If you drop a frog into a saucepan of boiling water, so the story goes, it will jump straight out. And frankly who can blame it? It’s not easy being green at the best of times. If, on the other hand, you place the frog in a saucepan of cold water, and heat it up very slowly, it will not sense the danger and will boil to death.
This, I think, tells you all you need to know about the expenses scandal which has gripped and dirtied British politics over the past year. It is also a reminder that we need to involve more outsiders in our lives. When someone from a different country, industry or even generation is first confronted with the way we do things, they are far more able and likely to say ‘hang on a second – this is nuts’. Immersed in the cauldron of an organisation’s stupidity, their reaction may either be to jump straight out, or shout ‘Eureka’.
I have been meaning to write something about procrastination but to be honest, I’ve been putting it off. Seriously though, they say the trick to getting things done is to do the least enjoyable task first. They call it ‘eating the frog’. I’m not sure how well this works in France, where such a thing might be considered something of a treat. Also, anyone lucky enough to work for themself, frog-eating can be challenging because it is counter-intuitive. Your whole life has been designed around the principle of doing what you want to do. For business owners, entrepreneur Lara Morgan recommends a ‘Misery Day’. This day, once a month, contains all of the absolutely worst, grottiest jobs you could possibly imagine. By calling it Misery Day, you are revelling in its awfulness, underlining its importance and using it as one big reason to get things done.
Finally , a question, which relates again to our amphibious friends:
Two frogs are sitting on a log. One decides to jump off. How many frogs are now sitting on the log?
The answer, is two. Did you guess?
Why two? Because one of the frogs only DECIDED to jump off. He didn’t actually go anywhere.
“Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe