You see quotes all around the internet on a daily basis. People sharing these stolen snippets that “apply” to their current lives and people giving themselves some more inspiration by deciding it is smart to share a quote they overheard or read on Twitter. Bitches share quotes from Oscar Wilde to be original and men like to go along the lines of Steve Jobs -- or if they are really feeling philosophical on that particular day, they will go with Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali, just to keep it somewhat original.
To be honest with you, I hate quotes. I used to love them, they used to motivate me and get me off my ass when I was feeling lazy and when I was being a typical millennial. They used to be something empowering and something that I myself and other people used on a daily basis in order to garner inspiration from successful figures.
That was until I saw the Jewish gold digger from Long Island sharing a Steve Jobs quote just to get more likes on her status and they completely lost all their appeal and any motivational qualities they ever had. The issue is that quotes have become too accessible to the general public, it’s like a bottomless barrel, and I’m talking about good quotes here. There are just too many of them out there and they’re too easy to attain. It’s the same thing with UGGs, when everyone started wearing them, no one wanted them any more. That’s the way I look at quotes.
Another reason I hate quotes, I owe to my intrinsic, competitive disposition. I’m too stubborn to listen to people more successful than I am, as there is nothing I strive for more than to hear them repeating my quotes. I'm a competitor by nature; it’s social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest. But my roots in inspiration quotes are still present, and once I took a step back, and weeded through the obvious, clichéd go-to quotes of my peers and turned to different verticals of motivation and inspiration -- I heard the greatest quote in my life.
It didn't come from Oscar Wilde, it didn't come from Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban, it actually came from someone who came to this country with less than a dollar in his pocket, who actually started from the bottom and became a pioneer in his respective industry. Who this person is, I’d rather not say, because the last thing I want to see is that same Jewish girl quoting him on her Facebook status tomorrow.
It was 6:30am on a Monday morning, the sun was rising and my alarm wasn't planning on going off for another hour or so. I missed a call, but I called back to see who it was -- because if anyone is calling me at 6:30am in the morning on a Monday, it has to be important -- because they would know better. The first thought was that the man must be traveling and must have forgotten the time difference, the second thought was that it was something really important so, of course, I called back.
The conversation lasted no more than 30 seconds; it consisted of a question, a minor detail about something that happened two weeks ago. Nothing major and nothing rather that important. After the conversation was over, I asked: “What the hell are you doing up so early?” He answered, “I’m at work.” I replied swiftly, “Work?! It’s 6:30 in the damn morning on a Monday.” And that was the exact moment the greatest quote I have ever heard in my life was bestowed upon me. He simply said, “It might be 6:30 in the morning, but if I want to eat bagels, then I am going to have to cook them.”
To the simple mind currently reading this, you may automatically think that this is a reference to eating bagels and that the man was just hungry. But to the mind that actually understands and intuits quotes and doesn't just use them for Facebook likes, you will know how to read into this one. He wasn't talking about bagels at all, the bagels were simply a metaphor to what he was currently doing -- working.
The bagels stood for the greater good: his goals, his dreams and his desire to accomplish even more than he has already done -- and of course to eat them and enjoy the fruits of his labor. The cooking stood for the hard work he was currently putting in and the even harder work he will have to put, something he was well aware of -- cooking is his passion, cooking meant everything to him and the bagels themselves are what motivated his learning how to cook.
The ingenuity of this quote’s simplicity, with its same-damn-time complexity took me by storm. It was everything I believed in and actually made me jump out of bed at 6:30 in the morning to start cooking myself -- not actually cooking, but working. In a sense, it is life in a nutshell and it is something that many people need to understand so that they know that just sitting there and waiting for bagels to fall into their hands isn’t fulfilling. If you want something badly enough, then you should be willing to put in the hard work, to learn how to cook (whatever that means to you) and to be willing to sacrifice everything to get the bagels you want (read: success).
Life is not about taking the short cut, it’s not about finding ways to get things faster or about finding a way to cheat, and it’s not about hoping that something falls out of the sky to give you everything you want. Life is about taking action; it’s about waking up at 5:30 in the morning to be at the office at 6:30. It’s about understanding that if you want something, you have to go out there and do everything in your power to get it. If you want bagels, then get a recipe book because you are going to need to start learning how to cook. Thank me later.