chef_stiring_pot_anim_300_clr_6703Many years ago I went to a picnic that was put on by the credit union we were a client of.



The staff had a great event planned and many had brought their culinary delights.



There was 3 kids there at the buffet table and we were talking about what was on the menu.  They asked me if I liked potato salad and I told them I really liked it.



They then proceeded to tell me all three of them hated it. 



Sitting on the table was this giant bowl filled with their mother’s potato salad.   I looked at the salad and thought it looked a little strange, as it was mashed potatoes.  But my mother used to make potato salad with leftover mashed potatoes and it was pretty good.



I figured probably one kid decided they didn’t like it and so the rest decided they didn’t like it either.  I lifted the spoon and scooped out some potato salad.  The kids were all looking at me and I am sure they were thinking I was nuts.  I took a sizable amount and placed it on my paper plate.



My thoughts were it couldn’t possibly be that bad.  Now I have tasted a lot of potato salads and some I never would have gone back for seconds.  I am not a picky eater and usually only put on my plate enough so that I can eat it all.



So now you all are probably wondering how the salad tasted.  It was awful!  I have no idea what that woman put in her potato salad but it wasn’t good.  I could have ate it even if lacked flavor, but I left two-thirds of it.  It has to be really bad for me not to eat something that I put on my own plate.



What has this little incident got to do with anything?



Well I got to thinking about these three kids.  They would now be adults with adult children and may be even grand kids.



Do they still hate potato salad?



Did they remain with this unshakeable notion that their bad experience with “Mom’s” potato salad, that all potato salads are gross?



Did they get brave and try other potato salads?



Did they ever learn how to make an awesome potato salad?



Our experiences



How many times do we live with an experience that cripples us forever?



Not all experiences end up the same way.



If we fail at something are we so afraid to try it again, because we are SO sure of the outcome.



How often do we not try something new or even dare to be different?



Are we afraid to take a risk, even if it is in our best interest to do so.



Other people’s experiences are not ours and we should never be so influenced that we never try because of their lack of success.



What happened to us once, is not how it will always be.



We change and our environment changes.  Therefore our experiences will change with time.



One can apply this principle to all we do, whether it is trying new foods or old foods we hated.  But more important is about trying new ways to be successful.  How we describe success depends on each of us and our values of what it really is.



What held you back until you got brave?  Or do you still keep from trying new experiences due to the misconceived notion of the outcome?





28 Responses to Some People Should Never Be Allowed To Bring Potato Salad!

  • Lisa says:

    Great example Mary, this really made me think. I hope I don’t do that. It would be sad not to try new experiences because of it. But I can relate, I’ve never had beans since a kid, I really did not like them and was forced to eat them. Even the smell just brings me back. I don’t think I’ve not tried something because of someone else’s experience though. I will be giving it some more thought :)
    Lisa recently published this awesome post..Does The Facebook Algorithm Change Your Friends?My Profile

    • Hi Lisa

      Beans, eh? There are so many kinds of beans. I don’t like mature lima beans, but I like the green ones. Then there are green beans, pinto beans, broad beans, red beans, kidney beans, etc. and so many numerous ways to fix them. Hey, how about Jelly Beans! LOL

      I was terrified to talk in front of the class, when going to school. But when I was working I had a few meetings to go to and was able to remain seated. I surprised myself that I was able to voice my opinion and had no fear of doing so. It felt darn good. So when the city council had their meeting in my city and I went to the meeting to protest the development of apartment buildings in the store complex behind me, I was able to get up and talk. It was also recorded and someone from working actually seen me. I went twice to the meeting and spoke again the next time.

      Fear holds us back when we are so sure of the consequences, but I have learned that time changes everything. I am more than I thought I could be.

      Thanks for your comment.


  • Gladys says:

    Hello Ms. Mary
    I hope you are well.
    I loved your post on change.

    We have a tendency to associate experiences from the past to something in the present.
    This is a great principle to live from in order to create new experiences.
    As I was reading this, my mind went to the three boys, did the associate the potato salad they ate as children, with another person’s potato salad?

