Subba’s Serendipitous moments

January 16, 2007

The Japanese fishing lessons for us

Filed under: Learning,Perspective,Stories — Subbaraman Iyer @ 4:33 pm

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But 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 for the fish industry, what would you recommend?

Too Much Money
As soon as you reach your goals, such as finding a wonderful mate, starting a successful company, paying off your debts or whatever, you might lose your passion. You don’t need to work so hard so you relax. You experience the same problem as lottery winners who waste their money, wealthy heirs who never grow up and bored homemakers who get addicted to prescription drugs.
Like the Japanese fish problem, the best solution is simple.

It was observed by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950’s.”Man thrives, oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging environment.”- L. Ron Hubbard: The Benefits of a Challenge

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!

How Japanese Fish Stay Fresh:

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.

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