2.20.2009

Frog-Eating and You: The Savory Appetizer Sampler Platter

one thing I think is kind of funny is that, to help further my Eat the Frog! campaign, I decided to start researching frogs, where they come from, how they live, and what they do.

frogs are really quite fascinating little creatures. and their songs are beautiful.

i've even gotten a few emails about the deliciousness of frog legs. i hear they taste like chicken. kinda...

and people have asked me where that phrase even came from: Eat the Frog! so i did a little digging and found that once upon a time, mark twain once said "if the first thing you do every morning is eat a live frog, you should be able to go through the rest of your day knowing that the worst part of your day is over."

so there you go. we're not talking deep-fried dee-licious frog legs, but a live, wiggling, bulgy-eyed, web-toed frog.

i'm going to assume that unless you're a few species of lizard, snake, or stork, eating a live frog really would be the worst part of your day.

so what are some ways to eat a frog? there are as many ways to Eat the Frog as there are frogs to eat. maybe a better question would be: what are some of the common frogs?

honestly, the largest and most common frogs i see are doubt, fear, and cynicism.

how many times have you said, "how could i possibly do ______?" (fill in the blank with something you knew could improve your life but chose not to do) how often did you look at something you wanted to do, or make, or write, and you didn't because you knew there was no way your efforts could compare to someone else's who was better, smarter, more experienced, etc?

can you remember a time you wanted to take a risk, try a new venture, and suddenly your mind was filled with the "what if?" consequences of failure?:
"what if i make all these paintings/jewelry/crocheted scarves and no one buys them?"
or even the more subtle, "i could buy that ten dollar book that would teach me how to market my at-home craft store better, but that's ten dollars that could go to lunch meat and milk."

in the first examples, the doubt is "there's no way i'm as good as those other people." in the other examples, the fear is "what if i go to all that work for nothing?" and "if i buy this, we'll go hungry."

now, when you're standing there at the store, or on that website's capture page staring at the Visa/Mastercard/Paypal click bar, you don't realize that's what you're really thinking. i would even be willing to bet there's less verbalized doubt and fear, and more just pictures in your mind and an emotion gripping you in the gut, am i right?

what about cynicism? "oh yeah, sure. visualization and affirmation is going to make my broke ass a millionaire? uh huh." in this case the cynicism is the disbelief in your source's honesty and opposing belief that they're trying to do nothing but scam you. and possibly coupled with that is the doubt that you're even worthy of being a millionaire.

you've heard the saying, "if it's too good to be true, it probably is."

Dee's Frog Appetizers Du Jour
Seek and You Shall Find
The Magical Mind-Reading Mystic Trick
The anti-Funk Challenge
Positively Playful Prognostication!



Seek and You Shall Find:
this saying is very, very well known. and it's such a simple saying! however, i'm not surprised that it is also a saying that's so easily misinterpreted or forgotten.

all it means is "If you keep your eyes open for something, you will find it."

Exercise:
think of a car you really like (i love BMW 520's and 300's). go to their website, and check out a few. tinker around with their custom order forms if they have one. (i love those! you can change colors, hubcaps, tint the windows, etc, and the picture changes with your alterations) go nuts and have fun for a few minutes. really think about that car, imagine sitting inside it. feel the steering wheel in your hands, the sound of the motor, the smell of the new-car interior. now, when you go out for the rest of your day, count how many of those cars you see.

do this for one week. record your results. even if all you do is write "saw three more today" on the back of a stained receipt at the bottom of your purse, that's better than nothing.

The Magical Mind-Reading Mystic Trick:
in the Book of Mirdad, it states: "So think as if your every thought were to be etched in fire upon the sky for all and everything to see. For so, in truth, it is."

my teacher once said, "live each moment of your life as if tomorrow you would find it on the front page of the L.A. Times." when i first heard the quote by Michail Naimi, i thought that's what it meant; living as if my every action were exposed, so don't sneak around or lie or do anything to get into trouble.

well...kinda. yes, and no. yes, because one's thoughts and actions truly are visible to everyone. no, as in don't get paranoid about it.

Exercise:
think back to a time when a friend of yours approached you and told you a big piece of news. "my son just got accepted to MIT!" or "my friend's car got wrecked last night by a bunch of teenagers."

in the first example, maybe you thought something along the lines of, "wow! her son must be really smart and study really hard." in the second example, maybe you thought, "stupid kids drinking and driving."

the truth is, you have no idea any details other than what your friend told you. however, because of what happened in their lives, you know something about them. for the friend's son that got accepted to a prestigious school, you know that kid had to study hard for years, and so is probably very disciplined, motivated, doesn't fool around, and is responsible. why? how would you know this? you can see it.

now look at your own life. what do you say about it? "i can barely make ends meet," or "lately i'm just so stressed out all the time," or even "nobody respects me."

what about your life, your thoughts and actions, are etched in fire for the world to see?

The anti-Funk Challenge:
this one's a little more difficult, but i know that all of you, my lovelies, are up to the Challenge.

you know the friend that always breezes into work ten, fifteen minutes late? you know the one. jokes are always made about them, or maybe your manager always grumbles about them. "what are you talking about?" they say, maybe laughing. "ten minutes late is early for me!" or maybe your other co-workers just adjust their day on the assumption that this person will be late.

what does everyone say about them? "they're always late." what does this person say about themselves? "i'm always late to things! i just can't seem to be on time." or maybe what they say is more subtle. something like, "no matter what i do, i always fall behind."

