!

    1. Thanks Shayne! I agree. I think it’s in accomplishing the hard things that we feel the satisfaction of a job well done – which makes us happy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great blog – thanks for sharing. Of course it’s nice if you can evaluate the crap sandwich BEFORE you accept a position, or take on a project, etc. But sometimes it is either hidden, or some unforeseen change happens and a new crap sandwich lands on your plate. In my case, recently, it was a change in the contract between my employer and our biggest customer, causing me to do extended periods of out-of-town work. I ate that sandwich for quite a while, but finally decided enough was enough. So I found a new job with no travel! The crap sandwich (es) I have to eat here are acceptable so I’ve been quite happy.

    1. Thank you Michael. And you are SO right! It is better if we can foresee the crap sandwich so we can be intentional in our choices. But there are times they just land on our plates and we say “what the heck??? I don’t want this!!” and then it’s decision time again. Great example you shared. Thank you.

  3. Hey Danielle, as I read this, you reminded me of a conversation I had with my daughter today.

    She wants to go to school to be a nurse. I told her, “That’s great! It’ll be challenging, but you’ve overcome obstacles before. I know you can do it.”

    She’s already written over 300 pages of notes to get ready.

    Sounds like she’s willing to eat whatever crap sandwich will make her dream come true.

    Great post!

  4. It’s so true that all work suck some of the time but finding your favourite flavour of the crap is important. I agree that this is missing from all the platitudes and graduation speeches. Thanks for the post!

Please share your thoughts!