M for Motivation

We’ve reached the M in my D.R.E.A.M. acronym. The M stands for Motivation. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What is the focus of your life? Why do you work or go to school?

In two short weeks is the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro in Birmingham, Ala. It’s the crown jewel of fishing tournaments. I bet many of you would say that qualifying for the Classic is your Motivation. For a lot of you — and me — the Bassmaster Classic is a lifelong dream.

But competing in the Bassmaster Classic is really not the end-all-be-all of what motivates you. The Classic is an accomplishment — a goal. We have to determine what our Motivation is and keep that in mind to give every day our best. Knowing our Motivation is especially important because we will hit snags. Motivation helps us be Determined, to use our Resources, exert Effort and keep a positive Attitude. Then we are living our D.R.E.A.M.

You can set daily, weekly and annual goals to help you do your best, but successful people have an overarching goal in mind. That’s your Motivation. I like what coach Pat Riley said: “There’s always the motivation of wanting to win. Everybody has that. But a champion needs, in his attitude, a motivation above and beyond winning.”

As a man of Faith, my Motivation is to serve God and help other people become their best. Making the Classic is just a part of that Motivation. If I am supposed to make the Classic, it will happen. I would dare say we might be able to influence a few new people with a Classic appearance!

Take some time to reflect on what your life is about and then write down your Motivation. If it is to make the Bassmaster Classic, then you have to do everything with the most effort you can muster. You’ve got to put the time in on the water. You’ve got to step out there and fish with and against anglers that may be better than you. You have to have the best equipment and know how to use it. I feel so blessed to have the sponsors behind me that I do: ORCA Coolers, Ranger Boats, Mercury, Strike King, Lucas Marine, Castaway Rods, Berkley Trilene, Optima Batteries, Power Pole, Abu Garcia, Flambeau Outdoors and Keelshield allow me to be my best on the water.

Next week 55 anglers will compete in the Bassmaster Classic. If you ask any of them how they got there, you will quickly find out that they have Motivation. They are all living their dreams … and you can too!

So now you know my D.R.E.A.M. acronym.

Remember: If I can, you can. God bless.

Attitude

Life is tough. Life throws adversity at you. You face adversity in your job, with your family, with your health and everywhere else you look. Adversity in life is a test and is given to you to make you stronger. You can’t control what life throws at you but you can control your attitude.

A good friend who had not seen me at a fishing tournament before came to the first day of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open last year on Douglas Lake. He found me parked in one of the marina boat slips. I had a big smile on my face and was joking around with the other competitors including my buddy Gerald Swindle. We were all glad to be back at the dock swapping stories. My friend saw me grinning and said “You must have really caught them today!”

I held my arm up in the air – which is kind of a little joke. My arm is good for a lot of things, and I am beyond thankful to have it but it is not good for counting very high. He laughed and said “You caught one?”

“Goose egg,” I said. He shook his head in disbelief.

The fact that I zeroed didn’t surprise him – it happens. The fact that he couldn’t tell if I was the hero or the zero was what impacted him. That day was one of the top 3 most brutal days on the water in my life. Ask anyone else that fished it. It was forecasted to be a fairly cool, overcast, and drizzly spring day. Instead, it was cold, rainy and windy all day – the whole day. It never let up. We were all caught by surprise, and it got the best of the field. Lots of guys even came in early.

I call that an attitude day. In the long run, the man or woman who stays positive is going to be a champion. Thomas Jefferson said “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” He was right about that.

Now, back to my buddy Swindle. When you see Swindle on stage and he starts going on and on about how tough the fishing was, all the lures he threw in vain, and all the ways he wanted to inflict pain on himself, you might think he has a bad attitude. That’s simply not the case. Gerald goes on his rants because the fans like them. My wife, Kim, thinks it is hilarious. Because of this humor, Swindle is the best on stage at a fishing weigh-in, hands down. Fishermen can relate to what he’s saying and he’s extremely quick-witted. He’s a champion because he controls his attitude. (Check out this video of Swindle and I fishing together.)

So, with no keepers and freezing cold all day, you would have thought it was a miserable day. It really wasn’t. I had a strategy in mind to catch some good fish but wasn’t able to adjust to the right pattern. I never let negative thoughts enter my mind that day or any day. In the end I was a champion that day because of my attitude.

It helps if you surround yourself with other positive people, too. At best, half the people you meet in life are positive. Choose who you keep close to you wisely.

Your mind is your most powerful tool and you have the God-given ability to control it – every day. It is your choice. As Chuck Swindoll said, “The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.”

Choose a positive attitude today!

Next month, we will talk about the M in D.R.E.A.M.

Remember – If I can, you can. God bless.

Effort

Hello everyone. We are talking about the acronym D.R.E.A.M. as we continue this monthly blog. Today we are on the letter E, which stands for Effort. Show up and give it your best.

How do I explain Effort to you in 500 words when it would be easier to show you in person? Maybe you could watch a video of me fishing or going through my daily routines. I try and put quality content on my Facebook page to encourage people to make an Effort and you could look at that. But if I just did that I wouldn’t be making my best Effort with this blog platform that was given to me. See where I am going with this? I give everything 100% Effort.

