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A Phở-nomenal Opportunity

No matter how much you know, there's always more to learn.

This weekend, I tried phở for the first time. This might not seem like a huge deal. After all, there are only about eleventy-zillion different dishes available world-wide, and it's impossible for anybody to actually have tried them all.

This particular gap, however, is noteworthy because food is my "thing". I'm that foodie friend people reach out to for advice on how to get their kids (or picky significant others) to eat vegetables, what cheese pairs with a particular wine, how to squeeze more nutrition into food for their unwell loved ones, or to "please-please-please could you??" cater their baby showers or birthday parties.

Despite this, and despite the fact that there are (according to Yelp) dozens and dozens of places where I could easily have tried this (incredibly delicious) dish at any point over the last decade that I've lived here, there I was, having to admit my absolute ignorance to the server and asking her advice on the various options. She seemed a little nonplussed, but we managed to navigate the awkwardness, and I was rewarded by an amazing culinary experience (and a new Pinterest board, because I know I can do that at home).

This experience happens in lots of other arenas. I know people who are truly Subject Matter Experts. Without a doubt, they know a lot about Whatever-It-Is they excel in, and thank goodness, because I certainly am not a SME in everything. Sometimes, though, people forget that just because they know way more than a lay person, they're not infallible nor omniscient. It happens to me, too. We get wrapped up in what we have in our toolbox, and sometimes that's adequate, but it's not a valid reason to give up learning new ways, new approaches, even completely new paradigms. There's a quote attributed to John Wooden that I really like: "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

There's always more to learn, and I love finding that inspiration, and perhaps more importantly the opportunity to model that attitude, in the most unexpected (and sometimes delicious) places!

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