1. Play Nice: Whether or not your coworkers and neighbors are pleasant to be around, be nice to them. One of the most vital lessons we learn from Top Chef is that your competition may, at some point, become your lifeline.
In each season of Top Chef, the final two or three contestants must cook the “meal of their lives” to impress the judges and win the competition. Because the final challenge is so difficult, contestants usually receive assistance from prior competitors. The chefs who win the final competition are those who have cooperation and amazing teamwork of their peers. Chefs who have irritated or been mean to their teammates often find that their new assistants are less than willing to help them complete the final challenge. Likewise, you may find that at some point, you must rely on your neighbors or peers for help. Whether you become ill or need a last-minute ride to work, kindness pays off at the least expected moments.
2. Always Be Prepared
Top Chef wouldn’t be a reality show if it didn’t offer a set of surprises. Each season features a set of shock competitions and challenges that are designed to force chefs to compete under the highest levels of stress and pressure possible. Chefs must constantly be ready to be blindfolded or to cook with one hand tied behind their backs. If a chef becomes injured during a competition, he must still complete the challenge and will be held to the same standards as his peers.
Real life often doles out a set of surprises, as well. Cars break at inopportune moments, children become sick during a holiday dinner, and paychecks get lost in the mail when they are most needed. While it is impossible to be prepared for every situation life may throw your way, remember to be prepared for the situations you can control. Keep a set of emergency supplies at your home in case of flooding or hurricane. A first aid kit in the trunk of car your may come in handy while traveling or just playing at the park. It’s even a good idea to try to save up a little extra cash to keep on hand in case of bank or paycheck issues.
3. Be Flexible
A top chef must be flexible, ready to face any challenge and ready to alter his plan at a moment’s notice. Cakes come out lopsided, fish doesn’t cook as quickly as it should, and soups are under flavored. The chefs who succeed in Top Chef are those who are able to adapt and change to fix the problems their dishes develop within the time limit of the challenge.
Real life often challenges the flexibility and durability of even the most ordinary citizens. When faced with an impossible and overwhelming challenge, take a few deep breaths and relax for a few moments while you allow yourself to develop a plan of action. A dash of salt can save even the drabbest of soups, and a few minutes of fresh air and deep breathing may remind you to remain calm in even the most terrifying of situations.