Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Fish Philosophy

The Fish Philosophy is a set of simple, interconnected principles that everyone can tailor to their own life and work – old wisdom for a new day. When you choose to incorporate these principles:

– Play, Be There, Choose Your Attitude and Make Someone’s Day – you’ll see a positive change in the relationships you create at work and at home. The underlying view of the Fish Philosophy is that meaningful learning occurs, when the learner is directly linked to and involved with, the content being presented.

PLAY Everyone can benefit from a little lightening up during the day. People who find ways to incorporate play into their daily lives approach their work, responsibilities and challenges with energy and enthusiasm. Some of the best innovations come from playing with ideas. Playfulness allows us to tap into our inner being - the child inside all of us. It is that person who won’t hesitate to ask “why” or “how come”. It is the person who looks at the world creatively and openly and who never hesitates to see the humour in it all.

BE THERE To “Be There” for another person has a powerful effect as it is about giving others our undivided attention. Listening is a big part of being there but it’s more than that. Too often we listen like we are in a debate, our minds focused on gathering information for our own brilliant comeback, rather than being emotionally as well as physically present. It is difficult to hear what another person is saying if our minds are stuck on what we want to hear. Being truly present means suspending judgement while you’re listening and realising that this takes awareness, commitment and practise.

CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE Many of us believe our attitudes are caused directly by outside influences like unpleasant experiences or negative people. While these things may act as triggers for our feelings, we can choose to either be subservient to these events, few of which we can control, or we can take charge of our own responses. Choosing your attitude is about being aware of what your attitude is and that it may affect others. Once we choose to accept that we are the only ones deciding our attitude at a particular time and place, we decide whether to keep it or shape it into something more satisfying.

MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY To make someone’s day means taking a genuine interest in the unique gifts of others. Spontaneous or planned, when we brighten someone’s day we receive an internal gift that makes our life more meaningful. Making someone’s day may mean taking someone out to dinner or telling a friend, from your heart, how much you appreciate them. It moves past being civil or pleasant to take an extra step we didn’t have to take and that makes all the difference.

· development of the “whole student” as an engaged learner
· rewarding relationships
· positive classroom management
· personal responsibility and internal motivation for staff and students
· a safe and playful learning community
· respect for diversity
· conflict-resolution skills

1. "Play: We put more energy into what we enjoy, and finding ways to "play" can lead to greater productivity and creativity. Play is NOT about acting irresponsibly. In the livable workplace, it is about finding ways to have more fun accomplishing serious goals.
We can easily see that a light-hearted sense of "play" can be a major component of achieving consistent "efficient action."

2. "Be There: The glue in our humanity is in being fully present for one another. Being there also is a great way to practice wholeheartedness and fight burnout, for it is those halfhearted tasks you perform while juggling other things that wear you out."
"Put your whole mind into present action," Mr. Wattles says. And when one of the fish market guys stops goofing and turns to help a customer, that customer becomes the only other person in the place. Don't you wish EVERYONE you deal with in the course of a normal day had that kind of focus? (Don't they wish YOU did, too?)

3. "Choose Your Attitude: When you look for the worst you will find it everywhere. When you look for the best you will find opportunities you never imagined possible. You have the power to choose your attitude. If you find yourself with an attitude you don't want, you can choose another."
Mr. Wattles says, "You must learn to see the underlying truth in all things," and we know that our prevailing attitudes make this either possible or impossible. If your attitude is negative, you're expressing faith that what you do NOT want is on its way to you. But as Mr. Christensen notes, if the attitude you have at the moment isn't serving you — or anyone else — you can always choose again!

4. "Make Their Day: When you 'make someone’s day' (or even moment) through a small kindness or unforgettable engagement, you can turn even routine encounters into special memories. Few things are as rewarding and infectious as lifting another person's spirits, and the act of serving others quickly returns a feeling of satisfaction."