What is Really Impotant in Life? :Putting Things in Perspective


A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university lecturer. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the lecturer went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, some plain-looking and some expensive and exquisite, telling them to help themselves to hot coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the lecturer 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.”  What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the better cups and are eyeing each other’s cups.”

“Now, if life is coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, but the quality of Life doesn’t change. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it.”

Don’t let the cups drive you… enjoy the coffee instead.


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April 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Parables, Slacker-Sutras, Slacking, Teaching Stories, Wisdom.


  1. irfanuddin replied:

    Thought Provoking….. very well penned 🙂

  2. ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

    Ah Irfan…glad you liked it…but I can take credit only for sharing it, i read it many times & it made me think…when people go after shiny objects/ get stuck in the rat race, they forget that they are thus ignoring the matters of real importance n focussing on the trivials instead. 🙂

  3. Chalo Dilli « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

    […] What is Really Impotant in Life? utting Things in Perspective (ritusthoughtcatcher.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Nishant replied:

    Very beautiful post, indeed.
    At some other level it reminds me of the famous Helen Keller quote, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
    I guess you need to work a bit over the theme of your blog. Try ‘Pilcrow’. Whenever WordPress issues a new theme I quickly check the preview and sometimes apply the fresh theme but in a few days I get back to Pilcrow. Just a suggestion, it’ll enhance both readability and aesthetics of your blog. 🙂

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