52 Cups of Coffee
Invigorating, refreshing, delicious and fragrant; coffee is full of blessings. At E-180, we equally admire the drink for its ability awaken new ideas and boost the mind for consuming knowledge; hence, a perfect drink for getting to know someone.
To the south, a 22 year old American girl named Megan seems to have discovered the secret powers of coffee. A Michigan State University alumnus, she lived, like other graduates, with the anxiety of facing the beginning of the rest of her life. The counter was at zero and the beginning had to be a sprint…
“I don’t know where that thought came from, but I know it was a real fear. I also know that I’m incredibly grateful for those that helped me see the irrationality in my thinking.”
Okay, so how many among us, student or not, have felt this way? As if once we reach “adulthood” we hit the Fast-Forward button and every decision has to be THE right one; as if there were no alternatives, that every decision we make will dictate our future and everything feels like a ‘one shot deal’… ‘take it or leave it’.
Faced with innumerable questions, she found the opportunity to meet with a young man who she was introduced to by one of her professors. After this meeting, she realized that there were no “precise plans” that she needed to adhere to day to day… And that’s good. Bonus: this young man is now her best friend. In observing the incredible potential provided by that one meeting, she made the following goal:
« 52 Cups of Coffee was my yearlong experiment in caffeine and conversation. I wanted to see what would happen if I spent a year talking to strangers so I invited 52 different people to coffee and asked them to tell me about their life and the lessons they’d learned along the way. »
She met with people through LinkedIn and Twitter, and others by means of a common friend. The list of people she met is quite impressive, from Clark Bunting (President of the Discovery Channel) to Steve Wozniak (Co-founder of Apple Computers), as well as a number of entrepreneurs, travelers, artists, students and teachers, who all had something to say about the quest for happiness and the ideal life. The same message was heard over and over – You have to find YOUR own place in this world and decide what YOU want to do. Leave behind everything everyone else wants and expects of you. You have to work hard to reach your goals, but if you’re happy doing what you’re doing it’s worth any sacrifices you have to make along the way. At the end of her quest, she not only made new friends, but also the experience opened her eyes to the world, in a way she never imagined. Her career plans have changed and she is planning to take a trip around the world. (6 months, 72 destinations, 15 countries).
She concluded the entire experience of meeting 52 people with this sentence:
« People need to learn to stop looking at life from the outside in and start looking from the inside out. »
At a TED conference at Queen’s University, she presented her project by talking about the meetings of cups 15, 36, 40, 51 and others. What can we take from this video? The potential lay within each of her meetings with the individual. How will we know? Simple, invite someone you think is awesome out for a cup of coffee and talk.
Are you tempted to have a similar experience? Come register at E-180 to be the first users when the English public site launches in the Fall.