Our Moral Compass: Be The Coffee Bean

“When placed in the pot an Egg is hardened. A Carrot is weakened. Don’t be like either. Instead be like the coffee bean. It transforms the water into something new. You have the power inside you to transform your environment.”

-Damon West

As I often tell my students at the school I serve at, the only thing we can control is ourselves. We can’t control others. We can’t control situations. And we can’t the environment around us. It is the last one that coincides with our quote by author and speaker Damom West. In his book The Coffee Bean along with Jon Gordon he gives the example of three items: an egg, a carrot and a coffee bean. Each one when placed in a pot of hot water will provide three different results. The egg that starts off fragile will over time harden. This is what may happen to some people and their emotions as they become stand offish and more or less cold towards the rest of the world.

Now the carrot when placed in that same hot water goes from being very hard to very soft. In reference to this and someone’s personality they more or less let the situation or the environment weaken who they were as person. In other words they became more like a pushover when certain situations arose. Both the egg and the carrot let their environments become very toxic which inadvertently affected them and instead of adapting to the environment succumb to it.

Now the coffee bean does not do either of these. It takes the situation and environment presented, the hot water, and transforms itself into something new: actual coffee. The inner workings of the bean itself is that power that Damon West is referring to. That same power is within each and everyone of us. If we hone it, nurture it and apply it with this way of thinking we can transform our own environment and in the end transform ourselves for the better. We don’t let the environment control us, we control it by our response to it. So be the coffee bean. Adapt, don’t adopt.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards managing yourself better?

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