Growing up, my dad always made sure that I experience life in its fullness. We were blessed to go on multiple family trips and spend time together. Here are four lessons I learn from our fishing trips:
Preparation is an art. You get out what you put in.
When we go fishing, we wear appropriate clothes and shoes. We bring the right tools — fishing line, hooks, baits, lures, bobbers, sinkers, swivels, needle nose pliers, first aid kit, etc. Some people even go further by looking into the weather and water temperature.
Every tool has a purpose. If I only bring half of what’s necessary, fishing will be more difficult. If I sacrifice the quality of my items, I will pay the price for it. One time I brought a small, cheap but adorable backpack with me. The bag broke when we were on the way, and it was not fun!
John Wooden once said, “when an opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”
Fishing is like life. We gather the right tools and learn the proper techniques. What seemingly looks good in the short run, like my backpack, can actually be useless in the long run.
Manage your pond.
We have a family friend that manages multiple ponds. He harvests the ponds so that the fish in the water can grow. Our brains and our attitude are the ponds of our lives. We have to “manage the pond” so those great ideas can grow.
An adventure can be peaceful.
Fishing is a peaceful adventure. We go with great anticipation and a sense of wonder.
We test our theories and enjoy the process. We don’t know what will happen each time; it is not entirely predictable. Yet, we expect it to be fun and freeing. It is a chance to unplug from the routines of daily life and be rejuvenated.
Life can be like that too. The weather and the “water temperature” of our lives can fluctuate. Many times, there are variables outside of our immediate control. Yet, if we know ourselves, the tools we have at hand, master the right techniques, and take some time to unplug, our hearts can be at peace while waiting.
Have patience with one another and cultivate friendship.
While preparing for our adventures, I learn how my dad approaches a problem and vice versa. My dad is a lot more knowledgeable and detail-oriented when it comes to preparing gears and tools. I make sure that we have our first aid kit, drinking water, and snacks. We don’t compare ourselves to one another. Comparison is a thief of joy, and it is also inefficient. We are stronger together, and teamwork makes the dream work.
Living a good life is like fishing. We hope for peace and harmony.
With our morning coffee, we prepare and set out for what we hope to be a peaceful adventure. We pray for a good catch. We celebrate moments of victory together, and we encourage one another to grow in patience when we don’t see results quickly. At the end of the day, we realize that it’s all about intentionally sharing experiences with the people who matter most.