What exactly is success? Who decides? How is it measured?
There’s a story that is all over the Internet in various forms. I’m not sure who originally wrote it, but here’s some possible history of the story: Ernie Zelinski I liked this website’s version the best. I edited it a little and posted it here.
The Parable of the Successful Fisherman
An American businessman went on a vacation to the coast of Costa Rica. On his first
day there, he was very much impressed with the quality of the yellowfin tuna he bought
from a local fisherman. The American met the Costa Rican by chance the next day at
the dock, but he had already sold that day’s catch.
The American, in talking with the fisherman, discovered that the fisherman had a private
and secluded fishing spot where the fish were plentiful and of excellent quality. He only
caught enough fish to provide for the immediate needs of him and his family.
The American asked the fisherman why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish.
“But Señor,” the fisherman replied, “I sleep in late every morning; I play with my children;
I go fishing for a while; in the afternoon I take a siesta with my wife; in the evening I have
a relaxing meal with my family; and later in the evening, I go to the village and drink wine,
play guitar, and sing with my amigos. As you can see, I have a full, relaxed, satisfying,
and happy life.”
“You should catch a lot more fish,” the American declared. “That way you can save and
prepare for a prosperous future. Listen, I am a very successful businessman. I can help
you, too, become a lot more successful in life. I have an MBA from Harvard, and I know
a lot about business and marketing.”
The American continued, “The way to prepare for your future is to get up early every
morning and spend the whole day catching as many fish as you can, even going
back for more in the evening. In no time, if you save and invest wisely, with the extra
money you make, you can buy a bigger boat to catch even more fish. A couple of
years from now, you can have five or six boats that you can rent to other fishermen
who catch fish for you. In another five years, with all the fish you will control, you can
build a fish processing plant and even have your own brand of fish products.”
“Then, in another six or seven years,” the American rambled on while
the Costa Rican looked more and more bewildered, “you can leave here
and move to New York or San Francisco, and have someone else run your
factory while you market your products worldwide. If you work hard for fifteen
or twenty years, you could become a multimillionaire several times over. Then you wouldn’t
have to work another day for the rest of your life.”
“What would I do then, Señor?” queried the fisherman.
Without any hesitation, the wealthy American businessman enthusiastically
proclaimed, “Then you will be able to move to a little village in
some laid-back country like Mexico where you can sleep in late every
day, play with the village children, take a long siesta every afternoon,
eat meals while relaxing in the evening, and play guitar, sing, and
drink wine with your amigos every night.”