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The	
  other	
  moral	
  to	
  your	
  same	
  old	
  story
2
Once	
  upon	
  a	
  time	
  there	
  was	
  a	
  pond	
  with	
  
the	
  most	
  exceptional	
  7ish	
  one	
  could	
  think	
  
of.	
  
Everyone	
  agreed	
  that	
  it	
  was	
  a	
  vibrant	
  
ecosystem	
  -­‐	
  a	
  textbook	
  example	
  for	
  other	
  
7ish	
  communities.
3
The	
  man	
  who	
  took	
  care	
  of	
  the	
  pond	
  was	
  
very	
  focused	
  on	
  it	
  and	
  wanted	
  it	
  to	
  be	
  the	
  
greatest	
  pond	
  of	
  all	
  time.	
  So	
  did	
  the	
  7ish.
In	
  fact,	
  that's	
  why	
  they	
  decided	
  to	
  get	
  
together	
  a	
  long	
  time	
  ago.	
  The	
  man,	
  the	
  
7ish	
  and	
  the	
  pond:	
  they	
  shared	
  the	
  same	
  
goals	
  and	
  aspirations,	
  as	
  if	
  they	
  were	
  
made	
  for	
  one	
  another.
4
As	
  time	
  went	
  by,	
  and	
  the	
  pond	
  grew	
  
bigger	
  and	
  more	
  complex,	
  the	
  man	
  
started	
  to	
  take	
  more	
  and	
  more	
  control.	
  
At	
  7irst,	
  he	
  did	
  this	
  out	
  of	
  a	
  desire	
  to	
  keep	
  
it	
  all	
  spic-­‐and-­‐span.	
  
The	
  7ish	
  accepted	
  his	
  initiatives	
  and	
  they	
  
swam	
  accordingly.	
  	
  The	
  man	
  felt	
  that	
  the	
  
7ish	
  had	
  become	
  complacent	
  and	
  lost	
  
their	
  sense	
  of	
  initiative,	
  so	
  he	
  ended	
  up	
  
not	
  trusting	
  a	
  single	
  7ish.
5
6
Instead	
  of	
  just	
  giving	
  them	
  food	
  and	
  
providing	
  them	
  with	
  oxygen,	
  he	
  hooked	
  
them	
  up	
  each	
  day.	
  That	
  way,	
  he	
  knew	
  
exactly	
  what	
  they	
  were	
  doing	
  and	
  how	
  
they	
  were	
  doing	
  it.	
  
Each	
  day	
  he	
  weighed	
  each	
  7ish,	
  pushed	
  
the	
  food	
  down	
  their	
  throat	
  and	
  told	
  them	
  
exactly	
  what	
  they	
  should	
  do	
  before	
  he	
  let	
  
them	
  into	
  the	
  water	
  again.
7
The	
  man	
  was	
  quite	
  proud	
  of	
  the	
  way	
  he	
  
controlled	
  it	
  all.	
  Any	
  time	
  of	
  	
  day	
  anyone	
  
could	
  ask	
  how	
  the	
  pond	
  was	
  doing	
  and	
  
he	
  would	
  explain	
  in	
  detail	
  with	
  colors,	
  
graphics,	
  metrics	
  and	
  key	
  performance	
  
indicators.	
  By	
  any	
  measurement,	
  this	
  was	
  
the	
  greatest	
  pond	
  of	
  all	
  time!
Nothing	
  could	
  stop	
  the	
  man	
  from	
  getting	
  
exceptional	
  results:	
  he	
  had	
  a	
  plan,	
  he	
  had	
  
a	
  system,	
  he	
  had	
  it	
  all	
  under	
  control.	
  
8
9
In	
  order	
  to	
  control	
  the	
  7ish	
  effectively	
  the	
  
man	
  threw	
  out	
  nasty	
  bait:	
  a	
  talking	
  worm	
  
who	
  told	
  the	
  7ish	
  how	
  complacent	
  and	
  
lazy	
  they	
  had	
  become.	
  Every	
  day,	
  nasty	
  
bait	
  told	
  them	
  how	
  bad	
  their	
  work	
  was,	
  
how	
  the	
  quality	
  sucked,	
  how	
  they	
  were	
  
behind	
  schedule	
  and	
  how	
  it	
  made	
  the	
  
man	
  nervous	
  as	
  hell.	
  
