That old saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
But there’s a third option:
Eat while you learn how to fish.
In other words, what if you’re fed with what you need now – while you learn how to best fish for yourself?
Time and time again, I encounter amazingly talented and dream-driven men and women of all ages who feel “stuck.”
They’re stuck in reluctant pursuit of their personal goals and dreams because they feel that they’ve not really learned “how to fish.” They worry that there’s some tactic their missing. An aspect of the philosophy they’ve overlooked or a component of the “right” strategy they have not yet mastered.
They ask for advice on how to do it.
They get sucked into another “17 Ways How To Fish More Productively” post on Lifehacker. They vociferously read every Seth Godin book on fishing and choosing yourself and the modern economy.
And while it’s absolutely revolutionary that such rich, liberating resources are so readily available in our modern world, the dangerous pitfall that looms:
An amazingly talented but reluctant dream-pursuer never learns how to fish for herself.
She is fed inspiration, TEDx talk after TEDx talk. He is fed motivation, conference after conference. She builds a cache of advice in hundreds of bookmarked “how-to” pieces from leading experts on every array of topic she loves.
Endless, readily-available resources, advice and guidance are not what teach you how to fish.
Advice and resources are the feeding part of the equation. They feed you inspiration, motivation, insights and stories that can literally endlessly be consumed and no amount of change will happen until you step your feet to the edge of the water and start fishing for yourself.
In today’s world, advice is never lacking.
There’s ten million voices and opinions, and thousands more possibilities and considerations and options and choices and decisions.
But the wall that blocks change and hinders experience and denies artistry and stagnates dreams is the same fundamental fear and worry of the unknown that’s as old and as basic as time itself.
The wall of fear is not unique.
It’s not that you’re an unfair victim of life.
It’s not that others know better than you and are smarter than you or more accomplished than you — or that their followers, fame, money and acclaim make everything easy as pie.
The wall of fear is a fundamental truth: it’s the the nature of life that we all have to come to accept. Tomorrow is forever unknown and the decisions we make can never be justified tomorrow before we make them today — and continually live by them, honor them and own up to them, no matter the outcome.
Fear is what puts the breaks on so many letting their honest, amazing talents shine. The uncertainty that lies before them — something that we hope we can eventually prepare “enough” for, but never do — keeps dreams on hold while the clock keeps ticking.
That’s the tricky thing about learning and growth:
For all the book-knowledge, expert advice and how-to recommendations we feel so comfortable acquiring, in the end, when (and how often) we endeavor though the wall of the unknown is the greatest teacher of all.
Eat while you learn how to fish.
That’s what I believe in. I believe that we can learn “how to” do what we desire and get that much closer to making our dreams happen while serving ourselves with the proper nourishment, right now.
Eating while you learn how to fish means feeding your body, mind and soul with richness and health that you require — simple but limited portions of inspiration, motivation and advice that help you but don’t stuff your face so full that you can’t take the necessary time to risk, try, create and do new things — what truly propels your learning and growth, and teaches you how to flourish over the course of your life.
You’re fed daily support and accountability. Weekly discussions with supportive peers in our private community. You eat up inspiration in live interactive workshops; devour actionable-motivation from weekly writing prompts and feast on wisdom and expertise in guest author interviews.
While you enjoy that meal — right here, right now, and over the next three months — you teach yourself how to fish.
You teach yourself alongside helpful peers, me, outside experts and authors who want to see you succeed brilliantly.
You explore what means and mediums you love and enjoy; how trying new tactics and strategies can improve what you’re already great at or how experimentation with a new style might open your life and business and career up to something completely different and new.
When you learn how to fish, you get fed.
And because your needs for nourishment are met, you can spend your time fishing to feed your family and friends; your freelancing clients and customers; your blog readers and digital tribe. You can feed the social cause you believe in, or feed yourself enough to finally escape the 9-5 that isn’t serving your life’s purpose.
If you want to make 2013 your year, you’re invited to become a member of the Literati: a private writing community of amazing men and women who support one another as they each pursue goals, dreams and freedom in their lives.
I promise you that this group will support you. All that’s required is a bit of effort and consistency.
Show up, and you’ll be fed.
You will cultivate your inner strength, stability and the peace of mind that you need. You’ll discover the means within yourself that you require to flourish.
Then you take over and start fishing for yourself.
And alongside an community of like-minded and supportive peers — and through our deep, rich learning curriculum — you will be fishin’ like a pro in no time.
But it has to start somewhere. And somewhere is always starts today.
Want to eat while you learn?
After all, the journey is the reward.
Flickr photo credit: MyFWCmedia