Savoring the Taste of Life

I remember the moment clearly—one of those seemingly incidental conversations that turned out to be a milestone in my life, even if I only recognize it as such in hindsight. It was a moment that changed everything for me. Though I did not know it at the time, it was the moment that effectively birthed Fuego Diablo.

It was a busy season in my life—a kind of professional “rush hour”—and I was running myself ragged. At that time in my life I simply didn’t have the patience to sit and savor anything; to really revel in the fruits of my success.

And then came that paradigm-shifting, course-altering moment—a moment in which a trusted mentor said to me: “You’re doing well, Matt. You’re working hard and it’s paying off. Now, the next challenge is to not let all of this pass you by. You’ve tasted success—but now comes the time for you to taste life.”

I’m sure he didn’t mean it as anything life-changing or epochal, and in other circumstances I might not have received it as such. But it had been a grueling month and a tough year, and I saw that he was right: I wasn’t truly enjoying the stuff of life, nor taking any of the indulgences that my success had earned me.

As I was leaving my mentor that evening, he said something else to me: “Let me give something to you.” Then he went to his freezer and pulled out two magnificent steaks. I had long learned not to question this man, and so I simply took the steaks in hand. I headed home and threw them in the freezer, and his words rang in my head for days.

Some time after that, I finally thought it might be time to give it a go with the steaks—to actually take a night off, to enjoy time with my spouse, and to kick back around the grill. So I got the steaks out of the fridge, fired them up, and then sat down to a cozy dinner for two. My own steak ritual began.

For the first time in a long time, I had something on my mind other than my business. I was able to step back from the everyday hustle and bustle of success, and instead to simply enjoy that moment. In particular, I enjoyed the steak, which was the centerpiece of the evening—really pausing to explore its flavor, to hold it in my mouth, to revel in a moment’s indulgence.

Of course, that’s not something I do everyday, even now that I own a steak company! But on that evening it felt earned, and it felt right. It proved transformative for me—a realization that there is more to life than the pursuit of success, yes, but also that success—once it is achieved—is currency to buy these moments of indulgence; these revelries in life’s pleasures.

Matt MacQuarrie
Matt MacQuarrie


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