How to avoid the "broken cookie syndrome"

November 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Life can be crummy, but what are you doing about it? Maybe it's time to brush off the crumbs and dig into the sweet life. Amilya Antonette, the co-author of "The Broken Cookie Syndrome," shares advice on how to bite into what you really want.

The Broken Cookie Syndrome:

Learn how to identify where the "crumbs" are in your life and discover why some people's lives are full, rich and rewarding while others feel used, unappreciated and unfulfilled. Get more out of life, set boundaries, accept, ask and attract fulfilling cookies in your day to day life.

The Fat Tuesday Cookie (cookie glutton)
These people reach for the cookies first, grab more than one, take seconds and even take the last cookie without a thought. They may even pick at the crumbs! You may recognize this person as the one who "doesn't play well with others". Generally the conversations are "all about me" and refuses "to share their toys". These people can make others feel badly because they are unappreciative and do not have the ability to recognize anybody else except themselves.

I deserve the best. I am not going to let anyone "one up" me. I am entitled to having the finer things in life. Life owes me the best. I would rather have everyone keep his or her distance since I prefer not to put myself out.

· These are the Martha Stewart types, the dictators of the world (in politics, corporations and social circles) and the people who are not team players and are more concerned about "stardom" than the good of the team, company or event.

· These are your co-workers who take all the credit for success, never lift a finger unless it is to their benefit and leave "bodies" on their way to the top. These are the ENRON, World.com, types.

· These are the moms that show up on a play date asking you to watch their children while they check their messages or run an errand.

The Decadent Cookie (prettiest cookie taker)
These people may wait their turn, but will only take a pretty cookie. If the prettiest one is not available, they will pass on taking a cookie and more than likely pout! They want everything and expect everything. They will not settle for less. They have had few struggles in their lives. If there are adversities or major roadblocks, they are generally handled for them. They move through life without looking back. Many of these people are oblivious to other's realities, though they mean no harm by their clueless nature. They have no real understanding of what it took to get them where they are in life.

· These are "born with a silver spoon" people like Paris Hilton, Gavin Newsom and the Kennedy's.

· These are people who have gotten where they are in their careers through nepotism, are the fraternity brother or sorority sister, the sons and daughters of the boss. They are the workers who gossip and sabotage the efforts of others. These are the types of companies that knock-off products and ride on the coat tails of the ones who have put in years of effort. ABC did "The Bachelor", Fox launched "Joe Millionaire".

· These are the neighbors who complain how hard it is to manage life yet they have a full time nanny, a housekeeper and a gardener!

The Trophy Cookie (cookie giver and receiver)
These people receive lots of cookies and all types of cookies from others. People like being around them. They make people feel good about themselves. They can be so popular that they have to set boundaries for themselves in order not to be overwhelmed. Without asking, they receive many cookies from others. They are appreciative and happy to share their cookies with those around them. They are comfortable choosing the pretty cookie for themselves, sharing it or passing it on to someone else. They have no issues with giving away pretty cookies because they know they can have pretty cookies any time they choose.

· These are the Oprah, Bono (U2) and Paul Newman types.

· These businesses are created out of a need or passion. They stay true to their purpose even when there is more money and success in compromise. These are companies like Power Bar, Lucasfilm, Ltd. and Otis Spunkmeyer.

· These friends push you to grow; allow you to use them as a sounding board. They do not "yes" you to death. They have enough confidence in your friendship to share their point of view even when it differs from yours. They tell you the outfit is "not working for you". When hurtful things happen between you, it does not destroy the relationship - it is corrected and worked through.

The Odd Cookie (flavor of the month taker)
The plate of cookies sometimes has one cookie unlike the ones with which we are all familiar. It is obviously different, yet it still a good cookie. The people who take this cookie are your "mad inventor" types who are driven and highly focused. They walk to their own tune and are not put-off by being different. They are often perplexed by people and prefer things that are predictable. As unique as their persona is, they are likable and at times good company but sometimes their lack of social skills can make you feel uncomfortable. They are not going to be your best friend, nor do they feel they need one.

· These are the Bill Gates, Mozarts, Van Goghs, "lab rats", Bobby Fischer types.

· These are your software designers, computer hackers, number cruncher types.

· These are the people from high school who never fit in, return to the reunion as multi-millionaires . . . but they still do not fit in!

