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Weekly Lesson: "Parable of the Boiled Frog"


How proactive are you?




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"Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for change."
~ Johann von Goethe

Life is full of change. It has always been so. However, computers and the Internet now speed information around the world so quickly that the experience of change is like being caught up in a whirlwind. To effectively manage change you must anticipate what is coming next, so you can prepare for it. If caught by surprise, you may be in danger of being overwhelmed.

The parable of the boiled frog helps us to understand the key challenge in coping with rapid change.

Suppose you want to boil a frog. How do you do it? You could place the frog into a pot of hot water, but as soon as it feels the heat, it will jump out. So, what can you do? Put a pot of cool water on the stove and then add the frog. Not sensing danger the frog will stay. Next, turn the burner on low to slowly heat the water. As the water warms, the frog relaxes. The warmth feels good. As the water gets hotter it acts like a steam bath draining away energy and deepening the frog's relaxation. The frog becomes sleepy and has less and less energy while the water is getting hotter and hotter. By the time the frog realizes its danger, the water is beginning to boil, and it is too late to take action. There is neither time nor energy left to do anything. The frog perishes in the boiling water.

What is the moral of the story? Be vigilant. Don't let unexpected change creep up on you. Don't become a "boiled frog." Pay close attention to what is going on around you, so that you can notice when the "water" is getting hot.

To be prepared for change you need to be proactive. Don't suppose that things will just stay the same.

Being proactive about change means:

* Resisting falling into a rut of routine expectation.

* Being observant and actively searching for what is coming next.

* Actively monitoring information from as many different sources as possible.

* Listening to your intuition because your gut instinct may provide a warning.

* Taking some action as soon as possible, even if it is risk, because it may be riskier to do nothing.

Knowing far enough in advance that change is on the way allows you to make plans. Whether it is a career change, acknowledging difficulty in a relationship, or confronting a significant loss, you will be ready when the time comes. Knowing that change is on the horizon allows you to transform it into an opportunity rather than chance being unexpectedly beset by a crisis.

In the modern whirlwind of change, don't wait until it is too late to act. Always be looking ahead. Don't allow yourself to become complacent. Don't become a boiled frog. Keep testing the water, so you can leap before you boil.

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