A businessman was at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman 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 businessman then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish? The fisherman 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 fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip a bit of wine and play guitar with my friends; I have a full and busy life, sir."
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 a big City, then eventually where you would run your expanding enterprise."
The fisherman asked, "But sir, how long will this all take?" To which the businessman replied, "15-20 years." "But what then, sir?" 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, sir? 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?"
Possessions and wealth are not enough. While comforting, wealth cannot fulfill. Benjamin Franklin was of the opinion, "Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one." Wealth may momentarily help us to escape emptiness; it cannot cure it.
I’m not suggesting selling everything and moving to a small coastal village (although, personally this is an appealing idea). We should aspire to be successful in our careers. I'm not saying that Im not happy when I take home my thumping bonus and when I get through my exams. ;) These are perfectly legitimate forms of success. We run into trouble when the only thing we are living for is success that is self-serving.
Some people might call me stupid but this is what I see life as.
"When you're young you have Time and Energy but no Money. When you get older you have Money and Energy but no Time. And later when you finally have Time and Money, you no longer have Energy"
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