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Would You Do It All Over Again?

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Would You Do It All Over Again?


    It’s a rather abstract question isn’t it? But give it a fair chance.

    A few weeks ago I got into an interesting conversation with a fine gentleman about career paths and life in general. He was a retired pilot who seemed to have enjoyed every moment of his flying career. As I was telling him about what I did in my professional life he simply looked me in the eye and asked “Would you do it all over again?”

    For a moment his question completely startled me. Would I, I wondered. And then there was a silent pause in my ever rushing mind. I didn’t know. Maybe I would. Maybe I wouldn’t.

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    Being the right brain dominant person that I am, I noticed my mind contemplate endless possibilities as it tried to come to a conclusion for this gentleman. But alas, all decision making algorithms and techniques failed miserably in my moment of distress.

    This made me wonder if this decision was for the mind in the first place. The answer to his question had to be out of pure instincts, either an instantaneous screaming “Yes, in a heartbeat” or an unappetizing uncertainty where a lot is revealed in the silence itself.

    As I pondered over this in more detail I realised that this question could be applied to every single aspect of our lives and even beyond. Would we do the things we are currently doing if we were given a second chance? Most of our responses will vary from an absolute yes to a maybe and even abrupt no’s depending on the situation itself.

    But think about it, if we wouldn’t want to do something again, what is our excuse to continue doing it in the first place?

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    As you ask yourself this, I’m certain that a never ending list of excuses will pop into your mind. Only if things were different or if you had less responsibilities, only if someone else didn’t treat you this way, only if something hadn’t happened…. The list is endless and the more you let yourself indulge in it the stronger and more encapsulating the web becomes.

    Just like the quote says:

    “You can either have a good excuse or a good result.”

    Which one do you have?

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    Could we possibly dare to consider a new day as a second chance? A chance to start all over again and do things how you’d always wished you did. Another chance to have the courage to turn around? A chance to be true to yourself before you satisfy others expectations?

    Sometimes we continue to do things simply because we feel obligated to the decisions we made or the paths we choose. We associate ourselves to our successes and our failures and subconsciously hold them tight.

    For example, consider how we introduce ourselves to a new acquaintance. “Hi I’m Adam, Marketing director of ABC Corp and a Harvard graduate.” Now what if Adam feels unfulfilled in his marketing profession? Letting go of his job would almost mean letting go of his identity. We continue to work in unfulfilling careers because we feel obligated to our investment in the education we obtained.

    From careers to relationships and materialistic possessions, somehow instead of things adding to our identity they become our identity.

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    Why should a failure prevent you from an upcoming success and why should a success that adds no meaning to your life anymore hold you from venturing out and trying something different?

    Though we might blame external sources for our current state, in reality it is nothing else but our own self imposed restrictions that hinder our ability to create change. The key here is to accept responsibilities of your choices and allow yourself to alter the ones that don’t make you smile anymore.

    So…..would you do it all over again?

    (Photo credit: Second Chance Avenue via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 27, 2022

    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

    Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

    “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

    Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

    Food is a universal necessity.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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    Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

    Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

    Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

    Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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    The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

    Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

    This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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    Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

    Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

    Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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    So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

    Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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