in 111 Books in 2011

#63/111: Fish!

What is it about?

You are now in charge of a team of discouraged people and your job is to increase their productivity. What would you do? Mary Jane, the fictive new manager, has gone to a fish market and learned why you can be productive and happy despite having a exhausting job.

What can I learn?

Choose your attitude: You chose your future and how you will experience it. If you truly decide to be energetic, you will be energetic. If you decide to be depressed, you will be depressed. You decide how you see the world.

Play: Work don’t have to be exhausting and depressing. Try to include some fun. You can make games out of the most boring activities. I have once worked on a really boring assignment where I had to check about 10,000 addresses per hand. I created some goals and tried to get faster from hour to hour. It wasn’t the greatest game ever played but at least I had some fun.

Make their day: Do something that will WOW others. You have always the opportunity to be outstanding. Can you finish a project sooner than announced? Can you do something remarkable for your customers? Just think and let your mind flow. I’m sure you know something.

Be present: There’s a Zen lore where a pupil asks his master why he is so happy. And the Zen master answers: “When I eat, I eat. When I walk, I walk. When I sleep, I sleep.” When I heard this the first time I thought that it was obvious. However, it isn’t. The key is to be present and do one thing. Don’t play with your kids and talk to the phone. Don’t read a book and watch TV.

Conclusion

Fish! is a nice book in an unusual setting. It’s really short, i.e. you can read it in 60-90 minutes. I don’t really have anything to criticize but also I’m not overly impressed. However, these principles are really valuable and if you haven’t implemented them yet, you probably should read this book and start making your life more livable.

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