A young woman went to her mother and shared things were so hard for her. She wanted to give up. In the kitchen, her mother boiled 3 pots of water. In the first, she dropped carrots, in the second eggs, and the last ground coffee beans. She boiled them 20 minutes then placed them in separate bowls. She asked her daughter, “What do you see?” The mother had her touch each cooked item. The daughter noted the carrots got soft, the egg got hard. She sipped the coffee, then asked. “What’s the point?”

Each object faced the same adversity…the boiling water…but reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting – it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile – its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans changed the water. She asked, “Which are you – the carrot, the egg or the coffee beans?”

When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? The carrot seems strong, but with pain and adversity. Do you wilt and become soft and lose strength? The egg starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Do you have a fluid spirit, but after a life trial have become hardened? Does your shell look the same, but the inside is bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and 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. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. How do you handle adversity?

Source: Author, Josette Goldberg of Goldberg Executive Coaching & affiliate of Callosum Creative Ltd.

Clare Hefferren

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