This past weekend I had the opportunity to try something totally new for the first time — fly fishing. While I’ve fished ever since I can remember, I’ve never been fly fishing / had only had a fly rod in my hand for a total of ten minutes prior to the weekend. To set the stage a little further, I’ve done A LOT of fishing. As in I’ve probably come close to the 10,000 hour rule. So you’d think that it would come pretty easy….
It didn’t. While many of the skills that I have learned over my years on the water were transferrable, the actual act of casting with the rod was entirely new. For the first time in ages I had the opportunity to step in to the role of a true “beginner”. It’s a very frustrating place to be! For every successful cast there were 10, or 20, or 30 that were unsuccessful. But not failures. Each one brought a little improvement. Each one taught a new lesson. Each one reminded me that it takes a lot of hard work and concentration to master a new task. Each one reminded me that being a beginner is simultaneously exciting, rewarding, and frustrating.
From 9-5 each day we are normally in a role where we are at the other end of the continuum from a beginner. We often step through tasks mindlessly with no appreciate for their difficulty, our ability, and the value we can provide. We don’t open our eyes and minds the way a beginner does. We don’t take the time to experiment, fail, get up, and do it again and again. And that’s a shame as the beginner learns, grows, and lives so much more fully.
With that in mind:
How would your day be different if you looked at it through the eyes of a beginner?
As always, thanks for the time.
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Special thanks to Dave Kempka for graciously offering to introduce me to fly fishing and having the patience to help me learn, grow, and live more fully!
I have missed too many opportunities and new experiences because I dislike the “beginner” feeling. Of course, I realize that is silly since everything I do is the result of being a beginner at some point. But, there it is.
Fly fishing is something my wife says she wants to try. Some day we will. Then, we will be wader-deep in “beginner.”