    Thank you Mary for this post

    Gladys posted…Create A Revolution In Your Life
    Gladys recently published this awesome post..Create A Revolution In Your LifeMy Profile

    • Hi Gladys

      Okay, so I guess I left you assuming who the three kids were. Well there was 2 girls and a boy. I figure since their mother’s potato salad tasted terrible, that they never gave any other potato salad a chance. What a shame if they remained with this misconceived notion in their adult life that all potato salads were awful.

      We probably all bring a bit of baggage with us into adulthood and spend the rest of our years reprogramming it all. But as we have little successes from thinking differently, we can move forward to conquer so much more.

      Glad you liked the post.

      Thank you for your comment.


  • Susan Neal says:

    You’re shared a really important message in this post, Mary – it’s true that we can sometimes allow negative experiences to hold us back, in all sorts of ways. The example that springs to mind, for me, is I thought I couldn’t write and hated to do any kind of creative writing. This stems back to my childhood, when I had a couple of assignments at school, to write a story or a poem. I didn’t know where to start and felt a complete failure. Looking back, the teachers were at fault, because I don’t recall them doing anything to help stimulate our imagination, or give us confidence to express ourselves – I just felt under pressure to do something I thought I was incapable of. Consequently, until very late in life, I believed I had no creative writing talent whatsoever. It’s been a recent revelation to discover that I actually have some ability in this area.

    Thanks very much for a great share :)

    • Hi Sue

      You know that is what I have been learning in my online classes about human development. If a child doesn’t learn it is totally the teacher’s fault. They are paid to teach and if they can’t teach then they should not be in the profession. If a child can’t learn one way it is up to the teacher to find out what it takes to get a child to learn. Which means not labeling them and giving them drugs.

      I had some ray of hope in the area of writing, although I did doubt I was smart enough to be any good at it. I had 2 writing projects that I did and the teacher read them in class. One I was extremely proud of. He had played a classical piece of music and said the title which was something to do with sunset. As the record played I wrote down all that I could imagine the music was demonstrating by the sunset. Record was over and I was done. All the other kids sat there and listened to the music and therefore they didn’t feel it.

      Glad you finally gave writing a second try. All our eagerness as youngsters can be so easily destroyed and leave us wondering if we are capable of anything creative.

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your personal experience.


  • richmiraclefiles says:

    Hi Mary,
    That’s a very succinctly put story;and the moral of the story is subtler still.
    Whatever has happened once need not happen so exactly again.Yet we are always shadowed by our previous experiences;so much so that we tend to shirk facing similar situations as a reflex.That is no solution to an often fallacious problem.
    I feel humour can mitigate the situation to a great extent
    Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions can improve the quality of your love relationships,as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends.
    This makes way for better expectations for future,and also improves our chancesof doing better.

    • Hi Mona

      You are right, not all situations play out the same way as they have in our past.

      We do usually go by our past and that information is not always correct. Although, I once rode a roller coaster when I was 14 and that was enough of an experience that I refuse to ride another one. It wasn’t a necessity to do so again, as I have nothing to prove by doing so. I know I never liked the sensation and do not care to repeat it. Riding the Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland was enough, they have two fast drops and although I do not like them, I have still gone on the ride a few times, because the reward is greater than the discomfort. Of course, if I had known prior to going on the ride, I would probably never got on it.

      Giving people a second chance is a good lesson in life. We had neighbors across the street that were a total pain. They were noisy and rude about it. They left for 5 years and they came back to live in the house again. This time they came with a new child and the 3 they had before. I dreaded their return, but they have been here for 8 months and I don’t know what transpired while they were gone. But they are absolutely the best neighbors now. They are quiet, their kids are no longer fighting, they are not the same anymore. Now I am glad they have returned. He has a job and they are totally involved with their kids.

      Thank you for your comment.


  • Sylviane Nuccio says:

    Hi Mary,

    Another lovely post and your title made me laugh to start with.

