Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

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Don’t Survive – Thrive in Adversity

Posted by Orrin Woodward on February 6, 2008

Here is a wonderful parable on learning to thrive through adversity.  All of us will go through moments of boiling in our own life.  How we respond to these challenging times will determine our destinies.  Enjoy the parable and ask yourself which of the three items: Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean, best describe how you handle the boiling waters of life.   God Bless, Orrin Woodward

 

You may never look at a CUP OF COFFEE the same way again. 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 a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and 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 do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich 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–but 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 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 a 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 can get better and change the situation around you with God’s help. How do you handle adversity? When adversity strikes, ask yourself…ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

One Response to “Don’t Survive – Thrive in Adversity”

  1. […] change, adversity is a constant in life. One principle I learned from LIFE founders Orrin Woodward and George Guzzardo early on is how to respond properly to adversity. Adversity can sometimes be […]

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