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How Do You Respond To Challenges?

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time, and it seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. 

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering why he had chosen that moment to offer her a lesson in cooking.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Finally breaking the silence he turned to her and asked, “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily and irritably replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.”

She did and noted that (not as unexpected) they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed that (as expected) the boiling had hardened the egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee and as it is with many people, its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity; the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something totally new.

Finally he asked his daughter, “which one are you? When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?

I am posing the same question to you today; Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?

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