The	
  man	
  thought	
  this	
  kind	
  of	
  bait	
  would	
  
keep	
  the	
  7ish	
  sharp.	
  And	
  it	
  did.	
  The	
  bait	
  
was	
  simply	
  irresistible.
10
11
12
Below	
  the	
  water	
  surface,	
  Red	
  Fish,	
  Blue	
  
Fish	
  and	
  Yellow	
  Fish	
  caught	
  every	
  nasty	
  
worm.	
  They	
  were	
  smart	
  7ish,	
  strong	
  and	
  
bright-­‐colored.	
  
Each	
  time	
  the	
  bait	
  was	
  thrown	
  out	
  it	
  was	
  
only	
  a	
  matter	
  of	
  seconds	
  before	
  they	
  
would	
  catch	
  that	
  nasty	
  worm.	
  Red,	
  Blue	
  
and	
  Yellow	
  were	
  the	
  best	
  of	
  the	
  breed.	
  
They	
  were	
  talented.	
  They	
  had	
  passion.	
  
They	
  were	
  born	
  for	
  this	
  pond.
13
Red	
  Fish	
  was	
  always	
  the	
  7irst	
  to	
  swallow	
  
the	
  bait.	
  “That’s	
  not	
  true,”	
  he	
  said,	
  “I’m	
  
going	
  to	
  show	
  him!”	
  He	
  knew	
  they	
  were	
  
better	
  than	
  the	
  worm	
  was	
  saying,	
  and	
  he	
  
went	
  out	
  each	
  day	
  to	
  prove	
  it.	
  But	
  the	
  
rage	
  and	
  discontent	
  grew	
  with	
  each	
  
catch.
Blue	
  Fish	
  swallowed	
  the	
  bait	
  differently.	
  
With	
  each	
  catch	
  his	
  self-­‐doubt	
  grew,	
  for	
  
he	
  started	
  to	
  believe	
  the	
  accusations	
  that	
  
the	
  worm	
  was	
  throwing	
  at	
  him.
Yellow	
  Fish	
  was	
  smarter	
  than	
  either	
  of	
  
them.	
  He	
  would	
  not	
  7ight	
  it	
  like	
  Red	
  Fish,	
  
nor	
  feel	
  guilty	
  about	
  it	
  like	
  Blue	
  Fish.	
  
His	
  approach	
  was	
  to	
  solve	
  the	
  man’s	
  
problem.	
  So	
  he	
  swallowed	
  the	
  bait	
  each	
  
time,	
  thinking	
  he	
  could	
  solve	
  the	
  man’s	
  
problem.
14
These	
  smart	
  7ish	
  were	
  all	
  different	
  in	
  how	
  
they	
  approached	
  nasty	
  bait	
  –	
  that	
  much	
  
is	
  true.	
  But	
  there	
  was	
  one	
  thing	
  they	
  all	
  
had	
  in	
  common:	
  they	
  always	
  swallowed	
  
the	
  bait	
  impulsively	
  and	
  each	
  time	
  they	
  
got	
  back	
  into	
  the	
  water	
  they	
  felt	
  sore.	
  
They	
  didn’t	
  know	
  why;	
  they	
  were	
  
bubbled…
15
And	
  then	
  one	
  day	
  a	
  duck	
  landed	
  on	
  the	
  
pond.	
  He	
  said	
  he	
  had	
  seen	
  these	
  
situations	
  in	
  other	
  ponds,	
  but	
  the	
  7ish	
  
didn’t	
  pay	
  attention	
  to	
  the	
  duck;	
  it	
  was	
  
just	
  a	
  duck	
  and	
  they	
  had	
  bait	
  to	
  catch.	
  
What	
  does	
  a	
  duck	
  know	
  about	
  life	
  below	
  
the	
  water	
  surface,	
  anyway?	
  The	
  7ish	
  were	
  
too	
  busy	
  swallowing	
  the	
  bait	
  that	
  was	
  
thrown	
  at	
  them.	
  Days	
  went	
  by	
  and	
  from	
  
the	
  surface	
  the	
  duck	
  could	
  see	
  the	
  daily	
  
ritual	
  the	
  7ish	
  went	
  through.
16
These	
  smart	
  7ish	
  suffered,	
  but	
  they	
  were	
  
