I grew up in the country near Sioux Falls, SD. Eastern South Dakota has a good number of lakes that many people fish. I have never been much of a fisherman. Baiting sharp hooks and then sitting on the shore or in a boat waiting from a big one to bite always seemed too slow-paced for my tastes. Fishing just seemed like sitting, waiting and doing nothing. I just didn’t trust that fish I could not see would notice my bait and choose to swim over and take it.
But this morning as I look out my apartment window in San Diego, CA, I suddenly appreciate the wisdom of all the people who fish the lakes back where I’m from.
To be an expert at catching fish, it seems one would need a good pole, and the ability to find the right bait. Once you have all of these elements, you cast your pole and wait. Practicing these steps amount to doing the work of fishing.
There is no use in chasing fish with a baited hook no matter how tasty the bait might be. Fish find being chased the very opposite of attractive.
With goals and expectations, it is sometimes tempting to fall into the pattern of chasing fish in our lives. We get especially attached to certain “big ones:” the big job, the right spouse, the right house, so we chase. It is quite a game. It gets our hearts racing. It works up a sweat. We experience running a rat race, or a fish race in this case. Ultimately, it is exhausting to chase fish and it most often does not produce the results we desire.
But there is another option. We each can use a metaphorical fishing pole. The pole is our values, beliefs, self-confidence, magnificence and love for life.
Our bait is our goals and intentions. Taking the time to properly bait our hook is important. If our goal were to get a job as a chef, we wouldn’t bait our hook by sending our resume to car dealerships. We would bait our hook by sending our resume to restaurants.
Then the trick is to wait with joy and confidence for the fish to bite. The fish we hook may well surprise us. For example, we may be on our way to drop our resume at a restaurant when we meet a high school friend we had lost touch with long ago, a high school friend who happens to manage a world-class restaurant and wants to hire us. We are in awe because this is a position beyond what we ever dreamed of.
The work of fishing can be a full-time job as we work each day to create bait that is attractive to the things we need and want in life.
We have the options to stop chasing our fish and instead each morning bait our hook and cast it in to the lake of our lives. Then we wait for fish to swim towards us. True we do not know exactly what fish are going to be attracted to our bait. But we may well catch more and bigger fish than we ever imagined.
Game of the Day
What big fish are you chasing on a daily basis? What would it look like to attract big fish to you by fishing for them instead of chasing them?