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. It seemed just as
one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He 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 what he
was doing. 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.
Turning to her, he asked, “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer”, he said, “and touched the potatoes”. She did and noted
that they were soft.
He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the
shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. 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
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
“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on
your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee
In life, things happen around us and things happen to us, but the only
thing that truly matters is what happens within us.