Sunny Side Up?
I was at the Novotel in Myanmar in 2020 and standing at the breakfast buffet the chef asked me – “How would you like your eggs sir? Sunny side up?” Not being particularly cultured, I didn’t actually know what he meant. I said “yes”. He looked happy and so he focused on preparing my egg, I mean really focused. He presented my egg, “sunny side up” with a big smile. A huge smile. Later during my breakfast, he came to me and enquired, “how was it?” “How was what?” I asked. “Your egg, sir,” – again, with a huge smile.
And that leads me to the topic at hand – self fulfillment.
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My wife and I basically share cars. And like anyone who’s used to this practice, we come to heads at the choice of radio station.
Whenever I get into the car – there it is, ABC radio, fuzzy, rather analogue in keeping with AM, and serious. Often political, equal parts scary and inspirational, but no music. I press the off button, plug in my phone, cling to Spotify and blast the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Joy. However, occasionally, the conversation on ABC radio does pique my interest, and I stay tuned in. The other night, that’s just what happened as the host and guest mused about “Maslow”.
Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) was an American psychologist who gave us his famous triangle, the underpinning of much motivational and positive psychology. The fundamental concept is that self-fulfillment comes from really following your passion. Is this luxurious, foolhardy or hedonistic? Does self-fulfilling equal self-satisfying? Once, I myself thought it did, but I’ve since realised that perhaps this is our most powerful contribution to society. Because, in following our dreams, for that end alone, we make the world around us richer in passion, connection and meaning in a way that transcends the limitations of judging success solely by the financial value externally assigned to it. Sure, perhaps these measures should align. But they often don’t. Take heart, you’re likely to stumble on more peak experiences irrespective, and these are worth much more than money.
Before finishing, I’d like to tie in one related positive psychology concept that is relevant here – “Flow”. This is said to be the state of being completely immersed in an activity. It requires you to live in the moment giving your undivided attention to what you are presently doing.
Putting it all together, if you follow your passion and give it you’ve got, moment to moment – you’ll have a ball, and may just cook up one damn spectacular egg! Huge smile.