When was the last time you went fishing? Did you notice that you often put a lot of bait on your hook but somehow fish are smart enough to get it off without getting caught? If you stop and think about it, that is really amazing! How did fish get so smart? I guess they learned it in school. (“School” of fish – get it?!) Though the fish are often able to get worms, crickets and other types of bait off of the hook without getting caught, if they keep at it long enough, they will eventually get caught. A fisherman must exercise patience and keep trying.
While I enjoy eating fish, I really do not really enjoy getting into a boat and going fishing any more. I prefer letting someone else do that job. Going out to eat at a good seafood restaurant is more my style.
I believe there is a principle here for us to learn. Whether you are involved in business, sports or relationships, you must take a chance and exercise patience if you are ever going to “catch any fish”. You have to “put yourself out there” and attempt to do something that might be risky at first glance. Yet, after you fail a few times, you will begin to learn some important lessons which will help you to be more successful in the future.
When I was growing up, it seemed to me that everyone around me knew so much more than I did. I felt very naïve at times and was often taken advantage of by those who were older. One such incident happened when I was in the ninth grade. Some friends and myself went on a camping trip with some older, high school seniors. They were football players and I looked up to them. I wanted to be just like them when I was older.
After we set up camp out in the woods, the older boys thought it would be funny to scare me. They told me that some criminals had escaped from a local prison and that they were afraid those criminals might be hiding in the woods to harm us. Then they proceeded to tie fishing line to pots and pans that would rattle making me think someone was coming to get us. I was so scared that I don’t think I slept the whole week!
Once we got home, they told me that they were the ones making all the noise, using the fishing line that no one could see except them. They laughed and laughed and made fun of me, and I tried to take it with a good nature. Even though I laughed it off, it still hurt my feelings. Nevertheless, I learned something from it – I learned that things are not always as they seem and sometimes you might learn a lesson through a painful experience. But that is what happens when you “put yourself out there!”
All of this gets back to the fact that if you are going to be successful, sooner or later you are going to have to “get out there”; you are going to have to try new things. You are going to have to put some bait on your hook. Others may take advantage of you, but you will be the one who actually wins because in the long run you will learn lessons from the experiences that you can use the rest of your life.
I have discovered that everything happens for a reason. I have quit trying to figure out the “why’s” behind everything and just focus on the lessons that I learn whenever I get tricked or when the fish gets my bait and leaves my hook empty.
When was the last time you had a relationship fall apart on you? When was the last time you tried to start a business and lost money in the process? When was the last time you tried something new for the very first time and found that it did not work? None of those were mistakes. They were all learning experiences or growing opportunities to make you a better person. You were just “re-baiting” your hook!
So, in whatever endeavor you are involved in right now, my advice is to get yourself a big can of worms or crickets or whatever else you need and start trying more. They say that successful people are failures who just didn’t give up. I believe that adequately sums up what I am trying to say in this Tip.
Now, let’s all get back to work and go fishing!
Tip: Every fisherman loses some bait along the way, but they fish anyway!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm
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