A group of successful professionals got together and visited their old professor for a coffee talk.
The conversation soon became a series of complaints about the stress of work and life.
The professor offered them coffee. He went to the kitchen and returned with a hot coffee pot and the most eclectic cup selection. There where porcelain cups, plastic cups and glass cups. Some were simple and cheap looking, some nicely decorated. Others were expensive and a few exquisite ones.
He told them to grab a cup and help themselves to some fresh coffee. When they had all served them selves, the professor cleared his throat and with calm and patience said:
You might have noticed that all the «pretty cups» are gone. And only a few of the simple cheap looking ones are left. Which is natural because every body wants the best for themselves. That’s actually the cause of many of your life and stress related problems.
Then he added.
I assure you that the cup you selected did not add quality to the coffee. In fact, the cup only disguises or covers what we drink. What you actually wanted was the coffee, not the cup. But instinctively you reached for the «best». Then you looked at each others’ cups and compared them to yours.
Now think about this: The coffee represents life. The jobs, the money, the social status, etc. Are nothing but the cups that shape and hold life. The type of cup that we have does not define or changes the quality of the life that we live.
Because we often focus on the cup we forget to enjoy the coffee.
Remember. The happiest people are not the ones that have the best of everything but the one who make the best with what they have.
So, enjoy each moment of your life, don’t get all worked up for what you don’t have or what you can’t change. Have peace, invest in your spiritual wealth. Make a celebration of your life every day. For ten minutes every day visualize the good that you want to see in your life and leave the rest up to God.
Remember that the wealthiest person is not the one who has the most but the one that needs the least.
A seriously delicious lentil soup in under twenty minutes.
Few people I know, like lentils. When I ask them why they don’t like them, the usual responses are «I don’t know» or «I grew tired of them as a kid».
I have to admit, I didn’t like them much either when I was growing up. But I ate them and it was great preparation for the years ahead. As an adult I’ve seen difficult financial moments. times when the only groceries in the pantry where lentils. Now lentils are one of my favorite meals and probably my signature dish in the kitchen.
So, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, set up a lemonade stand and become the ruler of lemonade land.
Life gave me lentils and here I share my world domination lentil soup recipe with you.
Ingredients for an epic lentil soup
5 Cups of water
1 Cup of lentils
1 Large potato (diced)
1 Medium carrot (diced)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 Small red bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 Cup fine chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp Secret Ingredient #1 (revealed in the directions below)
A pinch of Secret Ingredient #2 (revealed in the directions below)
Take your favorite pot and set it on the stove.
Turn your stove on high.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to the hot-pot.
When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and allow them to slightly caramelize.
Add the chopped red bell pepper.
Add a 1/4 of water and allow to boil.
Time to add the diced potatoes and carrots and let simmer for two minutes.
Add the lentils and mix. Allow two minutes to absorb the flavours of the onion and bell pepper.
Pour the remaining water and cover the pot until it comes to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low and take the lid off.
Add salt and pepper to your taste.
Now let’s incorporate a table-spoon of Secret Ingredient #1Lizano Salsa (Costa Rica Sauce) and stir a little. Partially cover the pot, letting the steam come out and let it boil until the lentils are slightly covered with water.
Sprinkle a pinch of Secret Ingredient #2Herbes de Provence
. Stir and let the flavours soak in for one minute.
Pour in two beautiful handmade spanish bowls. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and sprinkle the fine chopped cilantro.
Serve with a nice red Argentinian Malbec on the backyard terrace and enjoy with your loved one to the sounds of the water fountain.
What is your variation of a lentil soup or the meal you enjoy preparing the most? Comment below.
This is about the first seven years that I suffered bullying.
What is Bullying?
Do you remember the first person you fell in love with?
I do, It was my kindergarten teacher, I have no idea what her name was, but I remember paying attention in class.
There was this kid, his name was Hugo, he had dark skin, big black eyes and coal-black hair, he was the quiet type. We hit it off right from the start, he was my buddy.
