Life Lessons From Starbucks


I’m curious about why I can order the same exact drink at Starbucks, and it can taste different every single time.  It seems like we should be able to rely on this experience every time (certainly for how much we pay for it), and yet we feel the opposite.  As I take a sip of my Venti 2 Splenda Skinny Vanilla Latte, I wonder if they didn’t pump enough vanilla or did they pump too much.  Did they forget the Splenda?  Why does my coffee have a burnt taste?  Is there too much milk?

Predictable Unpredictability

I share this with you as a true question, but I think it is a great life lesson too.  We frequently expect to enter a situation and get the same results each time; however, life, like Starbucks, is rarely predictable.  I think that we are at our best when we question less and just enjoy the experience for what it is.  My drink may not taste how I expect it to taste; however, it is still good. I need to learn to let go of my disappointment and just enjoy it. I should laugh with every sip of my drink at the predictable unpredictability that my Starbucks barista has poured in a cup for me.

Plan for Surprises

When I put financial plans together for clients, I ALWAYS have them plan for “surprises” in life. There is nothing worse than experiencing something unpredictable (loss of a job, loved one, etc.) and not only going through the emotional challenge of that, but feeling it financially as well. The best way to avoid that is to plan for it. If we know and plan for the unexpected in life, then it will not have such a negative effect on us when it happens. Next time you go to Starbucks and get a cup of predictable unpredictability, think about if you have your plan in place yet and if not, get started as soon as possible. If you need help, there are plenty of resources online:

Budgets Are Sexy – Budget Templates

Money Crashers – How to make a budget




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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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