Skip to main content

Originally Posted: 09/13/2020

If you’ve read the orange section before, skip to the blue.

I had this idea in my head. Maybe put three pictures up in my office, each representing something important about what I do. Counseling reminder. A touchstone for the eye of sorts. Well, like I said, it was in my head and as I realized one of the three pictures I wasn’t going to be able to get, and the others were certainly copyrighted, the three sort of evolved as I looked for alternatives. So in looking for a different way to go, in my head, we went from three reminders to 96 reminders. It’s why my wife refers to what comes out of my noggin as ‘cumbersome’ on occasion.

So. I am mostly a counselor but I have also studied and practiced a bunch of other things including cuisine and photography. I always wanted to have an idea why some folks in every field are wildly successful compared to many of their contemporaries, so I always checked a bunch of them out. So, here come 96 people and quotes attributed to them, if there are any – 24 chefs, 24 photographers, 20 people associated with psychology directly, and then 28 none of the above people whose lives or words remind me what to strive towards as a counselor, a counseling business owner, and a general human being. The only problem was stopping. There have been a lot of people who for one reason or another inspire me, lots more names on the potential list but it had to at least pause somewhere, so here we are.

I don’t rightly know if writing these out and posting them will be of any use to anyone else but I’m reasonably sure codifying the whole thing will drive it home for me and hopefully offer some encouragement and centering for our folks. Hope you get something out of one or two of them too.

If you are at all familiar with the world of cutting edge cuisine in the past couple decades, you are probably certain I meant to type Ferran Adria, not Albert. Ferran was the world acclaimed genius behind El Bulli, the Barcelona dining destination that changed food throughout the world. Albert was/is his brother. I am not mistaken. Now, years after El Bulli closed, it appears Ferran led the restaurant from the front on magazine covers and tv interviews but it was Albert who was behind vast amounts of the innovation. It seems he was uncomfortable with attention and so the the creative source dodged the spotlight and later found himself regretting the decision, at least according to the episode of “Chef’s Table”. The episode featured Albert, his new string of pioneering restaurants, and his grudging acceptance of some attention. These are some of his words from the episode related to those things…

“What is creativity? There is no end to creativity. A technique or a concept is followed by another one and another one and another one. And there is no end. We play to discover the avant-garde. There aren’t limits. There is total freedom. Let’s say that we skip the rules. One plus one is three. If you always think that one plus one is two, you will never do anything different. Those who think that one plus one is three are the ones who dare. They are the brave ones, the avant-garde.”
-Albert Adria

“When you are avant-garde you have two options: You either get killed, or you find a new way. We worked 15 hours a day to create Tickets own style. I felt 100% creative. We were evolving. People tried their food and said Wow. I could feel the vibration and that power.”
-Albert Adria

“Shut up and work, it’s a motto that has always worked for me…I am uncomfortable in the role of leader…I rarely give speeches…for 25 years I was comfortable in the shadow, but I have my own dignity, because I’m El Bulli…Recently I saw a documentary about the gastronomic revolution, which took place in Spain. And @#$%^& I appeared 20 seconds. So I said so I said @#$%^& they’re talking about many things, which I was at the minimum, the co-star. As a matter of fact two days ago, a story came out Ferran Adria and his brother blah blah, in the most important newspaper in the country, they said Ferran Adria and his brother. Hey, I have a name too. I’ve earned the right to be Albert Adria. It’s something that at least made me think. Then. So. I’m working on being remembered.
-Albert Adria

What Albert makes me remember is not so much being remembered. Who really cares? I mean, I don’t imagine it improves being dead in any discernable way. What really resonates with me is the idea of creating something new and different and effective and enjoyable and worthwhile that it is remembered because it changed the possibilities in the field, it led others to work towards the same future and goals. We may not be inventing the olive but if we can encapsulate it’s purest essence in nothing but a thin skin of itself and blow somebody’s mind with what an olive can be (Albert Adria Reference) regardless of how many olives they have previously had…that is not just amazing but fun.

All of this social media stuff, writing this blog post right now, chaps my soul. Putting things you honestly believe into the universe, knowing they will be judged on someone else’s idea of what you were trying to say, probably eventually shredded by someone who devotes their free time to just that, all without the likelihood of any intelligent discourse to follow. Sticking your head up in a Whack-A-Mole hole had better be for something worth it.

Our little place is just that. It ain’t utopia fer shure. To be honest, at times it is a lurching disaster navigating a fine line between building a successful business and staying true to the worst business model ever. But since the model is to collect the best people with fantastic clinical skills to make an actual difference people are seeking in their lives, and we see that happen all the time…I’ll shout about our place from the roof tops…especially if it helps bring us the right people in both regards…if it helps to build something worth remembering…Whack Away. I’m getting too old to care anyway.

Find out more about Albert here:

or if you have Netflix (or someone else’s Netflix Password…check out his episode here:

Netflix Chef’s Table – Albert Adria

Leave a Reply