An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The fisherman replied, “only a little while.” The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American banker scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the prices from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the fisherman.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions - then what?”
The American said, “Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”
I love love love this story!
I’m amazed every time I read this - there’s so many takeaways!
#1 - The RAT RACE is very seductive.
How many times have we found ourselves caught in that hamster wheel spinning way too fast?! My guess, too many times! We get caught in a trance and sacrifice our two most precious, limited and valuable resources - our TIME & our ENERGY. It’s a constant trade off. This story reminds us to be aware of sacrificing too much. The big question - Are we working to live or are we living to work? Dolly Parton said it best….
“Never get too busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
#2 - Know what you are chasing!
Make sure you define and know what’s really important to you. Maybe it’s Fame. Success. Money. Freedom. Fulfillment. What’s your end goal? Everyone is different and that’s a good thing. Choose what you want and then go after it. And know how much is enough. Bottom line - Know your priorities and create a life that fits your values.
#3 - Enjoy SIMPLICITY.
Especially if you already have it right under your nose. The fisherman story highlights the irony and craziness of sometimes chasing after what we already have. There’s something beautiful and profound about the simple things in life. Don’t overlook the gifts of a simple life. We’ve heard that MORE isn’t always better. Sometimes we find our way back and recognize LESS IS MORE. We rediscover quality of life. Simple is good. Stop chasing happiness. Recognize it. Savor and enjoy!
Those are my takeaways. I hope you enjoyed this story and got some good nuggets too. I’d love to hear your takeaways…
When I’m not doing massages, you can find me either bike riding East Ave, relaxing on the beach, or looking for dolphins in between downward dogs at beach yoga in the morning. LIFE IS SO GOOD!
Here’s to Life in Balance!