a personal collission of coffee, christ, and culture

Slow and Steady Wins the Race…

2 weeks ago I left my coffee job of 2 years to pursue a new venture with Steady Hand Pour House here in the fine city of Atlanta, Georgia. Ever since then I have been wanting to sit and jot some ideas down about the shift but have not had the time until practically right now. I am sure we all know what it’s like to shift out of our routine. It kind of shakes things up and it can take a minute to get back into a routine.

Even though I would not say my routine is set by any stretch of the imagination, I would say that I am getting a better idea of what I need to work on with my new barista position at Steady Hand. I am finding that my habits of commanding a bar are being put to the test, and many of those habits are being replaced with new ones.

At my past coffee shop, the behind the counter space was easily 3 times the size as it is now. Some may view this as a bad thing, but I am huge fan of limitations. Limitations cause you to excel because your creativity is pushed to the limits. I know that some are not privy to the idea, but I always love the thought of doing more with less. Not only does it make you more creative, but it increases confidence and builds resilience. Getting by on less can make you stronger. Often I find this to be true.

However, my enthusiasm is not readily apparent when old habits are confronted and I know I must change them. After I have done something one way for 2 years, it pains me a bit to have to revamp and retool. But isn’t this what we have to do often? Whether its our finances, our exercise, or our relationships (or any number of areas!), always examining things and keeping up with changes around you can not only keep your head above water, but give you confidence so that you can dive below the surface with ease.

Sometimes I don’t always show it in the moment, due to fear, hesitancy, or nervousness, but I am truly thankful and excited to be guided in a new and, I believe, better direction at Steady Hand. If I am not progressing, whats the point? If I am not constantly changing, constantly improving maybe the towel just needs to be thrown in.

I think these small examples from our lives apply across various disciplines too. I know that all analogies break down, but let us try to at least be humble at times and understand that at no point will our perspectives be perfect. Some may be close, but even those can get closer. I think we know those positions we absolutely will not back down from. Those positions that burn within us, and leave their mark on others. But sometimes, myself included, we hold stringently and ardently to things that could use a new perspective.

Just like when I go into the coffee shop to work alongside people to learn and grow as a barista, we are alongside people all day, and I think one of the reasons for this, is to learn and grow as a person. I believe that a community’s capacities can, in many ways, outweigh that of the individual. A collective of individuals bring strength, solidity, and a combined wisdom that sometimes exceed that of the individual.

For these reasons, I am truly thankful to be surrounded by a collection of people who challenge me, who encourage me, and who place me within the limitations to excel.

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One response

  1. Hope

    Thomas,
    totally agree with you on the whole changing your ways thing.
    It is difficult at first but when you overcome it, you have gained so much whether it be confidence, strength or both of the above!
    I myself am going through a change in character/life as we speak. I do admit that sometimes I want to throw in the towel since it is the easy thing to do.
    And when I falter or lose sight of whats really important, I get down on myself (again, the easy way out).
    What I am learning from all this is that change is good. And its worth fighting for.

    April 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

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