The Coffee Bean by Jon Gordon (Book Summary)


Each morning, all around the globe, a huge number of individuals start their day with a similar custom. In spite of their numerous distinctions, they all commonly share this tendency: when they wake up, they plunk down for a cup of coffee. 

Caffeine shocks the cerebrum once more into full cognizance while the stimulating scent and taste of the beverage help individuals welcome the day. This is the outstanding intensity of coffee – and we can thank the little bean from which the beverage is made for that. 


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Be that as it may, there’s a significantly more important, less broadly known lesson covered up inside the coffee bean. The accompanying story is a tale that transmits that lesson through distinctive imagery, important allegories and a story we can all relate to. 


1 – Life can be difficult. 


The chief character of our story is an adolescent named Abraham – or Abe, as he is usually often called people. Abe was your standard American adolescent kid, directly down to being a headliner on the secondary school football team. He continued on in his senior year, with graduation knocking on his door. His wish was to play football in college. 

Yet, Abe didn’t want to just participate in sports; he likewise enjoyed the scholastic side of the school, particularly science class, which was tutored by his preferred teacher, Mr. Jackson. 

All things considered, it appeared as though everything was going okay for Abe. In any case, at some point, he came into his science class in a quite foul state of mind, feeling scorn toward everything around him. Mr. Jackson realized something wasn’t right and was determined to find out what was happening, so he asked Abe to stay back after class. 

In the private, sincere discussion that ensued, Abe opened up to Mr. Jackson and let everything spill out. He was feeling a great deal of pressure and tension in both of the primary aspects of his life. At home, his parents were quarreling, and divorce was already a subject. At school, there were some forthcoming tests, a writing assignment and a major Friday night football match compounding the pressure mounting. 

The game especially exerted a lot of pressure on him. As much as a victory could bring his team one step towards getting to the state championship, there would likewise be some college scouts on the lookout for new recruits. 



And then, there was the added pressure of the performance other individuals’ expect from a notable player of the football team. In the event that he performed well, he felt impelled to keep satisfying individuals. In the event that he didn’t play well, he felt an air of disappointment. 

Are you familiar with any of these things? You don’t need to be an American secondary school football player to identify with this story. Like Abe, you’ve most likely experienced a lot of family inconveniences and events that could be considered big games throughout your life moments, for example, significant presentations, meetings, and interviews. Now and again, you’ve most likely gotten yourself feeling under an excessive amount of pressure from a lot of sides at a time – particularly in the event that you feel the burden of expectations that accompanies an attempt to become a remarkable parent, chief, mentor or whatever position you assume in your everyday life. 

How might we traverse these difficult occasions and conquer these roots of stress? All things considered, Mr. Jackson offers an astonishing admonishment – for Abe as well as for us all. 


2 – At the point when life gets difficult, we can end up frail. 


In the wake of hearing Abe spill out his troubles, Mr. Jackson just gestured and stated, “I know how you feel.” Then, he acted in a way you probably won’t anticipate. He didn’t offer any words of wisdom or guidance. Rather, he gave Abe a task – and a fairly arbitrary one it seemed: heat up a carrot in a pot of water, watch it for some time, return tomorrow and report what occurred. 

That night, Abe did the task, and the following day, he met with Mr. Jackson after class to share his observations. He’d noticed that after around ten minutes of being submerged in the bubbling water, the carrot became soft. 

Mr. Jackson at that point uncovered the purpose of the task. The carrot, he clarified, didn’t simply become soft; it was made soft by the boiling water, which was the surrounding wherein Abe had placed it. The water was an unfavorable condition, and it basically made the carrot frail by putting it under stressful conditions. 



As Mr. Jackson proceeded to clarify, something very similar can happen to us all. At the point when life gets troublesome, we also wind up in boiling water, in a manner of speaking. Applying this exercise to our own lives, we can understand how our homes and working environments can likewise transform into unfavorable conditions, and our relationships and jobs can put us under upsetting conditions of their own. In the event that we let them overpower us with negative feelings like dread and despair, we end up like the carrot – delicate and frail. 

