Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and 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 high fire. 

Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and the 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 of the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out of the pot and placed them in a different bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. 

Turning to his daughter 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 a egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. It’s 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 diversity – 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 boiling water. Then the inside of 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? “


  1. Nihitha penmetsa

    The story of the potato, egg, and coffee beans is a powerful metaphor for how people respond to adversity. The father, a chef, uses boiling water to illustrate the different reactions. The potato, initially strong, becomes soft and weak, symbolizing surrender. The egg, fragile on the outside, hardens on the inside, representing resilience. However, it is the coffee beans that stand out. They transform the water, creating something new and delightful. The story prompts readers to reflect on their own responses to challenges. Are they like the potato, egg, or coffee beans? It encourages a mindset shift towards resilience and transformation. Adversity can either weaken us, harden our hearts, or become an opportunity for growth. The story’s simplicity and relatability make it a memorable lesson in choosing how to face life’s difficulties. It inspires readers to seek strength, resilience, and the ability to create positive change in the face of adversity.