If you've watched Netflix recently, you've more than likely seen Chef's Table displayed on the home screen or listed under your recommendations. When I first watched the show, I was drawn  by the fast-paced melodrama of the opening sequence, which flashed avante-garde visions of food to the rhythm of Allegro Non Molto by Vivaldi. The more I watched the show, however, the more I fell in love with the individual stories of the chefs highlighted in each episode. After binging all of Season 3 and most of Seasons 1 and 2 over lunch for the past few weeks, here are some of the most endearing lessons I've learned. 

1. Good Things Take Time

Mastery cannot be rushed — the process must be respected, and the quiet hours are the hours that build resilience and lead to success. Although it's hard to see noticeable changes day by day, good things really do take time, and it's the accumulation of small improvements over the course of a journey that makes a significant impact. 

If anyone knows this to be true, it's the artists, teachers, doctors, and athletes of the world, who have put in the work to reach where they are today. The chefs of Chef's Table clocked in countless hours long before they rose to fame, and witnessed the personally gratifying products as a result. 

2. Never Ever Ever Give Up

The world may change around you, and others may inevitably see you as competition or be unwilling to help you, but the single thing you have control over is yourself. Therefore, it's crucial to never give up on the things that matter to you the most. Every chef on the show was resilient and unwilling to give up even after doubt, roadblocks, and financial failure, and their tenacity goes to show that if you don't give up, payoffs can and will be seen in the long run. 

3. Trust Your Instincts

One of the biggest obstacles we face is one we create for ourselves: self-doubt. I didn't fully believe this, however, until the dean of my college told me he felt like an imposter the first day of his new job. This man graduated from Stanford, CalTech, and even helped develop a cure for anthrax, so if he experiences self-doubt, then everyone else around you surely does as well. Chefs like Ivan Orkin show that trusting your instincts in a foreign land while exploring foreign cuisine pays off at the end of the day. 

4. Make Your Own Path

Be a dreamer. Be the one who creates your own perfect job because it doesn't yet exist, or the one who deviates from the expected path to chase after your passion. Once the urgency of this message stops becoming a poster cliché or something you once believed as a kid, it can add immeasurable meaning and direction to your life.

Virgilio Martinez and Enrique Olvera saw the absence of niche cuisines that reflected their unique upbringings, so they created them. With enough courage to ground your passion, creating your own path is possible and always worthwhile. 

5. Success is Often Unexpected

Life is unpredictable, and so is success. What the chefs of the show have in common is their surprise at the successes of their restaurants, which seemed obvious only to us as viewers. This just goes to show that success can never really be pinpointed or planned, but that hard work certainly increases your chances of becoming your own definition of successful in the long run. 

6. Do Things For Yourself

This lesson reminds me of a fortune cookie fortune I got recently, from a Panda Express meal I frantically ordered while staying up studying the night before an exam. The fortune simply stated, "Invest in yourself," but the words could not hold truer for me at this stage in my life. I've found that all the years of insecurities, adolescent angst, and general self-doubt have finally relinquished their hold on my life, and that I'm truly proud of who I've become.

Once I realized this, watching chefs like Tim Raue and Dominique Crenn do things their own way, seemingly without logic, made sense. Your life is 100% your own, so it's about time the opinions of others stopped influencing your decisions when it came to the things that make you truly happy. 

7. Beauty is in the Simple Things

Ah, food. The primary need we humans require to survive. In this day and age of artificial sweeteners, processed ingredients, and high-fructose corn syrup, it's no wonder that much of what we eat on a daily basis has lost its purity.

As Buddhist nun and inadvertent chef extraordinaire Jeong Kwan shows us, however, the most delicious of foods can be created through combining a few herbal ingredients with staple seasonings and light sauces. The beauty of her Lotus Flower Tea really comes down to soaking a single flower in water, but the results and the meditative process of her work capture the simplest and greatest of beauties found in the natural world. Life may be complex, but at the end of the day, beauty isn't. 

8. Cherish the Struggle

Making your way in any field is tough, but mastering the creation of a specific type of food for years on end is unimaginable to most. Take Nancy Silverton, for example, who spent decades mastering the art of the perfect pizza dough, in the time it takes "to earn a Master's degree and then some." Ivan Orkin, too, spent long hours at his corner ramen-shop in Japan learning the skill of noodle-making to the best of his ability. The difficult struggle of the journey may bring pain and tears, but it ultimately expands your comfort zone and builds character for whatever comes your way in the future. 

9. Take Risks

This is one of the biggest lessons a viewer can learn from Chef's Table. Would the talents of the Parmesan-loving Massimo Bottura or the dough-obsessed Nancy Silverton be recognized if they didn't take risks? Would outdoorsman Alex Atala have brought Brazilian cuisine into the spotlight if he had been too scared to experiment with new flavor combinations? The answer to these questions is no. Taking risks for something you care deeply about is terrifying, but it'll also be incomparably gratifying in the long run.

10. Stop Waiting

The biggest takeaway I learned from watching so many episodes of Chef's Table is that now is the time to stop waiting. We all have fears and uncertainties in life, and we're defined by our past and current troubles to a certain extent, but life is full of opportunities waiting to happen if you let it. More importantly, those opportunities must be seized with a fiery determination to make your dreams come true.

Sign up for something as simple as that calligraphy class or that salsa dancing class. Go to the gym today, or reach out to friends and teachers around you to help you realize your dreams. Life requires patience and balance, but you have to start somewhere to get anywhere.