365 Days in Aspen

The Mexican Fisherman

fishingLast night a friend asked me what I planned to do for the remainder of my 365 Days here. "You should do something grandiose," she said.  

"Hmmm…" was my response.  

Then I told her the parable about the Mexican Fisherman and the Harvard MBA. 

There are several versions of this story, so bear with me if you've heard a better telling. Here's the part I remember, and shared with her. 

A Harvard MBA went on vacation to Mexico, where he met a Fisherman. He took notice of the fisherman's lifestyle, which was to sleep late, go fishing for a while, go home for lunch, make love to his wife, take a siesta, do a little more fishing and then spend time with his family.  

The Harvard MBA said to the Fisherman, "You know, if you got up a little earlier every day and skipped your siesta, you could catch more fish. Then, within six months you could afford to buy another boat and hire someone else to fish for you."

"And then what?" asked the Fisherman.

"Well, within five years, if you worked hard enough, you could have a whole fleet of boats!"

"And then what?" said the Fisherman.

"In 20 years you could retire," said the MBA.

"And…?" asked the Fisherman.

"You could sleep late, go fishing for a while, make love to your wife, take a siesta, and spend time with your family."

The moral of the story, of course, is to really get clear on what you want. What lifestyle. What purpose. What contribution to the world. How you want to spend your time.

To be continued…