If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, what will it do?
It will jump out instantly. Right? Correct.
But, we humans love to tweak the experiment conditions and that’s what this group of researchers did. They put that frog into cold water and started to heat up the water.
The frog kept swimming into the water. The temperature of the pot kept increasing and it started boiling. But the frog didn’t jump out.
And eventually the water consumed that frog.
Do you know why did the frog not move out?
Scientifically, the internal system of frog is trained to sense the sudden instances of threats in the environment and react to those. The system is not trained to react on slow and gradual changes.
Why to fix something that isn’t broken yet?
Such an attitude is visible at different facets of our lives, like:
If we see marriage, so many couples are going through the indifferent, ignorant and “okayish” phases and are not doing anything to make the relationship blossom. Their argument is that there are no fights/disputes, so everything must be fine. But this “slow poison” ends up ruining the long-lasting relationships to the point from which it will never get fixed.
Think of our jobs, we all have experienced the phases of “stagnant growth” or even decline in the learning curves. A few of us will assess the situation and try to move out of such a phase but there will be many who will keep ignoring the mental burnout till it reaches the exhaustion level and becomes so scary that they will end up with neither alternatives nor opportunities.
The issue is that these events are not sudden and we are not trained to react on gradual changes. But there still are ways to safeguard ourselves from this slow poison. Here are my two cents on the topic:
Keep your eyes and ears open: At times, the changes are right in front of our eyes, but we are so involved into our daily routines that we forget to focus the lens of our eyes on them.
To get a better view of your situation, try to look from an unbiased point of view. Try to move out of the box and analyze the box in which you are trapped. Check for cracks, holes and tears.
Use your Emotional Quotient (EQ): Be it relationships or careers or personal aspirations, the body language tends to reveal so much more than our minds can consume. The pace of the walk towards your office in the morning can reveal how much you love your job. The way your partner greets you at the end of the day can tell you how strong the bond is.
Get feedback: When we are able to notice through body languages that there is something wrong but we might not be able to point out to any particular thing. In such cases, be open to feedback and have a genuine conversations on where you are going wrong and what more you need to do to improve the situations. The same goes in the case when you are feeling neglected. You can be frank and share your opinions on things that you didn’t like in a relationship. Such sharing might have a sparkling impact in the short term but it will help in the long term growth.
Never settle for status-quo and always look for solution: If you have found the problems but you might feel that there is nothing you can do, then in such genuine cases, the only solution is to jump out rather than letting the poison spread everywhere.
The frog doesn’t need to wait for its skin to tell it that it is burning. The vapors around it are enough motivations to jump out.
-ArjunaAtWar (Parth Shah)