Have you heard the old story of the Mexican Fisherman and the American Tourist? It goes a little something like this:
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…just kidding.
An American tourist was at the pier of a little coastal Mexican village when a rinky-dink fishing boat with just one fisherman docked.
Inside the little boat were several large Yellow-fin tuna. The tourist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked him how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”
The tourist then asked, “Well, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch some more fish?”
The Mexican said, “With this I have more than enough for my family.”
The tourist then asked, “But what on earth could you possibly do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, have fun with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I throw back some beers and play guitar with my amigos. I have quite a full and busy life.”
The tourist scoffed, “You need help and I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the money you make from fishing, buy a bigger boat, a better boat, maybe even a yacht. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy a boatload of boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor; by doing that you could eventually open your own cannery and name it something awesome like, “Oh My Cod!”. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this boring old coastal village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding fish enterprise!”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
The tourist replied, “15 to 20 years, maybe a few more.”
“But what would I do then?” asked the Mexican.
The tourist laughed and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions!”
The American said, “Then you could sleep late, fish a little, have fun with your children, take a siesta with your wife, stroll into the village each evening where you’d throw back some beers and play guitar with your amigos.”
Many people seem to confuse wealth with money. To be wealthy, to many and perhaps even you, means to have an excess of money – more money than you need to accommodate your lifestyle. People (perhaps you, too) feel that financial wealth brings comfort, happiness and most importantly the ability to do what you really want. Here’s the irony, almost all of us sacrifice comfort and happiness to make money. We put our lives on hold for 20 or even 30 years. Maybe we end up putting our lives on hold for our entire life. All in the quest to make enough money to give us the freedom to be comfortable and happy. The actual definition of wealth, is a wealthy life. To be happy, secure, comfortable, safe and appreciative of ones own life experience.
I have had the good fortune of experiencing the lowest of financial lows and boat loads of cash… and guess what, I wasn’t happier or more comfortable at any of those times. Money didn’t bring happiness (can I say, duh?). My wealth (and yours) has always been direct result of my happiness, my security, my comfort and most importantly my appreciation for my own life experience. Now don’t get me wrong, when you experience a wealthy life AND you have financial wealth, that is a GREAT combination. It gives you the freedom to do even more with your wealthy life.
Now I know what you’re probably thinking. “I’ve been cheated! This article isn’t about wealth… this is total BS. I want to know how to get rich!” If you feel that way, I get it. I felt that same way for years, until one day it finally clicked. A dollar richer, a dollar poorer. A million richer and a million poorer makes no difference in the wealthy life.
If you want a wealthy life, do everything to be truly yourself. Do your calling. Don’t know what your calling is? Make your calling finding your calling. Do everything to bring happiness to yourself (with the caveat of never hurting anyone else, of course). Be the Mexican Fisherman…. it will bring you unlimited wealth. And in some strange way, people who live an unlimited wealthy life, seem to always bring enough financial wealth into their life, too.