We were playing around the big tree in the school yard and I confessed my secret to my friend. I did so because he told me that he liked this girl with curly brown hair and then asked me if I liked any of the girls. «Come here, I’ll tell you a secret, I like our teacher and one day I will marry her» I said.
The next day when I walked in the class, everyone made fun of me. Hugo had come in earlier that day and told everyone my preciously kept secret. This was my introduction to the world of bullying.
It was a three-story building, my class was in the second floor. There were four kids, three of them bigger than me. I was looking over the rail to the school yard. Two of the bigger kids parked themselves one on each side of me, the biggest and the smallest stood behind me.
«Hey four eyes» the bigger kid behind me called (I’ve worn glasses since I was three). As I turn around, the smaller one throws a punch at me, I ducked but he managed to hit my glasses. The flew in slow motion to the first floor and shattered to pieces.
The guy just ruined my next three to five days. I am raging now, I grab him by his shirt and pull him to me, close to the rail and pushed him over. I wanted to see him hit the cement floor like my glasses did. I wasn’t aware but my teacher was close to us and did nothing to stop him, yet she managed to grab him by the ankle just in time.
The same four kids plus my new teacher were into bullying me. We were coming back from break and Johan (I just remembered his name) pushes me from behind. My new glasses fall to the floor again. As I kneel to pick them up, he walks by me. I get up with my fists clenched «hey» I yelled, he turns around and land a punch in his face tha cut his lip. I run to the safety of the classroom.
The other kids used to play baseball during the lunch break. On this day after lunch, we walked in the classroom, ready for the math lesson. I was having a hard time solving the math exercise, my teacher noticed it and called me to the board. I did not want to come to the front and allow him to make a fool of me, so I refused. My teacher grabbed the baseball bat and hit my desk breaking it. «What’s the matter, are you stupid?» he said. everyone laughed. I grabbed my backpack ran out of the classroom to the principal’s office. I told him what had just happened. I got expelled and failed that year due to poor conduct.
Same School Second Grade for the Second Time
«Never start a fight, but stand up for yourself» said my mom when she dropped me off at school that day.
Johan and his gang were now a year a head of me. The bell rang and I walked out of my class, as I start walking down the stairs I hear them behind me «hey four eyes!». I turn around and pretend to burst into tears, they laughed. I walk back up stairs past them, the stand there making fun of me. I wait for them to turn around and keep walking down stairs. The leave and rammed them from behind making them roll down the full flight of stairs to the first floor.
I am taken to the principal’s office. thirty minutes later my mom comes in. «Are we going through this again?» the principal asks. «No» she replies. A couple of months later my parents move me to a different school.
New School Second Grade for the Second Time
No friends, I try to keep a low profile. My sister whom is two years younger than me and too advanced for kindergarten, took a test and passed to first grade. Now she caught up with me. We are now both in second grade but different classes. She is too cool and we never hang out in school.
One girl, Gaudy was her name, was the only one that showed any interest in me. She sees me quiet and sitting around watching the other kids play. I remember her white perfect teeth, she smiled at me every time she saw me. She was the prettiest girl in the class and she knew I liked her. «Write me a letter» she said. And I did, I poured my heart out in that paper. Just when I signed it with a heart, her best friend snatched it from my hand. she stood in front of the class and read it out loud.
That was the queue for the new bully to come forth and a new era of bullying begins. The kid that sat behind me jumped out of his desk, grabbed me by my shirt, held me from behind and started humping me like a dog. I threw my head back as hard as I could and broke his nose. I ended up in the principal’s office again.
Same School Third Grade
Not a single friend. A new bully. Every girl in school laughs at me.
Same School Fourth Grade
Apparently no body remembers the letter incident. But I still keep a low profile. There was this girl named Aura, she was beautiful and so mysteriously reserved. Every time I saw her I got lost in her greenish grey eyes. After what had happened I never had the courage to talk to her and I never saw her again after the fourth grade.
Same School Fifth Grade
My first kiss
I was coming out of the boy’s room and a girl was going in the girls room. She calls me up.
