Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Have you ever noticed that life is teaching us how to do things in a rather interesting and mysterious way? For example you might read a book in which a theme pops out, then you put on the radio and there is a similar theme, and a TV show it too? Well for me right now the theme is ‘precision’, and I finally clocked this when my boiled eggs went horribly wrong; they were hard and the toast burnt. The reason was simple, life was reminding me that in some circumstances precision is key.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not the OCD type, well maybe very occasionally, but generally, I am more chaos than order. But right now there is something important happening in my life about which I need to be precise. I am soon to be embarking on a very exciting journey, into the world of software development, to start to build a vision that has been growing in my mind for a while now; I am automating my expertise, and it's a big deal. Those boiled eggs and pieces of toast were reminding me of that.
To make the perfect soft boiled egg there is a particular procedure to follow. You need to boil the water, then add the egg and cook for exactly 5 minutes, then turn the heat off, remove the egg instantly using a big spoon, not a small one, put it into just the right height/width/favoured egg cup, hit it on its head and finally remove the top. This stops it cooking.
The toast must be ready to be buttered and cut into soldiers to join the egg ASAP. This means it must have been put into the toaster and cooked at just the right temperature, not too high, nor too low, otherwise the result is either undercooked or burnt toast. Neither will do. It has to be just right.
Today when the 5 minutes was up, I turned off the cooker, but I left the egg in the water. I knew it was a basic error, but I was preoccupied with making a new type of juice, thinking about how we process words in our mind and trying to get some washing done. So I didn't listen to my brain. It got worse when the toast popped up ... burnt. Why? Precision issue again. One of my children must have turned the dial up...... or I suppose it could have been me.... But it was also a different kind of toast, which clearly needed less cooking time. Whatever the case, it was black..
I knew as I walked up the stairs to deliver the eggs to my boys as I always do, at just the right time for them to come to, from their slumber, then eat the egg without rushing, before getting to their virtual lessons on time, I already knew that there would be complaints. My children know just how they like something done, oh yes, thank you very much.
Right on cue, a few minutes later, face like thunder, my youngest arrived in the kitchen, slammed the plate down on the top and growled, 'It was hard mummy'. Then he turned on his heal and left, stamping his way up the stairs. He's a great kid, but he just does like to enjoy his morning egg, and it has to be just right.
It's the same with baking cakes a good friend of mine, Tess, said to me once when I asked her how she managed to make such perfect cupcakes. She just said 'It's all in the science, Jo'. Precise measurements, precise temperature and precise cooking time. It all comes down to the fact that in life, there are just some things one needs to be precise about.
But it’s not about the eggs, but about making sure I get my work strategy right. The problem is that I am not quite sure how to do that, and everyone keeps telling me something different to what my own mind is saying.
I have already written the algorithms down, done the maths and drawn the blueprints. My expertise is packed and ready to go, to meet the machine, to be automated, maybe even improved with machine learning. But this is a different problem. Do I go App or Apple? A simple profiler, or create a bigger vision that goes beyond product, to reflect the future that I have foreseen?
The symbolism at play here has been haunting me, and I just know that egg going wrong today was a salutary reminder. I am preparing to embark on the most important stage of my life, bringing my years of accumulated knowledge and expertise together for the greater good, to give the world tools that have been so useful to just a few people face to face. My automated web based algorithm driven, data capturing, secure, cloud based invention needs to be got right. Only I can do it. But the universe has my back.
So next time there seems to be an uncanny reoccurring theme popping up in your life, take a moment to ask yourself why, because life might just well be trying to tell you something rather important. How does it work? My best guess is that it’s magnetic.