Saturday, January 17, 2004

A Good Fish Story

I got the following bit of wisdom from a recent e-mail. . .

The Japanese love fresh fish. However, the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.

The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste.

To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer.

However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.

So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive.

Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish.

So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan?

If you were consulting the fish industry, what would you recommend?


To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state.

The fish are challenged.

The same benefits can occur for us when we are challenged.

The more intelligent, persistent and competent you are, the more you enjoy a good problem.

If your challenges are the correct size, and if you are steadily conquering those challenges, you are happy.

You think of your challenges and get energized. You are excited to try new solutions. You have fun.

You are alive!

Instead of avoiding challenges, jump into them. Beat the heck out of them. Enjoy the game.

If your challenges are too large or too numerous, do not give up. Failing makes you tired. Instead, reorganize. Find more determination, more knowledge, more help.

You have resources, skills and abilities to make a difference.

Put a shark in your tank and see how far you can really go!


Sounds like good advice if I can follow it and view my own challenges in a more positive light... sometimes I feel more like one of the fish that becomes shark food. : )

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