Spilt Coffee

Vance Larson
2 min readJan 28, 2024

Many years ago, I was getting a coffee at the Bucks. I know, shocking. While in line, I remember thinking that I was going to be late for my first patient. Just then, the woman who just got her coffee, dropped it. It went everywhere. Visibly upset, the gentleman in front of me {wearing his best power suit} said, “May that be the worst thing that happens to you today.” I’m not sure that’s what she wanted to hear in the moment, but it sure resonated with me.

Life happens. And more often than not, there are going to be some setbacks and disappointments. There is a quote that states life is only 10% of what happens to you. The other 90% is how we respond. That’s kind of a Zen mindset. But if you think about it, how many us have let little things rent far too much space in our heads? I’m guessing most.

Life doesn’t have to be perfect, to be beautiful. Nor does it have to flow smoothly. Sure it helps. But clarity can come from chaos. New destinations will arrive out of pain. The real problem as I see it, is assumptions. We often build up this fantasy, without looking at the variables. We often get what we want, but how often is it exactly how we envisioned it?

Not all bad things are bad things. They just feel like it at the time. Our challenge is not to overreact. To embrace the moment and make the most of it. Trust me, there will be plenty of truly horrific times during our lives. Let’s not make every setback the end of the world. Easier said than done, I know. But if we can master the moment, we can master our lives.

So that flat tire you just got, the promotion you didn’t get, the break up you just had…it’s not the end. In fact, it is the next step to whatever you want it to be. It make take a little work on our parts, but that is how we master the moment.

As for the woman who spilled her coffee at the Bucks? Not sure how the rest of her day went. But for me, it was a reminder that not everything has to be perfect. I was 2 minutes late for my patient, but I was focused and had my coffee to boot. My client got the best of me. And if you were to ask them, a 2 minute wait wasn’t even noticed until I walked into my office waiting room. Both relaxed and ready for our session.

So relax and breathe. You’re going to spill plenty of coffee in your life. The question is, what is that going to do to you?



Vance Larson

I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years. I share my experiences {both personal and professional} about thought provoking subjects. Follow me.