Inevitably, we may become so depleted and gloomy that we want to abandon our struggles. For instance, we may ponder leaving a place of employment that is putting up a challenge to us or fleeing from a relationship that is precarious. Or then again we may end up demoralized and solitary – no longer relishing the activities we used to take delight in, or somewhat withdrawing into our shells away from such activities. For example, amidst sub-par performance professionally and economic misfortunes, a crestfallen husband may lose his recognition of his better half and children and might stop spending time with them. 

As indicated by Mr. Jackson, this carrot-like reaction to misfortune isn’t the characteristic outcome of being overwhelmed by extrinsic powers. Rather, it’s the aftereffect of the misinformed conviction that those powers are not within our might. 


3 – The troubles of life can likewise lead us to turn out to be ruthless. 


So if not a carrot, what then? Simply act tenacious and clench your teeth as the water boils you alive? All things considered, that is not what Mr. Jackson would encourage. In contrast, his next exercise called attention to the error of this way to life. 

When he got Abe to comprehend the lesson of the carrot task and to perceive how it applied to his very own issues, Mr. Jackson asked a subsequent question: What would happen in the event that you heated up an egg rather than a carrot? 

Abe definitely knew the response to this one, so he didn’t have to return home to discover: you’d end up with a hard-boiled egg. Mr. Jackson at that point expounded his point. Despite the fact that they’re subjected to equivalent conditions and share the same environment (bubbling water), the carrot and the egg wind up reacting to it in different ways. The carrot becomes soft; the egg gets hard. 

As you may have suspected, this is one more allegory with a moral story to it. Like the egg, we also can solidify when our surroundings and conditions put us under pressure. For sure, there’s even a word for the emotional condition that results from this procedure: “hard-heartedness.” In this state, it appears as if our hearts have gone stiff, no longer allowing itself sincerely love, or being non-receptive to love. Rather, we start fuming with displeasure and scorn toward the individuals in our lives. 

In taking the nature hard-bubbled egg, we’re basically bottling up all the antagonism we see in our general surroundings. It resembles we’re stating to everybody and everything around us, “Okay, if you will be cold and mean to me? then I’ll be cold and mean right back!” 



Obviously, in this day and age, there’s no lack of pessimism. Abe could confirm this. In the same way, as others do, he attempted to get away from his issues by scouring web-based life feeds and watching videos on the web. Be that as it may, there he discovered greater pessimism. On the off chance that you’ve been online yourself as of late, at that point you can without much of a stretch envision what he may have experienced: terrible remarks, troubling news stories, and loathe-filled harangues. 

In any case, Mr. Jackson would advise us not to blame the web, misfortune or some other external influence of hardening us. It’s not so much the powers themselves that harden us, he would contend; it’s our conviction that they can stiffen us. By and by, what’s required is a correction of our mindset – and that was the subject of his next lesson to Abe. 


4 – There’s a more wholesome, progressively proactive way to deal with misfortune. 


Abe had learned two lessons by the end of his second conversation with Mr. Jackson: he would not like to be the carrot, and he would not like to be the egg – however, what could he desire to become instead?

All things considered, on the off chance that you recollect the title or prologue to these highlights, you definitely know the appropriate response, so there’s no need to keep up the anticipation: the appropriate response is the coffee bean. 

To help Abe comprehend the incredible option characterized by this little bean, Mr. Jackson gave him another homework task: heat up some coffee beans for about 60 minutes, see what occurs and report back tomorrow. 

The following day, Abe was truly eager to report his observations with Mr. Jackson. Abe was definitely amazed by it. Maybe you will be enlightened also. 

