This is one of my favorite stories and it conveys the idea that success is a personal thing and you can enjoy it faster if you know your values, you are deeply connected with what makes you fulfilled and you pay the price to go against what society defines as success.
“A successful businessman on vacation was at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The fisherman proudly replied, “Every morning, I go out in my boat for 30 minutes to fish. I’m the best fisherman in the village”.
The businessman, perplexed, then asks the fisherman “If you’re the best, why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish? What do you do the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, spend quality time with my wife, and every evening we stroll into the village to drink wine and play guitar with our friends. I have a full and happy life.”
The businessman scoffed, “I am successful CEO and have a talent for spotting business opportunities. I can help you be more successful. 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 with many fishermen. Instead of selling your catch to just your friends, you can scale to sell fish to thousands. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to the big city, where you can oversee your growing empire.”
The fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the businessman replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the fisherman.
The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, spend time with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends.”
If you could do anything you wanted, what would that be?
How clear are you about what makes you fulfilled and what do YOU really want in life?
How are you honoring your values?