Lesson learned from a fishing guide

I don’t fish nearly as often as I’d like to. Not nearly enough to develop real proficiency at casting a rod and reel. Today was like most of my fishing days — my early casts were most likely to be bad casts until I remembered “the hang of it.” After awhile I let my frustration get to me and I let forth with a couple of choice words, accomplishing nothing but maybe for the release of a little steam and scaring the fish (and my guests).

On the other hand, I noticed how our fishing guide handled his occasional bad cast (and he did have some—anyone who casts a lot is going to have some bad ones). He’d simply reel the line in without any emotion and he’d cast again. Comparing his reaction to mine, I realized our guide was a very wise guy. Firstly, he realized that the bad casts don’t really count in the whole scheme of things. You’re going to have good casts and you’re going to have bad casts. Simply forget the bad ones and move on to the good ones — that’s how you catch fish. And secondly, he realized the most important requirement for catching fish is having your bait in the water, which is impossible to do if you’re fuming and fumbling around worrying about your last bad cast.

Had a bad cast lately? Are you ready to cast again and get your bait back in the water?

Belief precedes action

“The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do.” — As A Man Thinketh

What James Allen means here is that we won’t attempt something unless we have the belief we can accomplish it. He says as much in his book, Above Life’s Turmoil, where he writes, “Belief always precedes action.”

Have you ever had a goal that you just couldn’t get started on – or you got started on it but you couldn’t maintain consistent action towards the goal?

About seven years ago I was living in some very trying times and struggling for some big goals that I’d set for myself. But I just couldn’t seem to stay focused and as time passed by and I’d missed a goal, I’d get more frustrated and start over because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. I repeated this cycle several times and I became a basket case of emotion because I couldn’t get anywhere.

Wayne Dyer, writing in You’ll See It When You Believe It, says, “Your behavior is based upon your feelings, which are based on your thoughts. So the thing to work on is not to change your behavior, but those things inside of your consciousness that we call thoughts. Once your thoughts reflect what you genuinely want to be, the appropriate emotions and the consequent behavior will flow automatically. Believe it, and you will see it!”

As always, it’s our thoughts that are in control and we won’t have the “will to do” until we have the “belief to do.” I’ve had a lot of success in this area using positive visualization and affirmations. In fact, for one extended period of time I told myself several hundred times a day while thinking about a particular goal, “I can do this and I know I can!” It took me a while, but eventually I had enough belief to go for the goal and achieve it. Even now when confronted with a challenging situation I’m likely to hear myself saying, “I can do this and I know I can!”

How powerful are your thoughts of belief? Dr. Maxwell Maltz said, “Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

What are you telling yourself?

“Before a person can accomplish anything of an enduring nature in the world she must first of all acquire some measure of success in the management of her own mind. If a person cannot govern the forces within herself, she cannot hold a firm hand upon the outer activities that form her visible life.” — The Mastery of Destiny

Rob Bremer asks a very important question: “If you had a friend who talked to you like you sometimes talk to yourself, would you continue to hang around with that person?”

How about this thought: What would you do to someone if they talked to your children the way you talk to yourself?

I am constantly amazed at what people say about themselves. I wince when I hear someone I care about say things like, “I’m so stupid” or “Sorry, I’m always late,” because I know it only reinforces a deeply held belief (whether it’s a conscious or subconscious belief). I wince even more when I catch myself saying those kind of things because I know the damage they do. As F.F. Bosworth said, “A spiritual law that few realize is that our confessions rule us. What we confess with our lips dominates our inner being.”

What are you telling yourself? What does that little man (or little woman) on your shoulder say to you? Is that who you really want to be?

In our phenomenal Conquer Fear Tele-Seminar, Lisa Jimenez taught a technique that I think has application here. For the next couple of weeks wear a rubber band on your wrist. Every time you catch yourself saying something to yourself (or about yourself) that is not in keeping with who you want to be, stop whatever you’re doing immediately. Then CONFESS the Truth about you while you’re snapping the rubber band on your wrist.

For instance, if you catch yourself saying, “I’m always late,” stop and say to yourself “I am thankful that I am becoming more conscious of the importance of being on time, and I am improving every day” (snap the rubber band). Do it several times to reinforce the affirmation.

Read the following words everyday until they are ingrained in your soul. Then you will be diligent about what you say to yourself. They’re from Napoleon Hill, writing in the classic Think and Grow Rich: “It is a well-known fact that one comes, finally, to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement is true or false. If a man repeats a lie over and over, he will eventually accept the lie as truth.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

It’s never too late

Feel too old…too broke…too tired…to chase your dream? Maybe you just need a role model.

Although he hadn’t made a movie in 36 years and had never really “acted” before, George Burns won wide acclaim and an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in The Sunshine Boys. It was his first Academy Award. He was 80-years-old.

Ocie Tune King had always wanted to complete her college degree after leaving school at the end of her junior year. She finally realized her dream in 1999, graduating from West Virginia University at the age of 94.

Golda Mier was 71 when she was elected Prime Minister of Israel — the first woman so elected. Ronald Reagan was the oldest person ever elected President of the U.S. at age 69.

Tim Frisby waited 20 years to fulfill a lifetime dream. He was a 39-year-old freshman on the 2004 varsity football team at the University of South Carolina.

Maxcy Filer was 61-years-old before he passed the California Bar Exam after failing 47 times over 25 years.

J.C. Penney lost his entire fortune at age 45 but bounced back to endow many charitable causes through his James C. Penney Foundation, which is still active today. He was still coming in to his office at age 95.

Harland Sanders was 62-years-old, with nothing more than his $105 social security check and a recipe for fried chicken, when he founded franchise giant Kentucky Fried Chicken.

At 47, Martina Navratilova became the oldest woman to ever win a match at Wimbledon. Proving that no matter which way the ball bounces…it’s never too late.