Moby Dick syndrome


Many go fishing all their lives without knowing
that it is not fish they are after.

Henry David Thoreau

If you want to build a ship,
don’t drum up the men to gather wood,
divide the work and give orders.
Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince 

When I was very young, I was captivated by fishing. The idea of throwing a line into a mass of impenetrable water and imagining what you might catch …. dreaming that there’s a big fish out there for me.
Aren’t we all on some fishing expeditions? Searching for something. We always have a few lines in the water looking for some bites and nibbles on better opportunities. Hoping we catch something. Something big.
Perhaps something to give us a clue why we are here.
My brother-in-law, who is a well-known professional adventure fisherman, told me about the “grander”. That he would never be considered truly successful in fishing if he had not caught a fish weighing at least 1,000 pounds – a half a ton! That was the standard for world class fishing.

Some time later he caught a 1247 lb marlin!
Some need to go after whales. The Moby Dick syndrome. Where fishing is about world records and entering the pantheon of fishing.
But for us mortals, we get caught up into the gear. The technology. The strategies. The tackle, the reel, the test of the line, the weights, the bait, the lures— the art and the science of the craft.
We become experts, earn prestige, status, and big paydays.
It all starts to seem important and meaningful. And not about the fish.
Why are we fishing? To eat? To enjoy, to be one with mother nature, to socialize? To brag? To make money?
Our awareness about fishing can awaken our interest in more sustainable and ethical ways to fish.
Is it the fish we have been after?
You thought it was about the quantity or a grander, that’s what was expected. Since “everyone” was pursuing fish, you followed along.
Now you wonder why am I still fishing? What do I want? You realize it was not the fish.
We have been distracted.

All along we have been trying to find our calling. We have been yearning for the vast and endless sea. The journey to destinations uncharted and unknown. To feel the wind and currents of our souls and to surrender to our destinies.
Never about the fish. Fishing was just an activity to lose ourself to find ourself.

This Friday April 28 I am hosting another Career Collaborative. A gathering of kindred spirits who join me for a fishing expedition to find ourselves. Welcome aboard.

This Friday: Career Collaborative #4!

Come join us! 

A monthly no cost virtual workshop and forum
to discuss and address shared career challenges.

Session #4
April 28, 2023  8-9:30am PST

Ass Kicker subscribers get priority enrollment! 

Register here

The last Friday of every month.

“…the opportunity to meet new people and engage with them in meaningful but nontraditional ways was really valuable. I was energized and felt connected, and also challenged by the questions asked.”  Participant from session #1

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