-Hey, Pascal right?
-Yes (I reply as I walk towards her)
I walk in the girls room, she smacks a peck in my lips and burst out running locking the door from outside. The bell rings for a break, everyone’s in the halls. Someone opens the door, I get up to get out. It’s the same girl with a bunch of her friends laughing and pointing at me.
Same School Sixth Grade
Elementary is almost over «hang in there Pascal» I keep telling myself. Only one person addressed me without making fun of me. It was my teacher. I don’t remember her name, but every day she would lay a hand on my shoulder and say «I pray for you.»
If you’ve been alive long enough then you know that life doesn’t go as planned.
Have you ever wondered why? Do you feel lost?
It’s in our nature to make plans, to map out our happiness based on what we see around us every day. To strive for self growth.
When I was a little, I remember looking up at the planes flying by and thinking that I wanted to fly planes. I thought that flying planes would make me happy, I could fly anywhere in the world, I would be free.
I grew up believing that this was I wanted to be, my dad made a huge effort to pay for my flying career which I didn’t finish.
Years later I found out that I didn’t want to be a pilot because flying is cool. I wanted to fly because I wanted to get away. For many years I ran and deviated from my purpose. If you’ve read about my story, then you’d know that there were a few things anyone would want to run away from. But you can follow my story to find out more about me.
This post is about the plans we make, it’s about mapping our lives, it’s about dreams, not running away and self growth.
I don’t know if you believe in God or any other supreme being, but I do. And I also believe that there is a better plan for us. We are all born with that self growth map implanted in our souls. But we deviate from it because of the circumstances that surround us.
This is why at some point (or many points) in our lives, we feel lost and purposeless. We hit rock bottom and say «the hell with my dreams, probably those aren’t even my dreams» and we doubt.
Doubting is a human problem, we all deal with doubt at some point (or many) in our lives. But it is where we let those doubts lead us that matters most.
Those dreams are our dreams because they were given to us to fulfill. Just because they don’t happen the way we want or when we want, doesn’t mean they are not worth it or that they are not really ours. It means that we have something else to learn before we are ready to fully value them when they come true.
When we doubt we lose faith. Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.
Whatever supreme being you believe in is way more knowledgeable than you could ever be. It makes no sense to try to understand him/her/ it. If we understood that supreme being then it wouldn’t be so supreme now would it?
Yes it is a scary wilderness out there, but there is a map and that map is within us since before we were born. It’s a matter of reaching out for it and reading it.
Achieving self growth
Achieving self growth is nothing but fulfilling our purpose in life. This is the difficult part. Knowing what our purpose in life is.
Each one of us has a unique purpose, like the fingers in your right hand, not all of them can be the index finger, if it were so, the hand would be useless.
That’s why not all of us are the same. I’ve had relationships where the other person tells me «we don’t work out because we are different, because we come from different places«. Of course we are different, we have a unique purpose and to fulfill that purpose we are given different tools and gifts. I’ve been in a job thinking about how unhappy I am there and how nothing seems to work out, thinking that I don’t fit in that office because I wasn’t cut to be behind walls.
We go through different stages and live different circumstances that prepare us for what is reserved for us.
I’ve chased the questions whether I am wasting my life in a certain job, relationship, or church. I’ve been deeply concerned with living a meaningful, purposeful life, and I spent a lot time and energy trying to figure out if I am.
To discover our divine purpose does not have to be a mystery, we need to begin by asking what is God’s purpose. What is God’s goal in creating and governing the world? Why does He exist and what is His reason for being?
He gave us the answer
everyone who belongs to me,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed – yes, whom I made!
When we understand that we are here to glorify Him, our purpose will be crystal clear and all the pieces will fit perfectly. We will come to an understanding that we are there for one purpose and no matter the struggles, we will overcome them because we are not alone. In the end that purpose will be fulfilled, it is up to us how much we wan to suffer to understand that lesson.
Ask yourself if in your job, your relationship, your day-to-day you are putting yourself first and not Him and if you are, does that glorify yourself or God?
