‘Strike While The Iron Is Cold’

‘Strike While The Iron Is Cold’

You’ve probably heard the phrase “strike while the iron is hot,” but when emotions are running high, it’s often better to not strike at all. By waiting for the “iron” to go cold, you’ll avoid making heated situations any worse. Photo by James Saunders.

We all do things we regret when our temper gets the best of us. That’s why Mira Zaslove at Quora shares a bit of advice she received from Stanford professor Irvin Yalom:

Strike while the iron is cold.

Don’t quit your job, leave your spouse, or engage in nasty Facebook feuds when emotions are running hot. If you have the urge to strike, sleep on it, hit the gym, take a long walk, or binge watch “The Americans…” By waiting to strike, you usually realise you don’t have to. And if you do, you can act in a deliberate fashion. Any hot emotions have simmered into a more meaningful cool determination.

It’s hard not to lash out and make rash decisions when your emotions are running high, but you have to look ahead and do damage control before it even starts.

Mira Zaslove’s answer to “What is a good piece of random advice?” [Quora]


  • Bit of a butchering of the expression in this context considering the proverb has nothing to do with emotions. It simply means to to take advantage of an opportunity before it passes not áct on emotion in the heat of the moment’or something.

  • I’m sure someone thought this was clever when they thought it up. They obviously never bothered considering what would happen if you actually struck the iron when it was cold.. Otherwise they’d have realised it was a stupid analogy and move on.

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