Our society today is inundated with this idea that success is just like microwaveable popcorn. I know that may sound strange upon first hearing it but really think about it. How long does it take for some instant popcorn to be made? The popcorn bag instructions usually state that it needs to be microwaved for about a minute and some change, so anywhere from 1:50-2:00 minutes. You throw your bag of popcorn in, set the cooking time, and wait for the joyful sounds of ‘pop, pop, pop’ to eventually ring in your ears and then within just a few minutes…
BOOM! Your lovely snack or college dinner is done.
Now consider this, how many us of have actually made popcorn from scratch? I sure haven’t. In fact, as I am typing this I am googling how long it takes to make homemade popcorn. In fact, how many of us have even made popcorn using a popcorn machine? *crickets*
Exactly. Now, if you have worked in food service or residence life back in college (me) you might be familiar with how to work it or at the very least how to clean it (…me again). Either way, if you are making popcorn on the stove or via a machine it takes time. Even the process after you are done making it takes even more time. You have to wash the pan, or the different parts of the machine carefully with soap to remove residue. Let’s not forget why or how these items got dirty in the first place. Think about the oil, and salt or your seasoning of choice. All of those ingredients eventually come together to produce buildup on the pan or the machine.
Speaking of machine, prior to even using it you’ve got to heat it up for a good 3-4 minutes first and the same thing goes for the stovetop directions. All in all in order to make popcorn it takes multiple steps for tasty results. In order for some quality popped corn you’ve got to be willing to take it slow.
Now why the in the world am I referencing all things popcorn? You clicked on this post to learn what it means to take it one step at a time, right? If not, you are on the wrong post.
Alright, alright enough with the jokes, I know they’re getting dry.
But, on a serious note my splendid reader I know that you already understand what’s going on here because you are intelligent which is why you are here in the first place.
All day long, a good number of us get so enthralled with this idea of instant everything. Instant oatmeal, noodles, macaroni (which by the way is only good when baked & especially Caribbean style), and even instant rice (a sin in my Haitian culture to be quite honest) that we forget the essence of hard work for a tasty meal. This forgetfulness extends itself far beyond food. A prime example is this idea of success via social media. While I have no personal beef with SM, it troubles me that so many of us feel that by receiving a large number of followers, reblogs, retweets, likes etc. (the list goes on) that we are somehow validated. What really bothers me is when people use SM as a way to actually be validated when validation should first come from within.
With that said, there are other instant privileges that have caused us to lack appreciation of a process in order to progress. Remember dial-up internet before high speed took over? I sure do. My siblings and I would have to take turns on who would make a phone call or use the internet. No in betweens.
How about Blockbuster or renting VHS tapes or DVDs from the library? Again, I do. There was no instant click of a button to Netflix. Not to mention the other irritating factor of texting which took 5-10 minutes per character and that’s me being generous.
Nevertheless, the reason I kept bringing up popcorn earlier is because when we really think about it most of us have never tasted how good stovetop popcorn probably is. Hell, I haven’t but I have tasted fresh popcorn from a popcorn machine and it is by far way tastier than the one you just pop into the microwave. So I can only imagine what stovetop popcorn would be like once met with my tastebuds. The point is, we don’t know how its natural flavor because most of us have never taken out the time it takes to make it from scratch. We are missing that authentic taste because we aren’t willing to do what it takes to achieve that authenticity. This goes hand in hand with success and reaching your dreams. You’ve got to be willing to put one foot in front of the other and take individual steps. No rushing.
“What really bothers me is when people use SM [social media] as a way to actually be validated when validation should first come from within.”
With that said, it’s time out for allowing social media or the climate of our society to dictate how fast or slow we go when it comes to succeeding. Every individual who we now consider to be a legend of some sort has done something legendary over a period of time. One of my favorite memes says, “Beyonce/Oprah wasn’t built in a day,” and we all know the original phrase goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Now what does Rome, Oprah and Beyonce have to do with anything I’m saying here?
Think about it, Rome was once one of the greatest empires in the world, Beyonce is now known as one of the greatest entertainers in the world (no…that is not debatable), and Oprah…well need I say more?
Of course the list goes on of remarkable kingdoms, people, and such but you get the point. It troubles me that the generation behind me and many in my own are so obsessed with instant fame/success. All of these instantaneous moments of clout or praise are often fleeting. You can very well have what it takes to fly high for a moment, but the real focus should be whether or not you have what it takes to remain afloat. 15 seconds doesn’t last as long as you may expect or want it to last.
If you are in the midst of climbing the ladder to of your dreams I want you to be reminded that the longer it takes to make something usually means it will also taste way better. Fruits and vegetables are not instantly sprouted up out of the ground (maybe the GMO ones are…) but for the most part it takes the planting of a seed, care, fertile soil, water, good aim of sunlight, and most importantly it takes some time to produce these foods.
“You can very well have what it takes to fly high for a moment, but the real focus should be whether or not you have what it takes to remain afloat.”
Don’t be afraid of the tick tocking of any clock. Granted, we are not all allotted the same amount of time on this earth but while we are here the best way to show how much we are grateful for this time is by enjoying it now. Go in the direction of where your heart is pulling you and work for whatever it is that you are passionate about. If you haven’t quite found that passion yet, check out your hobbies and what genuinely excites you. Eventually you will find something that will help to fulfill you.
Regardless of what you choose to go for in life, remember that instant success is bland just like instant rice. You want your success to have some spices in it, a good sturdy pot to hold it, and a good amount of time coupled with the right amount of heat to cook it right to perfection. Yum, now that’s what I call a meal!
Today’s Takeout (formerly *takeaway)
True success tastes better when cooked for a while.
Popcorn also tastes better when cooked for a while.
Validation is even more valid when sought from within.
It is more important to focus on longevity when it comes to success as opposed to focusing on instant and possibly fleeting moments of success.
If you enjoyed this read or want to add to the conversation please do NOT hesitate to comment below. Make sure to share this with friends, family coworkers, associates, exes, besties, and anyone else who may need a word of encouragement. Until next time splendid readers!
Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,