I love bacon, and I know that you do too. I’ve never met anyone who dislikes bacon. Comedian Jim Gaffigan does an almost 15 minute stand-up routine on the wonders of bacon.

But I believe that bacon is more than just a wonderful, delicious, spectacular, healthy food. (that’s right, I said bacon is healthy. It’s healthy because every time I eat it, I experience happiness. And research suggests that positive emotions promote longevity. Based on this reasoning, bacon actually increases life expectancy! How’s that for backwards logic?). I believe that we can actually learn some important life lessons from our friend, bacon.

So today, fry up a few pieces of bacon, drain that grease, and open your minds to bacon’s life lessons.

1. It takes effort to turn raw potential into something worthwhile.

I’ve always been a little apprehensive around people who order their steaks rare. Pink center, that’s fine. Blood on the plate, that’s concerning. We get it: you’re a carnivore. Now cook that steak a little more for the sake of everyone with whom you are eating!

But I’ve never known anyone who eats their bacon raw. We’ve got to cook bacon to experience its deliciousness. Raw bacon is slimy and smelly. Cooked bacon is mouth-watery, savory, and delectable.

In much the same way, we have to “cook” our “raw” potential. We must invest in our talents and abilities. We have to practice to get better. We tend to be overly impressed with talent. We admire professional athletes, movie stars, musicians, etc. for their God-given talents. But we often fail to appreciate the time, effort and practice that was integral to their success. To be successful at anything, talent is important, but time and practice are more important.

2. Spend more time in your life celebrating achievements.

In his skit about bacon, Jim Gaffigan remarks that bacon is so appetizing that it sounds like it is applauding itself when it’s frying: “Yeah bacon!”

We don’t spend enough time celebrating both our own and others’ successes. We typically wait too long to celebrate success. We will experience more satisfaction in our lives if we break down our large, long-term goals into smaller, more manageable goals. Upon accomplishing the smaller goal, take time to celebrate it! For example, lots of people have a goal to write a book. They start to write, but they lose momentum. It feels like they will never finish the book, and they quit. By breaking down the large goal of writing a book into the smaller goal of writing a chapter a week, success is achieved on a weekly basis, and momentum is built, rather than lost.

And don’t just celebrate your own achievements. It can be very rewarding, both for you and for the other person, when you celebrate another person’s achievements.

Hopeful Hint: Take a lesson from bacon: turn your raw potential into something beautiful, and celebrate your achievements!