“I can’t believe am working so hard to drop the things I worked so hard to get?” She said. “Am now leaving the car at home so that I can walk. I have stopped taking sugar. Am looking for a more flexible job. I think I will eventually relocate to a quiet serene place away from the city” The irony is, these are the things she worked so hard to get; A car, a house in the city, a busy job and “good” food. I should have told her how many visits I make to the forest these days.
These are thoughts that one would expect to have as they approach retirement. The interesting thing is, she is not anywhere near retirement. She is in her mid-thirties and pursuing her PHD. As generations unfold we are starting to realize what really matters and what is more important to us. We are having the courage to accept our definition of happiness.
This reminded of an old story titled;
The fisherman and the businessman;
There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”
The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I have a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”
The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
Classic Brazilian story
Next time you want to give someone advice on how to be happy or wonder why someone is content with so little, remember;
- Life is personal and so are goals.
- Your definition of happiness is unique to you and does not necessarily apply to everyone else.
- Unless they tell you they are not happy and they need more; don’t make that assumption.
All the effort you are putting today is unconsciously geared towards a few things;
Good Health, A Reliable Source of Good Food, Shelter, A Purpose, A Few Close Relationships, To be A Valued Part Of A Community, Access to Great Outdoors and Some Physical Activity.
These are the true necessities! How you get there is up to you;
Run your own race!