I have been influenced by this story and it resonates with a lot of professionals in today’s world. The story goes like this. A young IT professional went to his grandmother, complaining about how tough the life was for him, with constant pressure in his work place.

His grandmother took him 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, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners and fished the carrots and eggs out and poured the coffee in a cup. Turning to his grandson, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see.’ ‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ he replied.

Grandmother asked him to feel the carrots. He did and noted that they were soft. She then asked him to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, he observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, the grandmother asked him to sip the coffee. The grandson relished its rich aroma. He then asked, ‘What does it mean, granny?’ She explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. However, 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 of these, are you?’ she asked her grandson. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Think of this: Who am I? How do I react?
ü Am I the carrot that seems strong, but when faced with adversity, wilts and become soft and loses strength?
ü Am I the egg that starts with a soft heart, but changes during the course? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become strong and hard? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
ü Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean changes the water itself with its fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
So, how do we handle adversity? Do we become a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest people are not necessarily those with the best of things; they just make the most of everything that they have. For the brightest future, it is he forgotten past and letting go of failures and heartaches that will help.