The Secret Ingredient…

A young apprentice approached the town baker asking to learn the art of baking bread. He promised to work hard and follow instructions precisely. The baker happily accepted the young apprentice.

The baker began by saying, “First, we must prepare our baking room and assemble our ingredients. Today, we will be using ingredients from each of the four elements: wheat from the earth, yeast from the air, and water and salt from the sea. The fourth element of fire will transform these ordinary ingredients and produce something entirely wonderful and new – a rich crusty loaf of bread, which is far grander than any of the ingredients alone.”

The apprentice followed instructions and even worked ahead preparing the area, cleaning without the slightest break. At one point even thinking the old baker may have taken a few too many breaks.

The two had worked from dawn until dusk, the apprentice was exhausted but finally, it was time to take the bread out of the oven. The apprentice noticed his loaf did not rise and expand like the baker’s. “Why is my loaf heavy and flat, and yours is light and airy? I used the same flour, the same water and the same yeast as you, yet your bread is so different from mine.”

The baker said, “I used one more ingredient than you – time! While you were working ahead, I was taking time to relax. But the time was not only for me, it was also for the dough. Only when given undisturbed time will the gas bubbles form inside the dough, which produces both flavor and texture.”

It is equally important to work hard and relax, in order to transform into something greater than we expect.

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