Have you ever noticed how some hobbyists just sort of have "the touch?"
I mean, no one really knows what "the touch" is, right? It's just this undefinable, yet remarkable ability that some hobbyists have to keep that delicate fish alive, feed that one that is super finicky, or breed the fish that everyone says is almost impossible to breed. And these people almost always say stuff like, "I was lucky!" Or, "Well, I killed about 20 of 'em before I was able to get this one to survive!" Or, "I sat up all night dripping baby brine shrimp into the fry tank to make sure they got fed the first two weeks..."
Stuff like that. They're bing too modest. Too gracious... What do they have that the rest of us don't? Not luck. Not coincidence. Generally, it appears to be a combination of enthusiasm, passion, commitment, and dedication. And a healthy dose of "I won't give up!"
I often would visit the homes of these super successful hobbyists, and I'd leave wondering how they did whatever it was they did so well. On the surface, they seemed no different than any of the hundreds of other fish geeks I talk to each year. The main difference- as I touched on above- is that these people just don't seem to quit.
And that's a good takeaway for all of us. Sure, it helps if you can afford the equipment to house that really rare, delicate fish, but the vast majority of these incredibly successful hobbyists never seem to be unusually wealthy. And they're not all retired, with seemingly endless amounts of time on their hands to lavish on their fishes all day. Rather, they sacrifice- they carve out the time to make stuff happen. It's a choice, often at the sacrifice of other stuff, like vacations, time with friends, forgoing major purchases, etc. They're willing to pay a price; just how much varies from hobbyist to hobbyist, but they are all sacrificing something in their pursuit of that fishy goal.
It's not for the feint of heart. Not everyone wants to give up the time, energy, money to do this stuff. It's a "calling" or something. Some desire to (Sorry, Nike) just do it! And that's a very cool thing.
Today's incredibly simple, hopefully important, observation on that certain quality which makes some of the really successful people in the hobby, "tick."
Thanks for doing what you do. Stay dedicated. Stay enthralled. Stay excited.
And Stay Wet.