4 Lessons Anglers Can Teach Us about Happiness

Five days a week, early in the morning, I go exercise walking along the seafront near where I live. Sometimes I start just before seven o’clock and by the time I reach the local pier half an hour later I pass by at least half a dozen anglers sitting contentedly in the early stages of a day’s fishing.

On numerous occasions I’ve seen them excitedly stand and reel in with much enthusiasm a variety of different types of fish including garfish, mullet, and mackerel. I must admit to being relieved when they throw the fish back into the sea however, once they’ve politely congratulated one another with approving smiles and nods.

Contentment and serenity seem to abound among these fishermen and I frequently feel better just for seeing them, sitting there patiently and calmly, come rain or shine. This therefore got me thinking about the various ways dedicated anglers can teach the rest of us about cultivating more happiness in life. I came up with the following:


When you look at a screaming baby demanding food or cuddles, it’s safe to say we are not born with patience. It is a skill we learn and develop as we gradually move away from the need for instant satisfaction. Some people expand their patience more than others, and those that are successful in this, find an increased sense of well-being and happiness.

Fishermen need patience if they are to one day catch the prized big fish each one dreams of finding on the end of their hook. With patience come the development of skills and the increased chances of success, in any endeavor.


Unlike with patience, we are all born with an overabundance of curiosity. Children love to explore and often annoy their parents with constant questioning about the things they see in their surroundings. A sense of curiosity is natural to the brain which is hardwired for novelty. By retaining a deep curiosity about the world, we keep our minds flexible and agile which altogether leads to increased feelings of happiness.

Curious anglers are the most successful anglers. They study the environment in which the fish they want to catch live. As well as this, these fishermen research every variable that influences the chances of a bountiful day’s fishing, such as weather and the type of bait. Experimentation comes naturally to them.


A simple life does not require retreating into a Buddhist monastery or redesigning your home along minimalist décor principles. True simplicity resides in the mind and allows the one who has cultivated such a habit a great deal of contentment, relaxation, and emotional balance. Living in the present moment is a great way to develop clarity of consciousness which positively impacts on day-to-day living and inner happiness.

When a man fishes, he goes into his “nothing box” according to Mark Gungor who is a widely renowned speaker on marriage and relationships. This nothing box is a place of renewal and gentle reflection. A man typically retreats into this state of pure beautiful cognitive simplicity when sitting by a body of water with a fishing rod by his side.


Without the ability to be persistent, mankind would not have achieved all the remarkable advancements it has. Persistence and a goal-orientated mind-set are highly beneficial characteristics which lead to an increased chance of success and happiness in the various areas of life such as family and career.

Anglers know they can go without a bite for long stretches of time and when they are trying to catch a particular type or size of fish, persistence is what usually pays off. A successful fisherman who can brag to his friends about catching the biggest fish seen this year usually has a strong persistent streak to his nature.

Happy Fishing

Finding genuine happiness in life is less about material gains and more about how we react to the world around us. By incorporating the four angler-inspired attitudes into your life you’ll see a steady increase in your general cheerfulness and emotional wellbeing. You never know what great things you’ll find on the end of your hook with a more positive outlook.

Edward Beaman is a freelance writer and blogger passionate about crafting the perfect message for the right audience. Visit his website to find more information about his writing services.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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