The Power of Humdrum

I’ve been making Cottage Cheese (Paneer) at home everyday the last few days. Started doing it after I discovered on the net that it is one of the best sources of protein. The thing about making Paneer is that it can be made using various methods, by adding different things to milk, at different temperatures, and doing different things post that.

But the humdrum act of making Paneer daily has a very calming and soothing effect on me. Prima facie, it looks like a waste of time. However, there is tremendous creative satisfaction I derive from this act.

And now my head is bubbling with ideas. Can I make Chocolate Paneer or Pineapple Paneer? Can I make normal cheese at home? Can I make cream cheese and then make the ultimate item ever made – Blueberry Cheese cake at home? Can I create an entirely different coagulated gooey food altogether?

While I’m nowhere near to mastering the art or science of cheese making, making Paneer did have its Aha moment.

Doing the same thing again and again, gives you a certain level of expertise or skill. When it becomes something that does not require any mind space or mental bandwidth, that is when the wild ideas start flowing.

Reminds me of ShuHaRi – “first learn, then detach, and finally transcend.”

Sometimes to be creative, one must connect dots sitting on a plane. Sometimes, one needs to know the plane intimately enough before one can know where it ends and where another begins so that one can transcend to connect dots from two different planes.

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