The businessman 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 large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.
The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open 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 would run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?” To which the businessman replied, “15-20 years.” “But what then, señor?” The businessman 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, señor? Then what?” The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”-Author Unknown
I love this story, even though on the surface it would seem like the moral of the story goes against everything that I am. This story tells a message that I have always believed in, and that is to do what you love. Yes, I consider myself a businessman, and I think in a very similar fashion as the businessman in the story. However, I see myself as the small fisherman doing what he loves. It just happens to be that my beach is the office, gym, and the place I go to when I meditate.
What this story really nailed home for me is, everyone is different. Everyone has their own path, dreams, and aspiration. Some people want to be a billionaire philanthropist trying to save the world, and some people just want to sit at home and eat Cheetos. There is no right answer for everyone. Don’t ever let anyone or society tell you how you should live your life. If you’re perfectly happy in your current situation and don’t find the need to be more successful or reach higher, don’t. “Do you, boo-boo.”
What makes you happy might make the next person miserable. I just happen to be someone who enjoys pushing the limits of my body mentally and physically. I like challenging myself to be better every day. I like working twelve-to-fourteen-hour days. Does it make me a better person than the next guy? No, I’m just different. In fact, I’m probably a little weird. I would like to argue that a homeless person who is happy is 100% more successful than anyone who is unhappy and wealthy. Though, that said, this is mostly a hypothetical example, as I think it is hard to find a happy homeless person, but there are some out there.
Money comes and goes; love comes and goes; friends come and go. However, the only thing that can never be taken from you are the moments of happiness in your life. No one can go back in time and take those moments away from you (Not yet anyways). Whether that be launching your first successful business after decades of hard work, lying on a beach, or just lying next to a loved one, find out what makes you happy and be successful.