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English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Today I visited a large appliance store looking at new appliances for our new house out east.  There were so many choices, two doors over one, two doors side by side, two doors side by side over drawers, and that was just the refrigerator.  As I left it began to rain and I remembered that I had wanted a built-in cappuccino maker – it’s always been my dream, the sign that I am truly spoiled.  And then I remembered my favorite cup of coffee.

The best of cup of coffee I drank was in my very first apartment where I didn’t need a room-mate and I paid my own rent.  It was an old building in Cincinnati and it had one bedroom.  The stove was not full size and I made the coffee in a hand me down stove top percolator.  I would sit on the floor to drink it because I couldn’t afford any furniture; I slept on an air mattress for the first few months.  What I called a TV was 5 inch screen that doubled as a radio and had rabbit ears.  I can remember the smell of the wood floors, the rain and the percolating coffee.  To this day, those cups I had sitting on that floor have been my best ever.

I know we always tell people it’s the simple things in life that make it good.  But we still over complicate things.  Simple.  Repeat it to yourself – even the word has only two syllables and it is very gentle to the ear.

A fellow working mother asked me this week to help her through a negotiation that she was having trouble with.  She called me exasperated because she was having trouble putting pen to paper, and this is not ever an issue for her.  Daily she works with presidents of organizations world-wide.  The individual she is negotiating with is a well-known person who has published multiple books and has a client list that resembles a Fortune 100 name dropping contest.

We sat down, went over the communications to date and began to draw it out. A simple drawing is all we started with, map out the product movement, the money flow, then fill in the activities – terms and contract follow these lines.  A commercial attorney shared this little trick with me a few  years back and it has been priceless.  So simple and incredibly valuable.

It was simple to see in a very short time, not enough information had been shared for any type of negotiation – this is why she was struggling to put pen to paper.  She was stuck in the forest, when she tried to connect the trees she found some of them were just shrubs.  Her admiration of the person she was communicating with led her to believe that she must have everything she needed.

Simple, just like that cup of coffee.  No fancy stove needed, no milk frother, no timer… just heat, coffee, water and a container.  When faced with a problem, start with the simple facts, a piece of paper and pen.

S-I-M-P-L-E,  SIMPLE…say it softly to yourself… it just makes you feel all sorts of happy!