Do Not Let Your Senses Cheat You

I still remember from my school days the old Arab adage saying that:

  • The most delicious food is that which follows hunger.
  • The tastiest water is that which follows feeling thirsty.
  • The most enjoyable sleep is that which follows feeling tired.
  • The sweetest success is that which follows sacrifice, failure, and hard work.

It is the last one speaking of the sweetest success that initiated the idea of this post. It started with asking myself what makes the same fruit so sweet sometimes and not other times. I wanted to explore our efforts and why when they become fruity their sweetness varies. The sweetness of fruits depends on how much sugar and the types they have. Not all sugars have the same sweetness. I recalled buying fruits like apples which invited me to buy them because of their flavor. To my disappointment, they did not taste sweet at all. My sense of smell contradicted my sense of taste.

This brought other questions:

Can our senses fool us?

To what degree can we trust our senses?

Pondering these two questions diversified my thoughts, which I am sharing with the readers.

Smell Travels Faster Than Taste

Have you ever passed by a coffee shop roasting coffee beans? The smell invited you to go inside and buy yourself a cup of coffee. Even seeing a picture of a cup of coffee with vapor coming out urged you to make one for yourself. The flavor is the trigger for you to taste coffee. The disappointment is when the sweet flavor does not match the taste of coffee.

Anticipation failed you.

The flavor of fruits depends on several factors. Most important among them are

  • Environmental factors– humidity, temperature, and sunshine
  • Managerial factors– such as type of soil, quality of seeds chosen, fertilizers used, and irrigation scheme.
  • Maturity factors– timing of harvesting is important for the fruits to develop their full flavor. Premature harvesting is unwise.

Think about the above and you shall find they are analogous to the flavor of our efforts. If I write a post prematurely and/or pack it with many ideas will the post have an inviting factor for the readers? I can tell you no.

Cheating Flavors

Some cheeses have bad flavor and yet they taste good. Workers who work hard, wearing tight clothes, and sweat so much to produce sweet work are like these cheeses. The smell of the workers’ skin may be unfriendly and you may say bad words about them. This is because the workers sweat for a long time. Their skin produces a nasty smell because of the interaction of the bacteria on their skin with the sweat. The longer the two come in contact, the nastier the smell shall be.

  • The sweetest success is that which follows sacrifice, failure, and hard work. Is it true?

This is their reward- punishment and running away from sweaty workers for doing work that tastes good in our mouths and pockets.

Would it be better to hear sweet and “volatile” promises that have great flavor but they have no taste at all because those promises shall never come true?

Do not let your senses cheat you.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. Our perceptual system is not infallible, and many times external factors, or the mind itself, can play a “bad trick” on us. Perhaps we must be careful not to believe that we can solve our difficult cognitive and ethical problems by replacing them with abstractions. Or worse, ignoring the feelings.

  2. I loved reading your wonderful post, Ali Anani .. thank you for conjuring up so many beautiful “images”.

    Yes, I can recall the fragrance of many times including the addictive coffee, apple blossoms, lavender fields and a host of other memorable experience with sense and my ‘anticipations.’

    With direct reference to your post, I remember the inspiring phrase, “enjoy the journey” and even though it may sound ridiculously simple, it is an empowering phenomenon in creating daily happiness.

    I believe that the simple and basic key to creating daily happiness is also to allow ourselves to be excited and joyful about that which has not yet happened, mainly because without hope or anticipation, life can feel unhappy and hopeless.

    Over the past 60 odd years, I have learned that life will always be a mixed basket of things going as planned, things going better than planned, things going differently than planned, and things going much worse than planned. Creating daily happiness is allowing ourselves to find joy and wonder in the journey to our goals, dreams, and needs. Anticipation is very often more exciting than actual events.

    “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting” Andy Warhol

    • Brilliant comment, Jonathan

      Brilliant comment, Jonathan

      “I believe that the simple and basic key to creating daily happiness is also to allow ourselves to be excited and joyful about that which has not yet happened”.
      Never thought of this idea this way. It is filling my heart with hope.

      Another thought that is engaging for me is “Anticipation is very often more exciting than actual events.”
      May I addanticipation with hope. Who can be happy to anticipate in fear?