Is Happiness Closer Than You Think?

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A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Fisherman.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the Tourist.

The Fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The Tourist 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 Tourist 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.”

“And after that?” asked the Fisherman.

“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 then 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 new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Fisherman.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the Tourist

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well, my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the Tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” said the Fisherman.

“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 drinking and enjoying your friends.”

And the moral is: Know where you’re going in life…you may already be there.

Ed Foreman, Executive Development Systems, 3818 Vinecrest Dr., Dallas, TX 75229

13 Responses

  1. In 25 years time the fisherman will still sleep late, fish a little, play with his grandchildren, and take a siesta with his wife. In the evenings, he will go into the village to his my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs?he still will have a full life.

    The tourist on the other hand will have an MBA with no sleep, hardly any time to fish, no children to play with, no steady wife to have a siesta, no village to visit friends and family, drinks at a bar, and will be 25 years behind the fisherman’s full life.

  2. Very interesting story, the fisherman was happy and did not need to sacrifice years of growing a business to acquire what he already had. I sometimes wonder about my own life, it has changed so much from what my life was like a year ago. My health has dictated my life for years even now although I have been blessed with getting disability sooner that what was expected I do spend a lot of time alone which leaves me unhappy. I am 57 and all of my friends work. My health limits what I can do outside the home but would love to find a new life somehow just do not know where to start.

  3. Love this story, and really love to hear it today as Mexico celebrates their Independence Day starting this evening at 11:00pm and into tomorrow. We have been living near Mexico City for 14 months now, getting ready to move back to the US, but I have to say, I love the people here, such a simple life, no worries and it is all about their familia. Thank you for sharing that story….

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