I talk to a lot of hobbyists in the course of my business and at just fun hobby events who sometimes lose their way at times in this game we call the aquarium hobby.
They stop enjoying the hobby, feel bad about their failures, or even what they feel is the insignificance of their successes..and then things get...well, ruined.
Things get ruined for a lot of reasons, I think.
Things get ruined when we allow others to dictate how we feel. When we let them get inside our head. When their values, style, opinion overshadows our own. Things get ruined when we lose our focus on what matters to us.
Things get ruined when we are not ourselves. When we don’t follow our dreams, our intuition…or heed that little voice inside that says, “Don’t get that fish!”
Things get ruined when we lose our way, deviate significantly from our plan, especially when it was working, starting to work, or showed great promise of working. Things really get ruined when we give up too soon.
Things get ruined when we do too many things; when we don’t keep it simple. When we build in needless layers of complexity and procedure. And of course, things get ruined when we don’t follow our own procedures…or worse, when we follow the procedures laid out by others which don’t really work for our system.
Things get ruined when we blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong in our systems. Sometimes, things just go south because we’re dealing with living creatures and a whole lot of variables.
On the other hand, things get ruined when we are arrogant, selfish, and carry ourselves with an air of hubris, demeaning others and their efforts and accomplishments simply because we can’t feel good about ourselves.
Don’t be that hobbyist.
Things get ruined because we’re always looking for "the next big thing." The shortcut. The sage advice. Things get ruined because we think everyone else has it all figured out and that we need to do it the same way, just "because."
Most important, things get ruined because we lose our passion- our motivation, our love for the whole thing…The very force that drove us into this hobby to begin with. Without passion, all you have is an expensive, soulless, imitative pile of equipment and life, aggregated together...with audacity, for the purpose of pleasing…whom?
Things to ponder when you hit a rough spot in the hobby…or in life, I suppose.
Don’t let “them” tell you what’s cool. Don’t let others dictate how you feel about your hobby. Don’t overcomplicate stuff. Don’t beat yourself up when stuff goes wrong.
Don’t lose your passion.
Don't ruin this. There's no need to.
Stay true to yourself. Stay bold. Stay creative. Stay engaged...
And Stay Wet.