Leaning Pine

“Grandmas are moms with lots of practice.” Author unknown

 “In the next three cranks, one, two . . . and there he is,” I exclaim with glee and pride! The nice bend in my light action rod and reel is evidence that my prediction is exactly right. Archie and I are crappie fishing on Mitchell Lake, which is part of the Coosa River tributary in the State of Alabama.  The ‘Leaning Pine’ is a special fishing spot named by my dad’s family. A large pine tree on the shore edge, that had fallen into the water, created a great fishing spot appropriately named by my family fishermen.

That particular fishing trip with Archie occurred decades ago. It was not my first time to fish at the Leaning Pine. And, it was not the first time for crappie fishing. Nor the first for using jigs and all the other knowledge gathered over many fishing trips. This was not my first rodeo.

On that particular day, I was using a small jig and a very slow retrieve. Not the first time of doing that. The fish were located in a school about 10 feet below the boat. That was not the first time I had found fish located at the Leaning Pineat that specific depth. The light action rod and reel was not a first, either. The simple pattern was that nothing was a first. It was all duplicated from past efforts, research and practice.

To the amazement of my fishing partner that day, I caught 13 crappies on 13 casts. And, the last half of that accomplishment included my vocal predictions on which crank of my reel the fish would strike. Pretty remarkable, even for someone like me, who began fishing at age seven.

The success of that particular morning on Mitchell Lake was actually a planned and previously experienced event. A routine that had been practiced many times in fishing with jigs. The slow retrieve and the location (the Leaning Pine) were components ensuring my success.  Past research into the color and size of the jig were additional decisions that were integral to my feat. I came armed with knowledge, skills and practice. And, it showed.

“Always realize that you can get better. Your best work has not been done yet. Practice! Practice! Practice!” Sage advice from Les Brown

I have been on many fishing trips. And, I have had those days when we did not catch many fish. And yes, even some days when we caught none. But, most of the days, success has been a common result. And planning was vital to that success., which was not a surprise. Expected.  Research, proper equipment, location and skills developed from much practice are all part of regular accomplishments on my fishing trips.

Does a fishing achievement or accomplishment in some hobby provide clues to success in other parts of our lives? Yes. That fruitful fishing day with my friend Archie has been duplicated many times in business and other areas of my life. Over my life-time, I have heard many people express how they never enjoyed fishing when growing up because they never caught fish. No surprise here. If you keep doing something in which there is never any success, most of us will not repeat that task. Are you encountering any areas of unfulfillment now? Maybe you are not failing, but results are just average.

Fishing may not be among your interests. But you do have important compartments of life where you truly want to be successful.  Is it still possible today to elevate floundering results in the most important areas? The simple answer is, yes. But getting there will require purposeful work.

I love fishing. The planning, doing and the actual catching. Even cleaning fish is fun for me.  And, because I love it, I have become better at doing it. And, that makes it even more fun. Are you having a great deal of fun at doing the things that are most important to you?

Perhaps it is time to

Develop a best practice. Execute what works.

For my fishing trips, my successful routine includes:

  • Utilizing knowledge that I have gathered through research
  • Repeating what has worked in the past
  • Using the right equipment
  • Relying on developed skills
  • Executing at the right time and location

If you are not succeeding at the level you believe is possible, then you might find these questions helpful:

  • Do you have adequate knowledge needed for success in what you are pursuing? Have you done applicable research?
  • Do you have a successful routine?
  • Have you identified the right location and time of day for concentration?
  • Do you have the best equipment?
  • Have you developed the appropriate skills?
  • Have you put in enough time and practice

This may be the right time to enjoy progress by enacting a proven successful principle, whether you are fishing or enjoying another hobby. Whether in retirement or at work. Whether with family or friends. For the most fun . . .

Develop a best practice. Execute what works!