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How do you Handle Adversity? Are you a Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean?


“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to
dance in the rain.” — Anon

Like the tides, Life is sometimes ebb and sometimes flow. Obviously we prefer the flow side of things. Flow feels good and ebb, not so much!

Anyone can be happy in the good times but I personally believe that your strength of character is determined by how you handle times of ebb.  The following story illustrates some of our different responses to those times:

Are you a carrot, egg or coffee bean?

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 that, 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 a 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 do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her 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 – but 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?” the mother asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Which are you?

Are you the carrot that seems strong but with pain and adversity, collapses and loses strength?Are you the egg that starts with a soft heart that hardens under pressure? Or are you like the coffee bean, changing the circumstance that brings you pain into an opportunity to release your fragrance and flavour.




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5 Responses to How do you Handle Adversity? Are you a Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean?

  1. Ashar says:

    Love fables! It does make you think. To be honest in some circumstances, whether you like it or not, you can turn into all three. It’s all about the coffee bean though :)

  2. Lola says:

    Hi Charles, I’m happy to be stuck with you :) ! You will get your bottle back because you’ve decided to. The carrot is a tiring way to live but I’m not a fan of making it wrong. In fact personally I think it’s better than the egg! Just remember even though the carrot may be your habitual go-to place right now, you CAN ALWAYS CHOOSE the coffee bean.

  3. Lola says:

    It’s a great story isn’t it? We’ve all been the carrot Jo, I think it’s good to be aware of when you’re being the carrot or egg (my old go-to place!) and remember you can choose the coffee, if possible.

  4. Charles says:

    Thanks Lola. I guess you are stuck with me now. I have perused your materials over time. But, it appears with this Carrot, Egg and Coffee bean story you finally got me! Got to get my bottles back! Been a carrot for too long. Look back with nostalgia to when I was an Egg and the occasional Coffee bean….Life was good and VERY productivethen. And FUN!

  5. jo says:

    I love this story – thank you for sharing. It resonated a LOT with me (hmm suspect I’ve been a carrot a bit too much in the past!)

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