Fishing for Opportunities

The other day, while casting a line, I began to think about how fishing and discovering opportunities are alike.

If you want to "land" a few golden opportunities -- you have to go fishing! Whether at home, work, church, or civic organization -- you can catch a few golden opportunities, if you apply certain laws of fishing.

1. Go where they are.
Nobody has ever caught a fish in the bathtub or the backyard wading pool -- and you won't catch opportunities by waiting around for them to come to you. The chances of catching a fish increase greatly when you go fishing. How much energy and time are you investing in future possibilities? How often do you look for the opportunities around you? Where do you want to go in life? Does the path you are currently following lead to that destination?

2. Keep your eyes open. Good fishermen are always watching for signs of a hungry fish. Often, a causual observer will not even notice -- but an angler will see the slightest indication. When fishing for opportunities -- keep your eyes wide open! Some folks wouldn't recognize a good opportunity if it bit them on the toe! What opportunities are before you right now? What are you going to do about them?

3. Think possibility! Whenever I take my kids out fishing, we expect to catch something wonderful this time. We talk about the record muskies and the beautiful walleye we're anticipating. Even if we don't land any, it's fun to dream. When fishing for opportunities, you will maintain enthusiasm as you think about what could possibly be. Are you settling for small thoughts, or are you stretching you brain with big possibilities? Are you content with catching minnows, when you could be landing muskies?

4. Keep casting. If you get skunked, keep casting. many novice fishermen decide that fishing's just not for them because they don't catch anything right away. That happens with opportunities too. You have to keep plugging away. Keep looking for new, creative ideas. Keep your mind open -- and sooner or later, the big one will sink the bobber. Are you discouraged? Tempted to quit? Don't give up! Keep casting!

5. You can't catch all the fish. Don't mope and pout about missed opportunities. Every great fisherman has stories of the "one that got away." Missing an opportunity should simply be motivation for catching the next one. Are you spending too much time bemoaning the opportunity that passed you by? Bait your hook, and go fishing again!

6. Use the right bait. Different kinds of opportunities require different approaches. What kind of opportunity are you trying to land? Are you going about it the best way possible? If you are not landing the right kind of opportunities, perhaps you are going about it in the wrong way. Think again! Evaluate!

7. Take someone with you. Fishing with friends is a lot more fun than fishing alone. As you go after new opportunities, be sure you take others with you on the journey. Who is in the boat with you?

8. Timing is everything. The fish bite better at certain times than others -- and the same thing applies with potential opportunities. What are the natural "windows of opportunity" in your situation? How are you making the most of them?

9. Celebrate! Celebrate! Catching a wonderful fish is cause for great celebration -- and landing a great opportunity is too. Take a moment to rejoice -- and then toss out the line again!


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