Have you ever heard the story about the Carrot, Egg, and Coffee Bean? It is a wonderful story that speaks to how we handle the daily struggles and conflicts that come our way.
Carrot, Egg, and Coffee - Author UnknownA young woman went to her mother and told her about life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as if one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her into the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first one she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the third she place ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. She ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me? What do you see?"
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked, "what does this mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity...boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The CARROT went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The EGG had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground COFFEE beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, and egg, or a coffee bean?"
I LOVE this story!
I have spent time as all three...
- Worked myself to a place of exhaustion, becoming weak and not able to continue...aka the carrot.
- Went in open-minded only to, over the course of time become jaded, hardened, and in disbelief...aka the egg.
- I'd like to think that now due to experience and the wisdom that comes with it, I naturally respond more like the coffee bean.
What about you? Are you the carrot, egg, or the coffee bean? Do you change from one to the other depending on the circumstance?
Being aware of how you respond to things gives you the intel you need to navigate whatever it is, with greater ease and success.