Last night I found myself remembering an experience that taught me one of the most important principles and practices of abundance. This was one of those ALMOST painful learning experiences because it ALMOST cost us a dream. I’m still grateful it didn’t.
It began 25 years ago, shortly after I met Dan and he shared with me his lifelong dream of taking his father on a fishing trip. Not just any fishing trip – but a charter boat fishing trip on the Great Lakes where they have all the fancy equipment and cater to your every whim (including baiting the hook for you!). He had wanted to do it for years – but figured it was going to cost a lot of money. And since he didn’t have much – he kept putting it off.
After we were married, moved to Minnesota and started our home-based businesses, we still didn’t have a lot of money. We still wanted to do it – but since we figured it was going to cost thousands of dollars that we didn’t have, we just kept putting it off.
Until the Christmas of 1995 when I noticed that Joe (Dan’s dad) was starting to show signs of aging. So I told Dan, “If you’re serious about taking your dad on that fishing trip, we better do it this year – because I don’t know how much longer he will be physically able to do it.”
Suddenly, we realized that we didn’t have the luxury of putting it off until we had the money we needed – we had to find a way to make it happen THIS year.
It had been nearly five years since Dan and I had met – and all that time he (and we) had talked about this dream. And Dan had had this dream long before he ever met me. But only when we realized we HAD to do it this year or it might not happen did we take ANY action to do so.
And the first action we took was to start to get information about Great Lake charter fishing trips. Here’s what happened…
I found Captain Dan (was that a sign or what?) who ran Charter Fishing Trips out in Lake Huron – making it an easy drive for Dan’s parents (who live near Detroit). He said that he would take us out for two days – all equipment, food and beverages included. He said he would bait the hooks, take the fish off the hook and even clean them for us when we got back ashore. (Just the kind of service my husband wanted.)
Captain Dan went on to say that we could rent a cabin right where he docked his boat AND there was a lakeshore restaurant that would prepare the fish we caught (and he cleaned) so we could have it (any way we wanted it) for dinner.
And then he taught me the lesson about CLARITY I have never forgotten that I now share with you. You see, the cost for the two days of fishing for just us (we’d have the boat to ourselves) would be $250.
Remember how we were figuring it would be at least a couple of thousand?
Captain Dan went on to say how much it would cost to rent the cabin – and I was blown away again. Because suddenly I realized that this fishing trip – this dream we had kept putting off for years because we didn’t have enough money – was going to cost us less than $450 for the charter boat, three night’s lodging and dinner every night at this restaurant (which turned out to be a gourmet restaurant to boot).
And we had put it off for nearly five years (Dan even longer) because we THOUGHT it was going to cost thousands of dollars. Not once did we actually check. We didn’t have clarity.
Needless to say, we did the trip that year and had a marvelous time. And, as you can see, we caught a LOT of fish! (Check out my hair! LOL!) We actually got to do it again the following year before Joe’s health made it impossible.
And we are grateful for both times and the memories we have of them. And yet, had we KNOWN – had we been clear – we would have taken this trip with his parents much sooner and would have had memories of MANY trips instead of just these two.
We were clear on our dream. We knew what we wanted. But we stopped there. Because we didn’t think it was possible, we took NO ACTION. We didn’t even get CLEAR on what it would take. We jumped to conclusions. We assumed. And we never checked. And that lack of clarity almost cost us this dream because Dan’s father died just a few years later.
Since then, I’ve taught this principle (and shared this story) hundreds of times in my workshops and teleclasses. Bottom line, it’s this…
If you don’t have clarity, you will experience scarcity.
Said in a more empowered way, it would be…
Clarity ALWAYS empowers you (even if it may not always please you).
So what about you? What did you get out of me sharing this story that taught me the importance of clarity?
Is there something you don’t REALLY have clarity about right now that you’re not acting on, putting off or even overwhelmed and paralyzed by?
Have you “made something up” about it (like we made up that it will cost thousands of dollars) that is having you put it off? Something that it might serve you to check on – to get accurate clarity about?
If so, what action(s) can you take this week to get the clarity that will empower you?
Let me know. I’d love to hear your response, comments and experiences if you are willing to share them below!