Tips for Fishing and Living # 3 6

Tip #36:

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”

                                                                                                                   Doug Larson

Does this seem contradictory? Actually, it is right on and crystal clear. We cannot afford to not slow down, and not bring some meditation into our lives, especially if we are too busy. If we want our lives to have quality and meaning this is a must. Most people don’t practice meditation because they believe they’re too busy, which is precisely the reason to do so.

 Some will tell you they don’t know how they’d be able to do so; how they’d find room in their full and over-crowded lives. They say there’s just no time available. Everyone gets exactly 24 hours each day. No more; no less. You don’t find an extra hour or two out on some sidewalk like you might find lost change. So what do you do about this? If you had a pie chart with the various wedges allotted to all of the activities and tasks of your given day, the pie would be filled. They’re won’t be an empty wedge just waiting around to be filled with “down time.”

 You have to cram it in! You wedge the new or additional task right smack into the midst of all the others. When you do this here’s what will happen. At least one current activity, or some, or even all the other wedges, will get pushed over. You’ll be stealing some – or even all of the time previously allotted to something(s) else. You’ll do without one or two, or you’ll do less of them. In other words, you’ll create a new wedge and it will cause the rest of your other activities to shift.

 Who knows? One or more might drop out completely. Do you need that TV time? Or so much of it? Do you have to keep your place so clean, or clean it as often? Maybe you’ll forgo the amount of sleep you thought you needed when the early morning workout you have now inserted gives you more energy than that “extra” sleep did.

 Let’s divide all that we take on into four categories:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important and Non-urgent
  3. Unimportant and Urgent
  4. Unimportant and Non-urgent

 If we’re truly honest we’ll recognize we spend lots of time and energy doing things that are unimportant, as well as, non-urgent. While we’re putting off important matters, they eventually become urgent. Then they need more attention as they are now pressing issues, whereas had we handled them before they arose to the urgent level, would have required less time and/or attention.

 Most of us know important things avoided don’t go away. They become important plus urgent. This ought to make us proactive, but with a busy life we usually remain stuck in old negative patterns. A reflective life makes deceiving ourselves more difficult. We’re less prone to putting out a lot of bush fires because we’ve made better, substantive changes. Driving your car with worn tires while carrying around a flat spare in your trunk because you didn’t bother to fix or replace your last flat is a lousy plan that cannot end well. Your too busy life will come to a complete and abrupt stop out there on the highway.

 Even people who attend churches, synagogues or mosques typically don’t spend time in reflection and meditation. They may recite learned prayers, and they might tell God what they want and hope for, but they haven’t likely learned to slow down to just listen. People who are committed to stand at the edge of a lake or along a stream, or are willing to be knee high in the water, are people who more than likely know of the importance of stilling one’s mind and of being quiet.

I know people who have to have a radio playing or the TV on even while they’re taking a shower or just shaving. They must have some background sound/noise going on constantly. They seem unable to tolerate being alone. They avoid being with just themselves; with their own inner thoughts. It’s something they treat as an unpleasant experience and must be avoided. I suspect it’s mostly because they tell themselves such terrible things. They are poor company to be with given all that negative self-talk. If they said these sorts of things out loud about other people they could be arrested or sued for liable. And of course these terrible thoughts are all lies!

Another method to avoid listening to the inner voice is with the news. Some folks are news addicts. Don’t even get me started. These poor people are killing themselves with the bombardment of negativity. They end up feeling defeated and downtrodden by the massive amount of negativity ingested. Much of the so-called news is gossip. It’s a sinkhole of toxicity that goes on and on endlessly polluting one’s mind. It’s like eating junk food all the time and wondering why you’re getting cavities, or outright poor health!

Our frenetic obsession with being successful is part and parcel to the treadmill of a busy and unreflective lifestyle. But success isn’t what we make it out to be. And true success only can come about from confidence. Successful and confident people avoid doing certain things.

Here’s a few things they skip:

  1. They don’t seek attention and praise or become defensive.
  2. They refuse to make excuses or hide behind indecision.
  3. They’re not get downtrodden by feedback.
  4. They don’t feel they’re in competition with others.
  5. They’re not afraid to take a stand or shy from failure and setbacks.
  6. They don’t do negative self-talk and they avoid negative energy.
  7. They don’t talk only about themselves and don’t require permission to act.

But here’s the thing: Confident and successful people are able to avoid such things, because they cultivate better practices. They are able to do so because they are reflective people. A habit of self-reflection cultivates self-aware. Self-awareness best comes, first and foremost, by slowing down, and making reflection an essential ingredient of one’s daily life.  A few of these people are fisherpersons.

At the edge of the river bed there is a chance. There is that possibility for some quiet; and for nothingness. Out there in the quiet can come connection with the divine – your connection with the divine. But don’t take my word for it. Go experience it yourself. There’s a vast difference between reading about the Grand Canyon and actually being there at the top of the North Rim and first-handedly experiencing a sunset.

Your personal “river” might be at some coffee shop. It could be up in your attic, or maybe it’s on some beach, or a nearby mountain top. It might be your own backyard garden you planted and have been watching over. It literally can be any place that facilitates you quieting down. It will be wherever the interior and exterior noise subside, so that you get to hear the voice of god. You’d be amazed by what is there for you! You’ll be blown away by the quiet whispering that lingers within and is telling you, “how incredible you are.” Most times as you go about life you’re missing what you’d otherwise be utterly stopped in your tracks by. You’d hear that voice that says, “You are my heart’s delight.”