Every opportunity to give my best is an opportunity to live my D.R.E.A.M. You get opportunities to give your best, too. The first step is recognizing those opportunities. Identify something in your life that really “takes it out of you.” Maybe it is a small task, a person, a daily piece of drudgery that you dread having to deal with. Start there.

Now give that one thing your best Effort. Do that one small thing better than you ever have before. Look for ways to absolutely wow people with the intensity you put into it. Make it a challenge. Here’s an example.

How many of you enjoy changing out treble hooks? I think my friend Kevin VanDam actually enjoys switching hooks on his Strike King crankbaits but, for most, it is a chore. I used to see it as a mountain of a chore to be avoided or delegated at all costs! If you want to put yourself in my shoes, lay out a crankbait, put a pair of pliers in your mouth and bend your right elbow. Now using the pliers and your elbow take an old treble hook off a split-ring and put a fresh one back on – without permanently maiming yourself or losing a pint of blood. You’ll want to wear safety goggles. You might want to try it without kids around because it will drive even a preacher to strong language.

I still remember sitting in my boat with hooks; stuck in my arm, in my face, popping out of the pliers, lying all over the place – everywhere but back on the split ring. Did I give up? No. Did it happen overnight? No, but finally after years of practice I am proficient.  And every time I sling a big 6XD toward a ledge, I get a little confidence boost knowing I conquered the challenge and the Effort it took.

Show up and give it your best. Tackle that one thing that wears on you with renewed enthusiasm this week and let me know how it goes for you.

Next month we will talk about the A in D.R.E.A.M.

Remember – If I can, you can. God bless

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Resources

Hello everyone.  We are talking about the acronym D.R.E.A.M. as we continue this monthly blog.  Today we are on the letter R.  R stands for Resources.  That simply means to focus on what you have instead of dwelling on what you think may be missing.

There is always someone out there that has; more money, more talent, more friends, more power, more education – more resources.  Don’t worry about them.  Focus on what talents, skills, and sphere of influence you have and let other people live their lives.  Most of you may have all your limbs but that doesn’t mean I want to trade places with you.  I’ve trained myself to operate how God made me and I wouldn’t know what to do with hands and feet anyway!

Many companies ask me to speak to their sales team or employees on this topic – for good reason.  Budgets are tight these days and companies have had to cut back in recent years.  Resources are at a premium today.  Focus on what resources you have to work with instead of what you may have had before or what other people might have.  If you are a student focus on the classes you have and the teachers that are teaching you and be thankful for them.

A lot of people ask me about the ESPN video from a few years ago.  They often bring up my mother’s saying “He talks about having a heart, soul and mind and that’s all you need”.  It is true you know.  A heart, soul and mind are the most powerful and important things God ever created.  Guess what?  You have all three of those – unless during a tournament you tried to deal your soul for a 5 pounder!  I’m kidding of course.

As a side note, another thing people bring up about that video is my jumping into the lake because I can’t sweat enough.  Anyone that has fished with me in the summertime can tell you I can sweat with the best of them.  That’s the only part of that video that’s not accurate.  I think the director just thought I looked funny jumping in the lake!  It wasn’t a one-take-and-done deal either believe me.

Last week you could say I greatly upgraded my Resources in marrying Kim.  I am so blessed to have a new family.  Be assured that together Kim and I have big plans.  Now we have two hearts, souls and minds working together here at Team Dyer!  Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes and congratulations.

My final comments in that ESPN video are that I try to live my life so that when people are watching me they say “I want what that guy’s got”.  Kim and I hope to live our married lives to where people see us and say “I want what those two have.”  Please keep us in your prayers as we begin this journey together.

Next month we will talk about the E in D.R.E.A.M.

Remember – If I can, you can.  God bless.

Determination

Hello everyone.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read my words – they’ll always be from the heart.  Hopefully they will make your week a little bit better.

It is humbling when people say I encourage them to live better and give thanks for what they have.  That’s my goal and I never tire of hearing it.  It keeps me going.  I tell everyone that asks that I am absolutely, 100%, living out my dreams.  When addressing an audience I often use the acronym D.R.E.A.M. as the basis for my talk.

The D stands for Determination.  Never give up.  Don’t ever give up.  Winston Churchill said “Never, never, never give up,” but most of us bass fishermen are more likely to recall Mike Iaconelli’s “Never give up”!  We fishermen are just more likely to remember a guy screaming it on the front deck of a bass boat cradling the Bassmaster Classic winning fish!  Mike, you have it right brother.

Another great quote about Determination is from Hubert H. Humphrey who said “Never give up on anybody”.  As a man of faith I can tell you that if you know someone is pulling for you to pull it out it means the world – but that’s a story for another day.

