Creative Thinking: The ‘pizza’ of your life
Elsa Franco Al Ghaslan
A COUPLE of days ago I saw two men walking down the street, side by side, wearing identical navy blue T-shirts. I noticed the back of their shirts where the caption, in white print, read: “Ingredients Matter.” I don’t know if it was the motto of the company they work for or… whatever else. The fact is that those words captured my attention because they made me reflect about how true they are and how they can be referred to any situation in life. I immediately envisioned the “making” of pizza. What is needed? Not much: Just flour, warm water, yeast, tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella cheese. That’s all. You can add any other ingredient, if you like (most people do), but those I mentioned are the essential ones.
What about life? Are there “ingredients” to create a good life? There surely are. Let us see how this comparison works. In pizza-making, the basic ingredient is “flour.” In life, it is the “belief in yourself.” If you do not trust your capability to create a good life, you are like an athlete who, at the starting spot, decides not to begin the race. He is there, he is ready, everybody thinks he will give a performance of his talent and then... he gives up. Such is the attitude of the individual who does not have enough self-confidence to make a plan, or to face challenges, or to overcome them. He believes that he is not “good enough.” But every human being has been endowed with all the tools necessary to construct the building of his (or her) life. Therefore, why doubt or undervalue them?
Next comes “water,” which I would compare to “faith,” i.e. belief in your capability to achieve whatever you put your mind to. I know that many will say, “It is not enough to have faith to succeed.” The secret lies in “the way” you believe. Faith could be defined as a deep inner “knowing” that what you are dreaming of will materialize (you cannot decide “when,” though) and just... “allow.” Such feeling must preferably be tied to the awareness that your enterprise will be good for others as well. Moving on with certitude, honesty and rectitude, your steps will be led in the right direction.
Ingredient number three is “yeast,” the mysterious dough-raising stuff that makes things “happen.” I resemble it to “will-power and commitment,” without which you won’t progress. You may want to achieve a certain goal, you believe you can do it, you are optimistic about the result. But, then, you are not significantly consistent in your pursue. You start, then you sop, later you may start again, then you get distracted by another enterprise.... Sorry, such attitude is not sufficient to obtain the success you expect.
Next is “olive oil,” one of the purest, healthiest product of Mother Nature. As oil blends all the other ingredients together, so “being alert” makes you able to “flow with life,” understand it and see what you want and need from the correct perspective. Many times do human beings tend to be too rigid, strict, self-opinionated, inflexible and... they lose sight of what is really important.
Number five, the taste-givers “tomatoes,” can be likened to “selflessness,” the feeling of being of service, of doing something good for others, beside one’s self. A famous saying states: “If I am not for myself, who will be?” (responsible for my life). “If I am only for myself, what good am I?” Therefore, keep your own interests and benefit at heart, but do not ignore the needs of other, especially the ones you are connected to.
The last ingredient is “mozzarella cheese,” which deliciously melts and gives the whole dish a “smooth” taste. I see it similar to “acceptance,” the ingredient that makes everything all right. When you believe that you will reach your goal, yet you are also well disposed toward accepting any other possible outcome, you naturally relax into the “knowing” that, whatever happens, yours is — and will continue to be — a good life. Now the “pizza” is ready for the oven. Bake it and... enjoy it!
P.S. I would like to add the third line of the quote mentioned above. It says, “If not now, when?”