Last week I was honored to present the TFW System and certify 29 new friends in Costa Mesa, California. Since I flew across the country, I booked a free day between the certification and the flight. When I planned this, I was not aware how I would need one day to clear my mind. With a growing business, family and demand to travel, outside pressure has increased. Although I enjoy the demands of my schedule, I was reminded we must recharge the batteries.
The constant access to email and people that cell phones provide can make even a “free” day seem overwhelming. I make it a point, therefore, to fill my free time with activities that calm my mind. Of the pastimes I enjoy, I have found fishing to be quite therapeutic. When I was offered the chance to spend a half day fishing, I couldn’t resist.After a scenic morning commute down the California coast, I reached Point Loma, a hilly peninsula bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the San Diego Bay, and the San Diego River. The area features impressive military facilities, a national cemetery, a university and a host of wildlife. As our boat cruised from the dock along the San Diego skyline, I was treated to Navy fighter jets and pelicans above, sea lions and submarines below, and my first view of a bullring off the coast of Mexico.
This trip reminded me of fishing with my father. Although I grew up having valuable conversations and experiences while fishing, I also realized we did not catch a lot of fish! My current journey educated me it wasn’t fish I was really after. While preparing to fish, I recognized a number of interesting steps necessary to hook the fish you wanted. After reflecting on the trip, I found the experience offered 7 Profound Lessons you can apply to catch the “big fish” of your life.
1. Bring The Right Bait
The boat offered a choice of a few different baits. What bait was chosen indicated what fish was wanted. Once the goal was specified, selecting the right bait to make that goal possible was easy.
If you want to land your big fish (money, job, spouse, house) in life, you better be sure you use the right bait. You must decide what you want in order to figure out what you need to get it. How you look, the degree you pursue, and the people around you are bait on your hook. Make sure they can attract what you desire.
2. Watch Out For Backlash
Once we began to fish, one overanxious fisherman dropped his bait too quickly without managing the line. The reel became a ball of knotted line called backlash, and kept him from fishing while he tried to undid the mess.
Even when you know your goals, racing too fast and or mismanagement of your actions can create backlash in your life. Like the line on a reel, backlash in your day is tough to unravel and costs you valuable time from the big fish.
3. Develop Good Sensitivity
Some people aboard the boat brought rods entirely too strong for the fish available. Without the ability to recognize the subtle tugs of a bite, these people were getting their bait stripped without hooking a fish.
If you are too rigid, you may miss the tiny opportunities available to catch your big fish. You need to stay sensitive to what happens in the lives of others around you and how your actions affect them. Being able to catch your fish with the right sensitivity makes the experience more rewarding.
4. Practice Your Knots
While fishing the bottom, my friend snagged his line. After trying to retrieve the line, he decided to snap it, reel in and set another rig. He quickly and masterfully added another baited rig with perfect knots and was immediately fishing again.
Tying a knot is an important fishing skill that takes time and practice to develop. In your career, there will be numerous skills you will call upon when you hook a snag in the plan. When your line breaks during your hunt, the skills you have ingrained with diligent practice will be your way to get back in the game.
5. Use Your Superiors
Although there were deck hands ready to help, many people tried to do everything themselves. As a consequence, one man tried to get a sand bass off the hook and got some dorsal fin spines in his hand instead.
Moral: You can skip a painful lesson by allowing more experienced people help you on your quest. That is, after all, the job of a superior and you should value their experience. Seek out great people that know what to do and eventually you will too.
6. Look To The Horizon
After an hour of riding big ocean swells, I got seasick. Each time I took an anchovy from the live tank, I turned another shade of green. Only by looking at the horizon was I able to steady myself.
Sometimes the many tasks in front of you can make you sick. This is why long term goals are important. Make sure you occasionally look to where you are going. When you plan ahead and keep an eye on the prize, you will feel more stable.
7. Find Your Focus
After a short time intently watching my line, I became relaxed. With bait in the water, one is filled with a potent combination of focus and hope. Although the task was simple, being hyperfocused on that line helped me forget about everything else.
You may get lost in your day with the work ahead. It may often seem like five voices are talking in your head at once and you can’t relax even when you have “nothing” to do. What is your method of hyperfocus? It could be reading, martial arts, or working out. Whatever it is, schedule some time to give your mind a break.
Eventually, just like mine, your fishing trip will come to an end. Someday you will reel in for the last time whether there is a fish on or not. The wake you have left behind will eventually disappear. When you disembark for the last time, your life will be measured less by the fish you caught than the preparation and adventures you had along the way to get them. This serves as your reminder to enjoy the quest.