The Mexican Fisherman

How close are you to the life you’ve dreamt of living? Maybe closer than you think. In many (many) ways, I’m already there, I’m living the life I’d always hoped to live. Someone said that of the handful of things you might complain about, there are bucketfuls of things that you’re thankful for. Lots of it is perspective, but it’s a conscious decision to live the life you do. I’m not big on excuses, it’s a choice and that choice is yours.

Below is something of a fable that someone sent me. I’m sure there are other versions with varying nationalities, but I like this one. Again, it’s the angle from where you’re standing to decide whether or not you’re happy, successful, and fulfilled.

An American businessman was standing 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 American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.

“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.

“But,” The American then asked, “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, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and 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 consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. 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 NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said slowly, “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…”

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  1. How can I get my kids to bed on time? - January 29, 2013

    [...] I admit it, I’m no match for a ladybug. They are rather fascinating: how do they get those black spots so perfectly equidistant from each other? How does that shell of armor lift up and make room for those wings? They’re miniature feats of engineering (AKA: nature). And I’m no match, I freely admit it. But we need to get to school … so he can learn about ladybugs. Anyway. [...]

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