Fuel Your Dream Machine

By Patrick McNerthney 

When I drive to the beach near my house to fish for salmon I’ve learned to have reasonable expectations. They include:

  • How to avoid NOT catching fish—and this, my friend, is a cosmic rule: once you start thinking you deserve to catch a fish, well–that’s the instant the Fish Gods deem you unworthy. It’s the one way to guarantee you won’t catch anything, not even seaweed.
  • One must SHARE the beach with other fishermen. The truth is, while I’d like to own this public beach myself, it’s public, so there you go. (Even if it were private, based on the Seattle market the real estate is probably worth $50 million and we writer types don’t make that kind of scratch. Bet you didn’t know that!)
  • Thou SHALL get wet—I wear dorky waders and walk out into the salt water as far as I can, usually a whole 15 yards. Nonetheless, there are fancy fishermen out on the water with what we call “boats” (I counted 50 this morning), and what do boats make?  WAVES.  So when you’re up to your chest in water and a boat goes by, the wave will end up down your waders and in your socks. It’s fine. It’s invigorating. Really.
  • You are guaranteed to be tired, hungry, and dying to go to the bathroom . That’s right, fishermen are human beings, so when we get up at 5:00 a.m., guzzle numerous travel mugs full of coffee, then go fishing, eventually the caffeine wears off, we smack ourselves in the head and say, Why? Why do I never learn!  Eat; don’t drink you fool—usually this is on my way to the bathroom.

(Not what we’re eating for dinner tonight.)

Indeed, it’s generally useful to have reasonable expectations, especially after you’ve done something a few times (like fishing from the beach near  your house). It’s called “learning by doing” in the teaching and professional training world. 

But it’s also a way to get stuck, become cynical, or even depressed. “Oh, I know how this is going to go” is the common refrain of the boss or manager who doesn’t maintain a healthy amount of—get this—unreasonable expectations.

(Looks like a boss—or manager—to me! *Sorry bosses/managers out there.)

That’s right, it’s highly useful to have unreasonable expectations as well. Enter: hope, optimism, and in some cases, dreaming.

There’s nothing wrong with unreasonable hope, unreasonable optimism, and unreasonable dreaming IF you’re willing to back it up with a lot of unreasonable effort. In fishing land, that would be waking up at 5:00 a.m. and throwing lures for two straight hours to the point your arm wants to fall off IN THE UNREASONABLE HOPE of catching a fish (not expecting  to). 

See, the first step to great accomplishment is having an unreasonable expectation that other people think is crazy.

Over to you. 

I bet your dedication to helping the elderly, children with challenges, or anyone needing assistance with life’s daily tasks is seen by less altruistic types as UNREASONABLE, especially in the face of social isolation. Who would do that, and how do they really think they can help their residents or loved ones overcome anxiety, depression, and loneliness? 

What your nay-sayersdon’t understand—but Fine Art Miracles (FAM) does—is that this is the perfect example of why unreasonable expectations are so vital to making change and accomplishing great things: your hope, optimism, and DREAM will work, and FAM can help  you make that happen!

It turns out Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance and Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, and Multi-Sensory Sessions connect your residents or loved ones with their confidence, self-worth, sense of mastery, and understanding that they are both relevant to the world and MATTER TO OTHER PEOPLE.

FAM is the perfect fuel to add to your dream machine. So why not give FAM a call or drop them a note to find out more? They’re happy to help!

Well, the truth is, we will be having salmon tonight. But it’s not the Coho I went after this morning—it’s store-bought Sockeye. Pretty delicious too—plus it serves as a good prop when I come home victorious (pretending I caught something when my wife and son ask). Don’t tell them our secret, k?


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