too	
  proud	
  to	
  admit	
  it.	
  After	
  all,	
  they	
  were	
  
the	
  best	
  of	
  the	
  breed.	
  They	
  had	
  never	
  
learned	
  to	
  ask	
  for	
  help.
Then	
  came	
  the	
  day	
  the	
  hooks	
  left	
  the	
  7ish	
  
aching	
  so	
  hard	
  that	
  they	
  needed	
  some	
  
time	
  to	
  recover,	
  so	
  they	
  7igured	
  they	
  
might	
  as	
  well	
  listen	
  to	
  the	
  duck.	
  “OK	
  
duck,	
  let’s	
  hear	
  it,”	
  Red	
  Fish	
  said.	
  “Things	
  
are	
  not	
  okay	
  down	
  here,	
  so	
  tell	
  us	
  what	
  
you	
  think	
  is	
  going	
  on,”	
  Blue	
  Fish	
  said.
17
“It’s	
  fairly	
  simple”,	
  answered	
  the	
  duck,	
  
“from	
  up	
  here	
  it	
  is	
  obvious	
  how	
  you	
  are	
  
exaggerating	
  on	
  the	
  R-­‐side”.	
  “The	
  R-­‐side?	
  
What	
  the	
  hell	
  is	
  that?!”	
  Yellow	
  Fish	
  
replied.
The	
  duck	
  patiently	
  continued,	
  “You	
  see,	
  
there	
  is	
  a	
  pattern	
  in	
  your	
  daily	
  suffering.	
  
It	
  all	
  boils	
  down	
  to	
  four	
  R's.
Red	
  Fish	
  is	
  driven	
  by	
  Revenge.	
  That	
  is	
  the	
  
7irst	
  R	
  –	
  and	
  he	
  is	
  left	
  with	
  resentment.
Blue	
  Fish	
  is	
  driven	
  by	
  Regret.	
  That	
  is	
  the	
  
second	
  R,	
  which	
  leaves	
  him	
  feeling	
  guilty.
And	
  you,	
  Yellow	
  Fish,	
  you	
  get	
  hooked	
  
because	
  you	
  try	
  to	
  Rescue	
  the	
  man,	
  and	
  
in	
  the	
  end	
  you	
  are	
  insecure	
  because	
  it	
  
didn’t	
  work	
  out	
  as	
  planned.	
  There	
  is	
  just	
  
one	
  thing	
  you	
  should	
  know	
  about	
  these	
  
R’s:	
  they	
  will	
  always	
  get	
  you	
  hooked”
18
19
“But	
  that’s	
  our	
  nature	
  –	
  don’t	
  you	
  
understand?”	
  Red	
  Fish	
  said.	
  “This	
  pond	
  is	
  
our	
  destiny-­‐	
  there	
  is	
  nothing	
  we	
  can	
  do	
  
about	
  it,”	
  Blue	
  Fish	
  said.	
  Yellow	
  Fish	
  
concluded,	
  “The	
  only	
  way	
  out	
  is	
  to	
  
change	
  the	
  bait”.	
  
20
“Hang	
  on	
  -­‐	
  there	
  is	
  another	
  way	
  out,”	
  the	
  
duck	
  said,	
  “but	
  it	
  will	
  require	
  you	
  to	
  use	
  a	
  
different	
  R	
  than	
  you	
  are	
  doing	
  today.
I’m	
  not	
  asking	
  you	
  to	
  change	
  your	
  nature,	
  
Red	
  Fish,	
  but	
  you	
  need	
  to	
  become	
  aware	
  
of	
  it.
I’m	
  not	
  telling	
  you	
  to	
  change	
  for	
  a	
  better	
  
pond,	
  Blue	
  Fish,	
  but	
  you	
  can	
  think	
  of	
  
yourself	
  as	
  the	
  pond	
  instead	
  of	
  the	
  7ish.
And	
  7inally,	
  Yellow	
  Fish,	
  you	
  cannot	
  
change	
  the	
  bait	
  that	
  is	
  thrown	
  at	
  you	
  –	
  
you	
  just	
  need	
  to	
  know	
  that	
  you	
  can	
  
choose	
  not	
  to	
  swallow	
  it.
The	
  last	
  'R'	
  I	
  am	
  talking	
  about	
  is	
  called	
  
Responsibility.”	
  
21
The	
  7ish	
  were	
  bubbled.	
  They	
  couldn't	
  
make	
  sense	
  of	
  what	
  the	
  duck	
  was	
  saying.
"Become	
  aware	
  of	
  my	
  resentful	
  nature?”	
  