Exercise:
take one day --tomorrow-- and from the time you wake up to the time you close your eyes, pay attention to what you say about yourself. write down those things you say often. it could be, "i'm a fantastic cook," or "god, this place is a mess!" especially write down the things you blurt out with emotion, whether it's frustration, anger, excitement...anything. let's say you spill coffee in your lap in the car in morning traffic because someone cut you off and you had to slam on the brakes.

"dammit!" you growl. "i can't do anything right today!"

for this exercise, just write down those things you tell yourself about yourself throughout the day. i promise you, within minutes you'll be more conscious of what you say...and what you think.

Positively Playful Prognostication:
Abraham Lincoln once said, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing." also in line with this saying is another: "the best way to predict your future is to create it."

so...create it. my health guru Dr. Schultze says "Tomorrow is what you believe and do today!"

if you're always telling yourself, "i'll get to it tomorrow," or "someday i'm going to [insert dream scenario here]" then you're cheating yourself. the words "tomorrow" and "someday" convey an idea of the future. but they're just that: an idea, a concept. you can't put your hands on "tomorrow." in fact, there's no guarantee of tomorrow. yesterday is gone forever, and tomorrow is a concept.

all you have is today. all you can put your hands on is here in today. all you can do, you do today...or not at all. what good does it do you to say, "[some time in the future] we'll have more money," or "i'll start writing tomorrow," or "i'll take that class next term," or "i'll buy that tony robbins cd when i have more money?"

what good does it do you if you keep putting it off until "tomorrow?" because tomorrow will never come; it will always be "tomorrow," or "someday" or some other time in the future.

one of the ideas of quantum physics, proven scientific fact, is that at any given moment we are the sum of our past, future, and present all at once.

if you ate that huge plate of spaghetti last night, today you feel kinda heavy, bloated, and a bit more jiggly in the hips or butt. today you feel it. if it's not your habit to exercise, then tomorrow that jiggly is going to still be jiggling on your hips. however, at present you also hold all the potential and possibility for tomorrow. in simple english this means you have the power RIGHT NOW to wake up tomorrow without the jiggly with a little extra water, electrolytes, and a bit of walking today.

tomorrow never comes. all you have is today.

Exercise:
go through your mental list of things you've been putting off. i'm sure there's a long one somewhere inside your brain. take one of those things on your list, dust it off, and state what you want it to look like when it's finished. write it down, but write it in the present tense.

for example, i'm crocheting a poncho right now. i'm only 5 rows in, so it looks nothing like a poncho. but i would say: "I have a soft, gorgeous poncho that looks great and fits me perfectly!"

robert kiyosaki calls it "having your exit strategy." it means holding a picture in your mind of where you want to end up. you can't know how to get somewhere if you have no idea where you're going.

now, have your entry strategy. in my case, having yarn, a crochet hook, a pattern, scissors, and a comfortable place to sit.

now comes the in-between:
what do you need to do daily to complete your dusted-off, poor, neglected project or task?

maybe you have to eat the "Over-Developed Sense of Responsibility Frog" and set aside half an hour every night after dinner in order to get it done, and delegate the dishwashing to someone else. you know, someone else can do the frickin' dishes, for cryin' out loud! or maybe you have to eat the "Avoiding and Procrastinating By Playing Spider Solitaire Frog" and give up trying to beat your high score, and sit down, be alone with yourself, and do it.

you will never finish what you want to finish if you keep putting it off until tomorrow, or next month, or when there's more money, or more time, or anything else.

you will only finish it if you get your froggy little butt in gear and do it today. because today is all you have, and all you will ever have. and if you keep putting it off, you're cheating no one but yourself.

and if, in the back of your mind you know that you really won't ever get to it, not really...then that makes you a lying cheat.

you don't really want to be a lying cheat to yourself, do you?
--------

now, feel free to order any or all of these on the Sampler Platter. this is all about Frog-Eating, after all.

anything you try, keep track for a week either by writing it down --on a sticky note, a journal, your blog, that stained receipt at the bottom of your purse, whatever-- and keep everything you write. next week i'm going to introduce the other half of those exercises.

but choose an exercise, do it for one week, every day. record your experiences, and see how it changes how you see things, how you talk to yourself, how you think.

and above all else...


Eat the Frog!

3 comments:

Genie Sea said...

Today, I will order the Frog Fricassee! With a side of onion rings. :)

All these exercises are splendiferous! I will come back and re-read, but I think I will choose the one where I write down all the things I think or say about myself. It should be most illuminating.

I'm not surprised "eat the frog" came from Mark Twain. It's so full of earthy wisdom. Thank you for researching that :)

Brandi said...

this post came at, literally, the perfect time.

have I told you how much I adore you???

just yesterday, I was noticing the frogs jumping around in my brain and feeling stuck.

it took making a positive action to change it around.

my frogs are the fear and doubt frogs. And I'm so tired of them being around too. Time to swallow them whole and kicking and this post gives me tools to help.

thank you.

bug said...

<3 your frog face. and the rest of you. :)