Put Your Doubts In A Sleeper Hold With These Words from Chef Matthew Jennings

Meditations on perseverance from a fierce culinary leader.

March 12, 2018 ā— 2 min read

By Matthew Jennings | Photograph by Michael Piazza

Chef Matthew Jennings' [Townsman, Boston] tenaciously positive vibes, doled out mostly on his Instagram, have both fueled an entire regeneration of his physical health, and created a space for his community to consider life, creativity, and purpose on a grander scale.


We're publishing the best hits here, with additional thoughts and takeaways from the man himself—because sometimes it just helps to hear the realness from someone who's crushing it day in and day out.





As part of the complex human condition, we seek comfort.

We seek it in social groups, in lifelong mates — whether they be friends or lovers. While the majority of us are lucky enough to have our daily comforts covered—a meal or two a day, a warm place to lay our heads, at least enough income to ‘get by'—we set goals of the professional variety, hoping they'll catapult us to either fame, money, security, or a sense of belonging and dutiful purpose.


If we are really winning, then maybe more than one of those, simultaneously. But this is, of course, all subjective. 


We all face challenges. Some are minor, some are life-altering and difficult and with dramatic consequences. But the consequence is based on how we a) perceive the challenge in the first place and b) how we strategize and execute our actions to overcome them. What if we decided that challenge and discomfort actually could be viewed as an opportunity? What if instead of thinking of a major challenge or moment of discomfort as a blazing, red stop sign in the middle of a three-lane highway, it was perceived as a yield? 


Life's challenges and discomforts allow us to take pause, to reassess. To think about alternative routes and plans and ultimately, make adjustments and calculations to our route, which will, in turn, affect the final destination.


The fear we harbor in these moments is actually more traumatizing to our personal psyche than the actual event of the challenge or discomfort! We need to recognize that if we change our perception of the problem, we have the ability to change the eventual outcome. 


Will is a powerful tool. Arguably, it is the engine that drives us to success, love, fortune, forgiveness, empathy, and grace. If we can choose the option to really listen to that resolve—that volition—which reminds us in moments of challenge to sit back, assess and find a way to overcome, then we can create opportunity within the discomfort. 


Get uncomfortable. Change your perception of the problem. Alter your map. This is only a detour.