Taking Stock of What Really Matters in Life


We are caught in a daily rat race to make and accumulate wealth. People live their lives on a constant need to make money, remain relevant, build empires and live a life of comfort and satisfaction. What they fail to realize is that peace of mind and enjoying life has little to do with money.

The story below is an inspiration for us to slow down, reassess, and get real about how you really want to live your life.


An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

“With all due respect Sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty five years?” asked the Mexicans.


Morale of the story:
1. Life is Simple. Know what really matters in life, and you may find that it is already much closer than you think.
2. You don’t need an impressive title, big car (or boat), or big business to live a beautiful life and be a beautiful person. In my experience a smaller living space and fewer obligations has made life even sweeter.
3. If you have a nagging feeling that you could do better, make more, and deserve to upgrade, remember that the secret to having it all is recognizing that you already do.
4. You can’t put a price on a happy life. Not even a million dollars.
5. Spend time with your amigos. The wife, children and amigos were all an integral part of the fisherman’s life. Spend time with people who lift you up and quietly distance yourself from those who don’t.
6. Instead of yearning for a big job, big car and big expense account, choose to have a big, beautiful and blessed life and live everyday grateful.

Live small so you can live big.


1. Vanity of Vanities; All is Vanity (27/09/16). Our Daily Manna, July to September 2016
2. The Story of the Mexican Fisherman. Written by Courtney Carver: http://bemorewithless.com/the-story-of-the-mexican-fisherman/
3. 10 Meaningful Lessons from The Story of the Mexican Fisherman. Written by Courtney Carver: http://bemorewithless.com/mexicanfisherman/
4. Photo credit by WAI MING: http://www.waiming.com/pages/reproductions.php

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