Pathway to Happiness

“One is not always happy when one is good, but one is always good when one is happy.” This quote by Oscar Wilde certainly rings true. 

Happiness, to me, is making others happy. I derive pleasure in seeing people happy. Everyone is seeking happiness; especially in these trying times when we all are confined to our homes. “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realised it sooner.” These lines by Gretchen made be realise the value of what I have. I realised that I had been living in a mirage, an illusion that wasn’t even me. I believe, that the twelve commandments, Be yourself, Let it go, Act the way I want to feel, Do it now, Be polite and be fair, Enjoy the process, Spend out, Identify the problem, Lighten up, Do what ought to be done, No calculation and last but not the least, There is only love, are the stepping stones to a happier, healthier and more productive life. I was able to resonate with her completely. I realised that to be happy, I need to generate more positive emotions, increase the amount of enthusiasm, gratitude and friendship in my life. I also need to remove the feelings of guilt, remorse, shame, anger, boredom and irritation.

Research shows that happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likeable, more creative, more resilient, friendlier and healthier. Happy people make better friends, colleagues and citizens. Happy people are more forgiving and charitable. I want to be one of those people.

And therefore, as a part of my happiness project, I made a few commitments to myself. 

I commit to waking up early to exercise and do yoga & meditation daily as I want to remain fit. I also commit myself to write for at least fifteen minutes daily because I want to learn the art of penning down my thoughts.

Are you over thinking or Critical Thinking ?

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

I use to feel critical thinking is required or used while taking bigger decisions, but its not like that. we all are some of the other places using our critical thinking skills. It is just not to take things only on its face value being skeptical, welcome perspectives, analyse, evaluate and ability to think clearly. We dont jump to the conclusions, think.  It`s important for your understanding of what` others say.  Emotions are not to be involved while thinking critically. They may sometime take the lead but then the decision taken may not be considered as taken after thinking critically.
Stepping into the term  “Bias” was when we self reflect. We actually have done it in past but can be mindful in the future.

My reflections on book(Fish) and articles

Choose Your Attitude

There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself.

It means we have a choice to use our positive/negative attitude in our work. If we put our positive attitude, we enjoy our work even if it’s boring for others and if we put our negative attitude, we will never enjoy our work if all others enjoy doing that work.


Constructive attitude:

Many times we show our attitude to bo friendly and let others take advantage of the attitude. Sometimes we show a smiling face although we are upset/stressed inside. But we should show a constructive attitude, it means we show an attitude to accept the situation and act according to it so that we can find a better solution/result. Many times we ignore to work with the person with whom we have disappointment but instead, we can handle it with him/her with the positive attitude to get a better result.


Optimistic attitude:

We have so many negative memories in our mind and also, our mind installs negative experiences for long term memory much easier than a positive one. We feel bad about ourselves when we get failure and waste so much time thinking about it and lose another opportunity, instead of that we should get out of the failure and work on it so that we can avoid another failure.


Affirming attitude:

Many times we hesitate to establish our relationship /  do work with people we are uncomfortable. We are too comfortable with whom we can share our personal/professional issues. Affirmative attitude is like we do not need to share personal issues/ experience to get work done or to get comfortable with. We can build trust without doing so many things.

Effective attitude:

Our body language and expression show our nature, behaviour and concentration towards work. If our face is expressionless and the tone of our voice flat, even though we think we’re being there, we are actually conveying that we don’t care. Smiling, on the other hand, is the first step in making people feel safe, valued and accepted. It tells them you are ready to help and work with them. It invites them to do the same for you, creating an effective, cooperative relationship.


Growth attitude:

We have a fixed mindset and think that we have more knowledge and what we are doing is right and due to it we lose many good learning opportunities and our growth is stuck at one place/level. Instead of that, if we choose a growth attitude we listen to others’ points, suggestions and we would get a better result and we can grow.



The fish market is an adult playground. If a fish guy can have much fun selling fish, there is hope for us at our workplace.

It means it’s up to us how we can do our work with our colleagues/stakeholders. If we do our work through play (in a creative way) our colleagues and all stakeholders would also enjoy doing work with us.

Play is one of the most important philosophies but many times we ignore it and don’t give importance. In many work, where different people who are demotivated/ underestimated are involved in one task/ project this philosophy is very useful and we can complete our task /project in a creative way.


