I sat here this morning in my usual spot at Starbucks at 6 am and ponder what to blog about. Should I write about how crazy the world is because the front of the newspaper is filled with all kinds of terrible things happening? Should I write an inspirational piece about ancient Maori warriors crossing oceans on canoes and then burning their canoes to give themselves no escape and thus having to fight to gain control of the new island to survive – no Retreat!

All kinds of ideas dance through my head as they usually do, but while I think of new topics, I started noticing the environment around me. So many different people, so many different choices, all here at Starbucks. There’s a lot of life lessons that can be learned from sitting at a Starbucks.

BE VERSATILE

One of the keys to being successful in life is to be versatile. Starbucks is no doubt the leading coffee company in America, and boy aren’t they versatile. Espressos, Frappuccinos, Tazo Teas, Scones, Muffins, you name it, they got it. Each drink can be made in numerous different ways as well, different kinds of milk, different flavors, the possibilities are endless. The more versatile you are, aka the more roles you can fill, the greater likelihood you’ll be successful. Along with that note, it’s important to stay in your lane. There’s a fine line between being versatile (in the things that you do well like make coffee) and just being mediocre at a lot of things. I used to fail simply because I tried to be too many things to too many people and didn’t hone skills at a couple of things.. Be versatile, but make sure you’re utilizing skills your best at.

BE AVAILABLE

It seems like Starbucks is on every corner here in Dallas, TX. Not only that, it seems like it’s always open. Success seems to find those who are available and ready for it. In business, how can you succeed if you’re not available to your customers? In relationships, how can you build a great one if you’re not there for your significant other? Availability is the key to opportunity. You’ll never get anywhere in life if you’re not “open.”

SMILE

These Starbucks baristas always start my day off well because they’re always smiling. No one likes to deal with grumpy people. There’s something about a smile pointed in our direction that is good for the human spirit. A smile pointed at you is welcoming. It says I respect you, I appreciate you for being here. Even better is a smile that you wear. The smile you points at the world says “cheer up, the world is a good place.” Smiles are contagious. I dare you to sit in your school, office, or home or wherever you’re reading this and just smile with the biggest grin you can. You know what you’ll realize? Everyone wants to be associated with a smiling person. Someone inevitably will want to know why you’re smiling and more importantly what they can do to be apart of that smile. It never fails.

ENJOY THE REWARDS IN LIFE

At Starbucks, you build up points from purchases and ultimately receive your Starbucks Gold card which gives you several perks and rewards. The tally system is built to help reward you for your consistency. You don’t have to go to Starbucks, but it is important to always reward yourself for your consistency. Too many people think they should only reward themselves when they achieve a goal. Those people don’t realize that success is a continuous journey, not a destination. If you think rewards should only come when you “get there,” you’ll go through life missing the beauty of the journey. Start finding ways to reward yourself for continuing the journey toward your goal, not just getting there. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, give yourself a small treat when you lose 5-10, after all, you’re lighter than you would have been if you never started. In relationships, don’t wait for your “anniversary” every year to treat your mate to a special date. If you care about someone, every day you’re together should be reason enough to celebrate. Go on a picnic, go on a date, give them a card every week that says happy “week anniversary.” Appreciate the little things, for it’s a bunch of little things that add up to milestones.

Whatever you do, remember, life can be good if you allow it to be. Grab your coffee, get up and get going!

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