Potatoes, Eggs and Coffee beans

Today was a usual day but this short inspiring story which was shared with me today morning ran through my mind the entire day. This one talks about how we react to the struggles we face in our day to day life and how we can choose to react. Source – unknown but will teach you something practice every single day. I know, I will!


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 touch 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 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 new.

“Which one 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 bean?”

In life, things happen around us and things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is how you choose to react to it and what you make out of it. Life is all about leaning, adopting and converting all the struggles that we experience into something positive.


This story is also a response to the prompt – I Can’t Stay Mad at You – Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget? I am someone who loves harmony and it is rare that I “hold” grudges!  Live and let live!! 🙂

24 Responses

  1. Rangelz says:

    I have read the one with potato and eggs. But the coffee is new and it brought an entirely new perspective to the story. Beautiful Parul! 😀

  2. A writer from the East says:

    Enjoyed reading this very much, your blog is so cool and deserves all the compliments it gets, so tell me can I nominate you for an award? I will be doing the post soon and wanted to confirm? Please let me know, thanks.

  3. Vineeta Srivastava says:

    Tomorrow i will tell this story to my students . At their age of teens they need it . It also moved me a lot . last lines are toooooooooo inspiring . thanks dear . loved a lot

  4. aseemrastogi2 says:

    Quite an awesome story that is :). It’s so true that each of us would be like the coffee, egg or the potato while reacting to different situations in our lives. It’s all about learning and improving.

  5. grieflessons says:

    Love this story and share the philosophy. And…how do you make that little worm zoom down on the hook? So clever…Thanks for visiting and liking my blog. I like yours, as well!! Judy

  6. janicead says:

    Reblogged this on A Little of Nothing and commented:
    A very interesting post from a young woman in India!

  7. Its really an inspired , thank you .

  8. Vishwas says:

    Superb story… one to remember always!

    As far as grudges go…something is wrong with me… I can’t seem to hold them 🙂

    Cheers!

  9. usha says:

    My mantra has been- forgive but don’t forget…. Hard to let go:-(

  10. Vidya.Munirathnam says:

    Loved the story. Makes a lot of sense payroll ☺!!!

    Regards,
    Vidya Munirathnam
    Senior Business Partner-Pay & Benefits | HR | •Target Corporation India | Dir Line- (080) 421-82621|

  11. Bikramjit says:

    WOWWOW.. now that is One inspiring story.. so true Life brings a lot of problems and good too.. but as you say its upto us what we make of it .. dpo we change ourself or do we change the situation..

    grudges-forgiveness and forget well I would love to not have grudges and forget but as you said experiences , Mine have taught me that its difficult to do so .. I might not ever show it but I do hold it and wont forget easy ..

  1. April 2, 2015

    […] Read the whole story here. […]

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