Problems Can Advance You

A young woman was complaining to her father about her problems and how difficult her life was.

“Come with me,” he said. “I want to show you something.” He took her into the kitchen where he put three pots of water on the stove to heat. Meanwhile, he cut up some carrots and put them into the first pot to boil. Into the simmering water in the second pot he put two eggs. In the third pot he poured some ground coffee. After a few minutes, he strained the carrots into one bowl, peeled the eggs and put them into another, and into a cup he poured the strained coffee. Then he placed them before his daughter.

“What’s all this supposed to mean?” she asked somewhat impatiently.

“Each of these items can teach us something about the way we handle adversity,” he answered. “The carrots started out hard, but the boiling water turned them mushy. The eggs went into the water fragile but came out hard and rubbery. The coffee, on the other hand, changed the water into something better.”

“Sweetheart,” he said, “you can choose how you will respond to your problems. You can let them make you weak. You can let them make you hard. Or you can use them to create something beneficial. It’s all up to you.”

What will you make out of your problems today?

-John C. Maxwell


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