An oldie but a goodie – happiness story

An oldie but a goodie – happiness story

Some of you might have heard or read this parable before, I certainly have, but I was reminded of it again recently and it’s so good it bears repeating at regular intervals (like many happiness inducing activities or strategies).

A US businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican fishing village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, ‘Only a little while, SeêÑÔ±or.’

The American asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican said that he had enough to supply his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, ‘But what do you do with the rest of your time?’

The fisherman said, ‘I play with my children, take siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, SeêÑÔ±or.’

The American smiled, ‘I am a Harvard MBA – that’s a degree in business studies – I 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. Then instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor eventually opening you own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.

‘You would, of course, need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.’

The Mexican fisherman asked, ‘But, SeêÑÔ±or, how long will all this take?’

The American replied, ‘Fifteen to twenty years.’

‘But what then, SeêÑÔ±or?’

The American laughed, ‘That’s the best part. When the time is right you sell your stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.’

‘Millions, SeêÑÔ±or? But then what?’

‘Then you would retire, move to a small coastal fishing village, where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, Maria, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.’

With just a hint of a twinkle in his eye, the fisherman said, ‘SeêÑÔ±or – are these business degrees hard to get?’