    What a great illustration. You can imagine as someone in personal development, your post made me think about tons of stories that could be illustrated with your story of the kids knowing only this bad potato salad and not knowing that some potato salads are very good.

    For example, a woman who had known only one bad husband, may have a hard time imagining that she could find one who treats her like a queen.

    There are a lot of potato salads in the world, and knowing only about one that happens to be bad doesn’t mean that they are all bad.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently published this awesome post..Why Personal Development is key to Your Business SuccessMy Profile

    • Hi Sylviane

      Glad you got a chuckle out of the title. Well that came to me and I wondered how I could make a post out of it. So I guess it worked out quite well.

      I like your good example of how that thinking works. We definitely judge our bad experiences very harshly when it should just be thought of as it only happened that time, it does not reflect that it will always happen. But I suppose it is our built in indicator of fight or flight working to protect us.

      Yes, and one bad spouse will stop some people from ever really trying to find love again. So they go on to live a life of loneliness because they fear taking another chance.

      As for the kids, I hope they went on to find that there are great potato salads out there. I wonder if that was the only thing she couldn’t cook.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  • Adrienne says:

    Hey Mary,

    What a great analogy and I feel for those kids. As children my mother use to make me eat food that I hated. I would end up throwing it up so I didn’t look forward to dinner most nights. I hated those foods in life because it reminded me of those times. What ended up happening though is that I would eat something with those foods inside them so that I really didn’t know they were there and learned that they weren’t so bad after all. Okay there are some I still hate to this day but I did give them a try later in life.

    I use to hate change too, I was just always comfortable with what works. Unfortunately with the way life is, some things have to change and you’re forced into it. I eventually learned to embrace it so I learned to want to experience different things. I think it’s something we have to learn at times as well. I’m so glad I did too or I wouldn’t be where I am today.

    Thanks for this awesome message Mary and have a wonderful weekend.


    • Hi Adrienne

      My daughter was a picky eater and she used to drive me nuts. One week she would love something and then the next time she hated it. If she had been consistent it would have made life easier. But she did get better about eating as she grew and would try things. Even eating a little tiny bit to at least give it a try before deciding it was no good. I never would have survived in my parents home if I had been a picky eater. But I realized after I started cooking on my own, that my mother wasn’t such a great cook. When I went back and tried some of what I thought I liked I also found out that what I made tasted so much better.

      Hate changes also. I would go kicking and screaming into changes, but some turned out to be for the better. Some changes you can do nothing about therefore you have no choice but to get with “the program”. It seems when we are really pushed into a change because there is no alternative it can end up being for the better, although at the time it doesn’t feel that way. I think that is the time you really get to grow.

      Going to try making some gingersnaps today and may try something else for the weekend also. Got a bunch of recipes I want to try and of course next week I will be cooking more.

      Thank you for your comment.


  • Hiten says:

    Hi Mary,

    This was an excellent and thought provoking post.

    Your post reminded me of my experiences with stammering. It started off when I was a boy and I stammered for the first time. The confusion and worry that experience caused continued well until I was in my early twenties.

    It was only when I made the decision to help myself did I realise that to allow that experience and other ones around my difficulties to speak which I had in my childhood, to affect me as an adult was basically a crazy thing to do. I was an adult now and not that boy who used to struggle to speak. Therefore, I could now decide to do things differently from the mind of an adult. I didn’t have to think like a young boy because I wasn’t one anymore.

    Thank you.
    Hiten recently published this awesome post..How to Set Your Expectations HigherMy Profile

    • Hi Hiten

      My brother also had a stammering problem when he was growing up and rarely does anymore. I think it is tough if kids tease others for this problem, it seems to make matters worse.

      We do get crippled with past experiences and find it hard at times to let go of those. Not all experiences will be the same forever. Seeing it from a child’s perspective can be overwhelming as they think things could never be different.

      Somethings we will always cling to out of fear or habit, but it is nice to know past experiences are not always an indicator of what has to be.

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience.


