I hope you enjoyed the video last week from the late British philosopher, Alan Watts,“What if Money was no Object”. You can access the video here if you missed out. It is a great 3 minute video, forcing you to think about your dreams and passions, outside the implications of the almighty dollar.
My experience with this question involves fishing trips. Over the years I have been on countless fishing trips with groups of three, up to groups of twelve. I have been on fifty to sixty trips in that last ten years, probably more. I can tell you, this question almost always comes up in some form.
It usually sounds like this – What if you won the lottery? What would you do? What would you do tomorrow if you know you couldn’t fail? What is your dream job? Are you happy with your life?
These are interesting, even intoxicating questions, but most are asked with a hint of doubt. Nobody I know wins the lottery. Nobody really expects anyone to act on the answer, if there is one.
Most responses start with a pause, as if anybody can even get in touch with their passions and dreams any longer. Dreams faded so far into the background, they can’t even be recalled.
So, why on a fishing trip do these questions get thrown out there, in a cavalier sort of way?
I have a theory.
Try organizing a fishing trip with 12 guys. Most of them will show up an hour late. Half of them still on their cell phones closing out business for the day.
The usual rush to throw gear in the car and get on the road takes way longer than necessary, but hey, everyone is excited, not sure they brought everything needed.
The drive to the river consists of catching up. How are the kids and job? What’s new? You know the superficial, obligatory questions. Everyone hoping we will be out of cell phone range soon and emails will stop pouring in on their smartphone.
The first day of fishing feels rushed. Everyone is excited, like trying to cram four days of fun into one.
We get on the river and finally, you can feel the tension slowly lifting.
Cell phones have been put away, at least for now. The river is crystal clear, the sun is out and the air is fresh.
Someone hooks a fish and game on. Energy shifts, the action items due next week are long forgotten.
Day 2. Everything has slowed down a bit. Usually, at this point everyone has caught a few fish, so that goal has been met.
The pressure is off. The point of a fishing trip is to catch fish, right. But once accomplished, a lull occurs. More space is created and guys have time to get to know each other a little bit better.
Here is where it starts.
The questions are no longer superficial. Everyone wants to know a little more. A little more of each other’s story.
Stories start to get thrown around. Great memories are re-lived and smiles abundant.
These just aren’t any stories. These stories have meaning. Deep meaning. You can tell by the way they are told. The animation and excitement is evident.
The stories represent a time, when adventure was paramount, anything was possible and dreams were to be lived.
The stories represent strong connections to the past. The past, where desires still burned brightly.
The question usually shows up right about this time.
Space and Memories
See, it really has nothing to do with the fishing. Yes, some guys get all pumped up about the actual fishing. (I can and still do.) Some guys just get pumped about being out of cell phone range and could care less about the fishing. In fact, some of them don’t even like to fish.
The fishing trip creates space. Space from their everyday lives and responsibilities. A chance to clear the decks, so to say.
The fishing was just the activity to create space. In time, that space turned into memories and a longing for forgotten desires buried by the urgency of today.
Once space is created, it is easier to remember. Remember when dreams and passions were possible.
A time of freedom and adventure.
What are you doing to create space? Space in your day, your week, your month, your life?
What desires and passions from the past have been buried by today’s responsibilities?
What have you forgotten about yourself that you know is true, but not being lived out in your life today?
I know, these are deep questions. Sometimes the answers are elusive and difficult to formulate.
Maybe you just need to go fishing.
PS – Looking for ways to create space and remember those deep desires. Go to my coaching page here and request a Lay of the Land questionnaire. Once completed, I offer a complimentary session to get you pointed in the right direction. What are you waiting for?