The carrot, egg and the coffee bean


Each of us have our own way to react or respond to a stimulus. Facing adversity is such stimulus. But most of us have only learned to react to it than respond. While I believe we eventually get wiser over time, having a better perspective saves us a lot of pain and time.

Some of you know I’m not a huge fan of fables. But at times, I have to admit, nothing drives home a point better than a well-crafted fable. I read one recently titled The Coffee Bean by Jon Gordon and was quite amazed by the concept.

You can deal with adversity as a carrot, an egg or the good old coffee bean. Let me explain…

Picture this — you put a piece of carrot into a pot, pour a good amount of water in it and boil for an hour. What happens? The carrots gets soft, almost super-soft and mushy due to the boiling water. Kind of like us when we try to survive in a harsh environment (like water in the above case). We become vulnerable to the negativity. Not exactly a great place to be in.

Now, what would happen if you put an egg into that harsh environment? Same environment and circumstances. The egg would obviously harden. The exact opposite of a carrot. But metaphorically speaking, if you were an egg, you would internalise all that negativity and become “hard-hearted.” And you and I know, nobody likes to be around a mean person. Right?

What if you carry out the same experiment with a coffee bean? (Yeah, a single would do for our purposes, Einstein.) You’ll have a pot full of coffee just like you would if you were to grind some coffee beans! Apparently, it takes some time for the whole beans to give out its flavours. (Not to mention wasting an hour’s worth of gas but that’s not the argument here! Focus!)

The point behind the experiments is this — while the carrot and egg got transformed by the environment around them (boiling water), the coffee beans transformed its environment!

If you’re thinking it’s just not possible in “human” terms or just woo-woo thinking. I would like to challenge you to think of all the people who have transformed the environment around themselves or have influenced the world around us? The best part is that we all have the power to transform the environment and circumstances around us. It just takes a lot of faith and belief in ourselves (that we can change) and the people around you (and that they can change too). And it’s a choice that we all can exercise. Takes a little practice and getting used to before it becomes second-nature to you.

But irrespective of what you relate yourself with (carrot or egg) right now, just remember that you can be the coffee bean no matter what.

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