  • Akaahan Terungwa says:


    Many of us live with the results of an earlier attempt. Now, if that attempt proved futile, then, automatically, we’ll assume everything we try in that line would prove futile.

    But then again, there is a reason for everything! If you’ve failed at something, then there must be a reason! Correct that cause of failure and you’re into some amazed surprise! Lo! What you thought impossible become very possible and indeed comes to pass.

    Do have a great day…and thanks for sharing!

    - Terungwa

    • Hi Terungwa

      Welcome to my site. You are my 1000 approved comment and I found you in my spam file. Anyways, you have been rescued from the spam!

      You are so right we do get stuck on failures as we begin to see anything of the same nature would also be a failure. It was a good thing we didn’t take that attitude when we were first learning how to walk or we would all still being pushed around in strollers! We should take that attitude of trying as when we were first learning as a tiny child. It would have done wonders for our future successes.

      Our power of reasoning can sometimes be our downfall, as we are inclined to talk ourselves out of doing something that has failed in the past. The past has nothing to do with the future.

      Thank you for your comment, it is very much appreciated. Have a great weekend.


  • Hilary says:

    great post…i am one of those people who if I don’t like something keep trying it a few years later – usually my tastes change… But I think I am in the minority


    • Hi Hilary

      Welcome to my site.

      I think we all try a few things later in life just to see if our perspective has changed. But so many things we are definitely set in our ways and have made up our minds that we are correct in not liking it (whatever “it” might be).

      If most things you do give them a second chance, you probably are in the minority.

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing in the conversation.


  • Tim Bonner says:

    Hi Mary

    I’m not great with change, never have been unfortunately.

    When my son was born, my wife and I made the decision that I would give up work and look after him.

    My employer at the time told me that I’d get bored of being at home, it’s not something many men do, how would we cope with the loss of income etc.

    They eventually wore me down and I decided to stay at work. I wasn’t brave at all that time and didn’t take the plunge.

    It was only after my daughter was born that the same topic of conversation happened but this time I decided to be brave and take the plunge.

    I’m so glad I did!
    Tim Bonner recently published this awesome post..CommentLuv Premium Is Still Top DogMy Profile

    • Hi Tim

      I totally can relate to not wanting to make changes. You are right even if no one else tries to talk us out of it, we can usually do a fine job on our own. Which of course is not always in our best interest.

      I am glad they laid me off of work as it would have been impossible to walk away at that time from a paying job. I was able to collect unemployment because they made the decision. It has been 2 years and I am so glad it is over. I would not go back now and work for them…even if they begged me to. Somethings are not worth the pay!

      Perhaps others try to talk us out of things because they think they know best or feel threatened or may even be envious.

      Your children gain so much from you being the dominant caregiver. I have read that when Dad’s are in that position the children are usually more adventurous and easier going. I suppose it is because they don’t fear danger as much as women do, so they are less stressed and therefore the child can try more things without being stopped.

      So glad you didn’t listen to them the second time around.

      Thank you for your comment.


  • What a great analogy Mary.

    It really hits home. Who didn’t have an awful experience as a kid eating something? It’s all about growth and change.

    Some things stick with us so much that we cannot move on. It holds us back! Now when that happens, there are so many ways to overcome it. Books, video, therapy, on and on we go. I guess I was a born fighter. I don’t like anything to hold me back.

    I had some deep rooted fears that were holding me back and years of therapy, meditation, hypnosis and affirmations didn’t help. I found EMDR therapy and voila.

    Moral of the story: Never Give Up!


    • Hi Donna

      Sometimes I wonder how I managed to eat some of the stuff I did. Being the youngest I probably just fell into being not so picky. Rabbit stew, chicken stew, really fatty beef rib stewed, there was parts of it I just didn’t like and buried those little pieces under the bones on my plate. I guess they figured since I ate most of it, it was not worth fighting me on it.

      There have been many other things like you say, that hold us back from moving on. From my early 20′s I would read whatever I could get my hands on about psychology. It was my effort to heal my pain within. Now I study psychology for deeper insight and am totally fascinated by it.

