We hung out with our best friends on New Year’s Eve. The hubby starts telling me that there aren’t many things in life that really impacted him, but the story I told him a few weeks before is one that he can’t seem to stop thinking about and reflecting on.
You may have already heard this story before. There are many variations of this story and I can’t find the actual origin of the tale either, but it’s one that I think you should read. I first read it a couple of years ago and reread it often. It’s one that I too can’t stop thinking about:
An American tourist meets a Mexican fisherman resting on the shore. He asks him how long he goes to fish everyday”Not very long,” answered the Mexican.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.
The Mexican fisherman explained that his approach is to only catch how much ever he and his family needs on that day.
The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs…I have a full life.”
The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every
day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City. From there you can direct your huge enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.
“Ten, perhaps twelve years,” replied the American.
“And after that?”
That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?”
“After that, you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings having a few drinks and enjoy your friends.”
Why do we do the things that we do? Do they help us achieve what is really important in life? Have we even thought about what that might be? Where are you going in life? And might you already be there?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about it!