Part 2 | Strengths and Resilience


June 16, 2016

Perspective and perseverance are about more than simply “putting on a happy face”.  Sometimes overcoming adversity, challenge, and hardship means transforming.

Consider the allegory of the carrot, the egg, and the coffee beans.

Take a pot of boiling water and put the carrot in it.  What happens?  The carrot goes soft.

Take the same boiling water and add the egg to it.  What happens?  The egg hardens.

Last but not least, stir in the coffee beans and see what happens.  The coffee becomes the water.

In each scenario, it is the same hot liquid producing three totally separate reactions.  If we consider the boiling water to be “life” and the objects—the carrot, the egg, and the coffee—to be how we are affected by it, the message is clear.

Do we allow ourselves to be weakened like the carrot?  Do we become hardened like the egg? Or do we adapt and change, literally transforming the world around us, the way coffee transforms the water?

While it may not always feel like we have a choice about what life throws our way.  We do, in most cases, have a say in how that situation ultimately affects us in the long-term.

The moral: Be like coffee.

Action: Think of a time in your life when you faced a challenge and reacted to it like the carrot.  That is, was there a time when life threw a challenge you that was so great that you were broken by it and weakened temporarily?  Looking back, knowing what you know today, if you were to “rewrite” the story, would there have been different actions that you could have taken that would have changed the situation and made you more like the coffee beans?  Are you facing anything today that might benefit from this perspective?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Zach Bio copy

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:


Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zach Carlsen

One thought on “Part 2 | Strengths and Resilience

  1. Love this comparison Zach and it’s so true. I’ll be honest, there’ve been times when I’ve felt weak like carrots, but I’m trying more and more these days to be more like coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

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