      With our access to online information we have so many resources to help ourselves. As long as one recognizes they have a problem the possibilities are endless to overcome obstacles.

      Thank you for your comment.


  • Michael Belk says:

    Your point being that we can not live our lives according to our past experiences. Sometimes, it is good to never repeat a bad behavior, like placing your hand on a hot stove.

    But that does not mean never take chances. if you never take a chance I can almost guarantee nothing will change.

    I am a risk taker by choice and if I fail I only have to answer to myself. I appreciate you for making the potato salad reference.

    Michael Belk recently published this awesome post..How are female officers treated by male inmates?My Profile

    • Hi Michael

      Absolutely agree there are sometimes when we really need to live according to past experiences, but most are not of much value to us.

      Some we choose to not repeat as they are extremely uncomfortable. I suppose the question would be, “If I try something again that I failed at before would it change my life for the better if it was successful?” This would be worth the risk to try again.

      I grew up struggling in school and thought my grades were not so good. Sure I passed on trial a couple of times and failed at a few subjects, but when going back and looking at the grades I got they were actually pretty good. I suppose we only look at the negative and never consider the whole as being important. Over the years I have found out that I am a lot smarter than I used to believe I was.

      Taking a risk keeps us moving forward, without motion we can never expect things to change for us.

      Thank you for your comment.


  • Amy Hagerup says:

    I never liked raw tomatoes growing up though I loved tomato products. One time when I was about 30, I was out in a garden at my friend’s house and she was growing little grape tomatoes. She plucked two and handed me one. I was too embarrassed to say I didn’t like tomatoes so I ate it. And guess what? I loved it! You are so right that experiences can be like that – they can make us gun shy to try them again, but we have to forge ahead. Actually failure is the best way to learn. Thanks for reminding us of this. I could almost taste that bad potato salad. Blessings, amy
    Amy Hagerup recently published this awesome post..How to Improve Your Performance in Network Marketing with Online Training in the Daily Marketing CoachMy Profile

    • Hi Amy

      Love your experience with tomatoes. I know someone that hates raw tomatoes and goes through the gagging motions when she refers to it. Actually there is a lot of things she doesn’t like and probably will never try. She is stubborn and a controlling person so I suppose with that mindset she needs to be right. So much she misses out on life, probably that is why she has heart problems, she is always wanting to control everything and everybody. Her kids moved out of her house as they could no longer stand living with her.

      Our tastes definitely change as we grow older. Now that I know more about certain foods it has turned me away from them. But I also found out that what my mother cooked wasn’t so great tasting, so my tastes have been refined.

      The more you fail, the better of an expert you become!

      Thanks for sharing your experience.


  • Mike says:

    This is something that I think about often when it comes to food and others past experiences, Mary. Is was the dish or item that they dislike today made properly when they first had it? I write lots of food posts of my home cooking and I will pick one of many….how about…duck. It’s amazing and so many people had a bad experience that I so wish they would try it again. Sometimes I think it’s a visual problem too….I get that. Btw…potato salad is on my list to make but I’m much more of a macaroni salad guy. Good post! :)
    Mike recently published this awesome post..My Top 10 +1 Favorite Meryl Streep MoviesMy Profile

    • Hi Mike

      Our tastes constantly change and our perception of what is good for us or even the ethics of how our food is produced can give us a change of heart. What I was given to eat as a child, today I would probably refuse many of the meat dishes. Some people are just lousy cooks and if you couple that with a picky eater it would definitely be a reluctance to try other cook’s recipe of the same food. I am usually okay with trying new dishes. Never liked oysters though. Even went down on the beach and picked some and fried them up as a kid, hoping that may be I might actually like them. Everybody said they were really good but all I could eat was one bite.

      The visual holds us to a perception of what something would taste like for sure. But we all know looks can be deceiving and that can be for anything in life.

      Thank you for leaving a comment. You must be feeling better now and that is good news.

      Have a super weekend.


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