As someone who drank I don’t know 5 or more lattes on average a day and thought coffee was god’s gift to the world, I never could imagine speaking any slander towards coffee. Here’s my story and hopefully it can help you and whatever your addiction maybe.

the addiction

Recent college graduate and hooked on the coffee from all those college all-nighters, and naturally, I took coffee with me into the workplace. I was drinking around 5-8 coffees a day, working a 9-5 and overtime. 2 coffees before work, one coffee on the way to work, coffee at work, another coffee at work and sometimes another coffee at work, and then a coffee at home as I continued to work on my real interests not what I spent the latter part of the day doing.

the story

Then one day, I quit my job. I had $1500. Naturally, I went to Bali the next day. I was meant to stay in Bali for less than 2 weeks, so that I could have ample time to find a new job and start making money and buying lattes again; but Bali is Bali and I stuck around for the full 30 days of my visitor visa. So, I didn’t quit the coffees in Bali, I actually was drinking even more coffees there (those way-too-lovely-way-too-cheap-balinese-coffees). But the point is, I realized how much money I spend on things like coffee, and what a ridiculous life of excess I was living. Suddenly, when 100 dollars is 1,000,000 Indonesian dollars, you realize how much you actually have. And that’s the beauty of traveling. I came back to Australia with what was left in the bank and without a care in the world. Since returning to Sydney from Bali, I quit coffees and haven’t found a new job. It has been 8 months.

Since returning to Sydney from Bali, I quit coffees and haven’t found a new job. It has been 8 months.

And these 8 months have been some of the most memorable of my life. I started doing everything I love, living my dreams, not just dreaming them. I traveled all of the 2000 km of Australia that I had been working and working, and saving and saving to see, I went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and jet skiing in the Whitsundays. I lived in a treehouse, I explored with my best friend and a National Geographic photographer, I lived in a tent in the rainforest, I swam in the ocean everyday and ate coconuts, I meditated and yoga-ed. I sailed a yacht to New Zealand, I flew internationally twice and started my creative projects and business plans that had been on perma-hold.

I’ve started to live my dream life with essentially nothing. You’d be surprised how creative you become when you don’t have anything. I have a lot of thanking to do to the wonderful people who lent me a hand along my journey but what it comes down to is that you don’t need as much as you think you do. Many of the things we spend our money or energy on, are things to fill some type of need, comfort, instant gratification. When you can feel satisfied and comfortable without these excessive outlets of gratification or attention, then you can really live.

Why do you drink coffee?

We should understand why we are drinking coffee, and not just coffee for that matter, that pie, french fries, bag of chips or overpriced starbucks-sugar-water-“tea”. Why do we buy these things? First of all, we usually are buying them on the go. I’m at the train station, waiting impatiently for my train to go to work, I smell coffee and donuts..mmm..donuts..and I order a coffee. I have to walk to my appointment and I walk by a coffee shop, perfect, I’ll grab a coffee to sip on for my walk. much better. I’m a bit tired in the office now and could use a walk, does anyone want a coffee?

Okay, so we’re drinking coffees like water because we are bored, impatient, anxious, not satisfied, lethargic, tired and basically that cup of coffee will fix everything. All of a sudden, I’m kind of enjoying this train ride, this walk isn’t so bad and work is easier.

We are using coffee as a scapegoat, and it feels so natural. My mom drinks coffee, my neighbor drinks coffee, do you see all the cafes? And after awhile, you think, I NEED coffee. I will be a zombie without it. I won’t be perky or sociable. No one will like me. I am boring without coffee. I won’t have any energy. I don’t think I can even work without coffee and if I can’t work that means I won’t have any money to buy coffee.

I came to a realization.

I don’t actually need coffee. I don’t need it to stay focused or alert; I choose not to be dependent on it anymore and guess what? I am not a zombie without it. This is all illusion. All addictions start in the mind, and it is this willpower that can break them. I understand, I have been drinking coffee out of a craving for fulfillments and for comfort and this has turned into a habit that I am breaking.

Get to the point.

In all actuality, I’m not advising you to quit your job or to even quit coffees for that matter. And for sure, treat yourself! What I’m saying is to simply be a more conscious consumer.

There’s a difference between sitting down with a friend and having a lovely morning tea and buying a coffee to go at any old coffee shop, just to have something to hold in your hands that makes you feel satisfied for the duration of the cup. Coffee is not the excuse for that early-morning-pick-me-up that you could get by simply doing a backbend or touching your toes.

Don’t feed your cravings. You can break them by simply being aware of them. Live simply, feel lighter, be confident and comfortable even in the uncomfortable and do your thing. Watch what happens.