Which Are You: Carrot, Egg or Coffee?

Share the love:

carroteggscbeans-660x330

This is one of my favourite stories about adversities and how we respond to them.

I have shared this numerous times with friends when they are facing challenges, and this week it popped into my mind as I reflected on my own experiences lately.

The story goes like this:

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her 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 one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and in the last she placed 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.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what 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 hard-boiled 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 it 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 insides 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, an egg or a coffee bean?”

When faced with adversity, what is your default response?

Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?

Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have you become rigid and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

If you are someone with big dreams and aspirations, I can tell you that there will be no shortage of trials for you. In fact, the challenges that come into your space will only become bigger as your capacity to tackle them grows.

They are there for a reason. They are there to build your mindset muscles and strip away the unnecessary, to uncover the brilliant You within.

My coach once said this to me when I was feeling dejected and frustrated with my trials:

“What I know is that your vision will always have these challenges and how the difficulty shows up is not the the difference maker, but how you grow and learn to step through the challenge and to become the leader is.”

Bam. It took me right out of my sulking carrot-state back into focused action, ready to brew the best coffee of my life.

Share the love:

Leave a Reply