(#258) The Power of Guy Fieri: Five Life Lessons

In our do-everything-a-little-bit-faster-each-day world,
how often do we take time to be curious, to learn,
to listen, to laugh and be positive?

I don’t watch a lot of television.  When I do, though, one program my wife and I enjoy is Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The host and star, Guy Fieri, takes to the road in his ’68 Camaro each episode to find the “most off the hook joints in this great country.”

He’s been to our part of the world here in Atlantic Beach visiting Culhane’s Irish Pub and Singleton’s Seafood Shack (in nearby Mayport Village).  In Jacksonville he visited the Metro Diner.

Besides the gastronomic delights Fieri discovers and shares, I love his attitude.  His infectious laugh combined with his clever sense of humor make for an educational and entertaining thirty minutes.  And, most importantly, I have never seen an episode where he belittled anyone. He always portrays a positive outlook on every place he visits.

I’m not sure if Guy knows it, but beyond the recipes and destinations, Triple D offers powerful lessons (really, reminders) for a more fulfilled life. Here are five that I have distilled from viewing.

  • Remain Curious. In spite of his culinary background and expertise, he remains willing to learn a new twist on an old dish or chow down on a new menu discovery.
    • Takeaway. In the rush of daily life, it can become easy (and “safe”) to grind out the same-ole-same-ole stuff. Walt Disney reminded us to “keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things…curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
  • Learn from Others. Curiosity leads to learning. He gets tips and suggestions from his viewers to visit out-of-the-way restaurants. He focuses on discovery.
    • Takeaway. If we don’t remain open to change, we risk becoming redundant, boring, and obsolete. Coaching great Lou Holtz said, “I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.” Which leads to the next point….
  • Listen. He listens to the chefs he visits. He does not tell them how it should be done. And he certainly does not rant, rave and vote someone out of the kitchen. He wants to learn (see point above), appreciate, and enjoy.
    • Takeaway. In our do-everything-a-little-bit-faster-each-day world, how often do we really listen to other people? And, more pointedly, how often do we listen to people who hold an opposing opinion or belief. Stop and listen (truly listen) to someone who differs from you.   “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” stated Winston Churchill.
  • Laugh. Fieri laughs, jokes with others, and pokes fun at himself. He appears to be passionate and enjoying what he is doing. He seems to take his calling seriously—but takes time to belly laugh.
    • Takeaway. We’ve all heard that “laughter is the best medicine.” I can’t speak to any medical “evidence” but I do know, that I promised myself and my students that we would laugh each and every class session.  Even when the days were tough or the material dry, we laughed. I’m not a comedian but students have often thanked me for my sense of humor in class. It helped them in tough times. It often transports me.

Video recommendation for the week: In a moving speech, the late great coach Jimmy “V” Valvano told his audience “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

  • Accentuate the Positive. After he watches a chef make a creation (see the first two points above),Fierisamplesandsavors.  He accentuates the positive for each and everydishhetastes.
    • Takeaway. We certainly can find enough Debbie Downers and Nasty Newtons out there. But rather than be an energy vampire, why not focus on being a nutritious person. Not in the sense of food—but from the perspective of soul nurturing.    Willie Nelson reportedly said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”  Sing it, Willie!

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

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