Fish in the River

“I once gave up fishing; it was the most terrifying weekend of my life.”
- Anonymous

A river never sleeps and is always participating in the never-ending production and consumption cycle of river life.

All thoughts are fished from the Universal River of Consciousness which is brimming in its abundance.  Fishing practice starts at our birth and only ends when we close our eyes and say goodbye to this earth.  This leaves us with no choice while we are here.  Giving up fishing is not an option so we must constantly work at refining our fishing techniques throughout our entire lives.      

Let us take a trip down the Illinois River for a one of a kind fishing experience.  No fishing rod, net or other complicated fishing apparatus is required. 

The Asian Silver carp fish which originally came from China can be found in abundance on this river.  Any disturbance like the passing of a boat with an engine causes these fish to be startled.  The phenomenon is beautiful to watch as schools of silver carp fish leap to great heights out of the water.  Stunned fishermen and passengers find themselves shunning these ‘flying fish’ which slam at them from all angles sometimes with such force and at such speeds that the passengers on the boat could be injured.  An abundance of fish literally drops into the bottom of the boat at their feet and there is absolutely no reason to even toss a fishing line!

Great ideas come to us like fish from the Illinois River. We are often stunned by the force with which these ideas come at us, left and right. Creative thoughts and wisdom is easily replenished by the natural cycle of abundance. We take what we need for our consumption, when we need it, trusting that there will be plenty more ideas there later.  Giving up fishing is like abandoning your thinking.  You lose out on the opportunity to reel some excellent ideas in on your thinking line.

Creative people often have so many ideas (like silver carp) coming at them from all directions that they become overwhelmed by the volume and are thrown into inaction or overreaction modes.

Inaction mode comes when fear takes precedence and whispers to the mind that the ideas are abundant now but will soon dry up and won’t ever come again.  All the fish caught when in this mode are ‘put on ice’ saving them for a rainy day which quite often never comes.

Overreaction mode comes when the individual becomes overwhelmed by the burden of responsibility after receiving such abundant ideas.  They overcompensate and try to execute all the ideas that they’ve received at the same time.  The feelings of despondency and guilt take over as the individual comes to realize that they are unable to accomplish this enormous task.  Remember, it is physically impossible to consume all the fish from a good day’s catch in one meal!

Instead, individuals who respond to the abundant capture of ideas, quickly assess which ideas are too young like young fish and immediately toss them back into the river to grow some more.  Those ideas which are logistically impractical are also tossed back for someone else or for a later date.  Only ideas that are mature and practical right now are kept for execution.

Ideas come and go. The supply of fish would never run out. Trust that when the time is right and the river water of our mind’s consciousnes is stirred, the perfect ideas like the Asian Silver carp fish will jump to the surface naturally.

[Coaching Questions]

  • How abundant are the fish in your river?
  • What’s your philosophy of fishing?
  • How do you spot a “good fish”?
  • Are you willing to toss a young fish back to the river?
  • What ideas of yours are still on ice?
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