MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Posts Tagged ‘Passion

Be The Best Of Whatever You Are

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Photo: Seeneasy/Flickr


If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill

Be a scrub in the valley, but be the best little scrub on the side of the hill

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree,

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass

And some highway happier make.

If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass,

But the liveliest bass in the lake.

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,

There’s something for all of us here.

There’s big work to do and there’s lesser work, too,

And the thing we must do is the near

If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail.

If you can’t be the sun, be a star.

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail.

Be the best of whatever you are.


~ Douglas Maloch

Written by MattAndJojang

October 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm

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A Passion For Coffee

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Photo: C-More Awesomeness/Flickr

My love of coffee developed when I first went to work as head of marketing for the four stores of a small coffee company named Starbucks. That was in 1982. I didn’t truly discover coffee’s magic, however, until one year later on a business trip to Italy. That visit was the seed of what blossomed into today’s Starbucks Coffee Company.

Early one day in Milan, I was strolling from my hotel to a trade show when I popped into a small coffee bar. “Buon giorno!” an older, thin man behind the counter greeted me, as if I were a regular. Moving gracefully and with precision, he seemed to be doing a delicate dance as he ground coffee beans, steamed milk, pulled shots of espresso, made cappuccinos, and chatted with customers standing side by side at the coffee bar. Everyone in the tiny shop seemed to know each other, and I sensed that I was witnessing a daily ritual.

“Espresso?” he asked me.

I nodded and watched as he repeated the ritual for me, looking up to smile as the espresso machine hissed and whirred with purpose. This is not his job, I thought, it’s his passion.

For a tall guy who grew up playing football in the schoolyards of Brooklyn, being handed a tiny white porcelain demitasse filled with dark coffee crafted just for me by a gracious Italian gentleman called a barista was nothing less than transcendent.

This was so much more than a coffee break; this was theater. An experience in and of itself.

After the espresso’s rich flavors had warmed me, I thanked the barista and cashier and continued toward the trade show exhibit hall, stopping along the way at more coffee bars. There seemed to be at least one on every block! Inside, there was always a similar scene: a skilled barista or two behind a bar creating espressos, cappuccinos—and other drinks I had yet to taste—for people who seemed more like friends than customers. In every bar I felt the hum of community and a sense that, over a demitasse of espresso, life slowed down.

The blend of craftsmanship and human connection, combined with the warm aroma and energizing flavors of fresh coffee, struck an emotional chord. My mind raced. It was as if I envisioned my own future and the future of Starbucks, which at the time sold only whole-bean and ground coffee in bags for home consumption.

~Howard Schultz

Written by MattAndJojang

October 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

Never sell your soul to the Man…

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Photo: Hitesh Sheladiya/Flickr


I tell my students, “Never sell your soul to the Man.” By that I mean, be your own person and never, ever let someone else own you, or control your life. The danger, of course, is that you get on a slippery slope where you enjoy the money, power, and recognition for what you’re doing, but it doesn’t stir your passions.

If you follow that course, you may wake up some day and find yourself so far away from the real you – and what you really want to do with your life – that you feel trapped, in a box, and don’t have the courage to give it all up and do what you want to do. Ten years later, you ask whatever happened to the person who dreamed the impossible dream?

I’ve dreamed that impossible dream many times in completely different situations. At first, I feel like I am climbing through solid rock; but if I stay the course, the dream not only comes true but goes far beyond anything I ever imagined. . .

~ Bill George

Written by MattAndJojang

July 18, 2011 at 11:09 am

My Brother’s Passion

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Paul's Car

My brother, Paul, is a systems administrator by day but he restores old cars during his free time. That’s called passion. Just recently I got an offline message in my YM from him. He said: “Check this out.” It was a link to an article in a car magazine about his latest project – restoring a 1974 Corolla. I know he was proud that his car was featured on the magazine, and I’m happy for him. I invite you also to check it out, too. Enjoy!

– Matt

Click Here To Read About Paul’s 1974 Corolla

Written by MattAndJojang

November 19, 2008 at 9:28 am