MoneySkills with Nelson Letshwene

Money & the psychology of money


Coffee cup

Coffee cup (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

You are a slave to whatever masters you!

A habit is, by my definition, a thing that you do without thinking anymore. I mean, you think, but then again, it’s on automatic. For a long time I have always enjoyed a cup of coffee. Having a cup of coffee in the morning is like an automatic and an obvious thing to do. What else would you do? And then there’s the midmorning tea time, which meant coffee time. And of course to avoid that afternoon slumber after lunch, there’s the afternoon cup. And what’s wrong with a cup of coffee when you get back home from a long day at work? And then there’s that after dinner cup, when you’re just “chilling”. And if it’s winter, there’s the snuggle up cup of steaming hot coffee.
But since I wake up very early to read, I noticed there would be two cups of coffee before I get to the office, then there’s the arrival at the office cup of coffee; the midmorning cup, or two before lunch; and of course I don’t like alcohol so a cup of coffee after lunch was no harm; then the afternoon cup or two; the arrival at home cup, the after dinner cup, and the snuggle up cup. How many cups of coffee have become normal or the “norm” by now: it’s scary but close to ten or more! Friends commented that I’m addicted to coffee and of course I denied this. I could stop anytime I wanted, right? And of course for years I never wanted to stop. I just noticed that instant coffee was weaker, and I needed stronger coffees.
One day after lunch with a friend, she made the coffee addiction remark when I ordered my second cup. I casually mentioned to her that I actually left the coffee machine on at home for the afternoon cups!Then, for some reason I decided that I would stop drinking coffee. Right there and then. I got home and switched the coffee machine off but did not pour the coffee out. The next day I did not have any cup of coffee. By the evening I had a throbbing headache. The next day my body began to ache. This is when I realized I must have been an addict. The body aches and headache went on for the whole week. These aches alone gave the resolve to never touch a cup of coffee again.
This story is not about coffee. It’s about habits. A habit can seem innocent, until you want to give it up; then it will show you who’s in charge. I gave up cola drinks almost three or four years ago. To-date I get a headache when I drink one of those. The same headache I got by giving up coffee. I am now in the habit of not drinking colas. All habits integrate themselves into your physical body. Hence they may say, you are what you eat.I think the development of a strong will, is to know what masters you, then turn around and master it. You are a slave to whatever masters you. Which habit is controlling you? Will you master it?


  1. koorapetse modise
    April 3, 2013

    It is very true Sir, after quitting cigarette i realized that I had been a slave to smoking. I am now in the habit of not smoking and sometimes I even wonder why did I take a cigarette at all.To be honest sometimes it is even scary for me to see somebody puffing it.But only a strong will helped me to turn around and master cigarette smoking. I realized how habits can really control me.


  2. Pingback: Yoga for Headaches

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , .

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