The Coffee Bean | Jon Gordon

Summary of: The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change
By: Jon Gordon

The Power of the Coffee Bean

After being inspired by the lesson of the coffee bean, Abe forms a club with his schoolmates to transform their environment through good deeds. From healing his knee injury to becoming an army officer, Abe carried this lesson everywhere he went and shared it with everyone he encountered. The lesson teaches that everyone has the power to transform their circumstances, no matter how big the forces around them.


Embark on a journey through the heartwarming tale of Abe, a high school football star turned successful professional who learns valuable life lessons from his favorite science teacher, Mr. Jackson. In this book summary of ‘The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change’ by Jon Gordon, discover how becoming a ‘coffee bean’ can lead you to success in any aspect of life. Explore the metaphors of carrots, eggs, and coffee beans, and how we can apply these lessons to triumphantly navigate challenging personal and professional situations. Learn to harness the power within to transform your life and make the world a better place.

Coping with Pressure

Abe, a typical American high school football star, is struggling with mounting pressure from all over his life. While preparing for a crucial game, he experiences stress from personal and academic struggles. His science teacher, Mr. Jackson, gives him some surprising advice for coping with anxiety. This relatable story teaches readers how to overcome stress and expectations in life.

Abraham, or Abe, is a senior in high school and the star player of the football team. But behind the facade of success lies a young man riddled with stress. In Mr. Jackson’s science class, Abe’s favorite subject and teacher, he comes in one day with a foul mood and an overwhelming sense of hatred for everything. Mr. Jackson senses something is wrong and pulls him aside for a heart-to-heart conversation.

Abe opens up about his struggles; his parents are fighting at home, and the word “divorce” has come up, exams and a big essay assignment are looming over him, and a critical Friday night football game with college scouts watching from the bleachers had him feeling an immense amount of pressure. The weight of the expectations that come with his status as a star player and the thought of disappointing others suffocate him.

The story is relatable and applicable to anyone who experiences tension and expectations in life. Readers need not be high school football players to identify with Abe’s struggles. Whether it’s a vital presentation, an interview, or a crucial meeting in their professional or personal life, most people go through stress and anxiety.

However, Mr. Jackson has some surprising counsel not just for Abe but for everyone dealing with anxiety. The book doesn’t delve into what the advice is, but it’s likely that Mr. Jackson offers tools and strategies for coping with stress.

The overall message of the story is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for overcoming pressure. People handle stress and anxiety differently, and in coping, the society needs to be sensitive, empathetic, and flexible. Whether it’s being available to listen, providing practical support, or offering a moment of respite, people can play a significant role in supporting each other.

The Boiled Carrot Lesson

Mr. Jackson teaches Abe a valuable lesson by boiling a carrot and making him observe its changes. The carrot softened due to the harsh environment, just like how difficult situations can weaken us. If we let adversity overwhelm us with negative emotions, we become weak. Mr. Jackson believes this isn’t the natural consequence of being overpowered but a misguided belief. To overcome our challenges, we need to change our mindset.

The Hard-Boiled Egg Metaphor

In this book, the author uses the metaphor of boiling water and eggs to explain how people respond to stress differently. When we face difficulties, we can become like a hard-boiled egg, internalizing negativity and becoming hard-hearted. However, Mr. Jackson advises that it’s not external forces that harden us, but our belief that they can. What’s needed is a change of mindset.

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