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Is yours a full and happy life? Tuesday November 26, 2013

We often operate on auto-pilot and then can easily overlook the blindingly obvious. The following story serves to remind us to check why we do what we do and begs the question 'is yours a full and happy life?'

A businessman on holiday in an African fishing village watched a small fishing boat dock by the quayside. Noting the quality of the fish, he asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them. 'Not very long' answered the fisherman. The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The businessman asked 'But what do you do with the rest of your time?' 'I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few beers, play the drums and sing a few songs...I have a full and happy life' replied the fisherman.

The businessman ventured 'I have an MBA and can help you. You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring you can buy a second and third boat and so on until you have a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a city here or maybe somewhere further afield, from where you can direct your huge enterprise.'

'How long will that take?' asked the fisherman.

'Oh ten, maybe twenty years' replied the businessman.

'And after that?' asked the fisherman.

'After that? That's when it gets really interesting' answered the holiday maker, laughing. 'When your business gets really big you can start selling shares in your company and make millions!'

'Millions? Really? And after that? pressed the fisherman.

'After that you'll be able to retire, move to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree and spend relaxing evenings having drinks with friends...'

Now with that story in mind maybe ask yourself a few questions:

Do you live to work or work to live?
Is your life full and happy?
Have you a healthy and fulfilling balance in your life between work, rest and play?
Are you operating on auto-pilot most of the time?

At this time of year, with Christmas approaching and New Year resolutions soon to be considered perhaps, like me, you will be reflecting on your life and what you spend your time doing. I hope this little story will help you make better sense of where more of your time should go and make 2014 a full and happy year.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Adam Tue, Nov 26th 2013 @ 8:04am

Brilliant - loved it!

diana Tue, Nov 26th 2013 @ 10:37am

My very words too - Adam, though in fact I was about to put " absolutely "
in front of the "brilliant ". anyway enchanting - thanks Steve..... !

Mary Blackhurst Hill Tue, Nov 26th 2013 @ 12:00pm

Reading that story I can see that ambition can be a negative trait instead of the positive thing I had always viewed it as being. A very good reminder. Thank you, Steve.

Clive Freeman Tue, Nov 26th 2013 @ 12:59pm

I love stories like this, and I'd love to be able to live that life - frankly, what's not to like! I do fear the reality of the equivalent story in somewhere like the UK though, where you can't catch your daily meal in a convenient lake, and where the weather isn't quite as hospitable as that which the charming fisherman experienced! But we can definitely still take something from these parables, regardless of where we live.

Stella Day Tue, Nov 26th 2013 @ 1:19pm

Very thought provoking. It reminds me of a wonderful little book called 'Castaways of Plenty' which is well worth a read and has the same kind of message. Thanks for this.

Lostinspace Tue, Nov 26th 2013 @ 2:49pm

I like to think that many people are living their lives this way, those that have fishing fleets can help other people and someone should put bankers and their ilk in detention and repeat this to them until they "get" it.
Here the fishermen don't go out very often because now what they catch they sell to the United States and the local population cannot afford to eat fish any more! Where's the moral in that?

Anonymous Wed, Nov 27th 2013 @ 6:51pm

this is very true but try telling it to a business man. of course we need industry and big fleets to bring the 'fish' to the people but everyone should be afforded a good work life balance. too much are we worked into the ground to make someone else millions. what is the point of all that money if you have no time to spend it or are not happy. take note bosses and managers if you are reading ;)

John Kelly Thu, Nov 28th 2013 @ 10:44am

Hallelujah - good to know others share the dream. If only we could make it a reality!

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