I don’t usually tell people this, but I’m a life coach to some of the best-known names in the industry. You know that fishing show with the host who talks so much you wonder how he manages to breathe? Except he never really says anything? He’s a client. Those guys on that hunting reality show who make a squirrel hunt sound like a quest for Cape buffalo? Also mine. Yes, those guys are faking it. All the way to the bank. I bet you’re wondering how mediocrity could scale such heights. By the rigorous application of Peak Under performance (PU), a life approach that I developed. I wouldn’t be the outdoors man I am today were it not for this strategy. And if you have a brain in your head, you’ll stop reading now, because I am going to share some of my tips with you.
Issue Your job is stressful and leaves too little downtime for hunting and fishing.
Solution: Stop doing your job. Not completely. Just enough so that while your boss assumes you’re working, you’re actually watching a YouTube video called “Assassin’s Micro Crossbow.” Which is this awesome little weapon you can make out of metal hair clips, Popsicle sticks, and dental floss. The thing is the size of a deck of cards and shoots exploding matchstick arrows up to 30 feet. Having trouble getting your waiter’s attention in a busy restaurant? Pull this sucker out and see who gets instant service. No wonder the video has more than 4 million views.
But I digress. Here’s the drill. First, throttle back to 85 percent of current output. Know what’ll happen? Nothing. Not a ripple. Nobody’s paying that much attention to you. This realisation may sting at first. But that bitter pill turns to pure sugar soon enough. Because after a week or so, you step it up by cutting it back–to 75 percent. I can already see how much more relaxed you look. You’re approaching PU nirvana, a place where neither criticism nor compliments affect your mood, and you’re the one sending friends cute videos of cats playing the tuba. Your ultimate goal is to achieve and maintain a 70 percent effort. That’s true excellence in mediocrity, what I call “fully realised under performance.” It’s that sweet spot where a half-assed effort and a full paycheck meet for beer. At lunch.
Problem: For some reason, Kevin Van-Dam has your bass boat in his garage. Which is totally unfair. (And everybody still thinks he’s a great guy.) It wasn’t even that fancy. The whole rig–with a 250-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS, four Humminbird Onix fishfinders, a Minn Kota Tour Edition 109 trolling motor, a HydraWave electronic feeding simulator, and two Power Poles–probably wasn’t much over $70K. You’d put a replacement rig on your credit card if your significant other would just stop overreacting about how the kids won’t go to college now.
Solution Friends with boats.
All of the access, none of the responsibility. Forget Kevin. He’s always using the boat anyway. Your targets–yes, plural–need to meet three criteria. There’s the boat, naturally. Next, you want over performers, guys who are still working their brains out. Finally, you want open handed, good hearted people who are happy to help a friend. Oh, I can hear some of you whining already. “Easy for a guy with your charm and social skills, Bill. But where can I find guys like that?” Houses of worship, my friend. Many are absolutely infested with hard working bass-boat owners of high–and exploitable generous–moral character. And regularly scheduled services make planning your trips a breeze. Cast a wide net here. Synagogues and mosques are overlooked hotspots. And the best thing about American freedom of religion is that with the three main faiths holding services on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you have a potential trifecta of bass-boat borrowing days.
Issue You meant to buy 500 acres of deer habitat 100 years ago
But you forgot. And your secret public-land hotspot is so crowded that the fire marshal has insisted on lighted EXIT signs.
Solution Become a long-lost relative to every landowner you meet.
This requires thinking outside the genealogical box and adding to your family tree the easy way. Sites like Ancestry.com are fact-based. That hurts you. Fortunately, I’m working on a site where, for a reasonable price, you can cook up a convincing story, complete with documentation, that ties you directly to a given landowner. I’m calling it Accesstry.com. When it comes to hunting land, I don’t much mind what you call me as long as I have permission to hunt. For this reason, I’ve presented myself as Bartlomiej Heazynskiitz to Poles and Billimi Heavimo Ferrari to Italians. I’ve been Willy Heidiho Heavensen to Norwegians and Billah Boutros al-Hediqi to Saudis. I even did the accents. And, no, it hasn’t worked once. Even mediocrity isn’t foolproof. It’s just the only thing I do really well.