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Life Lessons Learned from Coffee

Ah, the beautiful brown liquid. Staring back at me from my favorite cup, whispering in steam with the perfect pep talk for my upcoming day. As a freelancer, I work from home and my attention is often demanded by a multitude of tasks. My work requires a significant amount of focus and internal motivation to complete all that I need to get accomplished. The first part of ensuring that happens starts with my morning coffee.

It just makes the morning so much more manageable, you know? I am NOT a morning person. As a result, I have invested a significant amount so that I can have my favorite espresso machine and very small coffee bar on demand, at all times. Some people prefer tea, some need quiet time to reflect or prepare, and others look to routine to center themselves for the day. I’m a little less structured and, let’s be honest, a touch (being generous here) more chaotic. Personally, I need a cup of nearly scalding coffee to approach my ever-growing list of to-dos.

After making myself my favorite morning concoction, I realized a few things about my coffee.

  • Variety is a beautiful thing: Yes, I learned this from coffee. Or rather, coffee made me realize that I find this to be important. Don’t trap yourself into a habit just for the sake of, well, habit. Let yourself be free to change things when you need something different. Want to try a new brew? Go for it! Need a change? Make a change. Yes friends, try new things.

  • Different circumstances require different brews: I like to add milk and top it off with a different flavored syrup. If I really need a punch in the face, I love a strong, straight-up espresso, no additions. On a hot day, a nice, tall, iced coffee with vanilla does the trick. I take my coffee differently depending on the weather, my mood, and what I have scheduled for a particular day. The point? Don’t trap yourself into a particular modus operandi simply because that’s how you handle other situations. View each problem with its own special set of circumstances and ask yourself what the best approach is for each individual situation.

  • Just because you don’t like a certain brew doesn’t mean others don’t: In short, who cares if you don’t like something that others do? Drop the judgement and be happy with your own choices. Being different is what makes us interesting.

  • Coffee does not fix everything: Ok, I concede that coffee fixes many things, for myself at least (even if the coffee goes Irish on tough days). But, when push comes to shove, you may need to buckle down and take the hard road. While I hope that my morning coffee prepares me for all days, I am sometimes forced to grind my teeth and make tough choices. It’s always there to console me in the aftermath, however.

  • You can make it however you like: If you ever decide that a situation isn’t for you, don’t waver from your stance. Make it how you like it. You only get one life to live and listening to others too much might keep you from a grand adventure. Or finding out something amazing about yourself that you never knew. Those are often the most frightening, but exhilarating, discoveries. Heeding good advice is one thing, but ultimately, don’t let yourself be dissuaded from something that matters to you.

As always friends, please drink responsibly.

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