Apples vs Potatoes

If you open my journal for 2022, on the front cover, you will see my top lessons of the year. And one of them is “Apples vs. Potatoes”. This is one of my favorite stories from the Capoeira Instructor Course with Mestre Cueca. Since then, I have shared it many times with my friends, fellow teachers, and students. And here is it for you.

Potatoes are seasonal vegetables: you plant it and you get potatoes for this season. Then you have to plan it again, and again.

Apples take a long time until they turn into your own apple orchid. You need to wait around seven years to have apples on the tree. But once the apple tree starts giving fruits, you will have it for your whole life, and probably your children and their children can enjoy it as well.

Your job is like planting potatoes. Your career and lifestyle are apples.

All of us wish to grow apple orchids and enjoy long-term and steady results of our hard work. But you have to eat. You can’t starve for seven years until the apple starts to grow. You have to go for the potatoes. But as you eat your potatoes, don’t forget to keep planting your apples.

More examples from the world of capoeira:

“Capoeira as job, in terms to create salary, is the worst job in the world. But capoeira as lifestyle or as a career, is the best life in the world.”

Mestre Cueca

Potatoes in capoeira: birthday parties, after-school programs, performances, private classes – all the stuff that you have to change hour of your life for money is potatoes.

Apple trees in capoeira: building generations of students, building a community, educating people, wise leadership.

The problem with modern capoeira is people go to apple trees and start digging for potatoes.

Eat your potatoes. Don’t forget to keep planting those apples.