Why Don't We Always Follow Good Advice?



Have you ever gotten advice that you know could make your work or life easier, but strangely enough, you just don’t follow it?

Who hasn’t, right?! Chalk it up to human nature, right? Well, not so fast….

I want to share with you a wonderful story about finding a solution—followed by finding a solution that actually worked this time. The story has the best ending—with a fascinating moral nicely tucked in. It’s about a Lucky Iron Fish.

The story begins with a pretty big issue: At least 50% of the population of Cambodia was severely anemic due to their diet of mostly rice and fish (notoriously low sources of iron).

Chronic anemia (aka, iron deficiency) is very serious. It can lead to all sorts of medical problems, including premature birth, pregnancy complications, even death in some adults.

Enter Geometry Global, a Dubai-based company, which calls itself an “activation” agency, that was on a mission to solve this health crisis. And after lots of research, they did! It turns out that cooking with a small piece of iron for just 10 minutes could provide a family with 75% of their daily iron intake. It was a brilliant, low-cost, sustainable, eco-friendly solution!

Excited, they distributed smoothly crafted small blocks of iron to families all throughout Cambodia, complete with cooking instructions. And those families sure used their new iron blocks...for doorstops, paperweights, decorative objets—pretty much for everything but cooking.

Hmmm. Why wouldn't the Cambodians cook with this little iron block—especially since it could save lives?

Back to the drawing board the researchers went. This time, they studied Cambodian culture. One very common positive image they kept seeing was a fish—the cultural symbol of hope and good fortune.

That was it! Distribute the same amount of iron but this time in the shape of a lovely little fish. Lucky Fish! And poof, in less than nine months, iron deficiencies in Cambodia were markedly reduced by 50% and the population as a whole was healthier. Why? Because a “lucky fish” was something they could really relate to. Simple as that. And simply remarkable, since the Lucky Fish Project won this year’s Grand Prix for product design at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The moral of the story? The best solutions aren’t solutions unless they speak to one’s values, character and resonate with what’s most important to you.

Watch this three-minute video of the Story of the Lucky Fish.

Then think about the “lucky fish” solutions you’ve come up with in the past—or, how you might arrive at ones in the future. Then email me—I would LOVE to hear about them! 

And if you’d like help finding a solution that works for YOU, e-mail me here. Then let’s hop on the phone....I’m opening up 7 spots in July for a 30-minute complimentary call to help you come up with your kind of solution. Get on it: first come, first served!

Wishing you the best of luck,