So a few days ago, I and three of my friends went to try a new restaurant. It was a busy Chinese themed place having a scent of sandalwood, red silk curtains, comfortable couches, lights with red paper covers and some ancient Chinese themed art. Overall it was a welcoming place.
Two of the guys were getting upset to have to wait because we were hungry as if we had crossed a desert; food was all we could think of. We had to wait a few minutes before we got a table just by the corner.
Since it was a new place and it was our first time, I was wondering what food shall be the best order. Just as I was about to order, the waiter requested if we would like the complimentary soup. We had to choose between a vegetarian and chicken one. All of us chose chicken which apparently was plain boiled chicken soup missing all the other ingredients.
The soup served was similar to the one from a restaurant we frequented, thus we knew we had to make our own soup adding the ingredients we chose. Some salt, some spices, a little soy sauce, a few drops of vinegar, slurp! Add some of this and a little of that. Boo-ya! My soup was ready.
One of the guys tried my soup and remarked it being too sour. Other one remarked as missing salt and spices. I tried their’s, it was plain as blank as a copy paper and other was fiery as a dragon’s breath. No, I was not biased with the ‘endowment effect’ just because my soup was made by me. We all have our own taste.
Well, where’s was I? Yes, happiness and life. Happiness is similar to the chicken soup. We all have our own taste, our perception, our core values, our beliefs. Someone’s happiness may differ entirely from another. Some find more happiness in love others find it more in work, some find it at health others find it in wealth. Each of us come from a place of mind entirely different thus I guess it’s safe to quote Stephen Covey saying, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Life relates to the chicken soup with the ingredients we choose to put in our soup. Just as we place different ingredients to make our soup, we choose our own ingredients to make our mixture of what we want with life. And just as my soup might taste tangy to one or bland to another, our taste of life is also different.
If we say only love or only work is what drives us, it will be as the soup that was served before we added the ingredients – without taste. Just as one ingredient is not enough to make the soup, one thing is never enough to have a fulfillment of life. We have to add the ingredients matching our flavor. We cannot be happy with only wealth but we cannot be happy with only love either, we need servitude of something bigger than us to have a fulfilled life. Each of the ingredients adds up to the soup to make up for our own soup of life.
Life feels fulfilled only if all the necessary ingredients are present. What use is all the money in the world if it cannot buy us health, intelligence, peace or love? Love will soon be replaced with guilt, resentment or other such emotions if we cannot provide for the ones we love; and what’s the use of having all the health in the world if we are played like a puppet by people who seem smarter?
“I just didn’t want to be the richest man in the cemetery.” -Steve Jobs
The key is finding a balance between the ingredients and making our own chicken soup or garlic soup or any soup you prefer for that matter. Mother Teresa made her soup by a major portion of the ingredient being love for others. While Bill Gates had a major portion by using the wealth he earned and Arnold had his own chicken soup; each of them serving as an inspiration to millions of people around the world.
So find your own soup my dear and be your own kind of beautiful.