Red	
  Fish	
  thought.	
  "That	
  duck	
  is	
  crazier	
  
than	
  I	
  7igured."
Blue	
  Fish	
  wondered,	
  "Think	
  of	
  myself	
  as	
  
the	
  pond	
  instead	
  of	
  a	
  7ish?	
  I	
  don't	
  have	
  a	
  
clue	
  what	
  he	
  is	
  talking	
  about.	
  Besides,	
  I	
  
think	
  Mr.	
  Duck	
  forgot	
  who	
  the	
  victim	
  is	
  
here:	
  I	
  am	
  the	
  one	
  in	
  need.	
  And	
  since	
  I'm	
  
not	
  the	
  one	
  to	
  blame,	
  why	
  should	
  I	
  
change?"
As	
  always,	
  Yellow	
  Fish	
  was	
  the	
  one	
  who	
  
thought	
  of	
  a	
  solution.	
  "I	
  think	
  the	
  duck	
  
misunderstood	
  the	
  real	
  problem	
  at	
  hand	
  
here.	
  Maybe	
  we	
  should	
  help	
  him	
  
understand	
  our	
  situation	
  a	
  bit	
  more	
  so	
  he	
  
can	
  adapt	
  his	
  advice."	
  
22
It	
  was	
  clear	
  to	
  the	
  7ish	
  they	
  had	
  just	
  been	
  
wasting	
  their	
  time.	
  That	
  mumbo-­‐jumbo	
  
about	
  the	
  'R's	
  may	
  be	
  true	
  for	
  other	
  7ish,	
  
but	
  it	
  certainly	
  didn't	
  apply	
  to	
  them.	
  They	
  
were	
  different.	
  Their	
  pond	
  was	
  different.	
  
And	
  the	
  duck,	
  they	
  agreed,	
  was	
  just	
  a	
  
crazy	
  duck.	
  As	
  for	
  them,	
  they	
  were	
  
talented	
  7ish	
  and	
  they	
  knew	
  what	
  they	
  
had	
  to	
  do:	
  they	
  just	
  had	
  to	
  try	
  harder.
23
Days	
  went	
  by	
  and	
  the	
  7ish	
  swallowed	
  
more	
  bait	
  than	
  they	
  ever	
  had	
  before,	
  
convinced	
  that	
  they	
  could	
  turn	
  the	
  tide.	
  
But	
  things	
  didn't	
  change	
  for	
  the	
  better.	
  
Trying	
  harder	
  didn't	
  seem	
  to	
  work.	
  In	
  
fact,	
  the	
  7ish	
  began	
  to	
  resemble	
  their	
  
lesser	
  selves.	
  
Of	
  course,	
  everyone	
  noticed	
  this	
  and	
  
silently	
  gave	
  them	
  nicknames	
  to	
  re7lect	
  
the	
  way	
  they	
  were	
  acting.	
  Red	
  Fish	
  
became	
  known	
  as	
  'raging	
  red';	
  Blue	
  Fish	
  
as	
  'whiner	
  7ish'	
  and	
  Yellow	
  Fish	
  as	
  
'chicken	
  7ish'.
24
After	
  a	
  while,	
  trying	
  harder	
  felt	
  like	
  
swimming	
  circles	
  in	
  a	
  7ishbowl.	
  
"We	
  are	
  swimming	
  the	
  same	
  laps	
  over	
  
and	
  over	
  and	
  yet	
  we	
  expect	
  to	
  arrive	
  in	
  
another	
  place,"	
  Red	
  Fish	
  said.	
  
Blue	
  Fish	
  agreed,	
  "This	
  is	
  hopeless."	
  
"This	
  is	
  insane",	
  Yellow	
  Fish	
  continued,	
  
"We	
  might	
  as	
  well	
  do	
  whatever	
  that	
  crazy	
  
duck	
  told	
  us	
  to	
  do".	
  
25
So	
  they	
  returned	
  to	
  the	
  duck.	
  The	
  duck	
  
explained	
  that	
  they	
  would	
  continue	
  
suffering	
  as	
  long	
  as	
  they	
  tried	
  to	
  change	
  
the	
  man	
  or	
  his	
  behavior.	
  
