The Japanese have this story about their love for fish. They have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese people, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.
But the farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste.
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.
The frozen fish fetched a lower price. So fishing companies 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 stayed alive, but tired and dull.
Unfortutely, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish.
The fishing companies were still far from solving their problem. How could they get fresh-tasting fish to their demanding customers from fishing grounds great distances away? Filly, they found a way out...
To keep the fish tasting fresh, the fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they began to add a small shark to each tank. The shark would eat a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. After all, the fish are challenged!
And this piece of wisdom has passed on to the people. Most people live like fish in a crowded pond, weary, listless and dull. They desperately need a ‘shark’ in their lives. So the wise close every successful chapter and move on to new challenges. They wipe the slate clean, start anew, remain challenged and full of life.