Did you ever really think about this question. I’m sure we have all thought about our future and made plans to achieve our goals, but do we really think about whether once we get there that is a place we want to be? I’ve been pondering this question a lot lately and I recently came across something I wish I would have had years ago.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I 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."

"And after that?" asked the Mexican.

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.

"After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

And the moral of this story is: ……… Know where you’re going in life… you may already be there.

This story has an excellent morale. We all face stress in our lives. But how much stress is self inflicted and does it really get us to where we want to be? I know personally I’ve put myself in difficult situations which caused me more stress than was worth the problems the stress caused in my life. I’m sure a lot of us are like this. Perhaps it would be better for our society if we all took a look back and decided whether its worth a big car or big house considering all the work stress many must endure to have these things. Wouldn’t a smaller house and a slower pace of life be just as good?

Albert Einstein said “Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have trying to impress people they don’t like”

This is so true at least that it something I’ve been guilty of doing. Have you?

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Filed under: Stress Reduction

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