Fishing With the BIG Net: How to Catch YOUR Dreams Today!
by Jim M. Allen
You can't catch a big fish if you set out trying to catch a small one -- at least that's the lesson our Chief Attitude Engineer learned as a lad during one fishing adventure. The same goes for life..
As a young boy growing up in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri, I spent many a summer evening fishing with my father and grandfather. Unfortunately, a father-son fishing expedition in our family, no matter how well planned, had a positive effect on only one small group in the rugged Missouri wilderness... whatever school of fish happened to surround the Allen boat whenever it was afloat.
On summer morning me, my grandfather and my father set sail upon a nearby lake and fished well into the twilight of the cool evening. Young and full of the short attention of youth, I'd long since given up on fishing, but father and grandfather casted away, determined to reel in the prize catch of the day that had eluded them thus far.
So we sat in the boat, the only sound the quiet ripple of the waves against the side of the boat and the whisperish hiss of the gas lantern that sat on the bow, skipping a pale white light across the water.
The silence broke as my father leaned back and yelled, "I got one! I got one!" Grandfather and I were quickly alert and eager to get this fish aboard. Grandpa so much so that he dropped his own rod and reel and tried stepping to the front of the boat where my father sat, furiously cranking away on his fishing reel. The boat rocked harder, dangerously so, and I grabbed the sides as if all the weight and concentration of a nine-year-old boy could steady her.
My father fought hard with the fish, the rod bending into a 'U' as the fish resisted every pull and yank on the line. 'Grab the net,' he yelled. "GRAB THE NET!"
Grandfather stopped, now standing straight up in our crazily unstable little boat, twisted around and grabbed one of the two fishing nets we'd brought with us. As he did so, the boat wobbled just a bit too much and that warmly reassuring gas lantern did a nice dive into the lake.
For one brief moment everything stopped as me, my grandfather, my father, and the fish on my father's line stared at the rapidly sinking Coleman.
Dad stopped yelling "Grab the net!" just long enough to yell "Grab the lamp!" and returned to his feud.
Stuck at the back of the boat, I reached futilely into the water to grab ahold of the lamp. My grandfather quickly wobbled forward with the net. The fish was in sight, flopping atop the water, just next to the boat. My father pulled once more, jerking the fish out of the water. Grandfather thrust the net beneath it triumphantly!
It was only after my father had eased the tension on the line that he realized that the fish was far too big for the net. Unlucky for him, the fish realized it as well and twisted just the right way to loose himself of the hook, tumbled so to miss getting caught in that little old net, and turned to avoid landing in the boat.
The last time we saw him, the fish was swimming around the light of a sunken gas lantern, telling his friends about the one that got away.
Making our way back to the dock, my father, shaking his head in exasperation, asked "Why didn't you grab the big net, Dad?" To which Grandpa simply replied, "I didn't think he'd be that big!'
There's a lesson in that story. Two, actually. The first lesson is: Don't go fishin' with them Allen boys. The second lesson is: If you want to catch a big fish, you've got to use the big net. Otherwise, the big fish will slip away from you.
So whether you're fishing for fish, or a new job, or some other goal, start thinking big. REAL BIG!
Don't go out there intending to catch a few fish. Go out there intending to catch all of the really big fish.... You may very well catch them!