“Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it."
Like many people my day starts with a coffee – it’s probably one of the morning rituals I can’t do without. In the rushed pace of modern life and everyday stresses we face, coffee can help us to feel alert and maintain focus. It seems logical that when stress levels rise, we frantically attempt to keep up, thinking that the harder and longer we work, the better off we will be.
If your ‘busy’ life has made it difficult for you to find delight in the little things, then perhaps now is a good time to rethink your priorities about the things that matter most.
Here’s a story* that is food for thought and I trust that you’ll probably never look at your cup of coffee the same way again.
There was once a group of alumni, highly established in their careers, who got together to visit their old university professor. The professor welcomed them and entertained them in the drawing room. When they gathered together, they just talked and exchanged their own experiences in both the fields of work and of life. The conversation soon turned to complaints about stress in work and in life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, “If you notice, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and were eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the coffee and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and do not change the quality of life.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, you fail to enjoy the coffee I have provided. So, don’t let the cups drive you … enjoy the coffee instead.