The Old Lady and the Sea

Defeat is only a state a mind

Last week I celebrated my 48th birthday on the Bahia de Banderas… fishing for Dorado.

Six hours off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, the fish teased and nibbled but did not bite. I returned to the resort with an empty boat.

In Hemingway’s classic novel, The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago says, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” An illuminating line on the enduring nature of spirit.

As entrepreneurs, leaders, go-getters and fishermen and women, we will face days when the fish do not bite. We will endure hardships, setbacks, physical duress and mental & emotional stress… but we remain undefeated when we retain our hope to continue the good fight. There are days when you will put forth a lot of perspiration, perseverance and determination, but get no tangible results to prove your labor was real. What you will get is appreciation, compassion and patience. And when your fellow fishermen say, “The fish were elusive” you will no longer judge, but nod in understanding.

If you’re reading this missive, you are not defeated. When we practice radical courage, maintain our zeal for achieving our goals and focus on the gift of enjoying the here and now, no matter the circumstances, we can set our sights on a horizon filled with goodness. Enjoying the day on the water, with or without fish in hand, exemplifies the beauty of our spirit. Defeat is only a state a mind… and dear friends, even when your boat is empty, hold fast that tomorrow is another day to cast your line.



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