I have a great wife. She has many wonderful qualities. People hold in her in high regard for several reasons. She is pretty, smart, organized, and a great conversationalist. She is so wonderful I could never list all the great things about her. But for the rest of this blog, I’m going to focus on one of the things she is most noted for.

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

She makes the world best chocolate chip cookies. (And she makes them all the time). People request them for parties. People expect them at parties.

When a neighbor from our old neighborhood told me they had bought an acreage and were moving he said: “I still consider us neighbors and at Christmas, we will still expect Sue’s annual plate of cookies, I’ll stop by and pick them up.” How about me? Will you miss Sue’s charming husband?

Our daughter is all grown up and on her own. When she was staying at our house while we were on vacation, she had a large group of friends over to our house. The friends commented the house “wasn’t same without your mom’s chocolate chip cookies.”

She sends them back to college with other people’s children.

At potlucks, Sue brings chocolate chip cookies. During the potlucks I go over and tell people, usually the new people, “have you had the chocolate chip cookies? They are terrible. Whoever made them must have forgotten an ingredient.” I once said it from the stage. I have to use the line on strangers because the regulars know what I’m up to. (I wanted to take as many homes as possible). It seldom works.

At our new house, we have new neighbors. When new people move in we bring them chocolate chip cookies. Sue makes them. I deliver them.

At Christmas time we also give out cookies to our neighbors. When I returned for a second time with more cookies I got asked “The Question.”

What is the recipe?

And just like Sue has trained me I always give the same answer.

It’s just the one of the Nestle bag!!!

Then the person starts to argue with me. “It can’t be, they taste better than anybody else’s, my kids fight over them.” Others say “I’ve tried that recipe and they didn’t taste this good.” Ultimately people try to get to the bottom of things with “What is her added secret?”

The last question is our favorite question because we have a stock answer.

“Love, she adds an extra touch of love.” Most of the kid’s friends add this line for us. It’s a legend among their friends they have heard it so often.

You might be wondering what is the real deal and why I’m I writing about it.

I have an even easier answer to that question.

ExecutionShe follows the recipe.

When I say “she follows the recipe” I mean exactly that. She doesn’t use it as a guideline, she follows it exactly. No substitutions. No rough estimates on amounts. The measuring cup is level. The oven temp is exact. She uses butter, not margarine.

Her execution is perfect.

She executes the plan. She plans for perfection and then gets perfection every time. She has practiced literally hundreds of times. (At least twice a month for over 25 years!!) On the rare occasion they don’t turn out to her standards she starts over again. She doesn’t settle for ok or second best. (But if you know me you already assumed, she clearly wouldn’t settle for second best.)

I don’t know who said it first but you often hear how in football even if the other team knew what play you are going to run you will succeed if execute the play properly.

(I can’t resist throwing in my favorite football quote on execution. When in the middle of a 26 game losing streak to start the franchise a reporter asked Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Head Coach John McKay “what he thought of his team’s execution?” He replied he was in favor of it. McKay and I are talking about a different kind of execution).

Take a good plan, practice your craft and execute the plan and you will have success. Is a very simple recipe for success. It works just like recipe on the bag of chips.

Again, make sure you follow the steps correctly.

Step one, buy the right brand of chips. The recipe is on the bag. From there it is all about execution.

(((Bonus secret. Don’t bake the cookies. Most of the time we just eat the dough. Don’t worry you’re not going to get sick or die. Live life on the edge, eat raw cookie dough. The Chapins have never used a sick day and we eat cookie dough at least once a month))).

-David Chapin