"The	
  one	
  thing	
  you	
  should	
  know	
  is	
  that	
  
you	
  can't	
  control	
  the	
  7isherman,	
  nor	
  the	
  
bait.	
  You	
  can	
  only	
  control	
  your	
  own	
  
behavior.	
  Remember	
  that	
  last	
  'R'	
  I	
  talked	
  
about?	
  Responsibility	
  is	
  nothing	
  else	
  than	
  
redirecting	
  your	
  attention	
  to	
  what	
  you	
  
CAN	
  control:	
  what	
  you	
  do	
  and	
  the	
  way	
  
you	
  look	
  at	
  things.	
  Just	
  try	
  it	
  –	
  you	
  have	
  
nothing	
  to	
  lose!	
  When	
  you	
  approach	
  the	
  
bait	
  with	
  Responsibility,	
  you	
  become	
  
aware	
  that	
  you	
  are	
  able	
  to	
  stop	
  and	
  
capture	
  the	
  useful	
  information	
  without	
  
getting	
  hooked.”
26
27
Because	
  the	
  7ish	
  had	
  no	
  other	
  alternative	
  
they	
  decided	
  to	
  try	
  this	
  crazy	
  idea.	
  Days	
  
went	
  by	
  before	
  they	
  could	
  turn	
  off	
  the	
  
automatic	
  pilot	
  that	
  hooked	
  them.	
  
Eventually,	
  they	
  did	
  it	
  and	
  they	
  reported	
  
back	
  to	
  the	
  duck:
“We	
  managed	
  not	
  to	
  get	
  hooked	
  for	
  a	
  few	
  
days	
  now,”	
  Red	
  Fish	
  said.	
  “And	
  what	
  were	
  
your	
  7indings?”	
  the	
  duck	
  replied.	
  “Well,	
  
it’s	
  hard,”	
  Blue	
  Fish	
  said,	
  “because	
  it	
  
needs	
  all	
  of	
  our	
  attention.	
  But	
  now	
  at	
  
least	
  the	
  pain	
  is	
  less	
  and	
  we	
  can	
  get	
  back	
  
to	
  doing	
  what	
  we	
  were	
  here	
  for	
  in	
  the	
  
7irst	
  place.”	
  Yellow	
  Fish	
  thoughtfully	
  
added,	
  “This	
  is	
  almost	
  as	
  dif7icult	
  as	
  
swimming	
  upstream.	
  Some	
  days	
  we	
  get	
  
hooked	
  before	
  we	
  even	
  realize	
  it.	
  It	
  
demands	
  our	
  constant	
  attention.”
28
“Indeed,”	
  said	
  the	
  duck,	
  “approaching	
  
nasty	
  bait	
  with	
  Responsibility	
  is	
  as	
  hard	
  
as	
  swimming	
  upstream.	
  Responsibility	
  
means	
  that	
  you	
  can	
  choose	
  how	
  you	
  
respond	
  to	
  a	
  situation.	
  And	
  it’s	
  not	
  easy,	
  
because	
  it	
  demands	
  your	
  full	
  presence	
  
and	
  attention.	
  
Just	
  remember	
  that	
  it’s	
  the	
  swimming	
  
upstream	
  that	
  makes	
  you	
  stronger!”
29
30
The	
  man	
  never	
  changed.	
  Neither	
  did	
  the	
  
bait.	
  But	
  the	
  7ish	
  grew	
  stronger	
  each	
  time	
  
they	
  realized	
  that	
  there	
  is	
  always	
  a	
  choice	
  
in	
  how	
  they	
  respond	
  to	
  a	
  situation.
31
This	
  fable	
  tells	
  the	
  story	
  of	
  three	
  7ish	
  who	
  learn	
  that	
  we	
  always	
  have	
  a	
  
choice	
  in	
  how	
  we	
  respond	
  to	
  a	
  situation.	
  
Mostly	
  it	
  takes	
  an	
  outsider	
  -­‐	
  a	
  duck	
  -­‐	
  to	
  unhook	
  us	
  from	
  a	
  certain	
  
behavior.
The	
  Pond	
  offers	
  simple	
  and	
  direct	
  language	
  to	
  talk	
  about	
  being	
  stuck.	
  
