Today’s blog is about going into new places you’ve never been before – new waters of life!
Before I begin, I need to write this disclaimer: “I am not a fisherman (or woman) but fishing has been in my life because of my ex-husband’s love for it and the fact he taught that love to my son too!“
Fishing poles, lures, gear, and boats were very much a part of our married life. Vacations revolved around some place with the ability to fish. If it didn’t — it meant my ex-husband would be pouting because there wasn’t anything for him to do. That’s not a slam to my ex – it’s just the truth.
The type of fishing my ex brought into my life was bass fishing. He did a little salt-water fishing but bass fishing was what he loved. So often I would ask if we could take the boat and go out in it along the St. Johns River. His answer was always the same, “The boat isn’t made for that kind of water.” I would sigh because I wanted to explore other places but he loved bass fishing and that is where he wanted to put in his line. It’s what he knew and he was good at it. Bass fishing was his thing and his focus.
In 2015 after my divorce, I had the chance to be on a ranch in Wyoming for two weeks. During that time I went trout fishing on a 180 acre stillwater lake on the ranch. I wasn’t too excited about trout fishing but the guide was. He wanted to tell me everything he knew about how to fly fish and being the nice person I am, I listened to his instructions and his excitement. I thought to myself, “He’s like my ex. He loves trout fishing as much as he loved bass fishing.” When I asked him if he bass fished, he said, “No.” He didn’t understand it and was more comfortable in the waters he knew. He had the knowledge to fish for trout and he liked catching them.
As I began a new step in my professional path, I found myself thinking of these two men. I was in new waters and I wasn’t sure how to navigate safely or navigate to success.
Before I started out on this new adventure in unknown waters, I took lessons learned from these two men and applied them to my new experience:
- Cast your vision. Know where you want to go and keep your focus on your goals. Do you just want to go along for the ride or do you want to become the best at what you are doing? Either vision is fine because it’s your vision! But know the vision first or otherwise you will drift aimlessly along.
- Be passionate about what you are doing or don’t do it. No sense fishing where you are uncomfortable or doing something you are not called to do. Success comes from passion!!
- Hire a guide. If you are in new waters, there is nothing better than learning from someone who has the experiences you don’t. Just because you were good in the waters of your past doesn’t mean you will be in the new waters. If you have too much ego to ask for help from someone who knows better, that is a sure sign of failure ahead. Ego is your enemy!
- Be well equipped. You may have to put out some money on new equipment so be prepared for that. You can’t expect to be a success if you are using the wrong bait.
- Never give up. There were many days my ex would come home without a fish in the boat. He spent a lot of time, money and energy yet nothing made it to the live well and that was always disappointing. But, that didn’t stop him. He watched fishing shows, purchased new types of lures and asked seasoned bass fisherman about specific bodies of waters. He studied bass fishing and he became better at it in time. The joy of fishing was when he came home with a bunch of fresh bass for a family gathering. (I know there will be some that state he should have thrown them back in. He did once he met his quota but fishing is for eating so get over it!) If something doesn’t work today, keep putting that line in the water. Eventually you’ll figure things out and the fish will start to bite!
- Accept you might not catch anything. What if the new waters I was in failed to produce anything? That’s okay. I’ll just pick up my line and go to another body of water and see what happens. It doesn’t mean I was a failure. Failures come because you don’t try. So try something else and keep going with the vision you have for your life.
It’s not about the water we are in – it’s about the vision you cast. In all my years of working with CEOs as they shared their vision with me, I saw them change the direction they needed to go due to unforeseen circumstances or rough waters. What they never did: “They didn’t change their vision.” “They didn’t give up.”
I end with this my friend. Do you have a vision for your life? Or are you simply sitting in the boat and letting it take you where it wants to go?
I encourage you today to get out in nature and spend time alone with the one who made this world and the one who made you. Seek quiet and seek a vision for your life.
Be not afraid to hop in a new boat and steer it yourself. The world is big and that small lake you have surrounded yourself with is too small for you now.
It’s time for a bigger boat my friends. Cast that vision and get in it and go baby go!
Here’s a picture of me fishing in Wyoming for trout and the other one is the trout I caught! I did it and I’ll succeed at this new adventure too. Why? Because I believe I will. That’s my vision!