Thursday, April 23, 2009

Make Millions or Enjoy Happiness?

It was a beautiful sunny morning as I walked about downtown Plymouth, Michigan looking for a place to munch some lunch before an appointment with a client.

So, many tasty places to eat in this quaint little city, though I was drawn to Jimmy John's. One of my favorite memories is when a college roommate yelled, "Where's my sub?" the week of finals my senior year, as the rest of us arrived to our apartment with freaky fresh subs from Jimmy John's.

As I sat munching my #4, I turned to the wall at my table and read this story:
How Much Is Enough?

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 fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, only a little while.

The American then asked why he didn't 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, 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 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 take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then?"

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?" asked the fisherman, "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 evening, sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos!"

Hmmm ... The object of this game called life isn't about accumulation, it's about doing what makes you happy.
Living within your means.
Enjoying yourself.
Having some fun!

What will you be doing 10 years from now?


Anonymous said...

So true!

Mary said...

Hi Angie, I'm Soul's friend, Mary. I don't blog as much as I did before my health problems (cancer) started but I wanted to say how much I like today's blog. It gives me a way to explain how this deamon that I'm fighting has changed my outlook. Thank you for posting the story.