Summer is officially here in my house. The kids are out of school and now that they don’t have to get up as early, I have taken my daughters fishing the last couple of nights. I can remember doing the same thing with my dad. During my youth, he would come home from work and we would load up the car with rods and tackle boxes and head to the coast to enjoy a few hours of fishing.
I have been around fishing all of my life. I can remember catching my first fish and I was immediately hooked (pun intended). Since that tiny fish on the end of my line, I have had the chance to fish salt and fresh waters in a number of countries around the world. I have used a sane net to catch the tiniest minnows, a fly rod to snag salmon in rivers and powerful reels for epic fights with giant tuna and marlin.
Looking back, there were more nights spent not catching fish, but I now realize it wasn’t really the fish we were after. Fishing is a great pastime to bond, meditate and create memories you won’t forget. I have classic stories I wouldn’t trade for anything. As I was reminded the other night while showing my girls a nice catfish, pulling in the occasional fish only makes the experience even better.
Have you ever “gone fishing?” Fishing can teach you a number of important lessons about life. You stand on the shore filled with hope and anticipation that something great may happen at any second. But before you can get a big bite, you will have to do the right things. The same is true for your life. Here are five steps to help you hook into your next big fish:
1. Choose Your Fish
Before you go fishing, you first have to decide on the fish you want to catch. If you don’t know the fish you’re after, you will have a much harder time catching one. Before you can reach your goals, you need to discover those goals in the first place!
Have you decided what you want from life?
Do you have your goals precisely defined?
2. Pick Your Bait
Once you have decided on your fish, you then need to select the appropriate bait on which that fish will bite. Unless you have the proper bait, you will never attract the fish you want.
Are you acting the way to attract what you want?
Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?
Are you spending your time in the right places?
3. Get Your Hook
When you know your fish and have the correct bait, the next step is to get the right sized hook. My dad taught me an important fishing lesson long ago: Small hook, small fish. Big hook, big fish.
Do your goals require a bigger hook?
Are you challenging yourself to match your talent?
4. Get Your Line In The Water
Once you have the bait on the hook, you can’t sit back. You need to cast it into the water! Every second you wait to do this step is time wasted. You need to commit and follow through.
Do you take consistent action toward your goals?
What is the next step to get closer to your goal?
Once you’ve gotten your work done and get your line wet, it is time to stay focused and more importantly, stay patient. Sometimes you are going to have to wait a while for a fish to bite. I guess that is why they call it “fishing” and not “catching.” All too often, people give up before they catch the “big one.” As my dad taught me, the big fish didn’t get that way by accident. The biggest fish is often the hardest to catch. You will have to often delay gratification and simultaneously improve your skills in order to reel them in.
Are you patient in terms of waiting for your goals?
Are you focused on finishing what you start?
Answer the 11 questions above and if you didn’t get some of the answers you wanted, it is time to make a change. When someone asks about what you do or have, you want to be able to tell the truth. Don’t be forced to tell a “fish tale” or another story how the “big one” got away. Follow the five steps above and you’ll be prepared to reel it in with everything you’ve got!
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