Monday, July 5, 2010

More Than Enough

I stopped dead in my tracks in Jimmy John's tonight after I saw a short story on a sign titled How Much Is Enough? I'd written a post back in March that was along the same lines, which you can read here if you missed. I kind of thought that I had things figured out, meaning that enough equals dozens of houses and a lot of dogs and after my hair started falling out in clumps from anxiety. That then, only THEN, maybe I was allowed to take a lunch longer than fifteen minutes and turn off my phone for an entire day. Or at least let it go to voicemail.

I don't think I'll ever be like the Mexican in the story on Jimmy's wall, because I don't play guitar and I drink too much coffee. And, well, let's face it, I'm not as brave as him, either. Either way, I included a copy of it below, because I think that you might like it as much as I do. It has me contemplating how much things have changed over the last year and a half - how much I've changed - and how excited I am for the future.

How Much is Enough?

The American businessman was at the pier of a tiny coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, "Only a little while." The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" The Mexican said, "I have enough to support my family's immediate needs." The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York City where you will run your expanding enterprise.” The Mexican fisherman asked, “But how long will this all take?” To which the American replied, “Fifteen to twenty years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, "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?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

My husband found this story somewhere recently and read it to me...hum, what on earth was he saying to me?!?! :) But, I love the essence of the story, really, what is important and why are you doing what you are doing? Good questions to ask certainly! Janell

Katie @ said...

LOVE this! I just quit my job to go work in Costa Rica for a bit, so this fits my current sentiments exactly. Thanks for sharing a story that helps me express it - might have to steal it and link to this. :)

Brooke&Tyson said...

oh i love love love this!! it's such a great story... thanks for sharing!! hope yall are feeling better!!

Kelly said...

Costa Rica sounds fabulous, Katie! Have fun.

hiphousegirl said...

I'm in love with this story!

Aura said...

This is one of my all-time favorite stories. I work a few doors down from Jimmy John's, so the #6 and this story while I wait always make my day.