I Don't Make My Own Cheese

Making Choices with Your time?

Over the last couple of years I have travelled to South East Asia a number of times. I have visited places like Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and more. Of course the sites and sounds are often unique and amazing. The people are normally very friendly and helpful, but what always stands out is the food. Asian food is incredibly popular for a reason. It’s difficult to imagine a moderately-sized town in the United States that doesn’t have an Asian restaurant.

So not surprisingly, one of the activities you find for foreigners all over south-east Asia are cooking classes.

Many restaurants across the region have some sort of cooking class you can take to learn how to make any number of amazing dishes. And in my trip to Thailand last week, we took such a class.

The first thing they will often do is take you to a local market to show you ingredients and explain why they use what they do. We went to a large market with a massive variety of meat, vegetables and rice and a young woman took us to table after table talking through each ingredient in her broken English.

After the market we went to a small farm where they had a wide variety of things growing from mushrooms to ginger. And at the farm they had about 40 cooking stations for the day’s students to attempt their dishes.

And the event quickly becomes mayhem.

Each would-be chef stands at a station as announce instructions in rapid succession. People walk around and help you as you go, and they set it up so it’s tough to mess up. They hand you pre-measured ingredients, give you things to cut, and instruct you to add certain ingredients until it “tastes good.”

In our cooking class we created two complete entrees. One of them I clearly messed up, because it tasted awful, but the other was Pad Thai, and it tasted every bit as good as what I had eaten in many restaurants.

When the event was over they thanked us and handed us a cookbook with all the instructions to recreate what we just did back home. And I remember thinking, “I could actually do this!”

Then when I got home and unpacked, I looked at that cookbook and I had an internal conversation that addressed a very simple idea. How much do I really want to do this, considering the fact that there is a guy in a restaurant down the street that will make it anytime I want for under $10?

I might try making it someday, but it exposed a really important question we all have to address. What do I want to spend my time doing? I’m not really a good cook, so why should I spend my time and money on something that someone else can already do for me? Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to focus on what I am good at and let other people provide the things that I am not good at?

Whether we realize it or not, we make this decision every single day. Why do you have someone else fix your car when something is wrong? You could do it. I bet you could find a video or instructions online for almost any issue. You could go get the right tool and do it yourself. Yet most of us don’t.

You could make your own cheese and soap. You could weave your own fabric and sew your own clothes. You could build your own house!

But we don’t.

We live in an amazing moment in history. A time where there is an almost unlimited supply of people with expertise all around you. A time where you have more choices than at any other time in history. That is such an understatement as to be almost laughable. And we have the choice to focus on what we WANT to do, to build on our own strengths, to use our time on what we love rather than what we need.

For me, I love eating Thai food MUCH MORE than I enjoy making it.

Our business operates on this same principle. Most people who have audio and video tapes would like to digitize them so they are permanently archived. And although there are a few people out there who want to try to do it themselves, most people would rather spend their time doing something else.

And that’s where we come in.

We have been digitizing audio and video tapes for nearly two decades. I have personally been involved in professional audio and video production for nearly three decades. So we have the expertise and experience to do the work for you. We are the people who you turn to when you have better things to do with your time.