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Book extract: The Busy Woman’s Guide to High Energy Happiness

Former corporate executive Louise Thompson burned the candle at both ends and one day she just crashed – couldn’t get out of bed or dress herself – but without a diagnosed illness.

In The Busy Woman's Guide to High Energy Happiness (Penguin Group NZ, $35) Ms Thompson - who held senior roles at  APN, NZ Magazines and Financial Times Business Group - gives a firsthand account of how to transform one's life back to vitality, with life coaching smarts and relaxation techniques. 

The book is available from January 3. 

Are You a Boiled Frog?

There is an anecdote about boiling a frog that I kind of like. It’s from the 1800s when experiments of this type were much in vogue.

The premise is that if you put a frog in a pan of cold water and then heat it up very, very slowly, the frog won’t notice the incremental change in temperature and, instead of leaping out to save its own life, will in fact sit there until it boils to death.

There is much scientific dispute about the veracity of this principle; however, I don’t care because I love the analogy.

For many years I was that frog! I was getting more and more tired, but I couldn’t see how bad it was because it happened incrementally.

Little by little, degree by degree, my body was packing up and my soul was being crushed.

I see so many clients who have a job/health situation or relationship/living arrangement which, on the face of it, looks completely untenable. It is remarkable that they remain where they are.

They are exhausted and miserable beyond measure.

And yet they will say ‘it’s fine, really’, and it is, because it’s only 0.005 per cent worse than it was yesterday, so it’s really not that bad.

Sometimes a reality check is in order. If someone else had to take over your relationship, job or health situation, would they want to trade places with you? If ‘quite obviously not’ is the answer, something is clearly not right.

You may be living a ‘boiled frog’ existence in part of your life. If the situation is unacceptable to someone else and they would change it straight away, they are a frog who can feel the heat. 

They have come in from the cold and can accurately and objectively assess the temperature of the environment and take evasive action.

Have a look at what you are putting up with. No one likes to be a boiled frog but it’s so easy to become one. 

Take a temperature check on your energy levels. Step back and look with perspective.

What’s the real temperature? What’s the temperature difference from cold, not the difference from what it was yesterday? Is it a comfortable temperature for you? Is it a temperature you can happily stay in long-term or does it need to change?

Fatigue is very much like this boiled frog thing. It creeps up on us, creep, creep, creep. We put up with it, until it becomes normalised.

We think it’s just how life is, how we are going to move through life now. Tired, just pushing through each day to get to the end. 

Not having much fun but, you know, getting stuff done. Hanging in there.

I am here to say that there is so much more happiness, fun and vitality available to us than that! But moving towards it starts with a temperature check, a reality check. Don’t be that frog.

Reproduced with permission from The Busy Woman’s Guide to High Energy Happiness  by Louise Thompson. Copyright © Louise Thompson, 2013 

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