There’s this funny, sort of modern-day fable someone once told me about some investment banker-type guys who took a trip to Mexico.
They’re sitting around in this seaside village and they notice an elderly Mexican gentleman fishing at the end of a pier.
In talking with him they find out that a huge supply of rare, super-valuable fish are swimming around in that very spot. But the gentleman just sits and stares at the vast blue all day and maybe catches one or two to feed his family. Or none. The catching is not really the point.
The investment banker dudes are flabbergasted. In broken Spanish, they excitedly tell the calm, steady fisherman that he’s sitting on a gold mine. Waving their hands around rather spastically, they explain that, with the abundance of fish swimming around right there in that very spot, they could work with him to set up a huge enterprise. With the amount of rare, sought-after fish that they would be able to catch with the help of a commercial infrastructure, all of them–the fisherman included–could make tons and tons of money.
The corners of the fisherman’s eyes crinkle with a barely detectable, knowing grin.
In a thickly accented, gravelly voice he says:
“Why should I catch many, many fish to sell to make lots of money? So I can retire by the sea in Mexico and relax all day with a fishing pole in my hand?”
Point taken. The banker dudes shuffle off with their tails between their legs. They spend the rest of the day drinking Coronas with their toes in the sand, pondering the meaning of life.
I find that, more often than not, what I truly want is closer than I think. It doesn’t require setting up a multi-national, multi-million-dollar enterprise. It doesn’t even require a six-figure income.
For me it’s all about having as much time as I want to spend with the people who mean the most to me. And making a difference in the world.
What is it for you?
Before you set up your corporation, launch your product, sign the contract, or call the lawyer, ask yourself what you’re really after.
Then remember the Mexican fisherman and the banker guys.What you really want is closer than you think. (Tweet it.)
What do you really want? Have you ever found yourself making it harder or more complicated than necessary to get it?
Photo Credit: Andy on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/people/atmtx/