Monday, January 09, 2017

Blessings of Bounty

Growing up, it's hard not to get a little envious of the other every once in a while. Think of it as the Greener Grass Syndrome - there will always be that someone smarter, someone taller, someone handsomer, someone richer .. etc. Always that someone with that teensy bit more than what you have; unleashing that green-eyed monster even in the sweetest of souls.

A situation made far worse when you struggle painfully for every meagre ounce of success while the other just coasts by receiving bountiful accolades with minimal effort.

Or at least that's what it seems like. Seriously though, it's with age and experience that you realize that it's the effort that makes it all worth it. Hell yes, it's an onerous task but it builds grit that wouldn't otherwise be there if everything had gotten handed to you on a silver platter.

So why am I talking about this right now? Funny you should ask since amongst my new acquaintances this new year is a girl who seemingly has everything. Looks, wealth, intelligence etc. When God was handing out skills and accomplishments, Barbara Bun was apparently raking it in with spades. Not only did she successfully complete the professional degree required by any kiasu Asian family, she also undertook what was apparently a passion in baking by finishing a course in patisserie.

Paul : So you intend to pursue your passion? 
Barbara : Umm... I'm not sure.  
Paul : Not sure? But this was what you wanted, yes? So you should be out chasing that dream of opening a bakery!
Barbara : Maybe one day ...
Paul : So you're busy selling your cakes in town? Building up a client base? 
Barbara : Not really. Just don't feel like it, I guess. 
Paul : So what do you do now? 
Barbara : Bake every once in a while when I feel like it?

Really. For someone who supposedly professes an undying passion for patisserie, I wasn't feeling the love at all. Even a discussion about cakes and croissants failed to stir up any excitement in her. Pampered by her life of luxury; adored by her friends and family; buoyed by the success she has had till now, Barbara doesn't seem to have any drive to accomplish more than what she already has. Rather than attempt to challenge the likes of famed French pastry chef Pierre Hermé, our Babs is just content to idly peddle her cupcakes whenever she feels like it.

Fresh from the oven!
Which obviously drives me more than a little crazy sometimes. With all her skills and talent ( and yes, her cakes taste amazing which makes it even worse ), Babs could be doing so much more. Yet her disheartening lack of ambition and motivation makes even a complacent soul like me seem like Genghis Khan out to aggressively conquer the known world.

Turns out it's quite important to have grit. Grit - that particular combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal is the hallmark of high achievers in every domain.

Failing that, it's always good to have friends who will continually give you a push. Like I'll be doing to Babs from now on.

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