Tips for Fishing and Living # 6

Tip # 6

“Listen to the sound of the river and you will get a trout.” Irish proverb

A certain women’s college basketball coach has tried to explain that she does more than take gifted and extremely talented athletes into her program. This coach gets these gifted and extremely talented players to play ball with the certainty that must ultimately come from within. When one is able to do so, such a player brings the level of their play up into legionary states, not only for themselves, but also for each and every member of the team. When the scouts go about recruiting players they look for this capacity; this something extra; let’s call it a confidence and vision within the prospective player. You cannot teach this; but great coaches can cultivate it. The truth is all people have this capacity in some aspects. It’s just too often ignored or shunted. Some might think of this confidence and vision as conceitedness or about being boastful. This way of thinking is part of the problem. It helps to foster a general “holding back” of greatness. Actually it is a form of modest. Michael Jordan knew he was a great basketball player. It would have been false modesty for him to suggest he was just “so-so.”

So much of living a life is utilizing a combination of both skill and art. Mastery comes when one initially is willing to put in the long, hard work to develop certain skills to a high level. Staying with this basketball metaphor we all know of some of the truly great ones of various teams, and of how these master players were the ones that came early to practices, and then stayed late, to improve a jump shot, or bring up his or her foul line shooting. These players demanded nothing but the very best from themselves. Once they had a discipline for building and improving their skill set, then the art of playing came about. When this student of basketball or whatever career or life endeavor that one is pursuing, learns the basics really well, and even has a method to keep on top of them, they must also learn to put all that technique he or she has learned behind, and then at game time, let er’ rip!

Perhaps it all boils down to trusting one’s inner voice, or to listen to our core instincts and intuition. Most of us fail miserably at this. Instead we shunt it out. We close ourselves off from that part of us that truly “knows” what course of action to take. Instead we give full rein to all the voices that tear us down or talk us out of our dreams. I call these inner voices vultures that soar and bombard us with all the negativity and fear-based notions. Usually we hear of these thoughts as being reasonable or logical.  Listening to the river is more than about catching trout. It is all about having a most amazing life. We are called to be unreasonable. Living an extraordinary life is what were created for. The life that everyone is entitled to is available, if only they shut off the noise screaming inside, and listen to “the river.”