Recently, my husband and I were invited to a baptism celebration in the home of our Colombian friends. At first, we seemed to fit in perfectly, talking, laughing and dancing with them; until they served the cake with a beverage.
As the hostess made her way around the room with the tray, I thought, I can’t wait to have a good cup of Colombian coffee.
When, she finally brought the tray in front of me, I picked up the plastic cup and noticed it was cold. I placed it back on the tray in disappointment when I realized it was not coffee in the cups but, cola.
She insisted I take a cup. When I said, “No thank you. I don’t drink cola,” her eyes nearly popped out of her face. The people seated around me, stared with their mouths wide open and whispered, “What country is she from?”
They couldn’t understand why someone would refuse what they consider a prestigious beverage, especially at parties. I couldn’t understand why in a country famous for the finest coffee in the world, they prefer cola.
After we laughed over the whole thing and everyone went back to enjoying the party, two women came over to me.
Are you ready for this?
They admitted that most of them actually prefer coffee to cola. But, their social conditioning had a powerful hold on them and no one dared to step outside the rules.
This reminded me of a very important lesson I learned years ago.
Some people around you will not understand your journey. They don’t need to; it’s not for them – Paulo Coelho
For years, I followed the same routine of going to the same job and maintaining my belongings because society believed this was the “prestigious beverage” for a successful and happy life. Meanwhile, I preferred the finest coffee; I wanted to start my own online coaching business, while traveling across South America.
When I told people about my dream, their eyes nearly popped out of their face. “Are you out of your mind? You can’t give up everything you worked so hard for. You’ll lose everything!”
Although many hoped for a change in their own lives, no one dared to break society’s rules. And, no one understood the journey I wanted to take.
So, I believed them. I continued waking up every morning dreading to go to work and was miserable. Until the day I woke and smelled the coffee. I understood that,
There’s only one person who can feel your pain and happiness and understand your dreams: YOU!
Sometimes, when faced with a big life decision, whether ending a relationship, a career change, moving away or being a stay at home parent and so on, society will try to convince you that cola is the prestigious beverage. It will tell you that, by following and living your life by its rules, you’ll achieve happiness and success. They might think you’re not doing anything significant with your life. But, you may prefer the finest coffee in the world to follow your own dream and make decisions outside of society’s rules.
They won’t get you! How could you NOT want what everyone else wants?
It’s okay to prefer coffee.
It’s okay to want something true to yourself. They won’t understand. They don’t need to understand. You do! It’s your life.
Remember, when someone tells you that your dream is impossible and criticizes you, they’re telling you their story, not yours.
But, when you say, “It’s impossible or ridiculous,” let it be your starting point. Ask yourself, “Why is it impossible or ridiculous?”
Is it because you don’t have the skills or knowledge?
Is it because of a belief you’re holding on to?
Is it because no one gets you?
And so on.
From there, ask yourself this million dollar question. Is it really impossible or ridiculous, or is it an illusion my mind has created?
If you pay close attention, you will realize that the only thing that is real is this moment. If you stay with this realization, you’ll accept that where you are now is exactly where you need to be to move forward.
Your first step will be the only thing that matters and will lead you to the next step and the one after that and so on.
Oh yes, you will most probably tumble a few times and get lost along the way. Sometimes, you may need to take a few steps backwards before moving forward again. You’ll feel like maybe you should have settled for cola.
Here’s the thing, the road to following your dream is a very unpredictable one and you may need to take a few detours. Pay attention to each one. They may lead you to unexpected breathtaking sights. While planning is important, it is also important to make space for intuition and the unexpected. Every single step, every setback and tumble is necessary to teach you what you need to know.
If you’re waiting for someone to come along to wake you up with a good cup of coffee so you finally have the approval from others to give you the motivation to follow your dream, you’ll end up waiting a long time. And, that day may never come.
Some steps need to be taken alone. It’s the only way to figure out where you need to go and who you need to be.
Let your passion for your dream be the source of energy that fills you with motivation. Your dream matters! You matter!
Before you know it, you will have turned the impossible into possible. What others believed to be ridiculous won’t matter because it’s how you feel about your dream that will matter.
When you get there, that cup of coffee will be the finest in the world and will taste so good! You’ll look back on your journey and understand each step you had to take through the lessons you learned and wisdom you gained.
What was just a dream that seemed out of reach or ridiculous, will be a part of your life. When you work towards doing something you love, you live to enjoy every moment of your life. That’s true success!
Be the influence for others to try a different beverage 🙂
Now, I’m going for a great cup of Colombia’s finest coffee.
Have you ever taken a big decision where no one got you? What insights can you share that we can all learn from?