What does fishing have to do with your goals?

I used to love fishing. I don’t get out as much anymore, but I remember one trip at a large lake in central Utah. We had rented a little motor boat from the Marina. The water in this lake was so deep, we had to anchor near the shore and drift out.

It was a great spot. I knew because I worked at the marina and heard all the conversations. It was my day off. But what was interesting about this trip was not the fish. In fact, I can’t remember if I even caught one. What I did catch was a lesson in life I’ll never forget.

Nothing was out of the ordinary. Beautiful day. Light breeze, sunshine. Our lines were in the water and we waited with anticipation. But something was odd. On one side of the boat, the lines started coming in. On the other, the lines went out. Little did we know, the breeze was pushing our boat, ever so slowly. The anchor had not caught and we were drifting.

But it wasn’t until I carefully watched a tree on the shore that I even noticed our position changing. Ever. So. Slowly.

Do you ever feel like you’re drifting? You may not even realize you’re doing it. BUT I can tell you, if you don’t have yourself grounded on something that doesn’t move, you’ll drift. And you’ll only realize it several hundred yards down the shoreline.

A question I like to ask my clients is: what is your default? What I mean by this is, in which direction do you naturally drift? Newton taught us that an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by another force. What is your “natural” motion and what force will pivot you in the right direction?

For most of us, our default is not good. And left to it’s own devices, it will guide you quietly down the wrong path in life. Maybe you’re prone to laziness, anger or overwhelm. Maybe your default is fear. Whatever the case, pay attention to it so you can correct it.

What grounds you are your values, your vision and your goals. With those key elements locked place, you’ll always know if you’re on track or if you’ve drifted. If you haven’t done so already, take some time to write out what’s most important to you. I like to call it a LifePlan Document. This is a living, breathing document that will evolve and change over time as you grow.

Use it as a barometer when opportunity comes your way. It helps you vet out new ideas when you’re tempted to stray. Ideas that can take you off track if they don’t align with what’s most important to you. And if you don’t have this guide and/or don’t use it, you’ll find yourself victim to the whims of the world.

Everyone has something special to sell you. Everyone wants your attention. And they’re screaming for you to look at them. Don’t let the world drift you away from what’s most important to you.