What does financial freedom mean? How does it change my life? What do I really need to be happy and fulfilled? How much money do I need to “retire?” Would a simpler life allow me to retire, sooner or later? What is the price I pay for simplicity? Complexity? If I died tomorrow, what unfulfilled dreams would I regret having never lived? What is keeping me from living those dreams today? More food for thought…
Here is another one of my all-time favorite childhood tales–Mexican fisherman and the banker.
An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.
The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the Mexican how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.” The banker then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican fisherman replied he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman replied, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos: I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The investment banker scoffed, “I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution.”
Then he added, “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
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 could make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
To which the investment banker replied, “Then you would retire. You could 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.” ♥.¸¸.•°´°▪♥ღ
I love this simple parable. It brings clarity to what the money game is all about…and not. It brilliantly illustrates the illusions I so easily fall into when pursuing wealth and financial freedom. It is far too easy to build incessantly and forget the end game. It is equally easy to forget all the goodness I am surrounded by today.
The truth is it doesn’t take a lot of money to have a truly wealthy life and happiness, it takes freedom.
Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!
(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)