A Short Moral Lesson for Overcoming Life’s Problems When Facing Difficult Hurdles

An obstacle to overcome.

Having a constructive outlook on life helps you face and overcome obstacles. (Image: Bulat Silvia via Dreamstime)

It’s easy to ask yourself, “Is there a way to overcome your problems?” and “What have I done to deserve this?” when faced with difficult hurdles in life. But it’s not what you face that counts; it’s how you react to life’s problems — especially when they happen unexpectedly. It’s important to know that life’s problems can make you stronger. 

Sometimes, substantial life obstacles might be an opportunity for you. So, it’s essential to be resilient, versatile, and wise. To help illustrate this, here’s a short moral lesson about a chef and his daughter. 

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A short moral lesson of a chef and his daughter

One day, a downhearted daughter went to her father and complained about how several things in her life were falling apart. She was tired of trying because once she solved one problem, another one came up.

Her chef father told her, “Don’t worry darling, everything will be well. Let me show you something that will always help you in life.”

So he took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water, and placed them on the stove to boil. Soon the pots were boiling, and he put potatoes in the first pot, eggs in the second, and coffee in the last. The father then sat and let each pot boil without saying a word.

So he took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water, and placed them on the stove to boil.
So he took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water, and placed them on the stove to boil. (Image: Mrs. Gillian Steyn via Dreamstime)

After about 20 minutes, he turned off the stoves. He first took the potatoes and placed them in a bowl. Next, he took the eggs and put them in another bowl. And lastly, he served the coffee in a cup. He then turned to his daughter and asked: “What do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. He then asked her to come closer and touch the potatoes. She said they were soft. Next, he asked her to peel the eggshell and observe the hardboiled egg. Lastly, he asked her to take the brewed coffee. She drank it and smiled.

“Dad, what does all of this mean?” she asked. Her father smiled and answered: “Darling, you see, all these three meals underwent the same experience; they were boiled. However, we see a different outcome in each of them.”

He explained that the potatoes were solid and formidable from the outside, but they became soft when boiled. The eggs were delicate and fragile, but they became hard when boiled in water. The ground coffee, however, reacted differently to boiling water. It changed the water and made an exciting brew.

Then the father asked his daughter: “Are you a potato, egg, or ground coffee?” She finally understood the story’s moral — you can shape the narrative and determine how your struggles define you. 

Groceries including a dozen brown eggs, broccoli, bananas, and apples, sit on the kitchen counter.
The eggs were delicate and fragile, but they became hard when boiled in water. (Image: Arturs Budkevics via Dreamstime)

How to overcome life’s problems

As mentioned, you’ll always experience challenges in life. But this story shows us that you can rise and become better — take the driver’s seat. It’s easy to wither when faced with adversity or suppress your emotions behind a shell. But the better option is to be resilient and take control. 

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