As it turns out, we've all been using pepper shakers wrong. Instead of shaking and smacking the shaker for longer than we'd like to, it turns out that releasing more pepper in a shorter amount of time is pretty simple. As long as the shakers have grooves on their bottoms, as almost all of them do, you can get more pepper in a fraction of the time. All you do is rub the grooves on the bottom of the salt shaker against the grooves on the bottom of the pepper shaker as it faces your food upside down. Try it! You'll be surprised at how well it works. So what life lessons can be found in a way we season our food?
Achieving our goals
Me pointing out how we overlook a pepper shaker life hack is absolutely trivial, but the way we tend to ignore what is right in front of us is not. When striving to achieve a goal, the first thing we should do is recognize and search for the advantages we already have. We may not even know that we have them, but like the grooves on pepper shakers, our advantages are likely right in front of our eyes, overlooked on a daily basis. Perhaps it's not that success is out of our reach, perhaps it's that we haven't properly used resources which are widely available in our first world lifestyles such as the internet, library, friends, family, or networking. Perhaps we simply haven't utilized them with drive or enough complex thought. One or a combination of factors such as these undoubtedly hold keys to success, all we need to do is pinpoint and address them with observation and intuition.
To make our lives more comfortable, achieving our goals is important, however, this is a poor and unstable foundation for happiness. We tend to find ourselves living in constant frustration; feeling unsatisfied without attaining the next job, date, promotion, or income bracket. Like the way we use pepper shakers, we shouldn't keep trying the same thing when it clearly doesn't work well, in this case expecting outside forces to give us happiness. Just like the ridges on the bottom of the shaker, look at just some of what may already be within your hands; food, shelter, health, sentience, the internet which contains almost all of human knowledge, maybe even your soulmate disguised as a friend. Just don't forget that if some of these were to be lost, you undoubtedly still have plenty to be happy about. Finding contentedness in what you currently have, but most importantly what you have within yourself is the only way to ensure true happiness, as every outside goal and factor, from wealth to relationships can be uncertain, temporary, fragile, and dwarfed when compared to what you could have.
Find what's worth a million dollars
In my opinion, the most fundamental source of human discontentment; not recognizing our strengths, is most easily controlled through meditating upon the privileges which we recognize having and searching for those we don't. This gives us clarity and confidence towards pursuing our goals, and happiness with or without them. If this feature of a pepper shaker did not already exist, I could see it easily being the next million dollar "as seen on TV" product, but it does already exist. Find the aspects of your human experience which are worth more than a million dollars, aspects which are closer than you think.
I have pointed out something we overlook, something which means very little, even at dinner. Finding the important things which you overlook is up to you. Just remember that if we haven't recognized a better way to do something as simple as pour pepper on a daily basis, so much is ready to be discovered right in front of ourselves.