As many of you know, I am a Food Network junkie and have no plans to join a 12 step group to kick my addiction. A friend of mine and I were discussing some of our favorite and least favorite shows, especially the competition ones. What we realized is that there is one ingredient, which we have seen several cheftestants use, which regardless of the show seems to get them eliminated and losing. This ingredient is the opposite of an ingredient I discussed a few weeks ago in my blog on humility.
This ingredient is cockiness. Ironically, it is those who you hear complain about the quality of the ingredients and how they are beneath them or who, like on Beat Bobby Flay, are overly cocky about their ability to beat him that they are not able to execute properly the very dish they have spent years perfecting. This tendency to focus on the prize and not the process is one that has been discussed for years. It applies to everything from cooking to learning to competitive sports. It is a lesson that I always associate with a poem called The Archer by Lao Tsu.