A lady was once heating up a pot of water on a gas stove with the intent of cooking pasta for her family for dinner. A frog fell into the pot while it was sitting on the stove. While it wasn’t the frog’s intention to be stuck in a pot of water, it didn’t try to escape. It was comfortable enough in this new environment.
As the water’s temperature began to rise, the frog was able to adjust its body temperature accordingly, and it remained in the pot without trying to do anything to change the situation.
However, as the water approached its boiling point, the frog’s body temperature could no longer keep up. It finally tried to jump out of the pot, but with water temperature continuing to increase, the frog didn’t have it in it to make the leap.
It was too late for the frog to save itself.
One important lesson that we can all learn from this story is that life is fickle. You never truly know when the tides can turn against you.
There’s no guarantee that things will always go as planned, and they certainly don’t always go the way we want them to. As the popular saying goes, “Man plans, and God laughs.” But, no matter how bad a situation is, we must be proactive and face the problem head-on.
We must take swift action before things get out of control. As Sun Tzu instructed, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” Unlike the frog, who waited until the last moment to try to do something about the problem he was clearly facing for quite some time, it’s important to contemplate the negative consequences of the situation that you’re currently experiencing, and work through them before they get past the point of no return.
The unexpected blows of fortune can be brutal and immensely painful, which is the exact reason why a wise person contemplates on them beforehand. As Seneca said, “What is quite unlooked for is more crushing in its effect, and unexpectedness adds to the weight of a disaster. The fact that it was unforeseen has never failed to intensify a person’s grief. This is a reason for ensuring that nothing ever takes us by surprise. We should project our thoughts ahead of us at every turn and have in mind every possible eventuality instead of only the usual course of events.”
The bottom line is that you must refrain from wasting time and take appropriate action before problems get out of hand or become too much to handle. As an old adage goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.” In other words, prevention is better than cure.