A Watched Pot Never Boils…And An Unplugged Crockpot Takes Even Longer!

I have often wondered what the phrase ‘a watched pot never boils’ actually means.

According to WikiAnswers.com: “A pot of water is going to boil in exactly the same length of time whether or not you watch it, but if you are so impatient that you need to keep watching in the hope it will boil more quickly it will seem to take forever to come to boiling point”.

Apparently, once you have water, and add enough heat, it will boil in its own time. Standing there watching it, instead of using that time to do other productive things, can make it seem like it takes a lifetime (while we stand there yelling “COME ON! COME ON!”).

This can be compared to an elevator. Once the button is pushed, we can all stand back and relax with smiles as we patiently wait for it to arrive at its predestined pace. Does it happen that way? NO!! Apparently, most people think they need to step up and single, double, even TRIPLE-tap that button to make sure the elevator gods are shining down upon us in a speedier manner.

As long as the necessary steps have been taken and the right resources have been provided, we can go do other things to create more success (or whatever we’re truly after) in our daily lives.

Just like many other blogs, I rarely have to look beyond my own life for examples. I was recently put in charge of cooking dinner, an all-day process with our Crockpot.   

Step 1: Turn it on high until 2pm 

Step 2: Turn it to low until 6pm

Step 3: Enjoy yummy chicken!       

I guess I was so looking forward to Step 3 that I forgot the COMPLETE version of Step 1: “Turn it on high until 2pm…making sure the Crockpot is PLUGGED IN!!”

Duhhhh, Steve.

The end result was a wasted day spent pre-savoring tender, juicy chicken. In the end, it all had to be thrown away due to concerns over the raw chicken breasts which spent the day basking in sunlight on our kitchen counter.

We ultimately wound up with pizza. It’s like we took the ‘Voodoo’ aproach, sacrificing a chicken to get a large pepperoni with extra cheese!

How often do we do this with our business and personal lives? We have an expectation of a result, yet we do not set it up for success by providing the right resources? Or, just as bad, we stand there and micromanage the process so finely that we grow impatient and actually hinder our own progress?

Do you have business or personal expectations set up for this week, month or year?

Have you taken the steps necessary to set that part of your life on fire? Do you not only have resources to burn, but also the flame to light them? Or are you merely stacking up materials but never actually giving them the fuel to power up?

I vote we JUST SAY NO to ‘raw’ chicken this week!

Let’s all make it a point to set ourselves up for success.

Once your pot is ready to go, move on to set up your next success while the first one gets cookin’!



  1. Great post, Steve! I loved the way you illustrated your point with the crock pot analogy! 🙂 You make a great point about expectations for results. You have to take all the smaller steps that come first in order to get that result.

  2. This is such a great post Steve- and I do say no to raw chicken! I loved the analogy with expectations and results. We’ve got to set up our goals with using the right resources. Micromanaging never made a great outcome, just a frustrated agitated person. Thanks, Steve!

  3. Great post Steve! You made me think of a few of my own kitchen disasters that ended in pizza as opposed to raw chicken. I definitely say no to raw chicken, and am looking forward to putting my resources to work for success. 🙂

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