Are You a Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean?

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It seems everywhere I turn these days, there are people around me who are struggling in their business or personal lives.  Thus, this is the perfect time to share this post.  This inspirational story was first shared with me when I was mentoring with John Assaraf.  Then I saw my friend and mentor, Ivan Misner share it on his blog not too long ago.  Now, it is my turn to share the wealth! :)

If you have already read this story, I recommend you read it again.  I read it each time I hit obstacles, and it seems to block all the negative voices in my head.

This is a good reminder for all of us, and I hope it helps many of you out!  Enjoy!

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her 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, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its richness and savored its aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water. 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 are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I 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 even better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you 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 of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

So, I guess I don’t need to ask the question again…

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  • Josh Medici

    I think this is wonderful. I believe that we all are a product of our decisions. That no matter what comes our way, the universe has a funny way of showing to us that our decisions make us who we are and not the world or external influences.

    Thank you for this story, somehow, I also believe that the universe reacts to our thoughts and wishes. And when one is ready to accept something, it is put together with that something. I was in need of something like this.

    I hope you continue your great work.

    Un abrazo..!

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  • Taylore

    This is a useful story -- "This inspirational story was first shared with me when I was mentoring with John Assaraf."

    It is not what happens to you but -- what you do with it.

    Mind over matter: If you don't mind -- then it does not matter!

    A person needs to clear the blockages so they are not tweaked by their own emotional garbage. check out Laser Reiki at

  • Mirna

    Thank you for your comments Taylore and Josh!!! I've got to admit, I've been that carrot and many times I am that stubborn egg :), but always striving to be the coffee bean. I know times are tough for lots of people know and hope this story gets shared to as many people as possible. If it helps put a smile on someone's face and turns their life around I am happy!!!!

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    • Len Tilton

      When trying to find the source of the Carrot, Egg or Coffee Bean story, I found the above url crediting Angela Davis of Yarnspinners as the originator. Is Angela your source of the story or do you have another source? Someone sent me a version like yours including the notes added to the original story about when you were born you cried but everyone else was smiling. The entire story is good to consider and apply.

      • Mirna Bard


        I would actually find the source as well, but have not taken the time to research it since this story was shared by my mentors. I would love to read the entire story. Thanks for sharing the link.

  • CorrineDickerson21

    I guess that to receive the loans from creditors you must have a great reason. Nevertheless, once I have received a small business loan, because I was willing to buy a building.

  • Amy Spreeman

    Mirna, I knew there was a good reason to follow you on Twitter! Great story. I want to be steeped and aromatic.

  • Andrey

    Great blog it's not often that I comment but I felt you deserve it.