Learning is the Key to Your SuccessBy Jackie Vogen - October 1, 2007
As a child growing up, I never went fishing; now at age 50, I'm trying to make up for lost time. I've only been fishing for 2 ½ years and I'm trying to learn all game species. It has been an "intense learning phase" for me because I have a strong desire to learn; however, I'm enjoying every moment. The courage of working for something that you believe in, day in and day out, can be difficult, but holds the greatest rewards. My approach is to learn everything that I possibly can about fishing and then take what I've learned out on the lake and apply it.
The best advice and learning tool that I've ever received was from a guide, while out on the lake fishing. To this day I've never forgot his advice: "Listen to what people say". Listening is magnetic and when we listen to people talk we are drawn to their knowledge and knowledge breeds success. When I over hear a conversation about fishing, I can't help but zero in on the lesson that is presenting itself. Most fishermen love to talk and when they know you have a genuine interest in their subject, they'll share their knowledge; their stories inspire me and the conversation process never ends. If you enjoy being with other fishermen, join a fishing club. When you go on fishing trips, talk to the locals in the bait shops, they'll give you information on hot spots and what's working and what's not. Also, another tool is to build a reliable fishing network. Again, by listening, we learn, and this helps us see the big picture and improves our fishing skills.
When I first bought my boat two years ago, first and most importantly, I knew I needed to learn everything that I possibly could learn about my boat; fishing would come later. I took an 8 week course through the Coast Guard Auxiliary on Boating Skills & Seamanship. Also, I took a 4 week course through the U.S. Power Squadron on Boat Smart. I needed to educate myself on how to operate a boat safely and comply with federal and state requirements. One of the key factors to success is being prepared; this is what keeps us out on the lake.
Engaged learning is the key and the interaction can be challenging, but rewarding. Explore new avenues that you were once hesitant to explore, making sure you proceed with caution and safety measures in mind. When we take bits and pieces of information that we've learned, eventually the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place.
Learning is the key to your success, and on going education is a must. I'm not only learning from my successes, but also my downfalls; sometimes the down falls leave you with the most impact.