I honestly think that a lot of people miss one of the most important aspects of life, and that’s the concept of ‘having enough’ RIGHT NOW.
Understanding this idea requires that one slows down a bit to concentrate on what really matters in life.
Introduction: Most People Value The Wrong Things
Often times, people want more and more of “things” that don’t really matter. They never stop and realize how fragile their life is, and how short it can be.
They chase the wrong “things” and miss out on the important ones, like the sunset, the sunrise, playing with their kids, and appreciating just “being.”
They go for more success, more money, and more things that clutter their life, more hours at work, and more negativity and stress. They don’t even realize the weather changing, spring coming, or their kid growing up. They spend less time with their family and less time being with nature, or just nurturing their own precious moments.
The most poignant example of this is the story of the Mexican fisherman and the investment banker.
This story is by far one of my favorite parables. Here it is…
The Parable Of The Mexican Fisherman and the Investment Banker
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 large yellowfin 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.”
The American then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican 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 Mexican fisherman said: “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife Maria, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed. “I have an MBA from Harvard, and can help you,” he said.
“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, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middle-man, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening up your own cannery. You could control the product, processing, and distribution,” he said.
“Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked: “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied: “Oh, 15 to 20 years or so.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American 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!”
(The Mexican replied) “Millions? Then what?”
The American said, “Then, you could retire, move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”
The Moral Of The Story
The story of the Mexican fisherman and the investment banker is all about giving value to life in the present tense, without deferring anything to an unknown future.
Here are some tips to enjoy life more, and in the present tense.
- Enjoy Your Life now because you have enough of what it takes to be happy.
- Life is about enjoying this moment. Just take a moment to feel your own presence.
- Life is about slowing down and smelling the roses. Slow down and look around you. Can you feel the sun or the breeze? Can you see how amazing the moon is? Can you feel how lucky you are to be alive?
- Life is not about living in the future or in the past.
- Life should not be all about money because money can’t buy you one more second of life on this earth, or happiness, or peace.
- Respect, cherish, and enjoy those you love, while you have your family, your loved ones, your children, and your parents.
- Don’t take anything for granted, because anything can change in a wink of an eye.
- It is OK to be stressed out a bit once in a while, but don’t let stress debilitate you. Stress can have its positive effects, especially when you are about to make a change in your life. You have to learn how to let go and trust that everything works out at the end.
- Don’t concentrate on possessions and material things. Concentrate on building relationships and life experiences.
- Do more of what you enjoy doing.
- Learn how to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
- Still not happy? Change things! Learn how to change your life around if you are miserable right now.
- Stay away from time wasters and avoid toxic or narcissistic people. Be with people who don’t take you for granted and who build you up.
- Appreciate your life and your body. Show up for yourself. You are truly a miracle, and the chance of YOU being born in your shape and form is 1 in 400 trillion. Can you even imagine this number? That’s how lucky YOU are.
Your life is as rich as your experiences, and you have enough RIGHT NOW to live it well.
The Bottom Line On Slowing Down And Having More Appreciation
If you want to learn one poignant thing about life, learn how to appreciate what you have right now.
You can no longer live in the past or live in the future. You have everything it takes right now to enjoy life today.
Change your value system from being a slave to money (and appreciating possessions only) to valuing people and life’s experiences.
Life is short and you have a very limited time here to make it worthwhile. Live it well. Live it with passion.