Make Their Day

We look for as many ways as we can to create great memories whenever we make someone’s day.

It means if we find someone stressed/upset, we should cheer him/her by appreciating his/her effort/knowledge or do something special for him/her so that s/he feels special.

We meet many people in our day to day life, some are very happy, some are normal and some are upset, tensed, angry etc. We never do anything the third type of people. We just meet them and do our work but what if we do something special for them. We feel very special when someone does something special for us why not do the same thing for those who are in difficult situations.


Be Present/Be There

The past is history

The future is a mystery

Today is a gift

That is why we call it the present.

It means we should have to be there to listen to who share their issues/feelings/experience/solutions if we do the same we give care and respect to them and their thoughts.

Many times we listen to others but we are not fully present there. Our mind is distracted every 8 seconds and we miss some important point/sharing and we can’t give proper suggestions/solutions.


Know your priorities:

If we would like to be fully present, first we have set our priorities like if you’re in a meeting. Your phone constantly lights up with messages. You can’t deal with any of them now, so each update floats in your head, creating secondary concerns that keep you from focusing on your main priority. Start your day by writing down what you will accomplish today. What will it take to accomplish your goal?


One thing at a time:

Many times we feel proud when someone says, you are a multi-tasker but the truth is that if you do multi-task, you can’t get the best result. Instead of if you focus on one task complete it and start another one, you will definitely get the best result.


Put your distractions “Away”:

We start all the work together so many tabs are open in our device and due to it, we are distracted after some time and leave the existing work in between and start another work and so on. So as mentioned in the above paragraph, we should focus on only one task and everything else should be away/ close others tabs.


Take a break:

We should take a break in between if we feel distracted. Take a five-minute walk. Stretch. Breathe deeply. Take a short nap. Research shows that just 10 minutes can clear mental fog and restore alertness.


Focus on yourself:

Before you give your full attention to what others are feeling, you must be aware of your own emotions. Are you angry? Anxious? Your amygdala—the primitive region of your brain that responds to threats—takes over, limiting your ability to reason and maintain attention. If we focus on ourselves then only we can focus on others /works.

Fish! philosophy

Whenever my students make too much noise, sometimes I comment, ‘It looks like a fish market’.  Fish market is always noisy and smelly. But suddenly my perspective changed, after reading the book ‘Fish: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results’. It talks about a famous place, ‘Pike place fish market’ where people are happy and have developed good working habits. The authors Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen have put those working habits in four philosophies: 

  1. Choose your attitude
  2. Play
  3. Make their day 
  4. Be there

The FISH! philosophy gives us ideas about what an ideal workplace looks like. More importantly, how you can fall in love with your work.   

Mary Jane is the main character of the story. She’s a business woman and has good work ethics. That’s why she’s promoted. This promotion is nothing else but a nightmare. She got exhausted and upset when the second lead character came to the story and that is Looney. He is a complete stranger to Mary after that she shares her problem with Looney who works at a fish market. Here Looney shared this great fish philosophy and Mary Jane’s life completely changed.  

Setting of the story is about Mary’s office, especially on the third floor of her office. Mary was aware of the terrible reputation of her department on the third floor. Her boss Bob renamed her department as ‘A Toxic Energy Dump’. The second set of the story is the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market. Here, she got the lessons of life.

This great book gives us life lessons. Here they are,

“There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself.” – Lessons we get from this line: any situation is not always in your control but how to respond to that is in our control. 

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift… that’s why they call it present”

We can choose our attitude about how we want to start our day.  Every work environment needs positive energy. The fish Co-worker has fun while they work, and fun is energizing. If we are happy, we can make our customers happy. We need to find how we can make our work enjoyable. 

Other lessons from this book is that  we need to understand our attitude towards any work or family members or co-workers. We need to be there for family members or co-workers to understand their situation and feelings. Sometimes we need to make their day when they need to. We just do not need to complain about anything but need to find a solution. If we apply this Fish philosophy to our life then we will be on the path of success.  



Catch the energy & release the potential

Written by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul & John Christensen

This book all about how you can make any of your work fun and enjoyable where given real-life pike place fish market example
How these fish guys do their job with fun and serving customer loyalty.


