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Frog or fly: surviving the pain of the recession in style

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I’m a frog, watch me!

Do you wake up in the morning determined to survive the recession in style?  To leapfrog over your friends in style? To sail ahead?  To not look back?  To just call over your shoulder, keep up mates, keep up!

No wait, maybe I am a fly

Or, is your day more like a fly’s?  Do you feel as if you keep bashing against a window?  Sore and bruised, you try harder and harder, yet the window doesn’t shift?

Well this is the point. When you’ve figured out the window, you will feel like the frog. But you will need to figure out windows first, and right now you don’t even have any idea about windows and glass.  All you know is that you hurt .  . .  a lot.

I invite you to step back and take inventory

Like the fly and the window, there are so many obstacles in the world that we barely apprehend, never mind comprehend.  The key in these times is to step back.

  • The smart fly remembers his goal is to get to the other side.  It would be nice to act like a frog and show off to his friends.  But getting to the other side is the main point.
  • The smart fly stops repeating himself.  And hurting himself in the progress.  He tries twice, at most, but once does just as well.  He bashes the window, notes the pain, then flies back a little, not to worry about window, which is beyond understanding (he is a fly), but to take inventory.
  • The smart fly doesn’t reset his goal (or spend hours on the internet looking for better ways to set goals).  He knows what he wants.  The fly doesn’t chant mantras – I am a good little fly, I am a good little fly.  He has something he must do first.
  • The smart fly flies back a little, as soon as he feels the pain, and takes inventory.  Wings intact? I am still flying.  Check. Eyes OK? Can still see the goal.   Hey, what is that I see?  A door?  Eh?  If I take a slightly longer route, if I just fly other there, and then there, I am where I want to go? Is it that easy?

The smart fly steps (flies) back, takes inventory of what is working, and gives himself a chance to spot other possibilities.

So I am not a frog.  I am probably a fly

At least I can be a sensible and quick thinking fly.  I will not try to defeat windows, nor will I ignore them.

When I feel the pain, I’ll immediately step back and start counting what I have in hand. My leap in faith is that possibilities will emerge. They usually do!

I’ll worry about windows another day!


P.S.   This post began as a follow up to my post last week on fear.  It began as a tribute to fellow Tweeter @GaryJDay, who in some brisk repartee on Twitter about my bashes against windows in a difficult project, got me to fly back and take stock.  Inevitably, I spotted opportunities at once. Thanks, Gary.

Then as it happens from time to time, I managed to delete the completed post (I’d spent a lot of time on it too!).  Life had already moved on by the time I got back to rewriting it.  Ned had persuaded me to try shifting my focus from other professionals to the people who what to know how to find work they enjoy (how am I doing Ned?); and an NLP practitioner, Yvonne, in my village, had sent out the story about the fly in an email.  If you want intensive personal coaching to keep your head on a difficult project, do talk to Defining Moments.

So let’s say it once again!

Remember, worry about windows another day.  If I am a fly, I don’t even know what they are.  Nor do I care overly much.

But the pain is real, and as soon as I feel it, I will use it as a signal to step back and start taking inventory. Wings, eyes . . . Hey, what’s that? Maybe a possibility!

Let me know if it works for you!

UPDATE: For an HR Managers perspective on the Recession, I have written a summary on a new post.



  1. i am more like a dolphin, neither a fly nor a frog. constantly looking ahead moving to pastures new, keep my friends close at heart and making sure should they fall back, swim back to nudge them on. kind of heart and excitable. feeling and really experiencing living, not being stuck in small place, but exploring a huge open world that sits before me.



  2. Ned Ned

    Good start, Jo!

    Of course, I immediately thought of how frogs like to eat flies, but that is beside the point. 😀

    I’ll email you some suggestions, ok?

  3. Beautifully stated, inspirational indeed. Thank you.

  4. Jo Jo

    Thanks, Judith. That was a nice thing to say. I’ve just looked at your blog. It’s beautiful and I have subscribed. I look forward to reading it this weekend!

  5. Thanks, Jo. Cool! Looking forward to seeing you there.

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