By Brian Tracy
The most successful people got to the point that they’re at after developing certain habits that help them be more productive and positive. These habits set them up to achieve more in life.
And one of the most important habits that I have discovered in my career — something I consider to be a secret weapon — is about eating frogs.
While I know that sounds a little bit strange at first, let me explain what I actually mean and exactly how to “eat that frog” so you, too, can achieve your goals and live your best life.
Eat That Frog: The Origin Story
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that it is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
But don’t worry, you don’t really have to eat a real frog to be successful!
In reality, your “frog” is your biggest, most important task. It is the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.
So, “eat that frog,” is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.
Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.
How To Eat That Frog
The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of “eating your frog” before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.
This habit is well-adopted among successful people, so much so that I consider it an essential leadership quality for any person who intends to accomplish great things.
Now that you know what a “frog” is and how to identify it, here’s how to, “eat that frog,” in the most pleasant way possible.
Adopt A Positive Attitude
When you have positive experiences, thoughts, and feelings, your body actually reacts by releasing endorphins to your brain. Endorphins make you feel happy, satisfied, and pleasant.
You can develop a craving for endorphins and the feeling of enhanced clarity, confidence, and competence that they deliver.
Pretty soon, you develop a habit of having a positive attitude. You will, at an unconscious level, begin to organize your life in such a way that you are continually starting and completing ever more important tasks and projects. You will actually become addicted, in a very positive sense, to success and contribution, helping you, “eat that frog,” in the most pleasant way possible
Setting short and long-term SMART goals will help you experience this “hooked” feeling. The satisfaction of accomplishing each task triggers the brain’s reward and pleasure system.
Stop Looking For Shortcuts
There are no shortcuts to lasting success.
No matter how many blogs you read, YouTube videos you watch, or podcasts you listen to in an effort to find a quicker path to success, big wins come to those who are patient and take the time to become a master.
Practice is the key to mastering any skill. Fortunately, your mind is like a muscle. It grows stronger and more capable with use. With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit that you consider either desirable or necessary.
Once you put in the effort it takes to eat that frog, you may also soon discover a preference for tackling your most important task first and getting it out of the way. The positive consequences are extremely rewarding!
Eat One Frog At A Time
This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.
When you try to bite off — or eat — more than you can chew, things become overwhelming and you end up not being able to eat the frog — or stay productive.
While it’s exciting to knock out big tasks and can be helpful to plan ahead, the whole point of eating a frog is to focus on one big task at a time.
To be successful in life, discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.
Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.
Failure to execute is one of the biggest problems in organizations today. Many people confuse activity with accomplishment, though. They talk continually, hold endless meetings, and make wonderful plans, but in the final analysis, no one does the job and gets the results required.
For example, if you have ever dreamt of becoming a published author to advance your career, grow your business, or to improve the lives of others, none of those things will happen until you change your desire from a dream to a goal. Even at that point, you still need to take action and start writing immediately to find success.
Your dream and all of those potential benefits will only be able to have lasting results when you finally take action on your thoughts, set the goal, and learn how to write a book.
The same is true with all of the other wonderful ideas that pop into your mind, so be sure to act quickly on such intuition and start with whichever task will help you be the most productive.
Ask yourself, “If I could only get one thing done today, which one would make the biggest difference or get me closest to achieving my goals?”
You Can Eat That Frog
What is your “frog?”
What is the one task that you despise doing but it needs to be done?
What task is going to propel you farther and faster toward overall success?
Once you have chosen your “frog,” make it a habit to wake up every morning and do that task first. In other words: eat that frog!
I have developed simple methods that make it easier to identify your frog and eat it, too. Download my free guide on how to Eat That Frog and start maximizing your time and efforts.
Remember, it doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going!
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.