07 Nov10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Wine Making
10. You Can’t Please Everybody
When it comes to Wine Making, everyone has different tastes. Some like white, others red. Certain people like dry wine, others prefer sweet and desert wine. The same holds true in all parts of life, nobody likes the same thing. So, you need to stop doing things in order to please everyone. It’s a futile effort. Instead, you should focus on doing things that you like, that you’ll find pleasing. You’ll find that it makes you much happier and content, and you’ll still please plenty of people along the way as well.
9. Stop Thinking So Much and Act
Nothing happens or gets created by thinking about it. I’ve spent hundreds of hours thinking about different batches of wine. But all of that thinking has not created a single drop of wine. It’s only when I did something, besides think, that some wine actually got made. You can think about washing the car, creating a blog, or sending that birthday present, but that will not get it done, you actually have to take some steps, even just one step to make it happen.
If you start to apply this, I think you will find that action creates more action. Even taking just the first step on a project will start the cascade of events that the plan needs in order for it to be completed. Just one small step can jump start the whole process. It certainly makes much more happen, then just thinking about it.
8. Cut Your Loses
Every batch of wine is not going to go as planned. It’s better to dump a bad batch then to invest any more time or money in to it. Adding any more effort into a failed endeavor only adds more of your emotional investment to the project. This will make it even harder to abandon it in the future.
In life, it is painful to give up on something that you’ve spent a lot of time and money on. But, the alternative is living with constant worry and agonizing over these failing projects. Your efforts could be better spent on new projects, this time using what you have learned from the failed ones.
7. Make Lots of Mistakes
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. And when they happen, you shouldn’t sweat them either. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s part of the learning process. You do not learn any other way. Imagine if you didn’t make any mistakes, if you did everything perfect the first time. This might seem like an ideal situation at first, but what would you have learned from the process?
When you make mistakes, your brain takes all that knowledge and information and assimilates it for the next time. The only trick here is to recognize if you are repeating the same mistakes and correcting for it.
6. It’s OK to Say I Don’t Know
If you are not still in High School, chances are that you don’t know everything. Once you admit this, you stop it from limiting your actions, or decisions to act, a whole word of possibilities opens up in front of you. I’m certain that whatever is in front of you that you don’t know how to answer or solve, someone else can probably help, or the answer is available. You just need to go and find it or ask for it. This leads into the next two lessons as well.
5. The Internet Can Answer Almost Any Question
I would be willing to bet that 99% of all human knowledge is freely available on the internet. Even if it’s not, you will certainly be pointed in the right direction. Weather it be a book that can address the issue, or a person or an organization that can help. It doesn’t matter how far out the question may be, you can find the answer, again you just have to go look for it.
4. Get Out and Help and Work With Other People
You are not an island. Chances are, you are not the only one working on a project, pursuing a hobby or career.
First, give your help away to others freely. A lot can be learned by simply helping someone else accomplish the same things that you have done. Don’t worry about getting paid or receiving any sort of compensation. Rewards for being generous with your time will certainly come and in ways that you would never expect. So, if you are able to help someone, simply offer, or say Yes! when asked. Karma has a way of keeping score and will reward you in some way.
For example, my winery has always been open to my friends and acquaintances, to make their own wine, with my help. Just one of the rewards I’ve gained from this are some of the most amazing batches of home made wine. Had I not been open to helping these friends, and providing space and equipment, I would have missed out on some excellent wine.
Next, other people like to help others just as much. So don’t be afraid of asking for help or seeking out a mentor. There are others who have already done what ever it is that you are trying to accomplish that are willing to help, often for free. You can use the wisdom that they have gained from their mistakes, so that you do not have to go through them yourself.
Wine is a fickle beast. If you rush it, it all falls apart. Life is the same way, things take time. Ideas and processes that you put into place may not pay immediate dividends. But, given enough time and nurturing, they can pay huge rewards. For example, it’s nearly impossible to loss 100 pounds overnight, but given some time it’s entirely possible for you to achieve this.
As long as things are progressing in a positive direction, do not sweat it or give up. Just keep things moving and it will all work out.
2. Cleanliness, or an Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
In Wine Making, a little bacteria can spoil a whole lot of wine, and along with it your time and money. Once a batch of wine becomes infected with some nefarious agent, their isn’t too much you can do to save it. The only thing left to do with it is pour it down the drain. The old saying about an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is absolutely true, both in Wine Making and in real life.
Now, I’m not saying you can prevent every possible bad outcome, but you can certainly think ahead a little bit and prevent plenty of them. Sanitizing your wine making equipment 100% of the time is much easier than starting batches over. Just like not running with scissors is much easier than a trip to the emergency room. I may have oversimplified this one, but I hope that you have caught the jist of it.
1. Everything Happens For A Reason, or Don’t Worry
I try not to fret too much about the batches of wine that I currently have going. I’m sure I’ve done everything I can to ensure their success. Everything else is out of my control. Worrying about the things that I can’t control does absolutely nothing to prevent them from happening anyways. The constant worrying just creates anxiety and wastes your limited time, time that you could be using to instead work on something that you can actually make happen, such as making even more wine.
If such worries or doubts do enter your mind, try to picture the worst that could possibly happen. Then briefly imagine how that would actually affect your life. Once you realize it wouldn’t be as bad as you first thought, you can easily dismiss the worrying, and get back to the things that you can control.
What have you learned?
If you’ve made your own wine, or beer, what have you learned from the process? I’d love for you to drop a comment and share with everyone. Both success and failure teaches us something, practice number 4 on this list and share with everyone.