Are you the American or the fisherman?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

In the Pride Magazine this month the publishers letter was based on an old parable about a fisherman. I've heard it a few times before, albeit the fishermans changed nationalities, but the basis of the story has stayed the same. I'd like to share it with you as it helped me find a balance in my life between chasing my dreams and the little things that make me happy.

I moved to London 5 yrs ago to go to uni and stayed because of a job offer. There was a time where I worked very long hours and got caught up in the constant rat race. I'd get to the weekend desperate for sleep, manage to do most of the basic things I didn't get to do in the week and before I knew it it was Monday morning and I was getting ready for work. I had very little time to travel to Birmingham to see my family and friends and got caught up chasing my dreams. There's nothing wrong with having goals, I'm still working towards mine, but I have changed the pace of my life and have taken control to ensure that I get to do the little things that make me happy.

There's a few things you can take from the story below, whatever it means to you, I hope it helps you on your journey through what we call life : )


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

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But 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, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs ... I have a full life."

The American 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?" asked the Mexican.

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?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps 25 years," replied the American.

"And after that?" the Mexican asked.

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"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."

Mel x


Lele at: 16 May 2011 at 15:04 said...

I've heard this story before but it is as thought provoking now as it was then. You have to be clear on your goals so that your not chasing for the sake of chasing which is so often the case. If you know what you want in life you know what you need to do and what you don't need to do to get there. Anything else is insanity symbolized by the American. Thanks for sharing :)

NuevoMel at: 12 June 2011 at 09:28 said...

I definitely agree! I think sometimes we all, me included, need reminding so we can restructure and set new goals if needs be x

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