The Moment

I love to cook. I’m not a chef by any means but I can typically make things taste good enough to eat. I also love TV and there are some really great cooking shows out there. Recently, I have been obsessed with The Chef Show starring chef Roy Choi and director/filmmaker Jon Favreau. They bounce from restaurants to private homes of either famous chefs or actors. What I love about it is that they do not really talk about recipes filled with ounces of this or temperatures of that, but just what life is like in the kitchen. People’s love and relationship with food.

In one episode, Jon asks Roy (and I’m paraphrasing for these quotes), “Hey Roy, how do I know when to flip these?” Roy came over to the grill Jon was working to look at the situation. While eying the fare, he says, “Not yet. You’ll know when to flip them. There’s this time in cooking where you just know the MOMENT. The Moment when you know what to do…. The instant when popcorn becomes burnt popcorn.” Roy alludes to an intuition. An instinct. Jon is not a chef. He just loves the atmosphere. In this scene, Roy was going beyond technicalities in what makes a chef. He was beginning to mentor his friend in the ART of cooking. The LIFE of cooking. The WAY of cooking. The PATH of how to cook. Maybe even showing Jon how to live through the WAY of cooking. Every expert has a path from their craft that leads them through their VIRTUOUS life. If they didn’t have this cross-road, they wouldn’t be experts. An expert’s craft becomes metaphysical.

What I love about shows like this, is that they make you think. It won’t  necessarily make you think about the specific actions that are happening on the screen, they make you think about the specific actions that are happening on the screen and how they relate to life. How they can apply to life. When Roy said that quote to Jon, I just simply thought to myself that “life is full of these intuitive Moments. The more we experience life, the more adapted our intuition becomes in making that Moment direct us towards a more virtuous path.” Simply look at the gallery on your phone, the sides of your refrigerator, the walls in your house, ALL full of Moments. Your brain instinctively looks for them, it just needs a moral compass to point it in the direction of taking advantage of the right Moment.

I simply love the idea of writing this essay, but right now, at this Moment, I don’t want to write it. I don’t know If I like how I started it or the direction it is going in. It’s actually to the point where it’s causing me anxiety and trying to get my ego to feel sorry for itself. But, what I do recognize is that  this is a Moment. A Moment of decision. A Moment that can change the path of this minute and what the next minute might be like for the rest of the day. Or maybe the week. Or month. You get the idea. These Moments are what comprise our life and the path that we walk down. Sometimes these Moments define us, sometimes they blaze a new direction. But Moment after Moment after Moment soon adds up. Man, have some of mine added up to a pile of bricks. Bricks in my path that are not even laid properly. I created an obstacle. Some Moments can lift like a hot air balloon. Gently rising while quietly trusting the direction of Nature’s breath. Leading to higher places, physically and morally.

The decisions we make in the Moments are important. Extremely important. A decision in the Moment can be a make or break decision for your life. Some instantly, some that add up to chain reactions over time.  These Moments happen everyday. As soon as your eyes open. How many times have we awoken and have to make a decision? Cripes, the first one is, “Do I roll over and close my eyes?” How much does that ONE Moment affect the rest of your day? The only reason you have to make that decision is because you already do not want to face life yet. You have already started procrastinating and you haven’t moved a muscle. “Do I exercise this morning? Should I make the kids a special breakfast? Do I need to shave this morning? What am I planning on doing at work today? Am I going to train tonight?” That’s all of 3 seconds. You start bargaining all the time with yourself on what is important and what needs to get done. You cannot convince me that that Moment doesn’t set the stage for your opening act. James Clear speaks of these tiny Moments in his book Atomic Habits.  Maybe some are significant, maybe some are truly atomic in size, but his premise is that these Moments all eventually add up. You have no choice as time is part of this formula, and time is perpetual. Not immune to the law of compounding. Are you compounding in a productive way or destructive way? That’s the key. Are you aware enough, in these Moments, to recognize the affect your decision will have? Maybe these moments aren’t that important at the time but these moments over time are important. It’s not just one Moment a day or one Moment a week, it’s multiple Moments in a second. Maybe tens of Moments in a minute. Maybe hundreds of Moments throughout an hour. They all add up eventually.

Where are they going? Where are they leading you? Where, or who, or what do you want to be from them? All of these Moments you need to think about and be aware of at the time. You need to step in the proper direction with these Moments. Because maybe one Moment of “I’m not going to work out this morning because I’ve been doing a consistent job of working out” will turn into a Moment of: “I’m not going to work out tomorrow either because I don’t feel like it. I’ll be okay because I know I’m in good enough shape, it won’t affect me.” That damn Moment just changed the formula and now the answer is 4 more weeks of the same inaction. How many of us have had this Moment? Every. Single. One. Of. Us. You all know this equation. Recognize. Recognize these Moments. We need to recognize their importance at that Moment. That maybe a Moment is a split second, that we can still step back, slow down, and take a look at the impact that Moment may have. Are all Moments equal in size? Maybe. Are they life or death? No. They are LIFE. Because life isn’t the opposite of death. Birth is. But, the next Moment on top of that might take you closer to a worse life. Along with the Moment after that. It all adds up. It adds up at the speed of thought. Our physical life goes by in an instant compared to the lifespan of time. We need to make sure that these Moments we’re acting on aren’t in vain. Becoming a dimming life spirit. Fading to the point that there is no more point to our lives. This Luminous Flux MUST increase. It is the measurement of our LIVES. The brighter our Moments illuminate, the easier it is to follow. A newly blazed path of insight leading you to your best. The radiance brushing those we pass by, illuminating their Moment so those around us can begin to see their Moment more clearly.

Learn to seek out these Moments. To be aware. They are only dormant because your eyes are not trained to see them. No one is immune to them, just the denial of them. Be aware. Recognize. Step back. And when we do, we need to slow down and make sure we’re pointing ourselves in the proper direction. To make that Moment worth it. The Moments that follow are depending on it.