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How To Cook A Frog

It is 6 AM on a Sunday morning and I have just reviewed a lesson I will be teaching this morning. The morning is beautiful and the sun is just coming over the trees that line the lake we live on. The colors are so vibrant in the mornings and evenings.  I am a very early riser and particularly like the peacefulness and quiet times of the early morning.

There are about 25 geese swimming past my pier and deck leaving a long trail in the calm water as they go about their daily business.  I wonder, what is important to the goose? Does he worry about what will happen the rest of the day?  Probably not!

The following is part of my morning reading:

There was a story told about to me when I was young about the frog in the kettle.  It is said that if you drop a frog in a kettle of boiling water, it will hop out and jump away.  However, if you put the same frog in a kettle with the water at room temperature, he will stay in the water.  If you then begin to heat up the water, the frog will stay in the kettle and not notice the slow increase in temperature. The frog will actually boil to death and never jump out of the pot.  (Bill Hybels)

I feel I could write an entire treatise on this small paragraph.  This slow process of death has been experienced by businesses, friendships, and marriages.  Slowly as the temperature rises, the standards change, commitments erode, communication wanes and before we know it, the water is boiling!

Each of us may have experienced this process in some way though we may have been oblivious to it until sadly, it is to late.  We have ignored the signs in our business because we were as one put it “fat, dumb, and happy”.  We have failed to maintain relationships with friends because we are so busy and we adopt the philosophy that we will “get around to it”.  We have been a part of a marriage where we forget that maintaining this type of relationship is “work” or so under the control of the incessant drive to get our own way and to control others that we wake up one day and we are living with a stranger.

Thank goodness we are not frogs or geese.  We have the ability to abstract think and recognize a situation that is developing.  We have all the tools necessary to redirect our courses and recognize the water is “getting hot” or the “relationship is getting cold”.  I guess in some instances it wouldn’t hurt to turn up the temperature a little bit.


  • Take stock of your business. How are you doing in relation to the market place that you are in?  Are you growing and changing as the market changes?  Have you set aside the time to create a business plan and if you have is it actively reviewed and implemented or is it in a drawer never visited?  Constant change is occurring all around us, keep up!  Are you taking the time to keep actively involved with your employees and clients or are they the strangers who just show up every day?  Don’t forget who is important!
  • I have been told each of us only has the opportunity to make a few good friends but a lot of acquaintances.  Don’t be so busy that you don`t take the time to nourish those relationships.  I like Harvey McKay’s philosophy of maintaining a Rolodex that is actively managed.  Who do you need to call or write this week?
  • How is your primary relationship?  Primary relationships take work and effort.  They just don’t happen.  They can go stale as a loaf of bread if they are not attended to.  We all have a strong drive to be right and get our own way.  Ask the question, “What do you want or need?”  “How am I doing?”  Learn the art of submission.  It won’t hurt and you don’t have to like it at first but it will pay you both dividends in the end.  (For a lesson you might look at 1 Peter 3:1-7)

As I write this, I think I will do an article on each of these subjects.  Surely in all of our lives there is much to learn from one another and much to share.  We each have much to be thankful for.  Don’t be the frog!!!!

I want to thank my nephew, Ryan Smith, for introducing me to a thought process by another author who reflects on his experiences and readings and shares them.  I will be sharing from time to time reflections on daily experiences or readings that I feel would stimulate that same reflective process in you.  I hope you enjoy this and I always appreciate you input!