I saw a documentary film many years ago about a group of colleagues working in a fish market called Pykes Peak in Seattle. They get up every morning at some really unearthly hour like 3.00am and they work for long hours in a freezing cold, smelly environment. The guys on the film talked about the choice they have to make every day…they could complain about their lot and be miserable all day or they can come to work and enjoy it, so they decide every day to enjoy it.
In Scroll 6 of the Greatest Salesman in the world Og Mandino tells us how not just to make that choice but to make it happen.
He says if I feel depressed I sing (I have been doing that for years, seems to come naturally)
If I feel sad I laugh.
If I feel ill I double my labour. If I feel fear I plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I wear new garments. (I find a new haircut and a smart pair of shoes does it for me.)
If I feel uncertain I speak with a stronger voice.
If I feel poverty I think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I remember past successes.
If I feel insignificant I remember my goals.
After all isn’t that what goals are for…it doesn’t matter about the size of the problem, my God is bigger and the goal…my Definite Major Purpose is the reason he put me here.
Thats why, “Today I am master of my emotions.”
These are all choices…you don’t have to sing…sometimes you are almost choking on the words and it would be easier to cry…but choose to sing.
The Fish Guys make similar choices every day and their philosophy affects literally thousands of people. Crowds come to stand and watch them work just to cheer themselves up, it’s amazing. Can you imagine a person coming to watch you at work because he is feeling depressed and going back to his own job happy. Man that’s a ministry…the Ministry of Fish.
They talk about just 4 things that make their workplace such a joyful place to be every day and the end result is they sell lots and lots of fish, more than they ever would if they all had long faces.
Point 1. PLAY…just have fun, with each other, with the customers, they literally hurl great big fishes and crabs and all sorts of sea creatures across the store and they are pretty good catchers too and as I recall they even get customers in to try and catch a fish sometimes.
2 MAKE THEIR DAY…if you can make someone else happy, if they can go home that night thinking the highlight of the day was meeting you, having some fun with you, laughing with you, wouldn’t that make you day too.
3 BE THERE…it means love the one you are with, give that person 100% attention in the moments you are with them, listen to them and let them go away feeling they were the only person in the world that mattered to you at that moment. We could all do that in our daily conversations but how often are we thinking ahead to what we will say while we should just be listening… and worse how often do we think about where else we would rather be when someone needs our total attention. How many conversations take place through the background distraction of the television or some other third party interrupter. Isn’t the ultimate KINDNESS just to be there until the person talking to us feels heard and understood.
4 CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE. Hopefully this is self explanatory. If you don’t think you are in charge of the way you feel, think, talk and act then who is? And you can always use Og’s tools from above to help you reinforce the choice.
Mark Januszewski on the MKMMA commencement webinar said something in one short sentence that speaks of exactly the same attitude, he said, as close as I can remember it.
“I talk to everybody that makes eye contact with me. I treat him as if it is his last moment on earth and I want his last moment to be a great moment, I want to be present in his life.
If the six months or so that we have invested in each other during this course if could be condensed into one sentence that would be it.
If we can live that way for other people just as much as possible how can we not enjoy our own life and know we have lived it to the full. Man, that is the abundant life Jesus was talking about, it’s not about accumulating more stuff. (Nothing wrong with having some nice stuff mind, it’s just not the main thing.)
To be there, and touch people at a heart level, to make their day thinking what if this were their last day is a reflection of what Og Mandino said in the fifth scroll.
“I will live this day as if it is MY last.”
What do you want your last day to look like?