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 fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “Not long at all.”

The American then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The fisherman said that was all he needed to feed his family.

The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep in, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a fulfilling life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could really help you. You should spend more time fishing and use your profits to buy a bigger boat (and catch more fish). Then, with the profits from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats and eventually own an entire fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you could sell directly to area restaurants. You could control the product, processing, and distribution. You could grow to the point that you could move to New York City and exponentially expand your business.”

The fisherman asked, “How long would that take?”

The American replied, “probably 15 to 20 years.”

“And then what?” asked the confused fisherman.

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

“And then what?” the fisherman asked yet again.

The American said, “Then you could retire, move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep in, 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.”

The fisherman simply shook his head…

What’s the lesson I pull from this powerful parable?

Keep things simple, appreciate what you have, slow down, and live the life you love (and love the life you live)!