It’s	
  a	
  conversation	
  (re-­‐)starter	
  for	
  friends,	
  families	
  and	
  teams.
I	
  would	
  like	
  to	
  thank	
  Jessica	
  Adams	
  for	
  the	
  editing	
  and	
  Michaël	
  Huyghe	
  
for	
  the	
  artistic	
  inspiration.
Luc	
  Galoppin
June	
  2013

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The pond

  • 1. The  other  moral  to  your  same  old  story
  • 2. 2
  • 3. Once  upon  a  time  there  was  a  pond  with   the  most  exceptional  7ish  one  could  think   of.   Everyone  agreed  that  it  was  a  vibrant   ecosystem  -­‐  a  textbook  example  for  other   7ish  communities. 3
  • 4. The  man  who  took  care  of  the  pond  was   very  focused  on  it  and  wanted  it  to  be  the   greatest  pond  of  all  time.  So  did  the  7ish. In  fact,  that's  why  they  decided  to  get   together  a  long  time  ago.  The  man,  the   7ish  and  the  pond:  they  shared  the  same   goals  and  aspirations,  as  if  they  were   made  for  one  another. 4
  • 5. As  time  went  by,  and  the  pond  grew   bigger  and  more  complex,  the  man   started  to  take  more  and  more  control.   At  7irst,  he  did  this  out  of  a  desire  to  keep   it  all  spic-­‐and-­‐span.   The  7ish  accepted  his  initiatives  and  they   swam  accordingly.    The  man  felt  that  the   7ish  had  become  complacent  and  lost   their  sense  of  initiative,  so  he  ended  up   not  trusting  a  single  7ish. 5
  • 6. 6
  • 7. Instead  of  just  giving  them  food  and   providing  them  with  oxygen,  he  hooked   them  up  each  day.  That  way,  he  knew   exactly  what  they  were  doing  and  how   they  were  doing  it.   Each  day  he  weighed  each  7ish,  pushed   the  food  down  their  throat  and  told  them   exactly  what  they  should  do  before  he  let   them  into  the  water  again. 7
  • 8. The  man  was  quite  proud  of  the  way  he   controlled  it  all.  Any  time  of    day  anyone   could  ask  how  the  pond  was  doing  and   he  would  explain  in  detail  with  colors,   graphics,  metrics  and  key  performance   indicators.  By  any  measurement,  this  was   the  greatest  pond  of  all  time! Nothing  could  stop  the  man  from  getting   exceptional  results:  he  had  a  plan,  he  had   a  system,  he  had  it  all  under  control.   8
  • 9. 9
  • 10. In  order  to  control  the  7ish  effectively  the   man  threw  out  nasty  bait:  a  talking  worm   who  told  the  7ish  how  complacent  and   lazy  they  had  become.  Every  day,  nasty   bait  told  them  how  bad  their  work  was,   how  the  quality  sucked,  how  they  were   behind  schedule  and  how  it  made  the   man  nervous  as  hell.   The  man  thought  this  kind  of  bait  would   keep  the  7ish  sharp.  And  it  did.  The  bait   was  simply  irresistible. 10
  • 11. 11
  • 12. 12
  • 13. Below  the  water  surface,  Red  Fish,  Blue   Fish  and  Yellow  Fish  caught  every  nasty   worm.  They  were  smart  7ish,  strong  and   bright-­‐colored.   Each  time  the  bait  was  thrown  out  it  was   only  a  matter  of  seconds  before  they   would  catch  that  nasty  worm.  Red,  Blue   and  Yellow  were  the  best  of  the  breed.   They  were  talented.  They  had  passion.   They  were  born  for  this  pond. 13
  • 14. Red  Fish  was  always  the  7irst  to  swallow   the  bait.  “That’s  not  true,”  he  said,  “I’m   going  to  show  him!”  He  knew  they  were   better  than  the  worm  was  saying,  and  he   went  out  each  day  to  prove  it.  But  the   rage  and  discontent  grew  with  each   catch. Blue  Fish  swallowed  the  bait  differently.   With  each  catch  his  self-­‐doubt  grew,  for   he  started  to  believe  the  accusations  that   the  worm  was  throwing  at  him. Yellow  Fish  was  smarter  than  either  of   them.  He  would  not  7ight  it  like  Red  Fish,   nor  feel  guilty  about  it  like  Blue  Fish.   His  approach  was  to  solve  the  man’s   problem.  So  he  swallowed  the  bait  each   time,  thinking  he  could  solve  the  man’s   problem. 14
