You’ve probably heard the story about a frog in a saucepan filled with water. Take that saucepan, put it on the stove and the frog will happily sit there as the temperature rises until the poor frog is boiled – literally. Why would that happen? Apparently, because a frog is cold blooded and its body temperature adjusts to its surroundings, it doesn’t notice the ever-increasing water temperature – until it’s too late!
I had an alternate title in mind for this piece. It was: What’s your bullshit story? You’ll see why I was planning on calling it that below.
Then I stumbled across the frog in a saucepan analogy again, which explains in a unique way the outcomes of the bullshit we tell ourselves.
Why am I talking about boiled frogs?
Well, because some people are just like the frog. Things start out OK. You’re working, you’re making some money and you’re feeling pretty good about things.
And then the temperature starts to rise. Life starts to wear you down, as it tends to do. Before long, you find yourself settling for “reality” rather than aspiring and working towards your goals. You settle for not renovating your home this year, not going on holidays, not sending your kids to the school you really wanted them to go to. You settle for expensive credit card debt as a fact of life, overdrafts, borrowing from your family…
You’re now the proverbial frog, sitting in the saucepan seemingly oblivious to the fact that your situation is heating up. So what do you do? Here are a few possible scenarios:
- Do nothing
This is in fact what most people do. Perhaps not the best option because you pretty much end up “cooked”.
- Settle for “reality”
Explain the increasing level of pain you are experiencing with phrases like “oh well, what can you do?” and “that’s just the way it is”.
- Look outside the saucepan
You may be surprised to discover that you’re not the only frog and your “reality” is not everyone’s reality. There are other frogs out there; like the one sitting on a lily pad, wearing sunnies and sipping on a drink with a little paper umbrella in it.
- Do what frogs do best – jump!
Get out of the saucepan and get a clear perspective on things. Have a critical look at how you got into the saucepan in the first place and how you can avoid ending up there again – or at least turn down the heat.
I hope the frog in a saucepan analogy hasn’t confused you. Here’s what I really want to say in simple terms: most people are not fully aware of their financial situation – both in terms of the things that are hurting them and costing money and the opportunities that could make them significant amounts of money.
So, I suggest you “jump”. Get clear on your situation and how to improve it. Get professional advice. Develop a strategy. Make it happen and get out of the saucepan forever.