How to be a Pearl Fisher

While the spiritual journey I write about in this book started in 2000, I had my first taste of it back in 1989. My partner at that time worked for Shell International and every recruit at Shell had to attend a Time Manager International Course. My partner went on the course and returned so enthused, he exclaimed, “Dawn, you need to go on this course”.

The aim of the course was to help you get the most out of your life. It showed you how to set life goals and plan how you were going to achieve them. It also taught many life skills to bring health and happiness into your life. The two skills I remember were:

  1. How to Eat Elephants (Big Projects). You cut them up into small bite-size chunks so you can digest and make them happen.
  2. Pearl Fishing. It just amazed me, so much so I closed my company for two days and gifted every member of my team to this two-day experience.


What is Pearl Fishing
Pearl Fishing is a state of mind, it is your attitude. The key to Pearl Fishing is when you meet someone, always look for the beauty in that person and if possible, appropriately compliment that person so it makes them feel good. Wow, what a difference that makes to your life.

It also makes you smile from your heart as you keep doing it. Life gets more pleasant. Us Brits have a reputation of having a stiff upper lip and always moaning about the weather. With Pearl Fishing, even if it is raining, you will bring rays of sunshine into people’s lives.

As part of the course we also learned about the Pearl Crushers. There are too many Pearl Crushers. These are the people who always look on the dark side of life, and moan about all aspects of their life, even aspects which are out of their control. So please join me and become a Pearl Fisher, it will transform your life, I promise.

I want to share with you one more jewel from that course. When you arrive home from work, stop outside your front door and leave your work outside. Stand and think, ‘what beautiful things do I want to happen tonight with my family?’

This is how Edward Scheldrick, our teacher, greets his wife. “Hi Honey, Tiger’s home”. That brought a smile to all our faces.

The spark I felt on this course was my first taste of how good it feels to really be conscious and present with everyone I meet. It made a real difference. My job then as Managing Director was transformed, I created a new way of leadership, leading all my team using these techniques. It worked and we went from strength to strength.

This course changed the culture of my company, everyone practiced this positive way of communicating, catching people doing things right and seeing their beauty and strengths.