This book mainly focusing on 4 major things:-
1) Attitude
2) Play
3) Make their day
4) Be Present



There is always a choice about the way you do your work even if there is not a choice of the work itself.
There are many times people who enjoy learning and grow it depends on when they choose to do so it can be any time in life.


It means you have should play with your work rather than taking work as the load on the shoulder or in your head. It doesn’t mean you should play with compromise the work but you have balance it such manner.
Google allows its employees 20% of working hours whatever they want to do which helps them to do things which good for them. It will increase productivity.


3)Make their day
It is important in the organization while dealing with the customer or in school with children the way you responding to them politely and gentles they feel pleasure and it can make their day, they even do the same with others.


4)Be Present
It is important to be present at the moment some people saying they are good at multitasking!! All over the world, only 7 to 8% of people are able to do multitasking with quality work. Someone is speaking to you and you are texting message it’s not actually to be present. Be present means you should listen to tiny things which important to listen which also can connect the 3rd philosophy to make their day. If I eager to speak and you are only there to listen to me completely without distracting your self it can also make my day. So it is important to be present when our employees, children, or customers.

Fish!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

Title of the book: Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

Author: Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen

The genre of the book: Self-help

We read this book in our life class and having a deadline on head completed the book within few hours. While reading the book I realised how we can relate to characters and take so much from the book. Life lessons are indeed important as sometimes in the routine life we forget to implement or try new things in life. To maintain the pace of life we forget to slow down and give sometime to other stress busters around. The story was about a wife, mother and a manager who was determined to proceed happily in life and how in her way she learnt to do this. I am posting the key takeaways from the book which I shall implement in my life too.

Key Takeaways of the Book:-
1. Life is unpredictable so its the attitude we choose matters
2. Work place is the place where we spend maximum time of our life so it shall be worth wile to spend and we shall not sulk for coming to work
3. Our energy inspires other as well so we shall carry positive energy with us
4. Have faith in what we decide to do then only success is possible
5. If any part of our life we choose to make a pit then we can try making it something else also


Book Club. ‘FISH’ by John Christensen.

A story that teaches four powerful principles to improve the conditions of any workplace.

Mary Jane is the supervisor of the operations area of the First Guarantee Financial Company and built a very good reputation for herself. She was liked and respected by the management. Soon Mary was promoted to a third-floor department which is called the Toxic Energy Dump. Mary was reluctant but accepted the promotion. She observed the deadly atmosphere of the department where employees were working for the sake of work with no energy or enthusiasm. Mary meets Lonnie at Pike Place Fish Market and learns and applies the four principles – Choose Your Attitude, Play, Make their Day, and Be present at her office and transforms the workplace into a better place for everyone to work.

It was easy to connect with the story as I started reflecting and making connections while reading. These Principles are common needs for any workplace or any worker. I personally realized working the same kind of work as a routine makes it boring but it is definitely one’s own attitude that can make the same work interesting and new for him. I am fortunate to be at FS where each employee is first considered as a human and cared for. At FS all these strategies are used to energize and motivate the employees to work. Here we (all the stakeholders) respect and care for each other, listen to others, support, and help each other.

Reading the book was interesting, it boosts the energy level. I read ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’ earlier which was equally interesting. I would suggest everyone read the book. My take away from the book is ‘Taking no action, itself is a failure.’

There Is Victory, Overcome Fear

In this Integrity class i learnt two things,

First is to be Non Judgmental for any one, we  become  judgmental about people without even knowing them. we can try to understand the other people’s problem and their Pain and what they are suffering, 

Second, Live life fearless and being honest for yourself and everyone.Transform your fear to fearlessness and live for now. Be fearless on every level, physical, mental, intellectual, psychological and spiritual. It’s your life, the steering has to be in your control, 

Try to fix all your fears.

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~Marianne Williamson


This life class was all about introspecting on one’s fears, the various categories of fear and how do we overcome it. It allowed me to believe that “I can handle it”.

Thank you for such an amazing life class which always leaves me thinking about myself. It is indeed a much needed “me time”. Words fall short to explain the importance of these classes. THANK YOU!!!


