maybe you’re already there

This story never fails to bring things into perspective for me. i am taking the long way, but i don’t believe i have ever been there…

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

“Not very long,” answered the fisherman.

“But 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, “So 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, drink some wine and play the guitar. I have a full life…”

The tourist interrupted. “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!

“First, you need to 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 buy a second one and then a third 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 or maybe 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 go public and sell stock in your company and have shareholders. You can also start trade stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“Well, after you retire, you can live in a tiny Mexican village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings sipping wine and playing the guitar with your friends.”

You may already be there.

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