The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have less fish. The fishermen had to go further out to sea to catch fish.
Farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. Since the return trip took more than a few days, the fish did not reach market in a fresh state.
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. Also, the frozen fish brought a lower price.
The fishing companies then 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 freshness.
How did the Japanese then solve this problem? The fishing companies added a small shark to the tanks that the fish were kept in. The shark of course ate a few fish, but most of the fish arrived in a very lively state due to the fact that their survival was challenged.
Sharks are the challenges that keep us active.
You are happy when you win over your challenges. But success is not steady state. Don’t achieve something and revel in a state of inertia. There are countless examples of businesses and people that enjoyed some success and stopped evolving, stopped adding.
This upcoming year, put a shark in your tank and see how far you really go. You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference.