In fishing (and life) maybe it's the moment- not the catch- that brings good memories

by Jordan Green

I’ve never been much of a fisherman because, quite frankly, I usually find my patience being exhausted quickly.

If I’m spending a day on the dock, I want to have something to show for it. If I walk away empty-handed, I’m liable to be ticked off.

My lament is shared by many.

But plenty of my friends and family members enjoy the sport, and because I love ‘em, I tag along on their fishing escapades.

My friends and I went fishing over the weekend, and I knew I was probably going to have my normal level of luck – or complete lack thereof.

My fishy expeditions usually go like this: Everyone around me brings in enough fish to feed the 5,000, while I’m praying for Jesus to work another miracle. Accordingly, I’ve always had a negative mindset toward fishing.

But on this trip, I decided to change that. Rather than being jealous or upset about my lack of catching, I’d focus on enjoying time with my friends and celebrating their victories with them.

Soon after casting her line, my friend Caitlin caught a nice-sized catfish. She reeled it in proudly and held the fish in the air, giving several hilarious facial gestures as the fish flipped its tail in the air.

Before long, she released it back into the water. My friends Braylon and Saydy had good luck, too, catching some larger catfish and a colorful variety of perch and other little critters.

As I sat on the shoreline, I smiled as my friends reeled them in. I was happy to see them happy. That’s a perspective I think we would all be better off by adopting.

Even when things aren’t going our way, what if we chose to cheer on people who are succeeding?

When we’re down in the dumps, at the end of our rope, or living in whatever other cliché we can think of that conveys misfortune, it’s easy for us to lose sight of the great things happening around us – even to those we love dearly.

When we’re unhappy, we might even tend to shy away from those who are joyful because we feel like we deserve better. What if we shrugged off those selfish traits?

What if, rather than looking inwardly at our problem, we turned outward to focus on the greatness of others? I just happen to think we’d all be more hopeful, helpful and happy. Though a better mindset may not eliminate your financial problems, relationship dilemmas or health issues, it’ll surely help you get your mind off of them, which is precisely what we need to do more often.

I’ve learned this from my own experience: Dwelling on a problem or bad thought never helps it go away. The next time you feel like you’re the one with all the bad luck, remember that even the “luckiest” among us have had shortcomings in life, some of which aren’t even our fault.

But rather than pouting when we’re down and out, let’s focus on those who are having victory. Maybe, just maybe, encouraging them will inspire us to do better ourselves. Need proof that this works? Even though I’m a terrible fisherman, I caught more fish on this expedition than I have in 90% of the trips I’ve been on.

You can call it luck, chance or even positive energy. I, of course, believe in something different.

After years of living with a jealous attitude toward those who were more gifted or “fortunate” than I was in a certain area, I changed my mindset – and the situation changed for the better, too.

The next time you find yourself bobbing along without even a nibbling of hope, take joy in the fact that other people are catching the big ones. Before long, you’ll be reeling in something beautiful.