Boiled frogs

(Disclaimer: no frogs were harmed in the making of this blog)

So, one of life’s great questions, and I bet you didn’t even realise it, is
“How do you boil a frog?”

You’d think, wouldn’t you that you just get a pot of boiling water. Add a frog. and voila! end of discussion. But no… you see, if you do that, then the frog will LEAP OUT IMMEDIATELY… like anything sensible would do, when you think about it.

So, then, how DO you boil a frog?

Well, you get a pot of nice cold water and you put the frog in there. He swims around a bit, life is good.

Then you SLOWLY increase the heat. If you do it so that the frog doesn’t notice, the temperature will reach the same point at which he would have jumped out before. But because the changes have been so gradual, at this point the frog doesn’t leap. And you have a boiled frog on your hands.

Sensible frogs know when to get out

Sensible frogs know when to get out

Sooo, getting to the point, this is something that happens to people in just the same way. You might go to a job that you instantly realise is really awful, and after a few days you leave it. You might start up a relationship with someone and quickly get the icky realisation that this is a disastrous idea and you get out.

But what about the case where you start off, and it’s not too bad? Then they start reducing your biscuit allowance, criticising your time at the watercooler, not paying bonusses etc etc. You might reach a job that you would never have accepted early, but because the changes are so gradual as to be almost imperceptible, you let them slide. And there you are, a boiled frog…

The boiled frog line

This is important when you get into a new situation or when you FIRST start to notice that things are getting a little worse but are still not so bad that you want to leave. The boiled frog line is a imaginary future situation that would definitely make you jump out.

For example: I had friend who was in a difficult relationship and decided that if things hadn’t changed “by April” that would just be ridiculous. April was the boiled frog line in this case.

April came and the situation was no different. If it hadn’t been for my cheery reminder about the boiled frog line, then April might not have held much significance of April. As you can imagine, my reminder was not very welcome, but it WAS valid.


1) Think of a situation that you are in right now, where you have some dissatisfaction.

2) Imagine a scenario that would make you jump out

3) Write it down or tell a trusted friend or coach

4) Let it Go. Wait. If the crazy scenario never comes round, chalk it up to being prepared, and add that to your gratitude list. If it does, a good friend or coach will remind you, hopefully kindly.

5) After that, it is your choice to stay in the situation, or leave it. But you are at least more aware than a frog at that point!

Whichever way you jump, do it with clarity. You always have choices.

Photo attribution: CC 2.0
Boiled frog
Jumping frog


  1. Gillian Scott


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