There is a way of doing things that enhances your efficiency. This way I have been working to perfect. I call it being soft, yet firm.

I was sitting in one of El Paso’s great burrito joints this morning and I saw another disciple of the soft, yet firm way. I was enjoying a delicious burrito as I watched the huddle and the bustle of the restaurant unfold before me.

I heard orders being called out, the scrape of a spatula, the clattering of utensils and thought of how similar it was to the restaurant that I work at. I continued listening to the rhythms of the kitchen as I scanned the busy little restaurant.

That’s when I was the burrito maker. This dude was going ham. You could tell he took pride in his work. I even remembered being impressed with how neatly folded my burrito was when I unwrapped it’s aluminum trappings.

He moved quickly, but he didn’t force too much. He had technique and rhythm to what he was doing, moving efficiently. It was impressive to behold.

“Look at how gently Paul moves it,” my friend said to his date and then chuckled. The two of them were sitting to my left at the sushi bar watching me roll. I laughed because it was true; I do look gentle when I roll, but I get what I’m making to do what I want it to do. I don’t force too much; I go with the flow.

I explained to my friend the art of being soft, yet firm. I told him about how opposites can find balance, and about how using as much force as is needed and no more is how one becomes efficient. I do my best to minimize my movements and conserve my energy.

Being efficient is how one receives the best of both quality and quantity. Efficiency is a degree of mastery and should be taken seriously by anyone who desires to be great at anything.

Being soft, yet firm takes a good deal of time to practice. It’s like being water carving a great canyon in the rock. It takes frequency and consistency. It take dedication and effort, but it is worth the time and work.

I have seen how being soft, yet firm works in sushi and in the martial arts, and now I have seen it in Mexican food. If being soft, yet firm can work in these things, then by the Principle of Correspondence it can be applied to other areas of life as well. Try it out. Be soft, yet firm.


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