While on vacation in South America, an American man met a local fisherman. He was on his way home with his morning catch, a smile on his face and a tune blowing across his lips. The American said, “Hello! What a catch! Take long to hook those fine fish?”
The fisherman shook his head and said, “No, not too long.”
The curious American man then asked, “Well, will you go back out later today to catch more?”
Again, the fisherman shook his head no. “I’m on my way home.”
Astounded, the American man shared, “I’d love to help you out! I’m a businessman, educated at Harvard, and I think you’re on to something! Do you have any idea how much money you can make if you spent more time working? What do you with your extra time?”
The fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take afternoon siestas with my wife, and later in the evening I enjoy spending time with my friends. I go into the village, have a few drinks with them, sing and play on the guitar- it’s a fully and happy life!”
Full of big ideas he wanted to share with the fisherman, the Harvard grad continued, “Just think- if you fished a few hours longer, you could have more fish to sell. And, instead of selling your fish to a store owner to sell them for you, you could sell them yourself and make MORE money!
“Then,” he excitedly continued on, “you can build your own factory, freezing, canning and preserving your fish and shipping them all over the world! Think of what you could do with your life then!”
The fisherman said, “And then what?”
“Well, you can grow the company, sell shares to stockholders, make it bigger and better! With even more money!”
“And how long would that take?” asked the fisherman.
“Oh, 15-20 years, maybe more depending on the economy,” said the knowledgeable businessman.
“And once the company is built, what happens next?” queried the fisherman.
“That’s the fun part!” shared the American. “You can sell the company, retire, and sleep late, fish a little, spend time with your grandchildren, take afternoon siestas with your wife, and spend time in the evenings singing and playing the guitar with your friends while enjoying a few drinks!”
Whose Dream are You Pursuing?
As things continued to tumble in the current economy, many of us feel like we’re further away from our dreams than ever before. Visions of simplicity dance before us as we struggle to make monthly bills, worry about the future and constantly question what we may have done wrong to be in this position.
But even though some things may be outside of your control, you can take advantage of finding the simple joys in life that many of us have forgotten about as we’ve tried to keep up with the rat race.
My ideal life is simple and peaceful. There’s time to enjoy the sunset- whether I catch it driving home or I’m outside on the swing. I make note on my calendar to bask in the full moon’s beauty. Curling up with a book and my dog are my favorite way to unwind. And lunches with friends are never hurried.
Around me, are bits of simple inspiration. Floral post-it notes capture my favorite motivational quotes and stick to the wall, inches from my computer. Their colorful paper showcases my favorite flowers as they offer comfort and wisdom. A small cup holds a bouquet of paper daffodils that I made earlier in the year, a constant reminder to me that no matter how bleak the circumstances, bright surprises lurk around every corner- just as the real daffodils do to signal winter’s end.
Across on the bookshelf, my Lorax stuffed animal reminds me of the wisdom of Dr. Suess, and to never take the luscious green trees for granted. As I turn on my computer, my homepage comes to life with bird chirps from SusanBranch.com, where I get my daily dose of wisdom from a masterful artist. Susan’s gift for sharing the simple beauties of life offers comfort and inspiration, reminding me to use my antique rose dishes every day, instead of waiting for the holidays.
Take a moment to visualize your ideal life. What lifestyle are you working towards? Are you trading in your dreams for the rat race?