Don’t Misset The Hook On Life

As seen in The Guys Fishing Weekly – Subscribe Here

I may be the king of going fast. Ok, fine. I surely am the prince. Nah you are right, I am just another run of the mill guy who moves through life a little too quickly.

Whether it is at work, I like to get things done for the sake of crossing things off and getting ahead, errors or not. Or racking up speeding tickets in my youth. Anything to show progress and movement.

Other times, when I am “relaxing” or playing with my daughter, supposedly moving at a slower pace, my mind is racing. Hopping from thought to thought, idea to idea, memory to memory. I struggle to stay in the moment.

This type of habit creeps into my fishing too. Even 20+ years into chasing trout on the fly, this guy can set the hook way too fast, either launching a 4 inch brookie to the next hole down the river, or dislocating jaws of a great catch.

“You should have seen it… May have been the biggest fish I have ever hooked!”

It all seems to happen when nothing is going on, and the strike catches me by surprise. I get jumpy. I get impatient. My mind is wondering. I am not present. A clear sign, I am here for the catching not the fishing.

But this is a weak approach to ‘catching.’ Erratic, aggressive, quick. It is a recipe for missing a lot of fish. In some ways, this is exactly what happens in life. We go too fast, too hard, too quickly searching for the next thing.

In parenting we look forward to the next milestone our toddler crosses, or the next trophy they will win, rather than relishing in that first step that will never happen again.

Or take our careers for example. After a promotion, we barely let the ink dry on our new business cards before we are demanding more of ourselves.

And while there may be some real benefits from this talent stacking and hard charging way of life, there are many things you will miss. Times you may never get to go back and relive.

I write this partly for you, the reader, but also as a message to myself.

I go too quickly through life. I don’t stop and smell the wild sage brush enough. I need to slow down and pick one thing rather than hop from one shiny new idea to another.

But as you and I chase our next dopamine hit, we miss things. Whereas if we just focused on one idea and gave it our full effort, we would probably actually succeed. If we focused on the moment, and watched our kid play ball, we may just fully witness a memory worth telling their kid one day.

This is the one life change that is hardest. But, life’s highest scorecard demands it.

Our time here isn’t about stacking, counting, or growing. We don’t get to take any of that with us to the grave. There is only one thing that even has a chance to come with us after death, and that is your memories. The longer we sit in a moment, reflect on it happening, or celebrate the win, the more engrained it becomes in our soul. And with that the better chance we get to take it with us.

It is never fun to round out writing with depressing death talk, but we all need a good reminder now and then… So, here it is:

Don’t misset the hook on your life.

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