The show fascinates because it throws novices into a crucible of high-stakes competition and forces them to grow their talent, or go home. The framework of the weekly challenges jars each contestant out of his comfort zone and forces him to adapt to circumstances he initially believes insurmountable. Each challenge is time-intensive and at all times the cooks are held to the highest standards. Potential means nothing; execution is everything. The stakes are high, the pressure is higher, and the viewer is swept along in the wake of the excitement, passion, and energy of the competitors.
An overriding theme is the importance of effort. The cooks sprint back and forth to the pantry; they run with prepared dishes in hand to the serving line; they are exhorted and commanded to operate at a near-manic pace at all times. The mental and physical pressure and strain is evident - yet, each contestant seems amped, energized, and emboldened by the challenge. The pressure fans their passion and builds their skill as they transform into world-class chefs during the course of several weeks.
Apply the same principles and efforts shown by these chefs, to whatever your endeavor, and you will experience similar success. Become a master, become great.
From September 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com