Tale of The Fisherman
Interesting, how we always get the order of happiness wrong
A tourist arrived at a small village in Mexico one afternoon and saw a fisherman in a small fishing boat.
In the boat, there are a few catches of the day — some large yellow-fin tuna.
The tourist complimented the fisherman on the quality of the catch and asked how long it took to catch them.
The fisherman replied: “not very long”.
The tourist then asked: “why don’t you stay out longer to catch more fish?”.
The fisherman replied: “I caught enough to feed me and my family for a few days”.
The tourist continued: “then what do you do with the rest of your time?”.
The fisherman replied: “I sleep late, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll into the village, sip some wine with friends, and play some guitar”.
The tourist scoffed: “I have a Harvard MBA degree and I can certainly help you here. If you spend more time fishing and with the profits, you can buy a bigger boat, haul in more fish, then you could buy several boats, eventually owning a fleet! Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You control the product, processing, and distribution. By then, you can move to much bigger cities like Mexico City and New York City, where you will run a huge enterprise.”
The fisherman then asked: “wow, how long will this take?”.
The tourist answered: “if all things go well, twenty to twenty-five years”.
“But then what?” the fisherman asked.
The tourist became excited and replied: “this is the best part, when the timing is right, you can make your company public and make millions of dollars!”.
“Millions? Then what?”. The fisherman asked.
“Then you can retire, and sleep late, play with your children, take siestas with your wife, stroll into the village, sip some wine with friends, and play some guitar”. Answered the tourist.
I was stunned by the moral of the story and I’d admit how I have erroneously believed from a young age that: happiness began with working hard to gain success and then I can be happy. Whereas being happy first is so much more gratifying and fruitful that enables hard-working naturally, and achieving success while being happy doing what I do.