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“Fishing was a common pastime for many of my neighbors and relatives when I was growing up as a country boy in rural Henan. When I was six or seven years old, I remember being fascinated by a telescopic fishing rod hanging in my uncle’s house. I’d never seen anything like it. So, being the cheeky and curious boy that I was, I stole it and went fishing immediately with my sister.
Even though we didn’t know what we were doing, we caught a three-pound grass carp from a nearby pond! But the fish was too heavy for a kid to reel in, so my sister had to jump into the water and catch it by hand. We were so happy, but by the time we brought home the fish, it was dead. Our father was not amused and lectured us about how a three-pound grass carp was still too small to fish and must be kept alive in the pond for a while longer for our efforts to be worthwhile.
So, the first lesson I learned from fishing was, one must be patient. The first catch may not be the best catch.
About a year ago, looking for a way to relax and find some balance from work, I decided to pick up fishing again. Fortunately, one can find many small rivers in Hangzhou that are suitable for fishing. On weekends, I often sit by one of these rivers, sometimes for half a day without catching anything. Just being surrounded by nature is enough to lift my spirits.
Waiting for the fish to bite and watching my float is like a state of letting go. When the float moves, I set the hook and reel in. Unlike the old days when you just had to wait for a fish to take a ‘live’ bait, fishing now is a workout. You have to keep reeling in and casting again because the new bait will melt in the water every 30 seconds.
Work is like fishing sometimes – figuring out the bugs, refining the apps, improving the R&D efficiency so that our users can have the best platform experience. It requires a lot of hard work to wait and “reel” in the problem at the right time to catch the “fish.” At the same time, as I’ve grown used to problem-solving at work to improve processes, I’ve also become a better fisherman.
Last summer, I visited my hometown with a full set of fishing equipment. Even my uncle (the one I stole from as a kid) was impressed. But I failed to catch a single fish for a whole day. Determined, I researched, analyzed the issue and found that my baits were too “spicy.” And fish, like humans, prefer something “lighter” during summertime. I should have known that! The next day, I prepared a new bait with a more delicate flavor, and voila! I returned home triumphant with my catch.
I learned my second lesson that day – having the right equipment and tools is just the first step. You must put in the effort to research and refine your methods – there are always new ideas to explore and room for improvement.”
Compiled and prepared by Logan Liu from the Lazada communications team in China.
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