Think positive in 2014

In a few hours 2013 will be history and 2014 will be underway. I’ve always tried to be positive in my outlook on life. Now is as good a time as any to write about what I mean when I say that.

Let’s start with bass fishing. You’ll never reach your full potential as an angler if you think negative and complain about things. We all have challenges on the water. Lines break, fish shake loose for no apparent reason and they aren’t always found where we think they should.

This is true for professional anglers as well as recreational anglers. The ones who are successful, in both groups, are the ones who know and understand that there will be challenges. They work through them without going negative.

Watch the good Elite Series pros when a fish shakes loose. Most of them will shake their heads, say something about how they wish it hadn’t happened and then make another cast within a matter of seconds. They know that thinking fate or luck is against them will quickly turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s especially important for those of you who are recreational anglers. Never let a bad break or two ruin your day on the water. Fish, enjoy what the Lord has given us and return to the dock happy that you were able to spend the day with nature. You don’t have to catch fish to earn a living. Don’t let that become your measure of success.

Positive thinking in the rest of your life is just as important, really more so. Don’t see the glass as half-empty. See it as half-full.

Now I know that this can be hard to do at times. Tough situations are no fun. But, if you don’t make the best of them they’ll ruin your whole life. In most cases there’s no need for that. It’s not about suffering adversity. It’s about how you handle it.

This past year I was in a hole looking up when it came to making the Classic. I never thought that I wouldn’t make it. I put my head down, said thanks for what I had, and continued to cast with the belief that the winning fish was only minutes away. It happened. I’ll fish my home lake in February.

On the other hand I didn’t do so well in Oklahoma last February. I blanked the first day and didn’t catch enough weight the second day to make the cut. Did I want to be out there fishing on Sunday? You bet I did. But I didn’t let it ruin my Classic.

I thought things through Saturday evening and realized that this was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet our fans, swap fishing stories with them and have a fun filled day at the Expo. My glass was half-full. It could have been half-empty, if I’d let it go that way.

Have a Happy New Year everyone — go fishing (not necessarily catching) and enjoy a day in the outdoors.

Chris Lane’s column appears weekly on You can also find him on and or visit his website,

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