Category Archives: Personal Success

Follow Your Bliss – Part 2

What a great summer it has been!

Several months ago I posted the article Follow Your Bliss, sharing background and an update on my becoming a Registered Maine Guide. More specifically, earning my Recreational Guide license.


The purpose of this post is to share an update on what has been going on since then, as well as a related accomplishment, recently achieved.

In summary, I am pleased to report, I had the opportunity to be “on the water” almost every day this summer. At a high-level, this summer’s activities included:

Note: You may click on the links above to learn more about any of these activities.

While the above was going on I was, in parallel, preparing for an upcoming test to earn my Fishing Guide License.

It is here, I’ll preface the update: in the spirit of full disclosure…

That is, my “original” Fishing Guide test took place in June, on the Monday after we had returned from our Allagash adventure. Unfortunately, I did NOT sufficiently prepare for one area covered in the test. And, I failed…

Zowy, that was humbling…

You see, when you test for a guide license, there are “at least” two major segments, based on the nature of the license being pursued. First, a written test, which I passed with flying colors. Second, an oral test, in which the applicant meets with a panel consisting of Game Wardens and Master Registered Maine Guides.

During the oral exam you are literally hammered with questions and scenarios covering fishing laws and techniques (hook and worm, lures, fly fishing, trolling and ice fishing) as well as the safe and efficient operation of watercraft and related regulations, the identification of species of flora (trees and plants: edible and otherwise) and fauna (birds, mammals and fish), and finally, handling situations you may encounter with clients (illness, injury and/or behavior).

What makes this part of the exam most interesting is that the panel of interviewers are quite coy, in true Mainer fashion 🙂

As an example, one of the questions asked was: “How do you adjust the freeboard on your canoe?” Here, the interviewers are determining if you understand the anatomy of a canoe, and if you don’t will you try to B.S. your way through it. Fortunately, I “do” know the anatomy of a canoe, so I responded with “Well, I suppose that would be based upon how much you put in the canoe.” You see, the freeboard is the amount of a canoe’s side which is above the waterline. The more you put in the canoe, the less the freeboard.

At the end of the test the scrupulous interviewers indicated I had demonstrated significant knowledge in the area being tested, but I had missed on an important item. I wasn’t able to identify a sufficient number of flies. And, since Maine is well known for its fly fishing, they felt this was an important area to demonstrate significant competency. 

Damn! Especially, since I used to tie flies as a kid. And, I am quite good at fly fishing. I simply didn’t take the time to refresh my memory banks and prepare for the identification of a sufficient number of flies.

Upon humbly, yet wholeheartedly, agreeing with their decision, I graciously thanked them for their time and promptly put in my request for a re-test.

It is here I went into cram mode, which included preparing flashcards covering a number of flies. I studied these at least weekly, awaiting my retest, increasing to multiple times daily, leading up to test day.


Example flashcards prepared for fly identification

Well, re-test day was yesterday, and I am happy to report that I passed. I am now a Registered Maine Guide with Specialized licenses in both Recreation and Fishing!


A Togue caught while trolling Sebago with my neighbor, Tom Roth, also a Registered Maine Guide and owner of Sebago Lake Guide Services.

What is next?

Later this month I’ll be guiding a group (upwards of 10) on a hiking / camping expedition on Mt. Katahdin. More on that soon!

In addition, I’ll be updating the website for my guide business (Maine Adventures) to include Fishing Guide services.

And, finally, now that summer is over I’m entertaining a Project Management gig, with one of my long-standing clients. We’ll just need to make sure it wraps before next summer’s adventure season 🙂

In closing, never give up on your goals and dreams. And, when (not if) you have a setback, get up, dust yourself off and give it another go.

All the best and more to come!

You only live once – Make the most of it

I hope you find the following article to be a refreshing alternative to what we typically experience in the media.

The link shared below will take you to an article I wrote for and was published by The Windham Eagle, regarding the author of the book: Finding Kurdistan: A Kurdish Iranian American’s Journey Home.

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Hawreh Haddadi is interviewed by Adrianne Shetenhelm, Windham High School APEX Program Leader.

Click here to view the (short) article.

Briefly, the article summarizes the account of a Windham, Maine family, who journeyed to their homeland and what they realized about America. If you’d like to read the detailed account, feel free to acquire his book which is available at Amazon.


Are You Catching Up?

Isn’t it fortunate that we don’t need to know precisely how electricity works? We can simply flip the switch and the lights come on! That is, someone has figured all of this out long ago.

Did you know that so many other things have also, already been figured out? Meaning, we don’t have to live our lives by trial and error. Or, be an example of Henry David Thoreau’s aphorism, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”.

Down through the annals of time philosophers, teachers, wise men and women, sages, adventurers, business people and the everyday person have clearly documented what works, doesn’t work and other learnings accumulated for virtually EVERY situation we might encounter during our short stay on this beautiful planet.

Most of us simply did not appreciate the benefits of paying attention in school; a primary source of early education. I confess, I was one of the leaders of that pack!

Upon growing older I found myriad sources of knowledge and wisdom that, once applied, can take us virtually ANYWHERE in life we’d like to go. Examples include; the Bible (an early book of wisdom sharing guidance and outcomes of the many mistakes humanity has and will continue to make), Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill, among others. In addition, most of us can easily find adult education and training courses in our locale, on nearly any topic we might be interested in. Top that with the advent of the internet and we have ALL of this at our fingertips!

There is just so much available, allowing each of us to “catch up” with others who have gone before us. We can learn what they did, how they did it, why they did it, their struggles as well as successes. Said another way, we cannot honestly look ourselves in the mirror and say anything but “I CAN make forward progress in my life, towards my goals, if I’m willing to slowly, daily chip away.”

One of my favorite quotes is by Zig Ziglar…

You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.

In closing, we might ask ourselves: Am I doing a reasonable job of catching up?

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