Friday, March 18, 2011

Upside Down Skinny Caramel Macchiato

One morning a few weeks ago I was running late while trying to get dressed for a 9:00 a.m. meeting. I had hit the snooze button on my alarm one too many times, and now I was paying the price as I was frantically trying to flat iron my hair, put on mascara, and iron my clothes all at the same time. I knew that I would not have enough time to grab my Starbucks, but making it through my meeting without my delicious drink would not be an option. I picked up my blackberry and texted one of my colleagues that I knew was probably going to make a Starbucks run before the meeting. I asked her to grab me a drink as I would be running late and she replied “What do you want?” I replied back and told her an “Upside Down Skinny Caramel Macchiato”…a few minutes elapsed before she finally replied with something along the lines as “What is that? You are so complex!”

“Me, Complex? Never!” I thought to myself.

As I processed this thought throughout the day I begin to wonder what my Starbucks drink selection says about me as an individual. After much thought I realized that I’m simply innovative.

How did I determine that I am an innovator from my Starbucks order? Well, one of my StrengthsFinder strengths is Ideation. If you know anything about someone with Ideation as strength you should know that they embrace opportunities to be creative and innovative and they become excited and stimulated by change and new ideas. People who identify with the ideation strength can sometimes become bored with standard procedures and the “old” way of doing things.

I remember the first time I realized that upside down even existed, I became so excited and I could not wait to order it and try it. When I tasted it I was in heaven because it was everything I wanted my caramel macchiato to be; I had found my Holy Grail beverage and I was happy. I had deviated off the beaten path. I had become a Starbuckian; making an order that took at least 10 seconds to say and I was excited.

Never again would I be stuck ordering something off the standard menu. I am the kind of girl that makes her own drinks and has to walk the barista through exactly how it needed to be done. I am all about the new. I am the innovator; whether in work, play, or inside my green and white cup.

Every day I try and take opportunities like this one to learn something new about myself. It is amazing how our simple every day habits, hobbies, likes, and dislikes can show us so much about ourselves if we just take the time to reflect. Growth and self-awareness is all about self-reflection. Finding who you are is an amazing experience no matter where the revelation comes to you…and sometimes it comes to you through a straw.

Are you still asking yourself what an Upside Down Skinny Caramel Macchiato is? It is simply a caramel macchiato prepared the opposite way. Upside down means that the espresso goes into the cup before the milk, usually it's the other way around. I enjoy it this way because the drink is more mixed up and delicious.

So I challenge you to take sometime today to self-reflect on your best qualities and remember that self -reflection can come from anywhere, even inside of a cup.

Lao Tzu
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

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