How to Boil a Frog

I thought about titling this article, ”A Look at Why Some People Thrive, and Others Do Not.” However, that seemed a bit wordy, unclassy, and simply pompous… Talking about frogs on the other hand is fun, goofy, and downright cool. Hence… The title is what it is. I’m sure everyone knows how to boil a frog, but I will waste one minute and explain it… You boil a frog by slowly turning up the temperature. With that in mind, if you were to throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it would immediately jump out. At least that’s how the story goes. Honestly, I have never boiled a frog so I don’t know if this is true. What I do know is that if a frog jumped out of a boiling pot of water he would be one burned-up dude!

Ego digresso.

Today’s article is meant to show how some of us thrive in life and others struggle to thrive. I believe it is the boiled frog syndrome. And, I recently had this very discussion (to some degree or another) with a group of friends. I do not think that anyone purposefully tries to fail or do bad or quit in the blink of an eye. Rather I think it is a series of small doses of negativity, disappointment, struggling, and so on. Thinking along those lines leads me to logically conclude that I can also succeed, do good, or accomplish with this same exact pattern.

A strange epiphany hit me today. A friend said something along these lines, “I reached a turning point in my life when I realized that I’ve lived sick for longer then I’ve lived healthy.” She has Lupus (among other things) and what she meant was that she has lived longer with Lupus than without it. When she said it I was like, “Wow.” Then I thought a moment and realized that I was in the same category with my HIV. I was healthy and leading a fairly (relatively) normal life for 18 or so years. Since then, I have lived for about 28 years with HIV. For some reason, this hit me like a ton of bricks. I have almost lived twice as long sick as healthy!!! So, then I started thinking, How?

Next, another friend in the same group said, “If your problem changes from a physical to mental illness, you’re hosed.” Ha! That is freaking brilliant! That got me thinking real deep and I started formulating how I (and others like me) have survived. Next thing I knew I had another article idea.

Since I am such a firm believer in incantations, and I also talk with those close to me about how I believe in “I Can’t Tations” too, I formulated what I think is the secret to my longevity

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. It is not one single thing that can be pointed to. Think about it. No one wakes up and has such a negative thought process that they simply die or fail to live. It takes days, weeks, or even years to get there mentally. I believe that how we react to life on a daily basis is the key to our longevity. That’s right, I said it … Prolonged doses of negativity will eventually kill you.

I look back at my life and realize that I’ve had my share of negative beliefs and thoughts. However, my positive thoughts and actions far outweigh the negative ones.

I have heard people routinely say things like:
– I am unlucky
– The world is against me
– I can’t
– A black cloud follows me
– This is just my lot in life

And so on and so forth. Long ago I discovered (or at least I believe I did) that these folks are a part of creating their own destiny. Take responsibility for your thoughts. Take responsibility for your actions. Take responsibility in how you convey yourself to you and others.

Responsible said another way is “Able to respond.” Think about it… You are able to respond. This is in all of us. And, like Rush says, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Make your choice to succeed. Make your choice to improve yourself. Make your choice to inspire others. Make your choice to think positively on a daily basis.

The next time someone asks you how you’re doing, think about your answer carefully. Instead of saying, “Okay” or “Been better” or “Can’t complain” try coming up with something upbeat. You don’t have to say, “I’m freaking unbelievable and have never felt better in my whole entire existence on Earth!” But you could say something along the lines of, “I feel great.” Say it, believe it, live it.

Brought to you with a dose of love,

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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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  1. Michelle Pace says

    So true my friend. A big life lesson for me lately is the POWER of “I am” statements. I have found that whatever follows the “I am” comes to fruition. For example if I say ” I am exhausted” all day I find it comes true and I spend the day exhausted. However, if I say “I am looking forward to my second wind” I find myself getting that second wind. A good practice is to greet each morning with positive “I am” messages………………. I am possibility. I am a caring friend. I am rich in spirit. I am thankful. I can’t wait to meet the day. I am a masterpiece.
    I always try to start the day on a positive note. So I say these out loud when I wake up because I know you become what you believe. Your words and thoughts become your destiny……………….

  2. I firmly believe that attitude is a choice. It’s not something that is imposed upon you by others or by circumstance. It is your choice each and every day. Responsibility for your thoughts…responsibility for your attitude. It’s all one in the same. I too live with health issues, but they don’t define who I am. If they did, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

    I really is a kick in the pants when you compare how long you’ve lived “healthy”, and how long you’ve lived “sick”. LOL

  3. There was a scientific study that found pessimists live just as long as optimists on average. I don’t want to rain on your parade but I agree I think being happy and positive will fill you with years of joy rather than years of suffering. We get to choose how we live but on average, everyone gets the same amount of time.

    • no rain here. Love everybody’s opinion. I choose to believe that positive attitude has kept me alive. No way for me to prove it, but I am alive, and I believe it.


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