I’m on a Netflix binge again, and this time I learned something important.

I just finished watching the 2nd episode of the Netflix Docuseries “7 days out,” where the crew documented the 7 days leading up to the opening of Eleven Madison Park last year. Not only was it surprising to see the amount of work accomplished in just the last 7 days of the renovation, I was also struck by the ethos and mindsets of co-owners Daniel Humm and Will Guidara.

Daniel Humm, head chef of EMP, has 4 principles he abides by for EMP’s creations. They are:

  1. The dish has to be delicious – tablestakes (no pun intended)
  2. The dish has to be beautiful
  3. The dish has to be creative – the dish has to add something to the dialogue of food today
  4. The last is intention – it must make sense that the dish exists.

To be honest, my mind was blown by this last piece.

This theme of intentionality echoed throughout the episode – it is invoked in Humm’s culinary masterpieces, the texture of the blue seats in the main dining room, and even the physical turning of the plates during table setting.

Let me pause there.

After witnessing how Humm and Guidara applied intentionality to everything they do for the restaurant, it made me do a double-take on my own life. I realized that I’ve been acting without intentionality in… basically everything I’ve been doing in recent months. I’ve been going about life with little thought, going through the motions even if the motions make me incredibly “busy”.

I know that since the end of last year, I’ve been slowly mulling over a lot of personal challenges (mostly as internal dialogue in my head). What I didn’t realize was how little I’ve progressed, simply because I hadn’t really set out with an intention. I had set out, but without traversing through each step with mindfulness. I’m just flailing about, making do with the techniques that have already failed me over and over in the past.

So I leave this post with this challenge:

Each step and action I take, I do so with intention.

What I’m listening to

Better – Khalid

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