Which goes in first – the milk or the water?

shaun-humphries-life-coach-thinkThe age old question that seems to have so much importance in the office, or when entertaining - which goes in first when you’re making a cup of tea? What do you think? There are so many ways of explaining and describing how you make your most perfect cuppa and I am not even sure if there really is a definitive answer that is proven to be the best.

I have to ask, however. Does it really make that much difference?

Now all of the tea making fraternity and aficionados may well be going in to a complete meltdown, but to be completely honest it probably makes very little difference to the end product and even the most discernible palette would probably struggle to tell the difference between the outcome of either method.

So what then is the point in asking I hear you cry?

Simply because this highlights a problem that can so easily creep into every day life leading to any (or indeed every) action, task or job becoming heavy, laborious and another little thing that makes the day feel as though it is out of control.

What really matters?

In the grand scheme of things, a good, or even a bad, cup of tea can make little or no difference to our day or it can become the most unbelievable pinnacle of a debilitating meltdown. Surely these two opposites can not be caused by just a cup of tea?

Well, no of course not!

However, the way in which we perceive, think about or view things can have the most profound effect on the way in which we can live our days, weeks, months or even years.

Mindset can make or break every situation and the smallest or most banal thing can become the catalyst for a day of great disappointment, or (if you allow it) something that can bring a feeling of joy and gratitude. Our mindset is something that we can develop and learn to work with*.

Often it is natural to assume the worst of any situation or other people and indeed it can be a way of avoiding disappointment or give a feeling of surprise or a lift when things turn out far better than expected. But surely this is not the most satisfying way to live. Believing that the worst will happen will also generally put the worst option at the front of the queue. If you believe that bad things will happen they generally happen as your behaviour will be inline with your way of thinking or belief.

On the other hand, if you expectation is that things will turn out well and that a situation will be all you want and more it is much more likely to turn out as you anticipated. Of course, there will be times when you may get disappointed or let down but surely this must be better than feeling downbeat about things?

Think about it: A Bad or Good thing...

shaun-humphries-life-coach-thinkMost things happen for a reason. Getting a new job may be as much a cause for a celebration as not getting a job which is just not right for you. Getting a pay rise may seem like a great thing, but then not having additional responsibilities, increased paperwork and great expectations from employers may also be equally as good.

Try to think about a few situations that you have been in lately that caused you to react in a particular way. What could you have changed about your thinking that may have been more useful? How could you allow yourself to see the positive benefits from something that initially looks as though it may have all gone wrong?

This change in thinking can lead to many more positive experiences and a way of developing a range of new opportunities.

Remember, don’t sweat the small stuff.

Have a bad cup of tea and enjoy it - especially if someone else has taken the time and effort to make it for you.

Shaun Humphries

If you want some immediate help, please check out my hypnotherapy tracks for relaxation and developing mindset. All tracks are free of charge - do contact me if you would like anything more specific and I can create, record and send you your own personalised hypnotherapy session.


*Of course if you are suffering with a clinical mental health issue this is something you will need to develop inline with your doctor and/or counsellor. Although this article will provide useful comments or insights it is not intended to be used as a substitute for personalised, medical support by a trained practitioner.

Shaun Humphries Administrator
Shaun is currently involved in developing a Music Theory Course that will help people of all ages gain a greater awareness of the building blocks of music. Shaun began playing the cornet at the age of seven. He joined the Salvation Army Junior Band and obtained his grade 5 by the age of 10. It was at this time Shaun was truly inspired by an amazing teacher at school who made a real difference – way beyond what he could ever have imagined. Shaun moved onto tuba during his last year at secondary school. He joined Swindon Pegasus Brass and then the NYBB a year later under the direction on Colin Shiner. Shaun read Music at Anglia Polytechnic University, majoring in composition and performance under the direction of Alan Bullard and Michael Clack. He taught for a year at Wells Cathedral School as a practice supervisor, and was conductor of a number of small ensembles. Shaun continued his studies and achieved his MA in Music Performance, under the direction of Nicholas Hitchin (ENO) at Colchester Institute School of Music. Shaun has worked as a peripatetic brass teacher for a number of years with the Swindon Music Co-operative, Wiltshire Music Service, Bath & North East Somerset Music Service, and Northamptonshire Music Service. He has performed as a tuba player within a variety of ensembles including the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, West London Sinfonia (as principal tuba), Swindon Pegasus Brass, and MK Brass. Shaun is regularly asked to perform as a deputy tuba player for Trinity Camerata, Aylesbury Vale Symphonic Wind Band and Towcester Studio Band. As principal tuba with NOW, Shaun was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall and Central Park in New York, and worked with Andrew Hall, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine as an Associate Musical Director for the opening of the MK Dons Stadium. Shaun has been heavily involved with music in Buckinghamshire and has worked as a director with a number of bands including Towcester Studio Band, MK Brass (as a deputy conductor), MK Development Band, Secklow Brass (as a deputy conductor), Great Horwood Silver Band, Wolverton Band, Brackley Wind Ensemble and is a founding member and conductor of Fantini Chorus. Shaun is currently principal tuba with Banbury Symphony Orchestra and Musical Director of Hook Norton Brass Band. Shaun has been Musical Director for a number of shows, including productions of Calamity Jane, Little Shop of Horrors (With Buckingham University), Grease, Joseph, and Footloose. He has recently performed as the Director (and Musical Director) for Honk! Junior. After studying for a PGCE at Oxford Brookes University, Shaun has worked as Head of Department in a number of secondary schools in Milton Keynes, Rugby, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire. He is now a peripatetic music teacher offering lessons within his home studio or via Skype if required. Shaun is also a certified Life coach, a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a Certified Hypnotherapist. He enjoys working with and helping individuals increase their self awareness, develop focus and improve productivity. With his past experience he is able to help you to develop greater resilience, confidence and self belief within your workplace or home life. Through developing thinking strategies, breaking through barriers (such as limiting beliefs and thought patterns) and developing new behaviour patterns Shaun can help you realise your true potential!

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