Thursday, 28 January 2010

Work to live, don't live to work

Got an email today, one of those that does the rounds that I read a couple of years back when some one else sent it. One of those messages that reminds you that you have more control in your life than you realise. Thought I'd include it here to remind myself where I'm going and how I'm trying to be the little fisherman in the village living in the moment rather than the big harvard business man living for a future dream.


A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village.


A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long did it take to catch them.


"Not very long." they answered in unison.


"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"


The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.


"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"


"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life."


The tourist interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should 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?"


"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one 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 and maybe even 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?"


"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 start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"


"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.


"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."


“That’s what we are doing now” Replied the fishermen


And the moral of this story is:


......... Know where you're going in life.... you may already be there!


My experience is that I realised a while back that I am much closer to my dreams than I realised. Point being I have tried in my own way to achieve a lot of success in the hope that my dreams would come sooner. In truth I found that they got further away mainly because the process of achieving my dreams is just as interesting and fun to me as the realisation of them. I'll never actually be satisfied and stop trying to learn more about who I am and how to get more out of myself. The constant improvement is its own reward.


So now I just keep asking myself what it is I want? and then keep tweaking what I do so it's closer and closer to my dream. When I get close to my dream I then think more about the dream and add more detail. So it's a constantly evolving process that will never end but will always be fun. In theory anyway.

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