When we start our career, we tend to be so deeply involved that we may lose sight of the end goal. For many people, accumulating wealth for retirement, seeing that their children settle down, and buying property could be the goals. They are spot on. But the fact that we overstretch ourselves in pursuit of these goals is the issue.
I am sure you have come across the story of “The fisherman and the businessman”. In case you have not, I am sharing it below:
Once there was a businessman who went on a holiday to a coastal Mexican village and met a fisherman while he was docking his small boat. The businessman saw good quality tuna fish in the boat. He asked the fisherman how long he took to catch these fish and the fisherman said “Oh, not so long. I spend only a few hours fishing each day”. The businessman with utter surprise asked him “Why did you not stay longer to catch more fish and what do you do the rest of the day?”. To this the fisherman said “Well, I fish a little in the morning, spend time with my wife, sleep in the afternoon, go for a stroll in the village, drink wine in the evening and have a few laughs with my friends”.
The businessman thought for a while and wanted to help this fisherman grow this into a big business. He started off by saying how the fisherman was doing things all wrong and that he should get a bigger boat, spend more time fishing each day, expand this small business into a cannery and sell these fresh catch globally.
The fisherman asked the businessman how long this would take and the businessman replied, “About 20 years”. The fisherman asked “Then what?”. To this the businessman laughed and said, “At the right time, you can announce an IPO, sell your stock to the public and make millions. You will become rich”.
The fisherman, with curiosity, asked, “Rich, and then what?”
The businessman replied, “And then you can retire, move to a small costal village, where you can sleep, fish in the morning, spend time with your wife, take a nap in the afternoon, go to the village in the evening, have wine and laugh with friends”.
To this the fisherman said “That’s exactly what I am doing now, Why should I waste 20 more years to do the same thing later?”
Now this story shows how our life goes a full circle to come back to the same place where we start. Well, there are two ways to look at this story: one, where we ask what is the need to struggle so much to reach the same place after many years, and the other would be wondering how goalless the fisherman is. Both are correct, in the sense that there is no need to push ourselves too much while at the same time, we as humans need goals to keep us motivated and be achievers.
The need is to balance these two different schools of thought. In my opinion, once we start working if we are sure of having a much similar life during our old age there is no need to stress ourselves too much. On the other hand, if the businessman in this story had said, “On retirement I would love to travel the world and have a posh house with all facilities”, he would have to push himself and work harder when he is young.
So think of your retirement plan from the time you start working. Plan a life that best suits you. Everyone cannot become the businessman or the fisherman. We need to balance our life to best suit our needs. Live lifefully.