A young woman went home to visit her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She was tired, upset, and annoyed at all these difficulties. Often times, she wanted to run away or give up.
Her mother listened empathetically, then took the daughter to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and boiled the water.
She then put a carrot in the first pot, an egg in the second pot, and coffee beans in the third pot. After twenty minutes or so, she turned off the fire and put all three items in separate bowls.
She put these three bowls on the dining table and asked her daughter, “What do you see?”
Intrigued, the daughter replied, “A carrot, an egg, and coffee.”
The mother told her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that the carrots were soft and mushy. The mother then asked her to crack and peel the egg. She did and noticed the egg’s inside had become hard. Finally, the mother asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter did and smiled at the rich taste of the coffee.
The daughter asked, “What’s the point of all of this mom?”
The mother explained, “Each of these three objects faced the same adversity: boiling water. But each reacted differently. The carrot started out hard and strong but came out weak and mushy. The egg started with a soft inside and a tough shell, but it came out hard on the inside. The coffee beans were special: They changed the water. It used the hardship to elevate itself and accomplish greatness.”