As I was going through my photos while enjoying a cup of coffee, I saw this photo, “The Cup Story”, that I took in Seoul. This photo reminds me of a famous quote by an unknown author – “Life is like a cup of coffee”.
This quote has a story that accompanies it. The story is about the conversation between a Professor and his former students who gathered at the Professor’s home after stepping into the corporate world for many years.
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guest 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 noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken, 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.
Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups…And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups!
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Naturally, we would gravitate towards what is visually appealing to us whether an object or person. This is why many of us, including myself, would spend our hard earned money on luxury goods like handbags, shoes, clothes, watches and jewellery. For some, they spent on flashy sports cars.
Did all these luxury goods improve my quality of life? Honestly, no. I experienced joy at the point when I bought them and a little joy when I use or wear them but that joy fades away quickly. I kept buying to experience that initial joy. In order to fulfil that want, I spent more time at work. Needless to say, my quality of life did not get better.
In fact the more stuff I own, the more the stuff own me. The stuff I own distracted me from living my life. I spent my time finding space to store and maintain them. Now I am spending my time to sell them. If only I did not buy them, I could use the money to reduce my mortgage loan.
Then, I discover what is true value and happiness to me. It is the experiences that I can relive like doing things I enjoy, travelling and exploring the city I live in, to gain a new perspective. Not forgetting, spending time with my loved ones. Many a time, it is the simple things in life that matter the most.
This reminds me of the response from one of my former managers when I asked him what motivates him to be so discipline in going for regular exercises and workouts in his busy schedule. His response was so that he would still be strong and healthy to go travelling, hiking and skiing with his children when they grow up.
What is of true value to you? What makes your life great and meaningful? Add that to the existing content in the cup of your life. Remove what distracts you from living your life.
Life is like a cup of coffee – Live simply, make the best of everything, spend more time with loved ones, give back, enjoy the beauty of nature, explore the city you live in and see the world.
Thank you for stopping by, happy Living for Experiences!