The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

boats     boats     boats

– Let’s do lunch tomorrow.

– I can’t, I’ve got so much on my plate at work. How about next Wednesday?

– I have a hair appointment. Thursday?

– It’s mum’s birthday. Let’s touch base next week.

Does that conversation sound familiar? We fill our days with activities then crash into bed at night exhausted, we overuse technology and lose human touch, we don’t dedicate quality time to those we care about because we’re so busy, we eat poorly due to tiredness and bad time management, we don’t appreciate what is in front of us because we’re too busy looking in the distance, we let our health suffer because that would mean taking time out of our hectic days to see someone about it!

Reading this story makes me realise how important the simple things are in life; family, friends, time, love, living true to yourself, doing things you enjoy, smiling, eating well, being outdoors, breathing, learning, and how easy it is to get distracted by the wants and musts of the outside world.

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 large yellow fin tuna.  The American 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 American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican 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 Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas 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.” The American 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 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, 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 Mexican.

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 would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would 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 your guitar with your amigos.”

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