How you react defines who you become

(This is a classic story that I have used in training and motivational materials for about 10 years now…and every once in awhile, a friend or client's reaction to something makes me think of it again…I do not know the original author.)

Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee

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
  • 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.
  • 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 are you trying to say, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Yet wach 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.

And then she asked her daughter….

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

** Note from Carrie: I don't know that I need to add anything to this – but would love to know some things in the comment section below that help you when you are up against obstacles & adversity.  And as always, please share with your social networks if you found this helpful at all.

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