What are you: A Carrot, an Egg or Coffee Beans?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

The following is a story by an unknown author describing how difficult situations and circumstances affect our attitude and behaviour towards life.

The boiling water represents adversity and hardship we face in life. The egg, carrot and coffee represents the different responses and reactions to these circumstances.

The egg before it was in the water, was hard outside and fluid inside which means that it’s resilient on the outside but fluid, soft and flexible, adaptable to any situation. But after being in the boiling water, the shell was still hard but the inside is hard also. Which means that it was fluid and responsive before but now has become hard and bitter. Difficult situations made one become inflexible, bitter, impenetrable, hard to handle, hard to forgive.

The carrot was resilient and strong but life circumstances caused it to lose its strength and and vigour and becomes feeble and weak.  Do problems make you cower and flinch or does it awaken that lion spirit within you to arise and conquer?

The coffee beans response is very different from the carrot and egg. It doesn’t allow difficult circumstances to change it. It changes its circumstances. It exudes aroma and gives flavour to the water. The hotter the water the greater the flavour and aroma something that people can drink and enjoy. Do you in difficult situations, turn everything around in your favour. In spite of your situation, do you become a blessing to others around you? Do you turn adversity to opportunity, disappointment to appointment?

So what are you?

How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs

Self-limiting beliefs are thought processes that have developed in the mindset of an individual over the years, that have hindered them from achieving their full potential. They have developed from maybe statements or judgements made by other people (parents/care givers/authority figures/peers etc)which has stuck in the individual’s mind. They are normally belittling, disparaging judgements that affect the individual’s self-esteem and self-worth. These judgments are taken as the truth and facts which has then limited and prevented the person accomplishing their goals and dreams.

Comparing oneself with images portrayed by the media further helps to enforce the already fragile self-image issues. If you believe you will fail, the likelihood is that you possibly will. Because your mind will have programmed itself to believe that as being a true statement.

Examples of such negative beliefs are:

I’m too fat/ugly to be good at anything.

I’m not smart/clever enough to do this.

Girls/boys can’t do that.

I’ll never be successful/Happy.

I’m just not good enough.

Such people lack self confidence and refuse to embark on new projects, they would rather stay in their comfort zone. They don’t believe they can be more than they are right now. They’re afraid that they will fail and not succeed if they do attempt to do anything new. And so they are living advertisements for their own self-fulfilling prophecy; that is, as he thinks he is, so is he. Such people do not attain their full potential; their negative thoughts impede them from achieving true greatness, leaving them with a life stagnant through lack of growth.

Steps to overcome negative beliefs.

Realise that you have been accepting negative self-limiting beliefs about yourself. The first step to overcoming self limiting beliefs is to acknowledge and understand that you’ve allowed these negative thoughts to control your mind and stop your development.

Replace these negative beliefs with positive beliefs and affirmations. To progress and mature into become the person that you were created to be, substitute the negative thoughts with positive thoughts

Meditate and Confess these affirmations daily, pin them in strategic places about the house. Making positive confessions daily will change and reprogram your mindset.

List out your good qualities/talents. The things you are good at. Your job, caring for people, with animals, good listener, sociable etc. You could also ask a close friend or relative what your good qualities are, they’ll probably mention some things that you didn’t realise about yourself Everybody has something that they’re good at. Nobody was created a failure at everything. We are to hard on ourselves, we need to give ourselves a break. Learn to appreciate who you are. Learn to love yourself and who you are.

Remember your past successes. The things you’ve done at work, at home, at school. The fact that you have had some past accomplishments should let you know that what you were able to do before, you can do again.

Understand that failure is training ground.

You need to understand that failure is just an experience that you need to learn from and put behind you. Stop reliving your mistakes over and over again, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everybody fails at least once in their lifetime. It is not the end of the world. Mistakes happen, learn from it and move on.

Reward and encourage yourselves about the benefits of embarking on new challenges with your new self confidence. Be encouraged. You can create change, only you can.

9 Qualities of a Great Leader

Someone once said that leaders are born not made. Though I do agree that some people possess inherent qualities that make them natural leaders, I do believe that through training, hard work, commitment etc one can become a good leader. I was in my church’s leadership team for a period of time and I learnt a lot about what it takes to be a good leader. I do believe that it takes a lot more to become a great leader. No great leader is made in a day. It’s a process of going through trials, tribulations, troubles, difficulty, failures, success etc. As an individual, there are some experiences you would have gone through in life to make you into the great leader you are today.
Here are the qualities I believe a great leader will possess:

  • A great leader is a person of honourable and blameless character, and high moral values. They have a good reputation both in the workplace and among acquaintances, family and friends. They are reliable and dependable. Their word is their bond. They command the respect and trust from others and are a source of inspiration for those they lead.
  • A great leader is passionate. They are dedicated to their work and goals. And their passion and enthusiasm attracts/draws people to work with the same fervour and motivation.
  • A great leader is able to handle pressure and crisis. They do not fall apart under pressure, but are able to ride the storm with confidence and are able to rally the troops to victory. He remains constant and calm in the midst of storms and troubles and is able to provide solutions without castigating or blaming. He/she is able to take full responsibility for any failure in his team, even if he/she was not directly involved.
  • Great leaders are excellent communicators. They are able to communicate their vision to the people so that they can run with it. They take time to make sure the people fully understand the details and entertain questions from the doubtful without becoming antagonistic. He knows what his future is and inspires his people to get there.
  • A great leader is a person of excellence. The great leader produces outstanding results and to the highest level of quality. ‘Good’ is not good enough, his work always surpasses ordinary standards. They takes delight in ensuring that everything is done with excellence.
  • Great Leaders learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Everyone makes mistakes, including those in authority. But what makes a person different from others is the way they deal with it. Great leaders experience mistakes, learn from mistakes and move on from mistakes and try as much as possible not to repeat mistakes.
  • A great leader is a great listener. He knows that he needs people, and that people can help him to achieve his goals. He makes sure that he is attentive to those under his authority and listens to their concerns, as they are his eyes and ears in the organisation. He is not intimidated by the talents of others. They recognise that wisdom and knowledge are gained not by talking but by listening and that you can gain so much by listening to the others perspective. Great leaders understand that they may not know it all, and may not have all the answers and that solutions may come from someone else. Because they know that when you value people’s concerns there is greater participation and involvement.
  • Great leaders delegate. Great leaders know that they cannot do it all, so they know how to designate positions to people according to ability and talent.
  • Great leaders inspire greatness in others. Great leaders are not intimidated by the talents of others but are dedicated to empowering others to achieve greatness as well for the next generation. They understand that they are not immortal and that the work must continue even if they are not there.

Are there any other qualities you believe a leader should possess? Please leave your comments down below.