You never know what’s enough until you know what’s more than enough – William Blake.
William Blake may have said it first but this story, author unknown, really sums it up for me. Maybe if we’d all slow down, read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, we’d all have a better appreciation of what life is really all about. In a way, that has been one positive that has come out of this crappy economy- we have had to pull focus and realign our priorities. It’s not about “she who has the most toys wins.” I was sick of that mentality. That’s why sometimes I think the Europeans “get it” better than we do.Here’s the story – as I said author is unknown. I only wish I’d written it.
The 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 fisherman 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 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.”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 NYC 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.”The fisherman asked, “Then what?”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 siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”