People often ask me if I ever just looked down at myself and my lack of limbs and hands and just shook my head and thought “This is not going to happen”.  My answer is no.  Never.  The mind and the spirit can overcome any physical limitation given time and determination.  If you set your mind to accomplish something you can do it.  “If I can, you can”.  That’s my motto and I chose it to encourage you.  When I have a day of fishing that doesn’t go my way I don’t get down.  I just either ran out of time or need to get better.  My physical limitations are not the cause.

I remember at the age of 12 being determined to learn to use a big boy rod and reel – a baitcaster.  I was to the point where the old Zebco 33 was not the tool for the job anymore.  My family thought I was crazy.  My friends just laughed.  I was determined to show them all that Clay Dyer could not be stopped.

Be assured that learning to use a baitcaster without hands or fingers is every bit as hard as it sounds.  The first challenge was determining which style of rod worked best.   We had several of those old school pistol grip rods with the short handle.  Those didn’t work so well I found out.  Then I had to figure out which type of reels worked best.  I also had to determine if I could slow the line spool down with my chin or my tongue.  After six months practice, hundreds of backlashes and thousands of yards of line I finally got proficient.  I also got very good at picking out backlashes!

All this to say – what you think might be holding you back from pursuing your own DREAM is between your ears.  Have faith in yourself and know that there are people pulling for you.  It’s true because I am pulling for you and I bet there are more are in your corner than you think – but that’s yet another story for another day!

Finally, in case you were wondering I am typing this out myself.  You would be surprised how many words per minute a man can knock out on an I Pad with his nose.

Next month we will talk about the R in D.R.E.A.M.  Remember – If I can, you can.  God bless.

Bassmaster.com Blog Goals

Bassmaster.com was kind enough to offer up a space for me to put down a few words each month.  I hope you all will take something from those that make your day and even your life better!  I can’t think B.A.S.S. enough for giving me the opportunity to fish up to 6 events each year and be on a path that leads to the Bassmaster Classic.  All I need is a chance!  God will do the rest.

These blogs will mention fishing from time to time but there are a lot of anglers that write for Bassmaster that are true masters of the sport.  For the most part, we will talk about motivation, inspiration and how to make this world a better place.  Starting with the D in D.R.E.A.M. we will make our way each month through each letter of the acronym.  Should be fun!

I hope you all enjoy them and please feel free to let me know how they are impacting you!

Link to the blog.

God bless and remember – If I can, you can!

Fishing with G

At the Bassmaster Southern Open I had the pleasure of fishing with my good friend Gerald Swindle.  We had a blast and caught a lot of fish.  G-Man works with Go-Pro cameras and captured the essence of our day in a 5 minute video.  I hope it helps make your day just a little bit better.  Philippians 4:13

SHOP TEAM DYER

After numerous requests we are happy to announce that you can now buy Team Dyer items on this website!  Thanks so much for your interest in these items.  Right now we have the bands, books, shirts and official replica jerseys available with additional items coming soon.  We will be overhauling the e-commerce site later this year but for now you can purchase items so that is progress!  We hope you find the items you are looking for and if you have any additional ideas for gift items please let us know by emailing us at jd@profishingmanagement.com.

Thanks so much for your support!

Let the Season Begin!

Hello to all of my fans and friends! No words can express how excited I am to begin this 2013 year! I’m so BLESSED to have the 2013 ORCA COOLERS RANGER Z520 Comanche all packed up and headed to start the 2013 BASS Southern Opens! I want to thank GOD for ORCA COOLERS, STRIKE KING LURES, RANGER BOATS, LUCAS OIL Products, POWER POLE, KEELSHIELD, BERKLEY TRILENE, ABU GARCIA, LOC-R-BAR and MERCURY for their support in me living my DREAM as a Professional Angler!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL and THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT!!! PSALM 62, PHILIPPIANS 4:13!!!

I am headed to speak tomorrow in Georgia and then on the the first Bassmaster Southern Open next week!  I can’t wait!

Thanks Michigan

I hope everyone is now getting ready for the next holiday on the calendar – Thanksgiving.  What a great holiday!  Being able to live my DREAM makes me thankful for every day.  I’m thankful for all of you fans and I’m thankful for everyone that comes out to listen to me share my story.  This year has been full of awesome experiences.  From Georgia to Texas, Canada to West Virginia, I’ve been blessed to spend time with so many wonderful groups of people.

This past weekend was another one filled with great blessings.  The folks in Swartz Creek and Grand Blanc, MI went out of their way to make me feel welcome and showed some true Midwestern hospitality.  From the schools on Friday to the prayer breakfast on Saturday, church on Sunday and then the Al Serra dealership on Monday I felt at home.  Thanks again for all the encouraging messages and posts!

The news folks were tremendous and I appreciate their thinking that a 3 foot tall, less than 100 pound guy was worthy of coming out to see.  Here are some of the articles and video clips from the weekend:

http://photos.mlive.com/flint-journal/2012/10/professional_bass_fisherman_cl_4.html
www.wnem.com/story/19945321/professional-fisherman-with-a-message
http://www.abc12.com/story/19926731/man-born-with-disability-speaks-in-swartz-creek