A fisherman had his line cast out in the water from the shore. It extended back to his fishing pole which was resting in a sand spike rod holder.
The fisherman was resting comfortably on the sand and didn’t seem to have a care in the world. His hat pulled over his eyes in the warm mid day sun. Hands folded on his chest, perhaps snoozing a bit.
Another man, a businessman who lived near the shore, was taking a lunch time walk down the beach to relieve some stress. As he walked along the shore he spotted the fisherman.
Upon seeing the napping man, the businessman got even more stressed. He wondered what was this man doing here during the middle of the week, not doing anything productive – not working…
The businessman said to the fisherman, “You’re not going to get anywhere just lying on the beach!”
The fisherman pushed his hat back up on his head, looked up at the businessman and said “What do you mean?”
The businessman said “Why don’t you fish for a living? You could go get some better fishing gear and you could make lots of money doing this.”
“What would my reward be?” asked the fisherman, smiling.
“Well, you would make a lot of money. You could go out and buy a boat and you could go out to sea and catch bigger fish. Better fish.”
“What would my reward be?” said the fisherman.
“You could then go get a whole fleet of boats. You could hire men and go out into the sea and get lots of fish!”
“And what would my reward be?” asked the fisherman.
Now the businessman was getting kind of irritated. He said “You could build a whole fishing empire! You could become the greatest fisherman in the world!”
“And what would my reward be?” said the fisherman.
Now the businessman was angry. “Look, don’t you understand if you make that much money you could do anything you wanted?! You could lay on the beach, you could look at the sunset, not a care in the world!”
The fisherman pulled his hat back down over his eyes and laid back down and said, “What do you think I’m doing now?…” đ
Lesson from the Fisherman and the Businessman?
One lesson might be to self evaluate why you’re working your butt off every day for the corporation while running on the hamster wheel of modern life. To what end?
Perhaps you might choose a path less stressful, perhaps more enjoyable, maybe a bit slower, in order to get more time to ‘fish on the beach during a warm sunny day’.
What are the things that really matter in life?
Is it a bigger house? A newer car? Shiny things to show off to your friends and neighbors?
Or is it something simpler?
The point is, we’re all programmed and even forced to keep on achieving the next goal at work or life. There’s plenty of stress in today’s world of constant cutting & profits.
At the end of the day, what is it that you really enjoy? I’ll bet for a lot of you it’s something similar to the fisherman on the beach.
And I’ll bet that if you put your mind to it, you might be able to spend more time there…
How? Live below your means. Don’t get into deep debt. Lessen your need for a job that pays ‘more’ money (more stress and less personal time comes with that). Downsize. Forgo the urge to keep up with the Joneses.
Your time is precious. You only live once in this world. Find what really matters.