You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.
Drown = to die in a liquid (usually water) because you cannot breathe. It normally happens when water (or other liquid) enters the lungs.
By + Gerund = to describe how to do things = to say how something can happen
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Thoughts about the quote
With this quote you can compare “falling into water” as being in a difficult or bad situation.
When you are in the water what are your options?
You can stay there, do nothing and eventually drown, or you can try and do something like swim to safety, or call for help or find some other solution so that you are no longer in the water.
When you are a difficult situation what are your options?
You can stay there, do nothing and eventually “drown”, or you can try and do something / find a solution to get out of that situation.
Some people when they are in a difficult situation, they spend more time complaining about how bad their life (or situation) is without doing anything. No amount of complaining or doing nothing is ever going to make things better. Don’t wait for external events to improve; YOU have to make a decision and take steps to improving your own situation!
So what do you do when you are in a difficult situation?