Short Books club: FISH ! Book review and takeaways

Title of the book: Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

Author: Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen

The genre of the book: Self-help

Why was this title selected: John Christensen observed fish sellers at Pike Place Fish Market throwing fish in the air and it brought in high energy to the whole market including customers. He noticed the actual work of selling fish was repetitive and exhausting and how these fishmongers approached the way this boring repetitive task of selling fish was brought to life. He asked the fishmongers if he could film them and they agreed. From this film, the book Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results was then written. The concepts learned at this Fishmarket is now known as FISH philosophy.

Key Characters of the book: Mary Jane Ramirez, a manager from First Guarantee Financial, and Lonnie, a fishmonger from Seattle’s world-famous Pike Place Fish Market

The setting of the book: First Guarantee Office where Jane works especially the Third floor of the office which they call ” The Toxic Energy dump” and Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market

A short plot summary of the book: Following the death of her husband, Mary Jane accepts the promotion offer in the same office at the third floor where no one wants to work. The third floor is a place where there is no excitement in work, employees there feel bored if a new employee joins that employee loses spark due to the depressing culture, employees don’t use computers but use the old way to work and the employees at third floor are not aware of the market reality. That is why it is called “The Toxic Energy Dump” of the office. The challenge for Jane was to change this Third floor into an effective workplace. Jane was lost in thought of how to make this place into an energetic workplace when she stumbles upon the Pike Place Fish Market during her lunchtime. She immediately notices the energy, enthusiasm, and interaction the market fishmongers and customers had. There she meets Looney who listens to her problems and promises to help her and her staff learn the secrets of success of the Fishmarket. The first secret which Looney reveals to Jane is “Choose your attitude”. “There is always a choice about the way you do your work even if there is no choice about the work itself.” We can choose the attitude we bring to work”. The same philosophy is well narrated by Wolf one of the employees at the Fishmarket through his story. Jane understands the first secret and takes it back to her office which takes time but is then internalized by the Third-floor employees. Looking at how the employees have accepted the first secret she takes her children with her to the Fish marked to learn more. Looney involves her son in the fish work and through his son, he introduces Jane to the second and third secret which is “Play” and “Make their Day”. Fun turns things creative so it is important to play while you work. It is important to make a difference for everyone around you. A smile or a helping hand or lending an ear can make someone’s day. The fourth secret was” Focus on the customer in front of you and be tuned in to opportunities to be there for people.” So “Be Present”. Become engaged with all your heart in whatever you do. Jane after learning all these secrets brings her team for a field trip to this place and self-observation brings a change in the employees of the Third floor. Later, all the Third-floor employees divide them into four teams representing four-ingredient learned from the FISH market. The team brings in their team reports in presents it in a creative way in front of the employees, Jane, Looney, and Jane’s boss Bill. The Play team uses a game to come up with some great ideas to implement more fun with a happier atmosphere. The Make Their Day Team uses a survey to understand what others thought of them and came up with a list of strategies to implement. The Present Moment Team members relate personal stories on the importance of being present for people and identify how to be fully present for one another and their customers. The Choose Your Attitude Team report directs to the point, listing the benefits of choosing your attitude.

The book finishes with a look at life a year later where the “Third-floor” employees receive awards. The company entry has a board that outlines the four secrets and the new challenge for Jane who is now engaged to Looney is that the “Third floor” is a place now where everyone wants to work.

Your personal opinion about the book: It teaches the steps to take to learn to love what you do, and make your workplace an energetic, enthusiastic, and wonderful place to be. In fact, not only the workplace, the same philosophy can be applied in personal life.

Have you read something like this before? Can you talk about that experience ?: I have read many motivational books which touch these topics but this is very different. The storytelling with the message in this book is awesome. There are 107 pages to read but each page has something to say. If you pick it up you won’t feel like leaving it.

Should people read this book ?: A must-read for everyone.

Takeaways: All the four FISH philosophies.

  1. Choose your attitude
  2. Play
  3. Make someone’s day
  4. Be There

I liked the lines of the book and while reading philosophy one, I felt that this was also one of my feelings for a year and as a book the says as a student I was ready so this book came as a teacher to me through this book club.


The articles were also interesting to read. I would personally focus on “Choose your attitude” and work upon it. I would also apply my learning from the article which are the lines from the article itself.

  1. One thing at a time
  2. Put your distractions “away”: Decluttering your space and mind
  3. Take a break
  4. Choose your attitude and these can be constructive, optimistic, affirmative, and effective.


Article links:


-Bhargavi Bergi

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