Sometimes, Despite Our Best Efforts, Life Gives Us a Mud fish

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The anticipation of seeing a Florida large mouth bass break the water and jump is thrilling. When a bass breaks the water and tries to throw the hook, you know you have an awesome fight on your hands. The string can break, the hook can come loose or the fish can just figure out a way to not get reeled in. Catching a ten pound plus large mouth bass like the one in the picture below is a bucket list item for many (I catch and release so this is actually a replica of the ten pounder I caught).

photo (5)

Recently, some friends from out-of-state were in our area and I offered them the opportunity to fish for large mouth bass in our lake. They were excited and accepted. We fished off our dock and had moderate success. Suddenly one of them got a big fish on one of their rods and it began to take string out against the drag. I tightened the drag a little and coached him as we slowly began to bring the fish closer to the dock. It was a great fight and the possibility that we had a ten pound lunker bass on the line began to enter my mind.

I kept expecting it to break the water and shake its huge head to try to shake the hook loose but it never did. When the fish finally got close enough to see, I knew why. I was so disappointed when I realized it was just a mud fish. Don’t get me wrong…my friend had fun catching it, but for a while, I thought we might have had a trophy fish on the line. We threw it back and kept on fishing.

Often we are expecting the world and just get a little moon. We are expecting to be selected for a promotion or make the team and instead we are handed a “maybe next time” answer. How do we deal with life when it throws mud fish at us?

The best answer is almost insulting in its simplicity. You move on and never look back. It may be best for you to try again next year or move on to a new job…but moving forward is the key. If we let our disappointments win the day, we succumb to the temptation to put our fate in the hands of others. Though you may feel singled out and that the world conspires against you, know that everyone on this planet faces disappointments.

I suppose there are the cases where you should in fact, eat crow (or mud fish in this case) because you have been overly zealous, ambitious, haughty, cocky, or just plain selfish and you get what you deserve. Sometimes even in marriage, the bass you marry turns out to be a mud fish and you can’t really throw him back. You just have to make lemonade out of lemons.

But in most cases, when mud fish end up on your plate, you need to bite the bitter pill and just keep moving forward even if the only reason for doing so is to stay in charge of your life.

HighFive Your Life Principle: Don’t allow disappointments to control your life. Move on…keep fishing!

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