In the prior blog I highlighted the importance of focusing on your friendships in college as opposed to focusing just on your grades. However, I wanted to expand the umbrella of that recommendation. Parents should encourage their kids, in the college years, to focus on things that truly matter. Too often in life the things that matter are at the mercy of the things that do not matter. Since college habits often become life habits, it is important to establish the right priorities and the right habits during those early adult years. To illustrate that point, here is a letter to my daughter, Skyler, in her freshman year of college.

 

Dear Skyler,

We received the following bit (below) from a friend and we thought you might enjoy it.

         A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and 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, and some exquisite – telling them to help themselves. After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but 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’s 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. 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 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.”

Forget the cup? Just enjoy your coffee?

 

For me, that is a great motto for life …

 

With all of our stress, focus on what really counts …

 

The quality of our relationships and our family: that is what counts …

 

Drink wisely …

Orange coffee cup isolated on white