Things being what they are, in the event that you heat up some coffee beans for 60 minutes, you end up with a pot brimming with coffee! Truly, coffee– as in the drink you get when you run high temp water through ground-up coffee beans in a coffee brewer. Unground beans season the water similarly as ground-up beans; it just takes them a longer time. 



The difference in relation to the carrot and the egg could barely be stronger. As we probably are aware, when a carrot and an egg are put in the unfavorable condition of boiling water, they respond in opposite ways – the carrot getting tender, the egg getting hard. In any case, while they respond in inverse ways, there’s a fundamental connection between them: the two of them wind up getting changed by their condition. 


However, with coffee beans, the change goes a different way; the environment winds up getting changed by the beans! One minute, it’s water. After an hour, it’s coffee. 

Obviously, the lesson here isn’t generally about coffee beans; it’s about us. We also can change the conditions and conditions around us. In exhibiting this capacity, we show that the power within us is more prominent in intensity than the powers outside of us. To take charge of this power, Mr. Jackson would opine that, we simply need to realize that we have it. His wisdom here could be summarized into a solitary sentence: Know yourself as a coffee bean, and you also can change your surroundings. 

In any case, what does that resemble by and by? All things considered, Abe’s going to demonstrate to us! 


5 – Through his activities, Abe exhibited the figurative intensity of the coffee bean. 


After he completed his third discussion with Mr. Jackson, Abe was so enlivened by the moral of the coffee bean that he discussed it with the majority of his football teammates. They were pretty energized as well and proceeded to win the big match and got to the state championship game. 

They wound up winning that game too – yet Abe wounded his knee after he tumbled to the ground while making a play that guaranteed the group’s triumph. It was a serious injury, putting him on props and needing surgery. For all he knew, his desire to play college football may be over.

In any case, recollecting the moral the espresso bean, Abe didn’t leave himself at the mercy of that. Rather, he used his personal time as a chance to apply that lesson. With some other students at his school, he began a coffee bean club. Their central goal? To change the social condition of the school and the encompassing community. 

How? Through great deeds and arbitrary demonstrations of thoughtfulness, such as reading books to small kids, posting positive remarks via web-based networking media and composing reassuring notes to students in troublesome times. Before the school year ended, the social environment of the school was changed. Pessimism was never again viewed as normal; everybody needed to be a coffee bean now. 



From here, we’ll quickly advance through the following pieces of Abe’s story: he recovered from his injuries, he graduated from secondary school and proceeded to realize his desire to play for college football – at a military institute. After graduating from the institute, he graduated to the position of a military officer who led different squadrons into battle. Following five years of service, he resigned from the military and came back to the place where he grew up, where he wedded his secondary school darling, had three children, turned into a volunteer coach for his former school’s football team and got an office job in sales. 

Anywhere he went, Abe conveyed the message of the coffee beans and shared Mr. Jackson’s lesson with everybody he encountered. Cadets, fighters, secondary school football players and white-collar office employees likewise were motivated by its message. The message surely had a wide intrigue; all things considered, it told individuals that everybody has the ability to change any condition or situation around them. 

In any case, pause – any condition or situation? Shouldn’t something be said about those including extremely dominant powers outside our ability of control? At his business work, Abe had to ask this eventual question. 


6 – At his office work, Abe’s capacity to apply the lesson of the coffee bean was intensely tested. 


Abe functioned as hard as he could at his business work, however it was by all accounts not useful. Regardless of the amount of effort and time, he invested, his sales numbers declined. 

In any case, it wasn’t only Abe who was struggling. His fellow employees and his company were in a difficult situation. Consistently, they failed to arrive at their business objectives and income targets. The market was unfavorable, and there were major macroeconomic and technological changes occurring in their industry. Accordingly, they were being crushed by outer powers outside their ability to control. 

With his employment in peril, a spouse and three children to support, and a mortgage, two cars, healthcare bills, and credit card obligations to satisfy, Abe was getting increasingly nervous and worried about his capacity to make a decent living.

