Enjoying today or planning for the future?
Once upon a time there was a Mexican fisherman who was resting after the morning’s fishing, in a hammock strung up between two palm trees on a spectacular stretch of untouched coastline.
Suddenly, he noticed the arrival of a businessman, who had walked over to his humble fishing boat and was scrutinizing it carefully. “How many fish did you catch this morning?” the businessman asked. “Seven big tuna,” the fisherman replied, pointing to the fish stored in the shade. “There’s plenty of fish in these waters. I get the day’s work done in a couple of hours.” “Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the businessman. “I don’t need any more. I catch enough to support my family, and I can spend the rest of the day relaxing, enjoying this beautiful beach, and spending time with my wife and children.”
The businessman looked perplexed. “If you spend more time fishing, you could use the proceeds to buy a bigger boat. That way, you could catch even more fish, and soon you’d have enough to buy several boats. Before long you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Then, instead of selling your fish to a distributor, you could sell directly to the buyers. You could move to Mexico City and build your fishing empire into a massive company.”
“But then what?” asked the fisherman. “Then you could sell the company for millions and retire! You’d be rich!” “And then what?” asked the fisherman. “When you retire, you could move to a tropical paradise and spend your days relaxing, strolling on the beach, and enjoying life with your wife and children.” The fisherman, smiling, replied, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”
This story highlights perfectly the illusory race toward future success that so many of us get caught up in. Especially in the Western world, the race against time to achieve material success is rife. Time is our god: we must achieve, achieve, achieve while we still can. But what are we achieving if we cannot enjoy this moment?
Can you relax and enjoy this moment? Or do you find it difficult to stop doing? My team of teachers and I would be delighted to hear from you.
PS: If you haven’t already downloaded the free guide “How to Stop Worrying”, click here to request it now. You will learn a technique here that will bring you into the present moment, so you can really enjoy your life.