There is something to be said for scaling back, down-sizing, simplifying, all those things that take the "heaviness" out of life and make life more enjoyable. I absolutely loved this story that was shared in the book The 4-Hour Work Week. (and I promise this is the last I'm going to quote from this book..for now!) I can't take credit for the writing of the story, but it is so clever and compelling I really wanted to share it.
I'll summarize the story, but it basically starts out with an American business man who has taken a vacation to a small Mexican village to attempt to get some rest and relaxation. He ventures out to the pier one morning and sees a small boat docked with one fisherman inside the boat and several large yellowfin tuna. He asks the fisherman how long it took for him to catch the fish, to which he replied "Only a little while."
When the businessman asked him why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish, the man replied, "I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends".
The American asked him, "But...What do you do with the rest of your time?"
(I love this part)...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."
As you might expect the American (with his Harvard MBA) immediately jumps in and starts going on about how he could help the man. If he would spend more time fishing, he could buy a bigger boat with the proceeds, and then buy several boats. Eventually he could have a fleet of boats. He could sell his fish directly to the consumers, eventually open his own cannery, leave the small fishing village and move to Mexico City or Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where he could further expand his enterprise.
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, senor, how long will all this take?"
The American replied, "15-20 years. 25 tops."
"But what then, Senor?"
He laughed and responded, "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?"
(Ok...this really is the best part!)
"Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your children, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll into the village each evening, where you would sip wine and play guitar with your amigos... "
Now doesn't that story just do the best job of painting the picture of the "rat on the wheel" that we often allow our lives to become. What really are we striving for?! Really!? I mean how many people have envisioned quitting their jobs, selling everything, and living in a little grass hut by the beach...the simple life?! I think you're lying if you say that thought has never ever crossed your mind!? But how many people actually have the courage to do it? And what if we could accept our simple, yet humble lives as being a blessing?
What is too heavy, too stressful, too confusing, too "hard" in your life? What if you released it all and just relaxed a little. Laughed a little more. Enjoyed life a little more. Life can be simple and carefree. It really is a choice!
Love and Prayers