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Change – Potatoes, Eggs, And Coffee Beans, Which One Are You?

Written by: Antonio Esposito, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


A couple of weeks ago, I was out running. It was still dark and chill, and the stable pace of my feet touching the ground was the only audible sound on the street. Immersed in my own thoughts, I was listening to the warm voice of a podcast host telling a story.

Red shoes from above on the white arrows with habits or changes.

Father and Daughter time

Hidden behind the daily newspaper, Mike listens to his daughter Michelle, walking around the room complaining about her life.

"I will never make it. I am tired of fighting and struggling with everything all the time. As soon as a problem seems to be solved, something else gets in the way. I am exhausted."

Those words caught my attention. I saw myself in that woman's behaviour.

Just like her, I have lived most of my life complaining.

All the years of studying, coaching and applying all sorts of personal development techniques on acceptance, gratitude, forgiveness and living in the moment have not silenced the persistent voice in my head that keeps reminding me of all the things that could be better, including those I still don’t accept about myself.

I don't usually complain loudly, though, so people's image of me is that of a person blessed with a Zen-like approach to life.

They see me as a person who has fully mastered the skills of acceptance, patience and tolerance and who peacefully moves toward his goals!

However, the reality is that my inner world is often made of doubts, insecurities, lots of fears and a long list of things I hate, I don't tolerate, and I would like to change inside and outside of myself.

After he has folded his newspaper and left it on the couch, Mike invites his daughter to follow him into the kitchen.

"Please take a seat..." he asks, "I would like to show you something".

Intrigued, Michelle takes her place at the kitchen table while her father fills three pots with water and puts them on a stove with the fire on.

"Dad, what are you doing?" Michelle asks, with an annoyed tone of voice.

"Be patient, my dear, you'll see", Mike replies while placing some potatoes in the first pot, a couple of eggs in the second, and some ground coffee beans in the last.

Then, without saying a word, he sits next to his daughter at the kitchen table, waiting for the water in the three pots to reach the boiling point.

After roughly twenty minutes of awkward silence, Mike finally turns off the fires, puts the potatoes and the eggs in two different bowls and pours the coffee into a mug.

Looking at his daughter, who is very annoyed by that strange behaviour, Mike asks: “My dear, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee?”, she impatiently replies.

“Look closer", Mike says, “and please, touch the potatoes.”

She does, and remarks that now the potatoes have become very soft.

Then Mike asks her to take an egg, break it, and peel the shell off.

Again, she does as requested, discovering, without any surprise, a simple hard-boiled egg.

Then, Mike says: “Now, take a sip of coffee.” She obeys, and that coffee's rich aroma immediately places a relaxed smile on her face.

“Dad, please, what does this all mean?”, she asks.

Mike then takes a sit next to his daughter and, holding her hand, explains:

“The potatoes, the eggs and the coffee beans have faced the same problem – the boiling water.

That problem, in some way, has changed them, but each one of them has reacted to that adversity in a very different way.

The potato, naturally strong and hard, was softened and made weaker by the boiling water.

The egg, known as a very fragile thing, protected only by a thin shell, became hard inside.

The ground coffee, instead, reacted differently.

After being exposed to the same situation as the potatoes and the egg, it changed, creating something completely new.

Now my question for you, Michelle: Which of those three are you?

Are you the potato that seems initially strong but, under the pressure of adversity, grows soft and loses strength?

Are you the egg that starts with a shapeable core, but a loss, a breakup, an illness or a financial issue break you and, although you look the same on the outside, you have a broken and hardened heart?

Or are you the coffee bean that has the ability to change adversity, Michelle? That transforms that boiling water into something new and quite extraordinary?

Remember: no matter what challenges you are facing in life, you are always able to choose between feeling sorry for yourself and complaining about them without doing anything or proactively taking some actions to improve, to grow, to shape yourself into something better.”

Is it possible to avoid adversities in life?

The answer is a big fat NO! In life, it's impossible to avoid adversities.

Sometimes we cause them, and sometimes life, people, misfortune, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause us to suffer.

Sooner or later, we find ourselves in a pot full of boiling water with no possibility of getting out of it.

It will happen, and it's inevitable.

What will make the difference, though, is our attitude and our approach to dealing with that particular adversity.

How can I change while I am in this mess and who do I want to become once I am out of it?

Of course, this is not an easy task.

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where nothing can be done: we might be dealing with a terminal disease, with the loss of a loved one, with the results of a natural disaster, or, as we are seeing right now, with a useless war.

We can't change those circumstances, and complaining about them won't change anything either, but we can try our best to shape those moments into growth opportunities and into the possibility to change our nature and become something new, something extraordinary!

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” John C. Maxwell

If you enjoyed this article, I would like to know more about your insights and breakthroughs from reading it; then, if you are up to the challenge of mastering your Emotional Intelligence, bringing your life to the next level; book a one-to-one 30-minute FREE Consultation with me!

For more info, visit my website or follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Antonio Esposito, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Antonio is a Life Performance Coach, a Mentor, and an NLP Practitioner certified expert in the field of Emotional Intelligence and Eating Psychology.

Moved to the United Kingdom from Italy in 2006, after enjoying 20+ years of experience in the corporate world as a senior web and graphic designer, Antonio is now the CEO and Founder of TheThinkingMind Coaching Ltd, a United Kingdom-based firm specializing in offering Coaching, Training and Personal Development services.

Antonio's mission is to change the world one person at a time.

Antonio's target is to facilitate the transformation of all those harmful and destructive mental processes by discovering one's inner self.

Through Life Coaching, Personal Development, and Behavioural Psychology techniques, Antonio enables individuals to master their Emotional Intelligence and, through a set of empowering, transformative, and life-changing strategies and actions, help, support, and motivate people in achieving their most important goals.

Antonio has a unique perspective on personal growth and happiness.

He is recognized for his ability to lead others to maximize their full potential through living a life of purpose, balance, and significance.

Since 2017, Antonio is also a member of the prestigious team of Mentors at The Coaching Academy, where he has coached and mentored hundreds of students worldwide to successfully complete their training journey as Professional Certified Life and Executive Business coaches.



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