• Joshua D McVey

Fishing For Success

The story is told about a pilot who always looked down intently on a certain valley in the Appalachians when the plane passed overhead. One day his co-pilot asked, “What’s so interesting about that spot?” The pilot replied, “See that stream? Well, when I was a kid I used to sit down there on a log and fish. Every time an airplane flew over, I would look up and wish I were flying... Now I look down and wish I were fishing.”

I view myself as a very driven person. I’m always looking over the next rise and setting goals for the next mountain to climb. Once I reach a goal, I think, ‘Just a little further.’ I have come to realize it’s not the destination that makes me happy, but the process of accomplishing my goals; the journey.

On my days off, if I don’t have a plan or a list of objectives to accomplish, I feel lost and wasted. I may complain I’m tired, but I feel the ability to say such, is a badge of accomplishment. I’ll see someone having a leisurely conversation with someone and envy them, but then I find myself in such a conversation wondering what I need to do after the conversation. I’m always missing moments to enjoy.

I must discipline myself to be content in the moment. Setting goals or being driven isn’t bad. Missing the joy of the journey or the moment is what’s bad.

I went fishing with my daughter Jade for a field trip last year. Rebecca was ready to go into labor, work was pressuring me to close more sales (as always), and I could think of a dozen different things that needed to be done. I had promised Jade I would go fishing with her and her class, so I went. Jade is now my fishing buddy. She caught fish all day, and I didn’t catch one, until she was loading on the bus with her class. I called from the bank, “Jade!” I was pulling in a fish. “Jade! I caught one!” She turned, waved, and said, “Good Job!”

Jade likes to tell that story because she out-fished me, but also because I was there to fish with her. She and I enjoy fishing, we need to work on baiting the hook, but she will fish with me.

Contentment is learning to be present and enjoy fishing. Finding joy in the moment. It’s also making the best of what we have.

To be the best we can be, we must be real with ourselves and accept what we have been given (talents). We must be content with our strengths and honest about our weaknesses. Wishing we had someone else’s gifts is a waste of time. Wishing is a waste of time.

Success doesn’t come from a love of money. It’s being content with what we have. It’s leveraging our gifts (talents). Being content is not playing it safe. I want to be clear. Content is not accepting sub-standard and giving up in life. It’s not relying on others to fish for us. I want to be very clear here. Content is accepting what we have and working the hand we have been dealt. It’s pursuing the desires of your heart.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.—Psalms 37:3,4

Physicists have discovered a formula for success. Success, or S, is the product of r, the potential value of a given idea, and Q, a person's ability to execute on that idea--i.e., their "Q-factor," or combination of innate talent and skill, which makes them effective or not in their chosen field (Jessica Stillman).

Essentially, if you have a great idea but a low skill level to execute it the impact will be mediocre. However, if you find a great idea that matches your skill level or innate ability the impact will be monumental.

A great example of this is Jeff Bezos. He wanted to be a physicist when he attended Princeton. "Halfway through, I figured out I wasn't smart enough to be a physicist." He said. Instead he switched to business, founded Amazon, and became the world’s richest man (Jessica Stillman).

He was content with his gift. He didn’t keep trying to be a Physicist. He found his passion, his gift, his strength, and succeeded. This was his “Q” factor. This was the desire of his heart, what he was built for.

I believe being content is being present in the moment and honest with ourselves. Goals are good. They are very good when they leverage the things you have found contentment in. That contentment is our “Q” factor in success. Be honest about your strengths, find contentment in them and leverage them into your future. Trust in the Lord and do good.

Trust he has given you all you need to be successful. Do good and He will give you the desires of you heart.

May you see your strengths

May you embrace the moment

May you cherish the fish you catch with the ones you love

This is your moment; be content and leverage it.

In His service and yours,


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