Drop a frog in boiling water, and it will jump right back out. No questions asked, it’s not wasting time, it’s getting the hell out of there. Drop it in a pot of cool water and slowly increase the temperature, and we have a different story on our hands. As the water’s temperature increases from cool to lukewarm to hot, the frog is enjoying the hot tub like setting. It’s comfortable. It’s cozy. Why would it want to leave? Then, before you know it, the frog has overstayed it’s welcome. The temperature has increased to an uncomfortable level, but it can’t move. The warmth and comfort of the water are paralyzing. The water is starting to boil over and the frog is stuck there, trapped by their own sense of comfort.
I read this metaphor in a book and I immediately saw myself in the boiling frog. My life has always been comfortable, and I’ve never seen a need to create any changes that would take time and effort. I’m incredibly grateful for not having to deal with too much stress and strife in life. To quote Farrah Gray, though, “Comfort is the enemy of achievement.” Like the frog, I was content with just sitting back and not making a splash. In realizing the frog’s unfortunate fate, I found myself asking a lot of questions.
Am I waiting around for something bad to happen?
Is there an opportunity for change and redirection out there that I’m ignoring because I’m too comfortable where I am?
Will my comfort zone be my demise?
If there are things that I can change and improve, what are they?
Naturally, these questions sent me down a rabbit hole of discovery and curiosity that I’m still happily working my way through. First came the books, then the podcasts, then the documentaries. I was grabbing any content I could hold onto that could teach me how to grow and benefit from challenging the edges of my comfort zone. Finding anything that could keep me from the fate of the boiling frog was my aim. I was, and still am, never going to let what makes me comfortable blind me from much-needed opportunities for change.
Now that I’m knee-deep in it and can confidently look back and say I’ve made some substantial growth, I wanted to share what people, concepts, books and podcasts have been a fixture in my journey. Each Friday I will come to you with one piece of my ever growing puzzle and share my insights that I’ve learned from it.
For our 5th edition of Boiling Frog Friday…
The 5-minute journal! This is a tool that I use daily that has created the habit of reflection and gratitude in my life. There is a physical journal that you can buy, or there is an app that you can download on your phone.
The premise of this journal is two-fold. Its first purpose is that it only takes 5 minutes to do (don’t you dare say you don’t have enough time for that). The second is that it bookends your day with gratitude in the morning, then reflection in the evening. It is not simply a journal that you open up and let words spill onto the page.
In the morning, it will prompt you to do three things: write down 3 things you’re grateful for, write 3 things that you will do that day to make it great, then write some positive affirmations about yourself. You can write a short sentence for each prompt, or you could write a few paragraphs for each thought; the choice is yours.
At night, it will ask you to wrap up your day with two simple tasks: write about 3 amazing things that happened that day (celebrate your wins!), and then reflect on something that you could’ve done better (my “could have done better” is almost always get more sleep).
The beauty of this journal is that the tasks are so simple. You don’t have to rip open your soul each day, you just have to commit to the small, manageable prompts. Over time, though, this daily practice of gratitude in the morning and then reflection in the evening gives you excellent perspective on your life. I can look back to what I was grateful for 2-3 months ago, and smile because I still am grateful for it. I can also look back to my reflections of what I could do better and think about if I have made progress or not.
I would highly recommend using this tool as a daily practice. Remember, it doesn’t take long to do, and the benefits over time are incredible. You may not feel it after doing it for a week, but once you collect enough days of gratitude and reflection, you will absolutely feel a shift in your life.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Boiling Frog Friday! If you have any questions about other tools and methods that you might be interested in, hit me up in the comments!
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