I love Chocolate.
In my opinion, it is a wonderful part of the human experience. I know that chocolate is not for everyone, but my brain really wants to argue with how that could possibly be true!
A couple of years ago I took a chocolate-making class. In this class, we were taught how to prepare filling and how to temper and work with chocolate to be poured into molds. From these molds came the most delicious and beautiful chocolates that I was proud to take all credit for.
In this course, I also learned that getting to the finished stage of yummy filled chocolates is actually quite a lengthy process.
Think about this the next time you stuff your face with an entire chocolate bar in T-20 seconds!
The following is a very condensed overview of this process:
- Starting with the Cocoa bean it must first be picked and cleaned. Next, it is roasted to bring out the chocolate aroma in the bean.
- The next step involves removing the beans brittle shell. Inside the shells, we find what we call nibs. The nibs are ground up turning into cocoa butter. The cocoa then needs to be separated from the cocoa butter.
- The result of this is a bitter chocolate liquor that then has other ingredients added to it like sugar, milk and cocoa butter.
- Next, the chocolate is kneaded into a paste. This is called conching. From conching comes the step of tempering through heating cooling and re-heating. This ready to go chocolate is stored temporarily until ready to make into bars or turn into a box of chocolates.
Phew, that is a lot of work…… and we didn’t even go into the planting of the trees and time it takes to grow the pods that the cocoa bean are harvested from.
Learning these steps certainly makes me appreciate each piece of chocolate that passes through my lips a little bit more. I had been unaware of the lengthy process that is involved in the making of one of my most favorite treats.
Just as chocolate is a process so is our own self-development. Learning how to manage our minds is also a lengthy process. It requires a step by step process just like chocolate.
First, we need to have a willingness to want to change our lives and the knowledge that we are in control of creating that change. We have to first recognize our potential. A cocoa bean isn’t anything special to look at on its own but what’s inside and used together with other ingredients is what makes the delicious chocolate.
Second is awareness. We have to know where we are and where we want to go. We have to recognize what is not working and what is working. What’s going to create just the right taste, and just the right consistency for us in our life.
The third is constantly working on ourselves. This is a full-time job. Kneading ourselves into somebody that has more confidence, stronger relationships and a more positive outlook on life. The kneading prepares us for the best things in life that are yet to come.
As we look to the future there are endless possibilities for us, Who or What do we want to become? Just like the chocolate that is heated, tempered and reheated, it is ready and prepared for endless possibilities.
I could talk all day about the endless chocolate possibilities! Brownies, fudge, bars, ice-cream, chocolate chips, cake, truffles, mousse, pudding… I could literally go on for a really long time!!
What are your life’s possibilities? Are you as quick or as excited to brainstorm all of those? Are you willing to take the steps to start the process of becoming refined and ready to develop into the future self that you want to be?
It is a process, It takes time dedication and can be hard and grueling, but then again anything that’s really worth experiencing in life requires most of these things don’t they?
The payoff will come, and when it does it will be a sweet one!