This week, while listening to Jon Gordon’s podcast, I learned about a new parable that I believe is timely, relevant and can help a lot of people listening to this podcast.

On a stove sits three pots of boiling water. In one pot, the woman places a carrot. In the second pot, the woman places an egg. In the third pot, the woman places a coffee bean.

While sitting in the boiling water, the once-hard and confident carrot turns soft. After time in the water pot, the formerly frail egg turns hard. And the coffee bean, despite being the smallest of the three objects, doesn’t turn soft nor hard. In fact, it’s the water that begins to turn brown and exude an aroma of fresh coffee.

Life can feel like a pot of boiling water. Sometimes it’s stable, luke-warm, easy to handle. Other times, the pot feels too hot to handle – a metaphor for the harsh battles we each have to fight in life. And trust me, whether it’s financial, relationships, job, mental health or some other area of life, we have struggles – likely more than we’d like to admit.

So what do you do when the going gets rough, when the pot of water is screaming with heat that could supply third-degree burns to the thickest of skin? Do you turn like the carrot and get soft, mushy, spoiled? Or, like the egg does the world turn you hard and negative? Or can you take the hard road, the difficult path of the coffee bean – that doesn’t respond to the world but rather shapes the environment that it’s placed in?

As Ralph Barsi recently wrote, you’re either someone who lights up a room or sucks the life out of it. Which is it and which one do you want to hang around?

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