One day a CEO of a major corporation was on vacation, and stumbled upon a fisherman coming back from his daily catch.
Intent on striking up a conversation, the CEO asked what the fisherman’s day was like.
“Well,” says the fisherman. “I go out in the mornings, spread my nets, and wait for a catch. I take a lunch break around noon, then haul whatever I’ve caught to the market around 2pm.”
Intrigued, the CEO pressed on.
“Well, what do you do with the rest of your day?” He asked.
“Oh I dunno,” replied the fisherman. “Play with my kids, relax, spend time with my wife, read some books.”
At this point, the CEO was getting excited.
“Hey!” The CEO exclaimed. “I bet I can help your business. If you work a bit harder, I bet you could expand your business. Buy more boats, hire more fishermen. Expand your entire operation!”
“Cool!” The fisherman replied. “Then what?”
“Well,” the CEO said. “Then you can sell your fishing operation, and make millions of dollars.”
“Wow!” The fisherman exclaimed, obviously excited. “What can I do with a million dollars?”
“You could relax,” said the CEO. “Play with your kids! Spend time with your wife! Catch up on your reading!”
Suddenly, the mood changed as both the CEO and the fisherman saw the irony of the suggestion. Both then went their separate ways, and the CEO later went on to quit his job.
Thanks to Jerry for sharing this story with me.
I’ve personally witnessed family members who dedicate the majority of their time to their career. They have the best intentions but sometimes I wonder if such sacrifices are necessary. And then I reflect on my journey in the marketplace. Should I assert more discipline, time and energy to achieve ‘success?’ I guess that would highly depend on what ‘success’ means. And this parable provides me with that answer.