I'm an avid follower of a television show on the Food Network called Top Chef - which is a kind of a cross between Big Brother and Survivor only it happens in professional kitchens.
Usually it features several young chefs living together in a house (a la Big Brother) who go head to head in culinary competitions only to be eliminated one by one.
But my favourite incarnation is "Top Chef Masters" which features well known and established chefs with my favourite season being the one where Michael Chiarello, Rick Bayless, and Hubert Keller are finalists.
Although it may seem strange to non television watchers, Top Chef Masters has given me some surprising insights into my own personality.
Of all the chefs, I seem to enjoy Rick Bayless and Hubert Keller the most.
They both appear to be happy and at peace with themselves. Nothing is forced, they both remain calm under pressure, and ego never seems to get in the way.
Not as much with Michael Chiarello, who - please don't get me wrong - I like.
It's just that I realized the other night while watching an episode on DVR, that he tends to take over and let his ego get in the way.
They say the things we dislike in others are often reflections of things we see in ourselves.
Interestingly, it took me a few days of pondering to realize Chirallo's leadership style resembles mine - especially when I get tired or stressed.
I try not to do it, and seek to collaborate - but at the end of the day, if I were being truly honest, collaboration in it's truest sense is not my nature. I have to remind myself often not to take over.
Is that an ego thing?
An "I can do it better than you and don't need your help" thing?
Or an insecure thing? "What if I become somehow diminished if I let you in as equal?"
Looking within and being honest is seldom easy. But if peacefulness is the goal, then exploration of ego, need be at the front of the line as a priority.
Michael Chirarello told his team what his vision was and directed them.
The other two chefs asked their teams what their collective vision might be and supported them.
In the end, which teams do you think did better?
And which Chef, in the end, diminished himself? The one who shared freely, or the one who kept control?
As I carry forward on my own personal path to peace, let my motto be to continue to remember the importance of sharing freely.
We can only ever be diminished, or elevated by ourselves.
And that's the blog.
Happy Sunday all!