Monday, May 20, 2013

Do What You Love, Keep It Simple

I've decided to share one of my favorite stories, which I found here:
'A vacationing American businessman standing on the pier of a quaint coastal fishing village in southern Mexico watched as a small boat with just one young Mexican fisherman pulled into the dock. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. Enjoying the warmth of the early afternoon sun, the American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

"How long did it take you to catch them?" the American casually asked. "Oh, a few hours," the Mexican fisherman replied. "Why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" the American businessman then asked.

The Mexican warmly replied, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs." The businessman then became serious, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

Responding with a smile, the Mexican fisherman answered, "I sleep late, play with my children, watch ballgames, and take siesta with my wife. Sometimes in the evenings I take a stroll into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, sing a few songs..."

The American businessman impatiently interrupted, "Look, I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you to be more profitable. You can start by fishing several hours longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra money, you can buy a bigger boat. With the additional income that larger boat will bring, before long you can buy a second boat, then a third one, and so on, until you have an entire fleet of fishing boats."

Proud of his own sharp thinking, he excitedly elaborated a grand scheme which could bring even bigger profits, "Then, instead of selling your catch to a middleman you'll be able to sell your fish directly to the processor, or even open your own cannery. Eventually, you could control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this tiny coastal village and move to Mexico City, or possibly even Los Angeles or New York City, where you could even further expand your enterprise."
Having never thought of such things, the Mexican fisherman asked, "But how long will all this take?"

After a rapid mental calculation, the Harvard MBA pronounced, "Probably about 15-20 years, maybe less if you work really hard."

"And then what, señor?" asked the fisherman.
"Why, that's the best part!" answered the businessman with a laugh. "When the time is right, you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."

"Millions? Really? What would I do with it all?" asked the young fisherman in disbelief.

The businessman boasted, "Then you could happily retire with all the money you've made. You could move to a quaint coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, play with your grandchildren, watch ballgames, and take siesta with your wife. You could stroll to the village in the evenings where you could play the guitar and sing with your friends all you want."

What do you think? A simple reminder to live the life you love, and you will be successful at it? What defines success to you? 

To me success is finding strength, contentment, passion, and integrity in that which you do, through  the challenges, the times of nothingness, and the rewards. It just feels right.

Lucky for me, I had wonderful parents who always instilled in me, 'Do what you love, and the money will follow.' Here's a compelling TedTalk on the subject that many in the world are struggling with right now, and it involves much of the same advice, for us 20-something dreamers and doers.

I think one of the biggest challenges in life can be to know what it is you do want, to know what does actually make you happy. It sure seems like the simpler we live, the easier it is to know and do what makes you happy. Like the Mexican fisherman. He was content with life as it is. But for so many of us who want to change the world, who've seen expansiveness, who want to have an impact, where do we start? Here's an interesting article about happiness found in making a difference.

How do we make that difference? We start with ourselves and it quite naturally unfolds from there. It's about following your heart. Your intuition. And if that seems confusing or inaccesible to you, revert back to the good ole Eleanor's 'do one thing every day that scares you.' If it rattles your bones, you know it's making a difference. Start there. And know that by changing your life for the better, you are without a doubt already changing the world.

I hope you enjoy!

Please feel free to write me, or comment, with any questions, confusions, or for further insights!
I welcome them!



  1. I like the fisherman. I like his attitude. I like that he is already present in his life. Thanks Jessica. There is a flipside, I get that. But like this story.

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    2. Glad to hear it Linda! The story makes so much sense to me. I guess I forgot to mention that my favorite takeaway from this story- is that Life is pretty much perfect, EXACTLY AS IT IS! =)

  2. Love this post, love you and LOVE this site!! Keep rockin It!! In the not so distant I'm coming to Montana with my camera!! :)