The Live Toad Principle in Action

By Betsy Bradford

A little while ago, I was riding the bus to work on a Monday morning when a cockroach fell on me. I've written before about my hatred of cockroaches, so you can imagine how well this went. I shrieked. I flailed. Everyone on the bus stared at me, but I didn't care. I mean, a freaking cockroach fell on my head!

My first thought was, "well, this is a sucky way to start the week!" But then it occurred to me, maybe I was thinking about it the wrong way. We've all heard the old adage about eating a live toad first thing in the morning, right? Well, maybe having a cockroach dive-bomb me first thing in the week would work the same way.

Believe it or not, it did. I can honestly say, nothing worse happened to me through the rest of the week. It's not that bad things didn't happen. Difficult assignments still crossed my desk at work, bills still came in the mail, and people on the bus still annoyed me. Despite that, no matter what happened, I could take a step back and say, "Well, it's still better than having a live cockroach slam into my noggin."

Would I want to repeat the experience? Hell no! I hate roaches, and I advise any that want to live to stay far away from me. After all, the point of this exercise isn’t to make something bad happen just to avoid other bad things. It doesn't work that way. Problems are always going to come up, but instead of wallowing in misery, try putting it in perspective. Odds are, most of the time, your problem isn't as bad as having a cockroach skitter across your scalp.