Eating a frog

The ebook, Eat That Frog! : 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy, is available through UEA Library. We have a link to it on our study skills page.

As an explanation of the title, the author writes:

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 that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

I could not find the source for this quotation. It appears in various forms on motivational websites, in collections of quotes, etc., but never with any bibliographical details. Project Gutenberg’s collected works of Mark Twain include references to frogs, but nothing that I could see about eating them.

Finally, I came across Quote Investigator, which has a page on this very quotation: Eat a Live Frog Every Morning, and Nothing Worse Will Happen to You the Rest of the Day. Instead of the American writer Mark Twain (1835-1910), it attributes the saying to the French writer Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) and he refers to toads rather than frogs.

The moral of the story is: stop doing things in a hurry – and check your sources!