A young woman was struggling. It seemed that every time she resolved one problem, a new one would arise. She wanted to give up.

Then one day her mother took her to the kitchen and filled three pots with water. In the first, she dropped a handful of carrots, in the second a few eggs, and in the third, ground coffee beans. She let each pot boil without saying a word.

After twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots and eggs out of the pots and placed them in bowls and poured the coffee into a mug. Then turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the daughter replied.

“Feel the carrots,” her mother told her.

The daughter did and noted that they were soft.

“Now take an egg and break it,” said her mother.

The young woman smashed the egg against the counter, pulled off the shell, and observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, her mother told her, “Sip the coffee.”

The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma and then asked,  “What’s the point, Mother?”

“Each of these objects faced the same adversity, the 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 was fragile. A thin outer shell protected its liquid interior. But after sitting in the boiling water, the inside hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique. They changed the water.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” she asked her daughter.

So which are you?

  • Do you try to act strong but wilt when challenges arise?
  • Do you have a fragile spirit that becomes hardened and stiff after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship? Or
  • Do you change the situation around you when things are at their worst? Do you strive to improve and elevate yourself?

Make your future. Don’t let the future make you.