I was at Trader Joe’s the other night and saw that they had pre-cooked bacon. I nearly shit my pants. Bacon is one of my favorite foods in the whole wide world! But we all know what a hassle and a half it is to cook. With this bacon, all you have to do is put it in a pan for two minutes. I couldn’t believe it. So I ripped it open and tossed four slices into a pan. And guess what? It didn’t taste like bacon. It tasted like heated flat rubber with a side of soap film. Of course it did. Why wouldn’t it? It was cooked weeks ago and pressed into a plastic bag. Why was I convinced it would have the same fresh crisp like hot bacon that produces a gallon of grease you never how to throw away? I’ll tell you why. Because there’s a part of us that is always looking for a short cut. That glimmer of hope that this could be the answer. A diet pill. A self help book. A lottery ticket. For me, it was pre-cooked bacon.
Bacon doesn’t tastes good because it tastes good. It tastes good because it’s a pain in the ass to make and you only eat a few slices. It’s like crab legs. A lot of effort for little reward. But here’s the thing. Without the effort, the reward turns into rubber. We all want things to happen faster. Easy solutions. Simple answers. Punch drunk love. Perfect bodies. (I’m wearing teeth whitening trays that I only wear one day a year and wonder why my teeth aren’t getting whitter as I type this). Work to not feel like work. But the truth is if our wants aren’t earned, they will never be what we imagined. They’ll just be empty shells. They may be shiny but they’ll be hallow.
If you want bacon to taste like bacon, you gotta stand over the fucking pan and cook that shit, knowing that it’s going to smell the house up and splatter hot grease all over you. If you want healthy love, you have to take ownership of your piece of every break you’ve ever been through and start changing those patterns instead of blaming others. If you want a strong body, you have to rip muscles, rest, recover, hydrate, and eat foods you don’t want to eat. Not for two weeks but the rest of your fucking life! If you want work to be exhilarating, you have to get obsessed about your passions and live them out instead of just reading about how things happened to others “so easy”. If you want to overcome your addiction, you have to detox, put in step work, go to meetings, participate in groups, not only lean but sit in discomfort until you feel comfortable, relapse, then do it again but this time mean it.
There are no short cuts to happy. Because you can’t be happy without being healthy. And healthy, feeling whole, complete, and authentic - mentally, physically, spiritually - has to be earned.
Or all you’ll be left with is waste.