Frog in a Well – The Story of Comfort

Every time I phone my friend in Chennai and the topic moves to work, we recall the Frog story. 

Once upon a time, a frog lived in a well bottom. The walls were covered with moss. Whenever any bird comes and sits on the wall, the Frog would gladly invite them to stay in the well. When one bird offered to take the frog out and show the outside world, the Frog refused to step out.

The frog was so comfortable in its existing setup that it does not want to think beyond its existing place of business. What makes the current work environment appear to be the world’s best (despite there being better ones). In Frog’s terms – why this well is better than the ocean:

1. Comfort – It takes a few months to a few years to establish in a new job. Thereafter work becomes a routine. We feel proud that we have achieved this and want to enjoy our result by laying back. “If I jump into the water, it comes all the way up to my armpits and I can float on my belly.”

2. Risk-free income: Salary credited to the bank on a such-and-such date becomes a steady source of income. There is no urge to risk that flow. “I am lord of this well and I stand tall here. My happiness is great”.

3.  The experience looks like wisdom earned. We come across people lacking common sense and we elevate them with our wisdom. “I look around at the wriggly worms, crabs, and tadpoles, and none of them can compare with me.”

Actually, the Brain is playing a trick on us, as it likes the existing comfort. It does not show any of the negatives in the existing job. All we seem to get is the “seeming disadvantages” in a new job.

Now I have started to look beyond my well but my brain is still playing against me.