Success in Life is like Spawning Salmon

Anyone who has fished salmon runs in a river (that would be me in Alaska) can really appreciate the meaning of intense dedication to a life goal.

You see, millions of salmon enter the river to spawn, but very few make it. Before they even get to the river, they have to evade natural predators like whales, sharks, seals and commercial fisherman. If they get past that they then have to deals with set-netters, gill-netters, dip netters, line fishermen and bears — all while swimming upstream against strong currents.

All the salmon I ever caught got my complete respect. They were on a one-track mission to get to the lake, and I had abruptly ended their life’s journey so I could feed my family.

Life for us humans is similar in the fact that we’re all trying to survive against the odds. But there’s one fundamental difference: unlike salmon who have it in their DNA, humans have a choice to enter that river to pursue our life’s success.

The river is far more dangerous and solitary as you break away from the relative comfort and safety of the ocean crowd. The upstream journey deals out tougher odds and greater chances of failure. But, like any risk, there is a payoff: success in life and a legacy for the future.

Life is a lot this — not everyone is going to make it to the lake, let alone the journey to and up the river. The odds are against all of us, even the most privileged. But the choice is there, and we should all at least be aware of that.