Eat the frog if you want to be happy

Everybody is familiar with Mark Twain’s frog quote:

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

that over time morphed into the more simplistic version “Just eat the frog” — probably an anology to Nike’s “just do it” company slogan. I came across it in multiple articles, blog posts or heard it gazillion times but never really took the time to brake it apart and see what it truly means. Of course, a mundane explanation of what eating the frog means, is do what you are most afraid of.

The logic behind is that, if you tackle what you are most afraid of, the rest will just seem a walk in the park. It’s pretty similar to what most children do with their food, they eat the spinach first and leave the stake at the end (replace with whatever).

The reason why they do that is because they want to get rid of what they hate eating (more often then not is the vegetables) as early as possible while in the meantime mentally preparing for their meal highlight. At the end they won’t recollect hating eating the veggies but instead, they will have an amazing feeling of satisfaction because they saved the best for last.

Until the above analogy I believed that eating the frog is a mechanism to get the so-called important things done, such as emailing that difficult client, planning whatever delivery, putting the effort in the gym, etc. The things that you HAVE to do but just don’t WANT to.

Recently I came across a number of articles that suggest to eat the frog to improve a skillset or to prioritise what is important to you. Let’s say that all of a sudden you decided to acquire a new skill or improve a current one but you live such a busy life that it doesn’t leave any extra room to accommodate for your personal ambitions. Eating the frog would mean to prioritise time early in the day and work on your goals.

Nothing wrong so far, just that I have a slightly different way of thinking about what it means to me. I’ve been eating the frog for some time now. I am always starting my day with the thing that scares me most on that particular day. Sometimes it can be work related, or a work-out, or just simply reading a couple of pages from that book that I have next to my bed for more than a month.

What I noticed after some time is that my day progresses from the lowest point (the veggies) towards the highlights (that juicy stake). The effect of this is that I find myself at the end of the day not even remembering the damn veggies, but I definitely remember the taste of that sweet juicy stake I had at the end. And that feeling is really, really great! If fills me with energy, positivity, a feeling of accomplishment and general well-being. I don’t know the definition of happiness but this comes pretty close to it.

“my 2 cents.”