FISH! Book Club Reflection – 18th & 19th Sep, 2020

Reading is not something I willingly want to do so but I gave this challenge to myself by joining Book Club for this is years Life class. I was not sure but still wanted to give a chance to myself. It’s not that don’t read but its al related to the work I do. “Fish” is the first book that we were given which belongs to Self Help Genre.

There were many characters in the book except the main ones i.e. Mary Jane, recently widowed and mother of two, and Loonie, a fishmonger. The entire story revolves around them.

Most of the story is set around two places, First Guarantee where Mary Jane works and Pike Place, the fish market.

The story, in brief, is about the main character, Mary Jane Ramirez who is asked to engineer a turnaround of her company’s troubled operations department described by others as a “toxic energy dump” and “a bunch of losers”. She finds herself in a situation of “Fight or Flight” as she was given the responsibility of turning a chronically unenthusiastic and unhelpful department into an effective team which could be a nightmare to any person knowing the reputation of the department. At least that’s what she thinks until she stumbles upon the Pike Place Fish Market. There she learns the inspiring management philosophy that might change her life! She decides to fight to change the reputation of her department. By applying these very simple philosophies she made a great change for herself, for the people she worked with and worked for.

Choose Your Attitude: Choose how you respond to life, not just react, you must be intentional. When you get up, decide who you want to “be” today. Moment-to-moment awareness is key. Ask yourself throughout the day, “What is my attitude right now? Is it helping the people who depend on me? Is it helping me to be the most effective?”
Play: You can be serious about your work without taking yourself so seriously. It allows you to throw yourself with enthusiasm and creativity into whatever you are doing, in a way that is natural, not forced.
Be There: When your students/team members need you, they need all of you. Setting aside distractions and judgments to be mentally and emotionally present is a sign of respect. It improves communication and strengthens relationships.
Make Their Day: Simple gestures of thoughtfulness, thanks, and recognition make people feel appreciated and valued. When you make someone else feel good, you feel good too.

I feel all philosophies are important but the most important is changing your attitude because any change that you want to bring that starts with you first. The other is very simple one is that “treat others the way you want to be treated” and being there when one needs you or observing every minute details around you. All these ideas will not be very effective if working in isolation.

I was able to connect most of these things to the life classes that I attended earlier starting with 7 habits which say “Be proactive” is similar to “Choose your Attitude”. There is a connection between ” Seek first to understand then to be understood” with “Being there” or learning’s from the “Emotional Intelligence” workshop that is understanding and believing in others what they can do, be patient with your relationships, creating a sense of purpose, etc. I feel that Choose your attitude is also related to “Critical Thinking” in some ways when you question yourself to take charge of your life, questing your goals, adopting a growth mindset, and challenging your assumptions when It’s natural to assume the worst about other people’s motives and capabilities, especially if we don’t agree or connect positively with them. Another very simple yet powerful lesson is “you are not too aged to be childlike”

I definitely recommend this to others to read. It’s short but impactful. It refreshes those things which have in ourselves but at times forget in normal routine life. There are takeaways for teachers and other staff as well, important is to look for a connections!

One comment

  • Agree. This book when we complete reading reminds us about all learnings of life class done till now. I would suggest this book as a mandatory reading part as a part of teacher training if possible.

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