Crumbling from these negative feelings, he began considering his wife and children more as burdens than blessings, and he started to isolate himself from his partner. At the point when she attempted to converse with him about his challenges, he’d leave the room. At the end of the day, some portion of him was transforming into an egg. 

He likewise began considering giving up. He mulled over leaving his place of employment and finding another one, rejoining the military or in any event, fleeing from his life and starting from the very beginning once more. Another piece of him was transforming into a carrot. 



In any case, at that point, one chilly winter day, while he was drinking his morning coffee and having carrot-like thoughts running through his mind, he gazed down into his cup and felt the glow of the blistering refreshment beneath. Right then and there, he recalled Mr. Jackson’s lesson of the coffee bean, which he’d overlooked in the midst of all the worry in his life. 

Motivated by the lesson once more, Abe returned to work and focused on. Instead of feeling frustrated about himself, he concentrated on growing new connections and open doors for his organization. His business numbers went up, and he got an advancement in position up to head of offers and advertising. 

Under Abe’s initiative, the organization recovered its balance by streamlining its activities, embracing imaginative thoughts and advancements, and adding new items and administrations to its lineup. The encompassing financial conditions remained challenging– yet as opposed to seeing them in fear, lament or quitting, the company held onto them as a chance to develop. 

Here, we’ll leave Abe in his snapshot of triumph and draw two last lessons from his story. 


7 – The decision to be a coffee bean is forever our own. 


As a secondary school senior, Abe was a blend of a carrot and an egg who turned into a coffee bean, allegorically. Yet, at that point, at his business work, he turned back to his carrot and egg-like ways. Luckily, he was then ready to change himself into a coffee bean by and by, sparing his company and getting to be head of offers and advertising as a result. 

There’s a significant lesson to be learned from this u-turns: the decision between being a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean isn’t something we do once and after that are finished with it – secured in our decision always, regardless. No – we settle on a decision again and again with each new circumstance we face. 

This reality should fill us with prudence since it implies we can quit being an espresso bean on the off chance that we neglect to settle on the decision to be one. Be that as it may, it should likewise make us confident on the grounds that it implies we can turn into an espresso bean once more, regardless of whether we’ve been a carrot or an egg. The ability to be a coffee bean consistently stays within us; we need to recall that we have it!

There’s one more moral to be learned from Abe’s change into a coffee bean. To see it, recollect two of the main cases in which he pulled it off: as a pioneer of the coffee bean club in secondary school and as head of sales and marketing at his company. In the two cases, Abe didn’t turn into a coffee bean without anyone else’s input; he motivated others to go along with him, and they cooperated to change their surroundings. 



At the end of the day, it’s not simply people who can be carrots, eggs or coffee beans as they deal with challenges. Whole organizations have to settle on a similar decision as they explore the more extensive difficulties of the world. Without a doubt, the equivalent could be said of society in general. We can envision a perfect world wherein everybody cooperated to improve their surroundings and situations. 

Possibly that is the thing that Abe had focused on in the last part of his story. In the wake of saving his organization, he decided that his mission in life was to disseminate the message of the coffee bean lesson to as many individuals he could reach. Keeping that in mind, he traveled to the far corners of the planet, giving inspirational talks in a wide scope of settings – from schools and medical clinics to organizations and nonprofits. 

Accounts of change followed afterward, as individuals discovered their internal potential to change their surroundings. 

Maybe the following story of change will be about you! 


The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change by Jon Gordon Book Review 


There are three essential reactions notwithstanding misfortune. We can characterize every one of them with the manner in which an object responds to being placed in boiling water, which is a similitude for being encompassed by tough conditions or environment. The first reaction is to respond as a carrot – becoming soft and powerless with feelings like dread and despondency. The second is to go about like an egg – becoming stiff-hearted. The third is to go about as a coffee bean – changing the environment or conditions around us and benefiting as much as possible from them.


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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