My 11 year old son and my wife watch Master Chef Australia every night. It’s almost like date-night with the mom.
While I try very hard to wear headphones, and bury myself in something else, my attention does move to the screen from time to time. I must admit, parts of the show are fascinating.
We also get to watch advertisements of MasterChef USA, with Gordon Ramsey spitting food out, or chucking some of the contestant’s preparations into the bin.
In sharp contrast, the Aussie judges deliver hard judgement, with a dose of kindness, and with a lot of positive strokes thrown in. Very different from Aussie cricketers, who are notorious for sledging!
I find the judges in MasterChef USA to be obnoxious and rude. Yes, it is a show, and possibly their obnoxious positioning helps to drive TRPs up. Yes, in real life, maybe, they are woolly little lambs, but that is not how they come across.
When I look back on my own path in life and in my career, one lesson I was always taught was – criticise the action, not the person. I was taught this when I was blasting my daughter one day. I have tried to live by this lesson, though I have not always been successful.
I was better at this in the mid phase of my career. In the early phase, my seniors where macho, and to be almost abusive was considered great. I hated this. Later on, I became more constructive in my criticism, but later on, as the stakes grew, I did find myself yelling out (not literally, but in effect), “Youcrazysonofabitch, whatthehelldoyouthinkyouaredoing?Doyouwantoruinthecompany,youcrazyass!?”
I don’t offer any solutions. However, when I was at my fiery best one day, I was taught the following lesson – Before you react, pause. Breathe deep. Then, react.
As a great trainer once said: between the stimulus and your response, lies your greatest freedom, the power to choose your course of action.
In order to do this, we have to be centred in the now. We need to be mindful what is happening.
Easy to write about this, yes?
But, to practice? Oh yeah, now that is difficult.
The book that said it all to me, was one called “The Miracle Of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh. A slim, beautiful book.
It can help us, before we spit some one else’s cooking out of our mouths in front of the TV camera!