  • 15. These  smart  7ish  were  all  different  in  how   they  approached  nasty  bait  –  that  much   is  true.  But  there  was  one  thing  they  all   had  in  common:  they  always  swallowed   the  bait  impulsively  and  each  time  they   got  back  into  the  water  they  felt  sore.   They  didn’t  know  why;  they  were   bubbled… 15
  • 16. And  then  one  day  a  duck  landed  on  the   pond.  He  said  he  had  seen  these   situations  in  other  ponds,  but  the  7ish   didn’t  pay  attention  to  the  duck;  it  was   just  a  duck  and  they  had  bait  to  catch.   What  does  a  duck  know  about  life  below   the  water  surface,  anyway?  The  7ish  were   too  busy  swallowing  the  bait  that  was   thrown  at  them.  Days  went  by  and  from   the  surface  the  duck  could  see  the  daily   ritual  the  7ish  went  through. 16
  • 17. These  smart  7ish  suffered,  but  they  were   too  proud  to  admit  it.  After  all,  they  were   the  best  of  the  breed.  They  had  never   learned  to  ask  for  help. Then  came  the  day  the  hooks  left  the  7ish   aching  so  hard  that  they  needed  some   time  to  recover,  so  they  7igured  they   might  as  well  listen  to  the  duck.  “OK   duck,  let’s  hear  it,”  Red  Fish  said.  “Things   are  not  okay  down  here,  so  tell  us  what   you  think  is  going  on,”  Blue  Fish  said. 17
  • 18. “It’s  fairly  simple”,  answered  the  duck,   “from  up  here  it  is  obvious  how  you  are   exaggerating  on  the  R-­‐side”.  “The  R-­‐side?   What  the  hell  is  that?!”  Yellow  Fish   replied. The  duck  patiently  continued,  “You  see,   there  is  a  pattern  in  your  daily  suffering.   It  all  boils  down  to  four  R's. Red  Fish  is  driven  by  Revenge.  That  is  the   7irst  R  –  and  he  is  left  with  resentment. Blue  Fish  is  driven  by  Regret.  That  is  the   second  R,  which  leaves  him  feeling  guilty. And  you,  Yellow  Fish,  you  get  hooked   because  you  try  to  Rescue  the  man,  and   in  the  end  you  are  insecure  because  it   didn’t  work  out  as  planned.  There  is  just   one  thing  you  should  know  about  these   R’s:  they  will  always  get  you  hooked” 18
  • 19. 19
  • 20. “But  that’s  our  nature  –  don’t  you   understand?”  Red  Fish  said.  “This  pond  is   our  destiny-­‐  there  is  nothing  we  can  do   about  it,”  Blue  Fish  said.  Yellow  Fish   concluded,  “The  only  way  out  is  to   change  the  bait”.   20
  • 21. “Hang  on  -­‐  there  is  another  way  out,”  the   duck  said,  “but  it  will  require  you  to  use  a   different  R  than  you  are  doing  today. I’m  not  asking  you  to  change  your  nature,   Red  Fish,  but  you  need  to  become  aware   of  it. I’m  not  telling  you  to  change  for  a  better   pond,  Blue  Fish,  but  you  can  think  of   yourself  as  the  pond  instead  of  the  7ish. And  7inally,  Yellow  Fish,  you  cannot   change  the  bait  that  is  thrown  at  you  –   you  just  need  to  know  that  you  can   choose  not  to  swallow  it. The  last  'R'  I  am  talking  about  is  called   Responsibility.”   21
  • 22. The  7ish  were  bubbled.  They  couldn't   make  sense  of  what  the  duck  was  saying. "Become  aware  of  my  resentful  nature?”   Red  Fish  thought.  "That  duck  is  crazier   than  I  7igured." Blue  Fish  wondered,  "Think  of  myself  as   the  pond  instead  of  a  7ish?  I  don't  have  a   clue  what  he  is  talking  about.  Besides,  I   think  Mr.  Duck  forgot  who  the  victim  is   here:  I  am  the  one  in  need.  And  since  I'm   not  the  one  to  blame,  why  should  I   change?" As  always,  Yellow  Fish  was  the  one  who   thought  of  a  solution.  "I  think  the  duck   misunderstood  the  real  problem  at  hand   here.  Maybe  we  should  help  him   understand  our  situation  a  bit  more  so  he   can  adapt  his  advice."   22
