Explore - Educate - Enjoy

These Three (3) E's will help you make the most of your time outdoors.  Too be sure, the Three E's are interrelated in that if you are doing one, you are likely doing the others.  It should be self evident that if you are outdoors you are exploring nature, educating yourself on your immediate habitat, and enjoying the time you are spending not cooped up in the house or office.  However, you should be willing to take a step further and test yourself, especially when your standard practices aren't necessarily working the way you planned in your current circumstances.  The best way to explain what I mean is by example.

I for one like to keep a field journal (especially on a new body of water) to determine the best way to consistently catch fish.  I find this practice enjoyable and informative and it will certainly help me to prepare for my next visit to that body of water (or even other locations with similar conditions).  However, we all have days on/in the water where the fish aren't playing by the book or weather/water conditions are not ideal.  Maybe you have even switched to a confidence lure to no avail.  This is the perfect time to take that extra step with the Three E's.

Explore new locations, new lures, and/or new methods to educate yourself based on your observations.  The worst case scenario is that you have spent a day floating around a body of water, walking through a stream/river, or hiking through the woods; or maybe you have practiced a new technique you may otherwise neglect if the fish are on the bite (such as working on your flycasting technique or tying on a drop shot etc.).  An observant outdoorsman has certainly taken note of their findings and should have enjoyed themselves along the way.  Furthermore, by moving out of your comfort zone, you may have learned something about yourself.
Always keep in mind that you are outdoors.  There are endless opportunities to put the Three E's into practice whether your motives are purely self-driven or you are taking the time to help others (such as my daughter) do the same.  Remember, your time outdoors should never be wasted.  If you put the Three E's into practice, you will always make it count.