An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.
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.”
I always liked this story.
Unfortunately life does not work out like this. Life happens and having the money to fall back on is important. We live in a capitalistic world where money always needs to be flowing. But what I took out of this is to be okay with what you have, don’t over do it if you don’t have to.
I think finding out the things you enjoy the most is important. For me it’s to create things for others to enjoy. For some it’s building a fishing empire so they can retire early, others want a fast car. I think there’s so much more to life than fast cars and stacks of money. Although they tend to give rappers a subject matter.
I believe a minimalistic life is a lot easier and more fulfilling than one that is gaudy. I rather spend my money and time with loved ones than purchasing something for myself. I feel more happy when I see others around me happy. But it is important to not be imprudent. There is a balance between a minimalistic life and lavish.