  • 23. It  was  clear  to  the  7ish  they  had  just  been   wasting  their  time.  That  mumbo-­‐jumbo   about  the  'R's  may  be  true  for  other  7ish,   but  it  certainly  didn't  apply  to  them.  They   were  different.  Their  pond  was  different.   And  the  duck,  they  agreed,  was  just  a   crazy  duck.  As  for  them,  they  were   talented  7ish  and  they  knew  what  they   had  to  do:  they  just  had  to  try  harder. 23
  • 24. Days  went  by  and  the  7ish  swallowed   more  bait  than  they  ever  had  before,   convinced  that  they  could  turn  the  tide.   But  things  didn't  change  for  the  better.   Trying  harder  didn't  seem  to  work.  In   fact,  the  7ish  began  to  resemble  their   lesser  selves.   Of  course,  everyone  noticed  this  and   silently  gave  them  nicknames  to  re7lect   the  way  they  were  acting.  Red  Fish   became  known  as  'raging  red';  Blue  Fish   as  'whiner  7ish'  and  Yellow  Fish  as   'chicken  7ish'. 24
  • 25. After  a  while,  trying  harder  felt  like   swimming  circles  in  a  7ishbowl.   "We  are  swimming  the  same  laps  over   and  over  and  yet  we  expect  to  arrive  in   another  place,"  Red  Fish  said.   Blue  Fish  agreed,  "This  is  hopeless."   "This  is  insane",  Yellow  Fish  continued,   "We  might  as  well  do  whatever  that  crazy   duck  told  us  to  do".   25
  • 26. So  they  returned  to  the  duck.  The  duck   explained  that  they  would  continue   suffering  as  long  as  they  tried  to  change   the  man  or  his  behavior.   "The  one  thing  you  should  know  is  that   you  can't  control  the  7isherman,  nor  the   bait.  You  can  only  control  your  own   behavior.  Remember  that  last  'R'  I  talked   about?  Responsibility  is  nothing  else  than   redirecting  your  attention  to  what  you   CAN  control:  what  you  do  and  the  way   you  look  at  things.  Just  try  it  –  you  have   nothing  to  lose!  When  you  approach  the   bait  with  Responsibility,  you  become   aware  that  you  are  able  to  stop  and   capture  the  useful  information  without   getting  hooked.” 26
  • 27. 27
  • 28. Because  the  7ish  had  no  other  alternative   they  decided  to  try  this  crazy  idea.  Days   went  by  before  they  could  turn  off  the   automatic  pilot  that  hooked  them.   Eventually,  they  did  it  and  they  reported   back  to  the  duck: “We  managed  not  to  get  hooked  for  a  few   days  now,”  Red  Fish  said.  “And  what  were   your  7indings?”  the  duck  replied.  “Well,   it’s  hard,”  Blue  Fish  said,  “because  it   needs  all  of  our  attention.  But  now  at   least  the  pain  is  less  and  we  can  get  back   to  doing  what  we  were  here  for  in  the   7irst  place.”  Yellow  Fish  thoughtfully   added,  “This  is  almost  as  dif7icult  as   swimming  upstream.  Some  days  we  get   hooked  before  we  even  realize  it.  It   demands  our  constant  attention.” 28
  • 29. “Indeed,”  said  the  duck,  “approaching   nasty  bait  with  Responsibility  is  as  hard   as  swimming  upstream.  Responsibility   means  that  you  can  choose  how  you   respond  to  a  situation.  And  it’s  not  easy,   because  it  demands  your  full  presence   and  attention.   Just  remember  that  it’s  the  swimming   upstream  that  makes  you  stronger!” 29
  • 30. 30
  • 31. The  man  never  changed.  Neither  did  the   bait.  But  the  7ish  grew  stronger  each  time   they  realized  that  there  is  always  a  choice   in  how  they  respond  to  a  situation. 31
  • 32. This  fable  tells  the  story  of  three  7ish  who  learn  that  we  always  have  a   choice  in  how  we  respond  to  a  situation.   Mostly  it  takes  an  outsider  -­‐  a  duck  -­‐  to  unhook  us  from  a  certain   behavior. The  Pond  offers  simple  and  direct  language  to  talk  about  being  stuck.   It’s  a  conversation  (re-­‐)starter  for  friends,  families  and  teams. I  would  like  to  thank  Jessica  Adams  for  the  editing  and  Michaël  Huyghe   for  the  artistic  inspiration. Luc  Galoppin June  2013