We Get the Life We Tolerate
I often say that reinvention starts with a spark. Sometimes that’s a spark of new possibilities. But when we tolerate things that we don’t like or don’t make us happy, we kill the opportunity for reinvention. Tolerance kills reinvention. Tolerance in all things, relationships, family, career, business, health, and wealth kills the spark that makes reinvention possible. And it doesn’t only apply to the big things, it can apply to small things as well. After a while, even the small things add up. In this post, I share one small tolerance that I finally did something about and the lessons I learned.
I started using a moka pot to make espresso while staying at an AirBnB last year. Usually, I use my Chemex coffeemaker, Baratza grinder, and scale when I’m at home to make pour over coffee. However, since I don’t take all of that with me on trips, I used moka pot to make espresso instead of pour over coffee.
The espresso I made was very bitter and I had to add sugar to it just so that I could drink it. Normally, I do not like adding sugar since I want to appreciate the flavors of the coffee, not the sugar. I tolerated this for 3 weeks and simply made the espresso, added sugar, and drank it.
Occasionally, I’d walk 25 minutes to a great coffee shop. A little inconvenient, but worth it.
Finally, after 3 weeks, I could not tolerate it anymore and I decided to look up videos on making great espresso. I learned what causes espresso to become bitter and small adjustments to bring out the proper flavor/aromas. It was enlightening and I learned a lot about making a great espresso with a moka pot.
I applied the lessons I learned and the espresso was completely transformed! It was a night and day difference! The aromas were incredible and I could taste the flavor notes of chocolate and hints of apple.
All of a sudden, I discovered a world of high quality espresso making at home!
What I learned from tolerating bad coffee
- It’s so easy to tolerate things. It’s incredible how easily we can tolerate things by just responding, “it’s fine.” For example, when people ask, “how’s your job?” We might quickly reply, “it’s fine, it pays the bills.”
- It’s even easier to miss what we tolerate. Some things we tolerate so much that we stop noticing the inconvenience or dissatisfaction (i.e. broken headlight, squeaky door, a struggling relationship, etc).
- 15 minutes can drive a breakthrough. Most things we tolerate can be solved if we simply dedicate a little time to it. Even 15 min of focused effort can produce a result that lasts a lifetime.
- Discovering new possibilities. When we break through what we tolerate, we might even discover a world of possibilities previously unknown to us. I write more about this here.
- Possibilities drive reinventions. When you discover new possibilities, you open yourself to reinvention. In this small way, I reinvented myself into an espresso maker.
The moment you notice dissatisfaction or that you are tolerating, do something right then and there to begin or commit to a solution. It doesn’t have to take long, but it has to commit you to a solution.
Reinvention starts with a spark!
Stop tolerating things you don’t like and create the possibility for your own reinvention in any area of your life.