Fall Asleep At The Switch & You’ll Become A Boiled Frog
Complacency, procrastination, denial & the boiled frog syndrome The consequences of failing to take action until it's too late
The Boiled Frog Syndrome is an early 19th century scientific theory that was based upon a fictitious “scientific study”.
The Boiled Frog Theory claimed that if an attempt were made to immerse a frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog would immediately jump from the pot but if the same frog were immersed in a pot of cool water and the temperature were increased gradually, the frog would not perceive the change in temperature and would allow itself to be slowly cooked to death.
Lack Of Awareness & Complacency While the theory itself has been debunked, the parable of the boiled frog has continued to be used as a metaphor to illustrate how people experiencing small incremental changes over a sufficient period of time tend to become complacent & completely unaware that their situation has changed. Because the changes are so gradual & small, they may not even recognize the consequences and the modified situation simply becomes perceived as the "new normal".
The metaphor illustrates how small, gradual & continuous changes in your environment are often imperceptible but their effect may be cumulative and, at some point, the cumulative effect of these changes may become so great that it may be too late to do anything.
The principle is one of gradualism. Because the changes are incremental over a sufficient period of time, there is no sense of anything having changed, no perception of danger and no alarms are triggered.
It escapes notice until the damage is done or there is not enough time remaining to react or save yourself.
Procrastination & Denial On the other hand, there are some people who are aware that changes are occurring but they deliberately choose to postpone taking action by deluding themselves with Pollyanna thinking that there will always be plenty of time to take action or that the impact of their inaction will not be cumulative or irreversible.
The Insidious Nature Of The Boiled Frog Syndrome Is That It Seems To Sneak Up On You. For many people, when the consequences are eventually realized, they are shocked that it happened so "suddenly".
The reality is - It did NOT happen suddenly. It happened continuously, progressively and gradually over an extended period of time.
Often people observing the situation from outside see the growing problem as obvious while the people intimately involved are oblivious to the negative progression of their circumstances.
Unfortunately, the longer you remain unaware of the problem, or the longer you ignore it, the worse the situation becomes & the problem continues to grow. And in some instances, the situation can progress to the point of being irreversible or even dangerous.
To Avoid Becoming A Boiled Frog, Stop Periodically And Take Stock Of Your Situation. The impact of the cumulative effect of incremental change can only be noticed if you pause from time to time and deliberately evaluate the present vs the past.
Because most people do not have the discipline to consciously stop & make these periodic evaluations, they are often the engineers of their own demise.
Is it time to stop & take stock of your situation?
Have you been considering downsizing but just haven't gotten around to it?
Would you like to know what you need to do NOW to sell your home next year (or the year after)?
As Mark Twain said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you did NOT do than by the ones you did do."
And as Vince Lombardi said, "We didn't lose the game. We just ran out of time."