Fisherman’s Parable

Frequently I become obsessed with thinking about making more money and falling victim to the traditional American school of thought that working hard for your boss is the way to get rich. For me working harder means putting in more time at the office, which in turns means sacrificing the things that are important to me: mainly training and hanging with friends. The following is a parable that I read whenever I get stuck in these work consumed phases that allow me to re-focus:

One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the hope of catching a fish.

About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working hard to make a living for himself and his family.

“You’re not going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman, “You should be working harder rather than lying on the beach!”

The fisherman looked up, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”

“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“And then what will my reward be?”

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let your employees catch fish for you!”

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”

The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”

This got me thinking about my ideal world. In my ideal world, I would work 20hrs/week and be allowed to do it remotely so I can travel whenever I want. I would spend the majority of my time training, and goofing off with friends…basically living the college life as an adult.

A couple questions for you guys/gals:

1) What is your ideal world like??

2) How do we go about obtaining it in the near term??

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2 Comments on “Fisherman’s Parable”

  1. The Leader Says:

    1. We get so damn caught up in this rat race that oftentimes what is truly important can get caught up in the confusion between expectations and responsibilities. Such a life may give you the means to live day-to-day but does not constitute the end.

    In truth, my ideal world is much like yours. I’d rather train and spend time with those I care about. I’d like to focus on personal interests like gardening in my backyard, taking vacations, and spending time, well… sitting around on a beach without a care in the world.

    2. Herein lies the rub. We work. After all, we all need to pay our bills somehow. AND… there is something to be said for focusing and achieving your professional goals. BUT… the end game should be vastly different. In keeping with what I initially said, most people get so caught up in the details that they can one day look back on their lives and realize that they spent all this time worrying and preparing for a future that has already come and passed like wool pulled over their eyes.

    So listen carefully… as I will now give you the advice on obtaining your life goals in the short-term.

    How we accomplish HAPPINESS and a beautiful life begins with building a mindset that comes down to the phrase, “No matter what uncertainty, consequences, or repercussions may follow, I will make conscious decisions for the betterment of MY OWN life, free from the pressures of others. ONCE you decide to commit to yourself, you will be amazed at what potential you never knew you had.


  2. How about…

    1) We move to Brazil, live by the beach and train all day. We can make money by giving surf lessons to tourists.

    2) Learn to surf!


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