Blending is very hard for these Cookie-Taker-Types. Many times these people are so intelligent that it alienates them from everyday folks. These are your inventors who just want to develop their ideas into reality and leave the selling, marketing, etc. to others. They make great contributions to society or to their companies but may go unnoticed by the pop culture. This is mostly because recognition and popularity is not a priority. Once the Odd-Cookie-Takers find their area of strength, they stick with it; their work can easily become their life. A quote by George Bernard Shaw describes this cookie: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, but the unreasonable man tries to adapt the world to him-therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man."

The No-Carb Cookie (no frills taker)
These people say they do not like cookies, never liked cookies and are not interested in cookies. Even if you give them a pretty cookie they give it away saying they do not want it, when in actuality, they feel uncomfortable taking it. They feel they do not deserve a cookie and are so afraid of trying one, for fear they might want another knowing it is out of their reach.

· These are your Woody Allen characters, Paul Reiser's "Paul Buchman" on Mad About You, Comedian Richard Lewis types.

· These tend to be research and market analysis type of companies.

· These are the neighbors that you say hello to infrequently and only when a greeting is necessary. You know little to nothing about them though you have been neighbors for years.

These people do not rock the boat. They may go unnoticed but in many ways are an integral part of society. The No-Carb-Taker-Types are reasonable people and acknowledging their place. Their peace of mind depends on getting used to the idea of "this is just the way things are".

The Broken Cookie (I think we know which cookie they take)
What do these people do? They give and give and give . . . and then give again. These people value everyone else's time and needs more than their own. They stand when no chairs are available. They do not return under cooked food or the wrong order for fear of hurting the server's feelings. They may wonder why everyone else's life is easier than theirs is, why others may have more joy in their lives and seem to get the lucky breaks. And you are right - these are the ones who choose the broken cookie - every time!

These people are chosen for a team because they are the worker bees. These people have much to offer and are terrific friends. Chances are they will. Examples include "Nora" -- Sally Fields character in show "Brothers & Sisters," Charlie Brown of "Peanuts," Wall.e (Disney film)

· These are your aide de camps, i.e. "Radar O'Riley" in M.A.S.H, your right hand man in the office, i.e. Lilly Tomlin's "Violet Newstead" in Nine to Five. Michael J. Fox's "Charlie" assistant to the mayor in Spin City.

· These are your small, less known non- profit companies that do great work for their charities with little to no funding, infra structure or public acknowledgement. Without a catalyst, they are unknown. These would be Autism (until Dan Marino), Alzheimer's (until Shelly Fabrey) and Colon Cancer (until Katie Couric).

· These "friends" always send you a card or gift on your birthday even though you are not close. They call others not because they really want to but because they feel they should. They stay on the phone for fear of hurting someone's feelings when really they have something else to do. They may even give time to phone solicators! These people at work stop to see if you need anything as they go to the kitchen.

These people are very likable and approachable. You feel comfortable immediately when you are around them. This is your proto-typical mom. They are loved and people gravitate to them. They have a tendency not to be stepped on but stepped over. If you look closely though, you may see that there is a crack in their demeanor. Many of the Broken-Cookie-Takers have given too much of themselves and become depleted. They can have regrets; become bitter or feel depressed at times.

About Amilya Antonetti
Amilya Antonetti spent the first years of her son's life in hospital emergency rooms. Doctors offered her short-term remedies for her newborn's frightening breathing difficulties, severe rashes and heart breaking tantrums but no one seemed to be able to tell her why he was continually ill. Without answers or compassion there was a moment when a doctor even advised her to "let him go." Unwilling to give up, Amilya decided to take it upon herself to find out what was making David so violently sick.

Amilya quit her successful executive career and committed herself to her son. Soon she pieced the complex puzzle together and discovered it was the ingredients in common household products that were slowly killing him as she unsuspectingly cleaned her home. She immediately began researching natural products, and with the help of her grandmother discovered a recipe to make pure cleaning products right on her own stove. From this she launched "Soapworks."

With the sale of Soapworks she has moved on to the helm of AMA Productions, Inc and Amilya.com which delivers real world information, products and services to help 21st century consumers make smarter, healthier lifestyle choices. And together with three other of the country's top entrepreneurs she has co-founded "The Lucky Napkin" a venture catalyst firm dedicated to helping others birth their great ideas and change the landscape of the market.


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