Wick Communications

Find joy in the fishing

In Motivation on April 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

Recently, we did a story about the opening of salmon season here on the California coast. A reporter and a photographer spent hours bobbing up and down on a fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean. Eventually, the party returned without any fish. I’ll never forget the boat captain’s quote:

“It’s fishing. The name of the sport isn’t ‘catching.’”

Substitute the words “work” and “fun” for “fishing” and “catching” and he might have been talking about the workplace. Tortured, I know. But bear with me.

Work, even work that you are passionate about, can often feel more like fishing than catching. If you don’t sometimes feel like you are reeling in seaweed over the course of a long day lost at sea, well, you are luckier than I, my friend.

I was thinking about this as I read on the Web about a TV executive who was asking his staff to differentiate the station’s “battery chargers” from its “battery drainers.” He wanted names, presumably so he could take some punitive action…

I sympathize with him. Most of us know of people at work whom we can count on to be positive, to look for the best in their coworkers, to face each challenge head on. We probably also know coworkers on the other end of the spectrum. I’m not sure it helps to set the two camps against each other, however.

So where am I going with this?

I think there are ways to recharge your own battery so your coworkers don’t privately consider you a downer — and who doesn’t want to have more fun at work?

  • Keep work challenges in perspective. Our careers are important; they are not everything. Life is too short to stew over a perceived slight at work.
  • Focus on the future, not the past. If you continually conjure up the good old days, you run the risk of making yourself miserable. Instead, think of the things to come at work – the stories untold and the new technologies that can help you tell them. You can’t do much about what was, but you can make tomorrow a better day.
  • Don’t take things personally. You can’t control how others act. Sometimes, you can only control your reaction. Be professional and others are likely to return the favor.

I don’t mean to sound preachy and I’m sure you have your own list. Here’s to the battery chargers among us. Thanks for finding joy in the fishing even on days when the catch is meager. May the battery drainers find the grace to join them.

– Clay

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