How What You put Into Your Mind is like Baking A Cake

Matthew Card
Feb 7 · 4 min read
Illustration credit: Vecteezy.com

I want to do a lot more public speaking, my aim is to help younger people. Firstly in the hope they might not make the same mistakes as I made. Secondly give them some knowledge that isn’t necessarily taught in school. I sometimes think one of my gifts is once I understand something (really understand it) I can break it down to anyone. The trick for me is to understand it in the first place.

Not to sound too cliche but as I have gotten older I believe I have become a bit more wiser. One of the things I have learned is that life is not quite as black and white as some would like to think, there is a lot of grey area.

In this article I will attempt to explain some concepts about friendships circles, where to look for advice, perseverance, planning and strategy all in the their simplest forms with an analogy about baking a cake.


Let’s say you were baking a cake, and you were given the choice to pick either the top of the range, the middle of the range or the bottom of the range ingredients. The top of the range ingredients would make your cake taste great. The medium range ingredients would make your cake taste good but not as great as the top of the range ingredients. The bottom range ingredients would make your cake taste really bad. Here is the question, which ingredients would you pick? top, middle or bottom?

I am guessing you would pick the top ingredients right? I know I would.

Now imagine the cake was your mind, and the ingredients were everything you put into your mind consciously and unconsciously. We quite rightly only wanted the best ingredients for our cake. So we should look to get the best ingredients for our mind too.

Stand guard at the door of your mind. Jim Rohan

Everyday we make decisions about what to watch, what to read who to talk to. These decisions have a massive impact on our environment and mindset (the way we think) and ultimately what we feel and think about ourselves. Some of us have more control over these than others. Some of us have more control than we actually realise. To control your environment is a decision in itself.

Personally I choose to win my mornings #ThePowerOfAGoodMorning and only put the right ingredients into my cake. This is not a one time thing it has to be done consistently everyday and some days I do better than others.

Your mind is like a garden you have to keep working on it. Otherwise it will become overrun with weeds.

I have started to read more and I have surrounded myself with good positive people that push me to think differently and challenge me. I have mentors and follow people from afar, I also support people and push them too, which in turn challenges and keeps me grounded helping me to keep my empathy for the others that may not have reached where I am.

You can not see the picture from within the frame

Let us go back and extend the cake analogy, one of the main ingredients of a cake is sugar. What happens if your worst enemy or someone who you don’t get on with puts the top of the range sugar into your cake, how would it taste?

It would taste good, right?

What if your best friend accidentally put salt instead of sugar into your cake, how would it taste?

It would taste bad, right?

We have to be mindful of what advice, thoughts and ideas we take on whomever they come from. Sometimes your worst enemy may have the best advice or the best idea that will help you improve, better yourself or develop, but due to how you feel about that person, you will dismiss or refuse to listen to the advice that will help you. Your best friend may not have the best perspective on a dilemma that you are going through. You have to develop a filter that sorts all the thoughts and ideas and make sense of them. This takes time and is a skill that has to be developed like any other skill.


We can extend this analogy even further. When you first start baking you use a recipe… and only when you are confident in that area do you start to add your own flavour, your own twist, your own signature. Please remember there is no harm in checking the recipe still from time to time to refresh your memory. You may even research a few recipes and select the one that best suits you or you understand best. Recipes are like blueprints that a builder would follow, good builders do not make it up as they go along they follow a plan. You can follow the recipe or the blueprint of the successful people in the field, skill or profession that you wish to pursue.

When baking a cake you cannot rush the process. When you put the cake in the oven you have to leave it for the right amount of time. If you turn the fire too high the cake will burn. If you turn it too low and take it out early it will not be cooked in the middle, it may even sink in the middle.

The ways to speed up the making of a cake is to prepare the ingredients beforehand this takes planning, learning and understanding what is needed making sure you have the right tools for the job.

You can learn and study the recipe so you know it off by heart so you don’t have to keep checking the recipe. You can do this by practice, by doing it over and over slowly becoming an expert.

The only way to speed up the eating of the cake is to get the plates and cutlery ready.

Matthew Card

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Software Engineer By Trade: “I want to live outside of my comfort zone”