Looking for a prompt to write about, I ran into this rant from 2012.
It made me realize how far I’ve gotten in my quest for a purpose and self improvement.
My day went down like this (super original title I know).
4:30 am – Woke up, took a shower, had a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal, drove my yellow ’63 VW Beetle to work.
4:55 am – I got to work, I’m starving. It’s pay-day, I have no money and no deposit yet («#@%^#$@$»). This means «no second breakfast.»
5:10 am – Realized that I forgot to bring my lunch («#@%^#$@$»). No problem, I always kept cookies in my desk drawer and there’s lame coffee in the break room. that ought to keep me going till 8 am.
11:00 am – No deposit yet. I’m so hungry I feel like I’m gonna faint.
11:15 am – The morning meeting is over (at least it kept my mind off of my stomach for a while.)
1:15 pm – The deposit came through so I race down to the cafeteria to get lunch. Surprise! today’s menu is seafood («#@%^#$@$»). I had a lousy chicken sandwich (I am allergic to seafood.)
3:00 pm – Finally! time to go home. The phone rings. Is that one last call that takes anywhere between five minutes and one hour.
3:20 pm – It was a 20 minute call. Time to go home. «Hey Pascal, I see that you are making up for that hour that you owed» said my manager («#@%^#$@$»). «Yes Sir. I am» I replied (I’d forgotten about that.)
4:00 pm – Off I go, home here I come. I get to the parking lot, Surprise! I got a flat and I don’t have a spare («#@%^#$@$»). I am so hungry that I drive on a flat for about a mile and a half to the nearest gas station. They are not fixing tires today («#@%^#$@$»). I keep driving for a quarter-mile and find a tire repair shop.
4:30 pm – The tire is useless. I had to buy a used one.
4:45 pm – They don’t take cards and the closest ATM is about a mile away. I walked to the ATM. Surprise! An «Out of Order» sign («#@%^#$@$»).
5:15 pm – After walking some more, I found another ATM and took out $20 (the repair cost me $15).
5:45 pm – Back at the tire repair shop. the guy doesn’t have change for a $20 bill («#@.%^#$@$») so he goes to the store to break the $20 bill.
6:00 pm – The guy is back and Ringo (my ’63 yellow beetle) is ready to roll.
6:15 pm – BOOM!! (There is an explosion.) The tire I bought twenty minutes ago, had blown up («#@%^#$@$»). I pull over to the side of the road and light a cigarette and wondered «what had I done to deserve such a day.»
6:18 pm – An old man from comes out of the house which I parked in front of. Pointing a flash light to my face and waving a baseball bat «do you need help?» he said. «I’m good thanks, I just got a flat tire» I said. «Oh ok, have a good night» he said and went back in.
6:25 pm – Ringo doesn’t want to start and won’t roll down the hill because it’s got a flat tire.
7:00 pm – Ringo decides that I’ve had enough and starts. I take off on a flat tire again and the blinkers on.
8:00 pm – I make it home after 4 hours. I get out of the car, lean against it, light a cigarette and ponder about my day.
8:10 pm – I reach in my pocket for my house keys. Surprise! No house keys. I left them on my desk at the office («#@%^#$@$»).
Not long ago some radical events took place in my life that forced me to face my past and realize that many of my fears and childhood traumas kept me with my head sunk in the ground for way too long.
«What does that have to do with the way that day went?» you ask.
Well (besides the cursing,) There was a lot of negativity and anger in me, a lot of resentment that did not allow me to see clearly. I could have simply taken the tire down, roll it to the tire repair shop, roll it back, put it back in Ringo and be home by 5:30 pm. But not wanting to let go, kept me bitter and blindfolded. I didn’t enjoy life, I was not looking at the glass half full but half empty instead.
So, this radical events forced me to face my self head on, not holding back. I am not one for quotes, but I found this two that relate to this post and process.
Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.
It’s been a long painful messy way since I wrote that rant three years ago and a lot has changed, specially in the past three months, Because I stopped fighting the old and focused on building the new.
The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.