Sunday, March 13, 2016

Do what scares you

CC image by Rosmarie Voegtli

Fear is actually a funny thing. The biochemical reaction of fear always prompts you to "fight or flight" while emotional response is very personal to everyone.

One of the my personal fear has always been cooking.

Yes I know it may sound silly to a lot of wonderful cooks out there, but phobias have no reasonings.

Now this is despite of me being a foodie and blessed in my life with wonderful cooks at home, from my mom to my wife now.

What's more I have role models in the form of my father and father-in-law to my brothers who all know to how to cook and cook wonderfully!

I don't remember now where it started. I don't know if it was because I have always had a extra sensitive skin towards heat. Or whether because I feel I won't be able to end up with the perfect dish.

So here is my 2016 to-do:

I will look my fear in its eyes. I will learn how to cook. And it starts today!

Together with Shweta, we have come up with a plan:

1. Do things that don't scale: Learn the battlefield first. Learn the kitchen. That is what is going to happen in the induction period. I will (actively) spend a lot more time in the kitchen with Shweta now, doing ancillary stuff like holding out ingredients to her, washing veggies. What it will do is that firstly, it will break my mental block. Secondly, it will make me familiar with the lay of the land - where things are kept etc. The latter is very important for people like me, who want to feel in control when executing.

2. Sweat the small stuff: The plan is to move to the next level once I get comfortable chopping the veggies. Then make the soup. Make rasam. Make daal-rice. Make sukhe-aloo. As per Shweta, if I can spend 70% of 2016 doing this, I have already won the battle. Because that would mean that I have perfected my basics to the last bit.

3. The Minor League: This is where it gets interesting. Now Shweta wants me to pick one cuisine (apart from Indian), dip my toes in it and eventually perfect it. I will most probably pick Italian, because that's what she loves.

What I am doing here is trying to methodically break down my 2016 to-do; my phobia for cooking, so I am not grappling for the next steps. Also by putting it in public domain, I am making myself accountable to the whole deal, so that there is no way to run away for me from my fear.

What's your fear you are going to deal with in 2016? Let me know on Twitter.

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