5 Ingredients To The “Real” Secret Formula

5 Ingredients To The “Real” Secret Formula

I got away with the “secret formula” from the World of Coca-Cola!

As weird as it may sound, I have Coca-Cola to thank for the inspiration behind today’s message. Earlier in the week, I wrote you about an experience with my children at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.  The purpose of that message was to get you to understand you not only have the ability to change your future, but also your past as well.

Not convinced? Well think about this.

If you look ahead about what you would like to do in the future, then take the necessary actions in the present to make that future happen, then the future results of those actions a day later will be your past.  So, by properly planning out the actions for your future, you will someday look back fondly on the past you created.  Now you should see when it concerns your future or past, moving forward from this moment on, you are in control of both!

Now back to Part 2 of my story from this week:

Because I was so inspired by the quote on the bench at the aquarium (if you didn’t read it yet, check back in your email), I realized I still had a little time to create an even better past of which my kids and I would cherish.  As we exited the aquarium, we stood right in front of the World of Coca-Cola. Since we still had an hour and a half before we had to get in the car by 2pm (and unfortunately had no interest in the College Football Hall of Fame or CNN), I asked if they wanted to see what the World of Coca-Cola was all about.  Even though they had never tried Coca-Cola before, they were enthusiastic about a final stop on our weekend adventure.

I cannot say I have never had a Coca-Cola before.  In fact, I remember good times as a kid in which the fizzy brown beverage played a role.  From New York Yankee Games to summer camp to my long-sleeve Coca-Cola polo shirt in junior high, there was a time when soda was a part of my diet and life. I guess I can blame that on being a rite of passage growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.  Well, when we entered the museum, I immediately realized how my generation is different from that of my children.  

The museum started with a tour of the history of the drink and artifacts which were over 100 years old.  It also started with a free Coca-Cola of your choice.  I choose Coca-Cola Life (green can with real sugar cane) and my daughters each picked a regular red-canned Coke.  Funny, but they didn’t even know how to open the can!  After showing them how to pop the tops, we each gave soda a try.  Not having had a soda in years, the fizz and taste brought back memories and an urge to burp.  For my kids, it was a much less pleasurable experience to say the least.  They each looked like they had tried poison and immediately threw away the full cans in a Coke-bottle-shaped garbage can.  

Aside from the fact whether you like Coca-Cola or not, the museum was interactive and fun.  After learning about the history from our guide, you enter through huge sliding doors and you see all the exhibits.  The kids visited the pop culture art featuring the iconic Coca-Cola bottle, toured rooms featuring all the past commercials and marketing campaigns, met the signature Polar Bears, and got a “Willy Wonka-like” experience getting to taste drinks from almost 100 different countries in the world-famous “tasting room.”  The museum also featured a couple of movie theaters.  In one, we saw a 4-D film all about the “secret formula” behind Coca-Cola. As the movie came on, it started with a quote and I was given another spark of inspiration:

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese


Since the concept of “leaving a wake” was so fresh in my mind, I realized that the wakes we create are a result of moments in time.  And since you never know which moments will be the ones to count the most, you should treat them all special.  It was as if I was unlocking the “secret formula” behind leaving the wake I desired.  Then, I went downstairs in the museum and actually got away with the “real” secret formula.

Regarded for 125 years as Coca-Cola’s best kept secret, the secret formula of Coca-Cola is one of the most guarded documents in business history.  And only a few years earlier, that document was moved to the heavily guarded vault at the World of Coca-Cola Museum.

Over a million people a year visit the museum to go inside of the vault.  People have been hunting for the secret formula in old documents and journals for years (16 ingredients are listed in John Pemberton’s diary shortly before his death in 1888.) Papers have surfaced over the years claiming to have cracked the code only to be dismissed as “false” and “inaccurate” by Coke executives. Scientists have also tried to break it down to the ingredients in order to crack the code.  A 2015 study identified and measured 58 aroma compounds in common colas, confirming significant amounts of compounds corresponding to cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, orange and lemon essential oils in Coca-Cola.

It has remained a 125 year-old mystery until now.  I have figured out the secret formula while in the vault at the World of Coca-Cola that houses the actual secret recipe!  The secret recipe I discovered, however, was not how to create a unique beverage.   The secret recipe I discovered was how to create a unique life.

Although Coca-Cola is known to have at least 16 ingredients, the ingredients necessary for a sweet memory are much less.  Here is the 5-Step Secret Recipe for a Memory you will always savor:

Step 1
Add Some SUGAR

Add some love and compassion into what you do.  The more emotional the event, the better your brain is at remembering it.

Step 2
Sprinkle In Some SPICE

Try new things.  Get out of your comfort zone and push your limits.  “Firsts” are great for memory creation.

Step 3

Be upbeat and have fun.  Great times really do lead to memories that last a lifetime.

Step 4
Don’t Forget The VANILLA

Every moment counts.  And you never know when a moment will be a great moment.  So, even if things seem a little bland, treat them as special too.

Step 5
Stir with as MANY HANDS as possible

Although you will create some great memories by yourself, having more people around you increases the chances of a time you won’t forget.  Surround yourself with friends, blend the first 4 ingredients and watch the memories flow.

This week in Atlanta, I found two great quotes where I least expected to find them.  

What were my big three lessons?

1.  You never know where you may get your next great idea.
2.  Max out each day in order to leave some great history in your wake.
3. Your history will not be made of the days, but the moments.

Your life happens from moment to moment.  Better make them count. Since they are your moments, you choose how they are created and how you create them will add up to your wake. Now that you know this, your job is to use this information to create moments for others.  When you do, you will be remembered and properly by leaving behind a great wake.

This week with my kids, a trip to an aquarium taught me about wakes and soda reminded me of memories.  Leave it to Coca-Cola to help me put together the “secret formula.”

Yours in Strength,