These days I eat out a lot and my visits to various restaurants have taught me a few valuable lessons which I will share with you all:
- Jack of all, Master of none: The bane of a restaurant today for purely commercial reason is aspiring to satisfy all and therefore offer a mindboggling variety of food items that usually end up getting classified into 4-5 cuisines. While it may satisfy the average person with the aptitude to ask for a Schezwan noodles in a Chettinad restaurant, it will fall short of satiating a true connoisseur who will want to explore the depths of the Chettinad kitchens
- Mediocrity is accepted: Mediocrity is accepted because it is the new average, when the average is low it slowly becomes acceptable to all. So you will find restaurants which may look different but all taste alike, all feel mediocre
- There is a premium for exclusivity: The second learning leads to this, a true focussed exclusive cuisine restaurant is pricey and will rise above mediocrity to survive. If it will last depends on the patrons who need to appreciate what they are getting.
Extrapolating these three basic lessons to personal life can be quite eye opening.
Lesson 1: The common man is a jack of all, master of none. While there is nothing wrong in being a jack of all since it is a game of survival. A typical person does so many things at home, work, at leisure without being good at many. They will be what we call survival skills. The question that is deeper remains: Are you surviving or living?
Lesson 2: Mediocrity is the average, if you look around the average person seldom stands out in a crowd and is one of many. Faces and physiques may be different, but abilities or rather the demonstrations of the abilities remain at the average level. The more average you are the less you do not stick out and the average person seems to yearn for this anonymity, to go with the crowd, to be one of many. The question here: Are you one of hundred or one in hundred?
Lesson 3: I can run, you can run and Usain Bolt can also run. There is a price of exclusivity that gets attributed to those who focus on doing something well, they pursue excellence and excellence has its rewards. If nothing, people will pay their hard earned money to come and watch Usain Bolt do something as rudimentary as running which even the cave men did. This exclusivity comes with dedication, long hours of extraordinary work, untold sacrifices and so much more but the end result makes the journey worthwhile for the person. The real winner is however the one who delights in the journey or process more than the victory or destination. Today we commemorate the first death anniversary of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam our beloved former President; he was someone who showed us that when we rise above the ordinary we are remembered. The question: Do you want to be remembered as a role model or as a mere statistic?