watched pot never boils, a

watched pot never boils, a

Anxious waiting does not speed up matters, as in Stop running downstairs for every mail delivery-a watched pot never boils, you know. This hyperbolic adage reflects the experience of anyone who has ever been in a hurry to bring water to a boil, which eventually occurs but can seem to take forever. [Mid-1800s]
See also: never, pot, watch