Friday, September 10, 2010

the "FISH" philosophy

Do you know what that is?
It's an inspirational team-centered video series.
like the kind you have to watch with people you're going to be working so closely with that you're bound to get sick of them sooner or later

Basically, the video series focuses on teamwork and cooperation in a work-place setting.
The FISH philosophy includes four points:
  • Play
  • Make their day
  • Be there (aka be present)
  • Choose your attitude
I hate to admit that when I sat down to write this post, I remembered not four, but ONE of the bullet points. I'll get to that later.

I first saw "The FISH video" when I was in High school. I was taking a class called cullinary arts - it was actually a class and a for-profit catering business rolled into one (and you wondered whether or not Jonathan and I were really foodies from the beginning - silly you). Our teacher, who I strongly disliked, I'll be honest, had us sit down and watch this video as a way of motivating us to work together towards the greater purpose of pleasing our customers.

And it worked - mostly. Actually, the incentives of gift certificates to area restaurants were really what made most of the class shape up and get work done (without being paid, might I add, but instead for school credit) But this post really isn't about that class - it's about the philosophy, so, I digress.

I have found, recently, that the FISH philosophy applies to me now more than it EVER did in any work environment. I mean think about it, what do I do all day as a stay-at home mom (yes yes, aside from laundry, cooking, cleaning, and driving all over tarnation) I play, I try to ensure Levi has an enjoyable day, and I try to be as present as possible, interacting with him.

but wait. I missed one.

Yes, it's that last one that I truly rememberd. It's that last one - the one about choosing my attitude - that I've had such trouble with lately. If you're a mom you probably understand that it is VERY EASY to allow little things, like totally worthless naps to completely ruin your attitude. And it only takes ONE LITTLE THING to do it.

Today Levi woke up at 6:15, happy as a lark, and I rolled over and commiserated to my pouty self that the morning would probably be no fun at all. No fun, because when he wakes early, he's ready to nap early. Duh. When he naps early, he's ready for bed early. Duh. When he goes to bed early, he wakes even earlier. Duh. And this cycle took my attitude and shoved it so far down the toilet, I'm quite sure the plumbing system couldn't handle the load.

And it is in moments like these that (warning: here comes some self-talk) I have to remind myself that Levi is not in charge of my attitude. I am. I decide whether something will make me irritable, and I decide what I will brush off. And since that ball is in MY court, I, as an adult, am responsible for setting the good example of a happy heart.

So today I challenge ME to choose MY attitude - and I will not allow all the junk going on around me dictate how I will respond, in what tone of voice, and with how many eye-rolls. So there.


Learning to Parent said...

I watched one of those videos when I started my last job.

I can relate to your feelings for sure! It used to totally ruin my day and freak me out when C had a tantrum (so, in case you were wondering, that meant that every day was ruined). My heart rate went up, I would start sweating, it was seriously traumatic for me. I'm not sure if I blamed myself for it or what the deal was. Not to say that it doesn't still stress me out to some extent, but for the most part I can bounce right back and choose to not let it affect my attitude for the rest of the day. I can even laugh about it from time to time! I still get kinda freaked out when it happens in public but hey, small steps. :)

Chelsie Hardy said...

Gosh, I hate this post. And yet, it's so useful. I need to remind myself this every day. I'm in charge of my attitude, and responsible for it, not my kids...although they're sometimes so naughty that it's easy to blame them for my scowl and stomp. Thanks for the reminder!