I made a pizza for dinner tonight. The pizza was nothing special, premade dough, copious amounts of diced tomatoes, extra Italian five cheese shredded blend, my favorite canned pizza sauce and too much homegrown, dried oregano. It’s falling apart and basically looks like shit, but tastes delicious. Maybe because I was starving after a long day, maybe because it’s just how I have grown to like it. Motivations can change day to day, but the main goal in life always circles back to satisfaction and happiness.
I’m reminded of the phrase, ‘presentation is everything’. A five star restaurant strives for a beautiful presentation even though the food, so exquisitely prepared with the finest ingredients, could stand on its own no matter how poorly presented on the plate. To some, the lack of presentation may devalue the meal entirely. For those who focus on the taste, an exquisite meal evokes a response of satisfaction and happiness no matter how well presented.
In the horse show ring, presentation matters as well. A spotless, well trimmed, healthy, braided horse and tidy, clean, traditional dress are expected and required in most rated horse show rings. But what if the horse and rider best turned out can’t get around the course? The best ride, the best over all content, will always take the prize even if the overall picture isn’t the best in show.
Let’s get back to my less than fancy dinner. I didn’t use the finest ingredients, my presentation failed the high artistic standards required to classify my meal as fine dining. I remain happy with the end result and satisfied my efforts achieved my initial goal. I no longer feel the urge to chew on my own fingers to stave off hunger pangs.
Content, not presentation, matters most when one strives to achieve satisfaction and happiness. Had I attempted to impress another for the first time with my meal, perhaps my poor presentation and less than standard ingredients would have found my subject unimpressed with my effort. While human nature dictates the need to impress in order to gain notice, the great presentation will eventually be surpassed by the satisfaction achieved by solid, sustainable content. Presentation can matter, but happiness requires no fancy wrapping.
This concept can be applied to any area of life, love, relationships, jobs, and home. When seeking happiness, learn to recognize it even when it isn’t perfectly presented. The most decorative package rarely contains the greatest gift. Achieving happiness begins with knowing what truly makes you happy, but more on that later.