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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.

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