Willing to go?

The other day I was out fishing.  I was trying out some new tackle I'd received for father's day.  I had made a couple of casts when one hit.  I could tell that it was a good size fish by the way it was fighting and it was pulling line back out too.  I was playing it and hoping that it would show itself. Then it did one of those flying through the air like a ballerina moves.  It was beautiful.  We continued our struggle.  I was giving it slack when it needed it and reeling in when it tired.  Then, it decided to bolt for the open water.  This would typically have not been a problem.  I would usually let it run and give it the slack it needed.  But this time, I felt I couldn't.  If I would have given it the slack to run it have taken the line under a low foot bridge (that I couldn't pass under) and I would have had a heck of a time playing it then.  So, I grimaced and tried to bring it in the last couple of feet.  Then with the extra tension on the line the fish did a 180 degree turn and freed it self.  Retrieving the expelled lure intact was my only consolation.  Nothing else was biting that day.

There is a lesson here and it has been sticking with me so I feel compelled to put it in bits.  In contract work we are always out fishing for clients.  Sometimes we get a bite, a requirements gathering meeting and a request for quote.  As we're getting into the details of the requirements and design we see the prize.  The big bass in mid-air.  As we continue working on the quote, we have to struggle with do we want to go where it's taking us?  Are we willing to stretch and work under the foot bridge?  Or are we going to pull too hard and lose the client?


What areas of our life do we need to evaluate our willingness to go where we're being pulled?

The fish aren't biting.

Well, last night the fish weren't biting at all.  It's been over a year since I've gone fishing and not caught at least one or two fish.  I was fishing in a new area for me at an odd time.  I tried several different lures and varied the presentation.  No go.  Last Sunday, I pulled a 16" 2lb bass from the same waters.  So what was different?  Different time of day, different temperatures and slightly different lures.


What can I learn from this?  That even though yesterday we used a technique and it paid off big doing the same thing today may not have the same return on investment.  We need to be constantly changing, improving adapting.  (Different lures and presentations.)  And even then we still may not see the return we want.  However, giving up isn't an option.  If anything the lack of result kept me out longer than I had intended.  Maybe the lesson there was cut your losses and get on to something more productive.  I keep thinking if I had gone back to a more familiar location I would have at least caught something.

Kind of like Extreme Programming versus Waterfall.  Even if you don't get to the target you had hoped you at least have some deliverable for the effort that was put in.