FORT WORTH, TX, April 13, 2010—Inspiration.
Thomas Edison said that success
was 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Many agree that truer words were
never spoken. But this does not mean that the percentage amounts are a
reflection of the importance of each element.
Where would any of us be without
inspiration? It can come out of anywhere and from anyone when you least expect
I was new to the Discovery
Channel’s Deadliest Catch when
I read an article about Captain Phil Harris. Motor Trend magazine featured the
Skipper covering his life from the time he was a small child onward. Wow! I was
impressed to say the least.
The man started fishing with his
father at seven years old when his Mother died. He started driving at ten and
got busted for it at twelve - Phil was the original latch-key kid.
On his own at sixteen, then at
seventeen he was voted least likely to succeed by a high school counselor. Not
long after that Phil started fishing and made $135,000 in a month. The
counselor’s home happened to be for sale at the same time.
The price was $45,000 so Phil got
it in cash and put it in a paper bag. He then went to the counselor’s home,
banged the bag of money onto the counter and told her and her husband to get
Of course they wouldn’t sell to
him, but what guts! I had never heard of such a thing before. It was out of my
realm of experience. Wow!
I did, however, identify with a
lot of what was not written
I know what it took for Phil to
go from troubled kid to a successful fisherman. Not specifics, of course - but
what it takes inside to keep
On the surface he and I had
nothing in common. But I do understand the many times he had to choose to not give up. Been there,
Phil had to select the right path - often
after taking the wrong one ten times in a row. I know I did. But eventually he
made enough right choices to see a real future ahead.
The man had to do it all himself.
I’m sure there was support, but digging oneself from a pit like this is done
solo. Hand over hand, foot over foot. Lots of dirt in the face too.
And all this speaks well of what
Phil chose to be made of. It’s also why he became the successful crab fisherman
and much admired man now missed by many.
How does this inspire me? How can
it not? With all that was against him Phil Harris became a success. The Captain
succeeded because he realized only he would decide how his life turned out.
To realize this about one’s life
is very liberating. It’s like being a kid in a candy store with a zillion choices.
It’s also an opportunity for one to discover hidden passions within. I
discovered that my enjoyment of writing is indeed a passion.
Once I learned about the Captain
I figured that if he did it, why can’t I? Now I don’t expect or want celebrity
from my writing, and I believe I will be a success—but only if I make it
Before all this I would have
never imagined the opportunities I’ve been given.
The description of my column
says, “Claire, once lacking in self-esteem and had no confidence to speak of,
now leaves fear in the dust and looks forward to the future…”
And I do. I can’t wait to see
what’s going to happen next. It doesn’t scare me anymore.
I’ve had other inspirations, both
people and things on my journey besides the good Captain. But in honor of
tonight’s season premier of Deadliest
Catch, I wanted to pay tribute to a fabulous man.
Thanks Captain Phil.