On a beautiful, warm day twenty-five years ago, I looked out the window of my beachfront villa in Bali. As I ate some snake fruit, I watched several fishermen knee-deep in water, catching fish.
My phone rang, and my friend Michael, one of the original founding officers of FedEx, said hello.
We talked for a while about Legendary Leadership, a passion of his, and the fisherman I was watching. He asked if I had heard the story of the Mexican Fisherman? No, what’s that about? I asked inquisitively.
Michael proceeded to tell me this story.
An 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 giant tuna. The American complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The fisherman replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The fisherman 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 fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria. Each evening, we stroll into the village 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. 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. You would move to Mexico City, then LA, and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the fisherman.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO, sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions!”
“Millions – 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 siestas with your wife. In the evenings, you would stroll to the village where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
I was spellbound.
WOW. This story had my head spinning. I was young, ambitious, with plans for the future, and yet here, in this simple story, my friend had conveyed to me the essence of what most people take a lifetime to figure out.
Many of us are so busy doing and living that we don’t take the time to figure out what we really want. Can you relate?
The American in the story advocated for more is better and chased what I call the Success Paradigm. Lived linearly, one success leads to another only to live a good life at an old age. Is more really better? What if you get to the end goal and it isn’t what you expected?
What would happen if you lived your life with your ultimate end result in mind?
What if we could figure out what we really wanted and work backward to today? Then we could start living our ultimate dream life now, instead of at the end of a long road.
Perhaps you are like many people I have met. You know with certainty what you don’t want but have no idea what you want or what would make your heart sing?
To know what you want in your heart of hearts is one of life’s best gifts.
Turn fear, uncertainty, and doubt, into confidence, certainty, and clarity!
To me, the value of these three C’s (confidence, certainty, and clarity) are priceless. Without them, inaction is the norm. When you are clear about what you want — nothing can stop you.
Anjou and I created the GOLDZONE Experience to give people a sensory experience of what’s possible if you lived your life knowing what you really want in all areas. We offer an experience of life and a step-by-step guide to getting each area of life into the zone. If you already live this way, congratulations! If not, and you want an experience to fast-track your journey, consider exploring what GOLDZONE has to offer.
P.S. Most people I meet are overscheduled. They run from meeting to meeting. With such busy schedules, where is space and time to think about what you really want for the rest of your life? When do you take the time to work on yourself — your most important and often neglected asset? The GOLDZONE Experience offers you a chance to slow down for a few days to relax, reflect, and reinvent!
P.P.S. Do you want more spirit, meaning, and fulfillment in your life, career, or business? Now is the time to do it! Reinvent Yourself!
Leadership Advocate and Co-Founder of the Goldzone Group. I help leaders to master the new rules of leadership for the new economy. Over the past 30 years, I have visited more than 500 cities in 54 countries to explore, learn from, and help many of the world’s leading companies, leaders, and luminaries in the fields of science, technology, health, finance, and entrepreneurship.