Here is the classic story of the businessman talking to a Mexican fisherman on how to live a good life. Enjoy.
An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.
“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.
“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American laughed and stool tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will all this take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 tops.”
“But what then, senor?”
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, senor? Then what?”
“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
I recently collaborated with a channel on youtube called “Boost your Brain”, the video that we collaborated on was about the most important concepts in a classic Book title “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. You can either view the video here below or read it in the form of the blog post below, enjoy!
Lesson #1: Focus on today.
Or to live in day tight compartments as dale Carnegie puts it. Meaning to shut out the past and the future and focus all your energy on the task at hand. Here’s a little quote to sum it up “Why are we such fools – such tragic fools? “How strange it is, our little procession of life! The child says, ‘When I am a big boy.’ Then, grown up, he says, ‘When I get married.’ But to be married, what is that after all? The thought changes to ‘When I’m able to retire.’ And then, when retirement comes. He looks back over the landscape traversed; a cold wind seems to sweep over it; somehow he has missed it all, and it is gone. Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.” – Stephen Leacock. You see, we are all dreaming of some better future that’s just over the horizon rather than enjoying what’s at our doorstep. Realize that this day will never dawn again. Life is slipping away with incredible speed and Today is your most precious possession.
Lesson #2: What’s the worst that could possibly happen?
It’s the mistake of a fool to worry about something that we haven’t analyzed. So ask yourself: what’s the worst that could possibly happen? What’s the absolute worst? Now, come to terms with it, accept it. Expect that it’s going to happen. Finally, improve upon it. Once you accept the worst thing outcome possible, there’s nowhere to go but up. All you can do from then on out is improve upon it, and thus no reason to worry
Lesson #3: Don’t let the small stuff get you down.
In the Book, this lesson is most perfectly portrayed in a story of an a man named Robert Moore while in a submarine nearing the end of WWII. So the American Submarine went to attack a Japanese minelayer when the minelayer started heading straight for them. So they sunk to 270 feet and tried to go undetected. Almost immediately after, depth charges started exploding right around them threatening to blow their submarine to pieces. The exploding depth charges went on for 15 hours. During this time period, Robert was so terrified he could hardly breathe. ‘This is death’ he kept saying to himself. His entire life flashed before his eyes. In retrospect, he realized that he used to spend all his time worrying about not being able to buy a new car or nice clothes, having stress because he hated his boss, and other similar trifles. He said: “How big all those worries seemed years ago! But how absurd they seemed when depth charges were threatening to blow me to kingdom come. I promised myself then and there that if I ever saw the sun and stars again, I would never, never worry again.” For we often face the major aspects of life bravely and then proceed to let the trifles get us down. Lesson being, don’t sweat the small stuff. Here we are on earth with only short amount of time left, and we end up worrying over grievances that, in a year’s time will be forgotten. Let us devote our life to worth-while actions and feelings. For life is too short of be little.
Lesson #4: Use the Law of Averages
Start asking yourself “what is the possibility that this event I’m worrying about will actually happen?”. For most events we worry about are highly unlikely to happen. For example, then Carnegie was a kid he used to worry about being buried alive or of being struck by lightning. By law of averages, is there any real reason to be worrying about these events. First of all, the probability of getting struck by lightning is approximately a 1 in 1 million chance. And the odds of being buried alive are even worse. Therefore, there’s no need to be worrying about these things. There’s next to no chance that they’re ever going to happen, so let’s stop worrying about them. The future is nearly impossible to predict. We have almost no clue what events will happen tomorrow, so why worry?
Lesson #5: Stop fretting over the past
All too often we incessantly think about past situations, as if we think we change them. The past is done, it’s over. There’s nothing you can do but calmly analyze and learn from past mistakes and then move onto the next thing. We need to stop our mental patterns that are founded on the assumptions that we can somehow improve the past by thinking about it.
Lesson #6: Count your Blessings
Be grateful for what you do have rather than what you don’t have. For there’s always something to be grateful for, no matter what. So here’s a short little quote to back it up “I had the blues because I had no shoes, until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” – Denis Waitley. This habit will naturally make you happier. Just remember to count your blessings rather than your troubles.