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Brown: Don't wait to get outside and make a difference

Brown: Don't wait to get outside and make a difference

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What do we have to look forward to?

I ask myself that every day. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s because of COVID-19, maybe it’s politics or maybe it’s just because the mundane and routine has replaced the exciting, but one thing is for sure: Folks need something that puts pep in their step and, rest assured, my name is on that list, too. Little things can make a difference.

Normally upbeat and smiling folks I talk to and see on a daily basis seem to have replaced fun with stress, and the bad part is it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Worry has replaced optimism, and the news isn’t the news, but rather opinion.

Its seems it is better to not know sometimes rather than fretting over something we are powerless to do anything about. I have fought many times for outdoor interests and a lot of my colleagues have as well. We have been successful on some and lost on others, but at least we were in the game.

I have entirely quit watching the news to help lower my blood pressure. Friends have taken sides against friends and there doesn’t seem to a common ground. We used to compromise, but today it’s more “my way or the highway,” and it saddens me to see fed up replacing hope.

I still think we can work together, and the outdoors is the release. It is clear that more folks have found fishing, boating and camping this year, and its important we manage our resources even better now.

I am not sure there is a fix, and it’s for sure not easy, but complacency is winning. We all have to change that and I see the outdoors as a way to get that done. Maybe you don’t fish or hunt. but I would bet a majority of you have a lawn or a neighbor that might need your help.

Do something good for a youngster or do something as simple as taking a garbage bag with you when you go to the park. I have buddies who do that every trip, and not one time did they get a reward for it. But they still do it. One smile changes everything.

I had a basketball coach tell me once that he was excited about coming here to coach because when he drove around he saw a basketball hoop in every driveway. He quickly figured out that even though the potential was there, he also noted no one playing in those driveways.

Seems that is where we are today. History behind us. Unlimited potential but no games in the driveway. Sad.

Where sports and outdoors with fans and participants used to take the front seat for something to do, it seems we are now more focused on eating at the new restaurant.

Eating out in our area is a sport, and as I get older, it seems it has become a game, too. Supper is now earlier so you can get in. Bedtime is not when you are tired, but rather when you are bored. And sleep is overrated.

We are mired in the same patterns and the same old routine, and doing something new or exciting has been replaced with routines and calendars. When was the last time you just winged it?

Groundhog Day is every day and I push myself each day to do something I didn’t do before. Enough is enough. Let’s get after it and even though this is a fishing column, it's sometimes more than fishing that gets me excited. It's the camaraderie and the friendships that last a lifetime that make it all worth it.

Whatever you do to blow the stink off has to be embraced more now than ever before. Laugh more, smile more and figure out a way to help others laugh a bit more, too.

You can’t wait until life isn’t hard to make a difference. You will never get out of the starting blocks if you do, and there has been no time I can remember where little things go so far. Lend a hand, pick up something off the ground or start a bigger project, but strategize, plan and execute without putting the focus on yourself, and you will be surprised how much more you can accomplish

Dream big, set a plan, execute it and don’t worry who gets credit or the blame, and rock star things can happen. No smoke or wolf tickets here, just getting up each day looking for ways to make lives better. Sometimes you get it done and sometimes you don’t, but trying means something. In the outdoors we have lots of opportunities to make a huge difference and if we just stay in our lane it can happen quickly.

I had a guy recently tell me that he didn’t get the big picture or what motivated some folks to do what they did. I told him I believed it didn’t really matter. Each of us can make a decision to participate in life or shelter in place, cowering to all the hooey. We agreed to get after it. It won’t be easy, but it sure beats the heck out of complaining.

Start this next week with being thankful for what you have instead of wishing for what you don’t. It just makes things easier. Have a great Labor Day and get outside — it just feels good.

Terry Brown is President of, an industry leading, daily website and social media fishing centered community that provides information on products, industry newsmakers and fishing techniques. You can read more by going to


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