The story of the fisherman and the MBA is real life
Have you heard the story of the fisherman and the MBA student?
You must have heard it before now. I’ll give you the short (and much less coherent) version.
A guy sits fishing on the dock. He catches enough fish for the day and goes home to his wife, enjoys a long lunch, walks by the beach, time with his kids. He repeats the same thing the next day and the next.
Straight out of business school, the MBA student strolls past and notices the fisherman’s routine. His eyes light up with the opportunities. He taps the fisherman on the shoulder and tells him if he stayed longer, worked harder, and caught more fish he could buy a boat, build a business, employ people, and make more money.
The fisherman looks him in the face and says ‘but then what?’ and the MBA student says ‘well, then after 20 years you can retire. Spend time with your kids, long walks on the beach with your wife’.
You see the point right? We’re chasing, desperately chasing a life that we live the reality of right now. That’s what people are realising.
Read also: 4 bizarre things that hold you from succeeding (stop doing them asap)
The tide is changing
There is a change in the tides.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but for a while, I didn’t clock it. For a while, a few cool folks tweeted about it and I nodded in agreement. Yes, I thought, finally.
You see for a long time I thought that the answer was this:
Work hard, get a job, get a house, buy a dog, climb the ladder, 2.5 holidays a year, the same number of kiddos, retire at 66, go on a cruise. You know the life.
Realising what you want is a biggie
It was point number 5 that I was sure I was going to do well at.
I watched the apprentice relentlessly as a kid. I’d think about the fancy clothes I’d wear the meetings I’d attend and the people I’d meet. The decisions I’d make.
And then, after a year at work, I realised that everything I thought was completely wrong. This climbing-the-ladder thing was not for me. I wanted to run a mile from it.
More stress, more responsibility, more hours, for what? A 15% pay rise. I was never one for money anyway, I was never someone that spent much. I’ve had the same coat for 6 years, my trainers cost $40 and the joggers I’m sitting in cost $10.
So this extra money thing for all that stress wasn’t a trade-off I thought was worth it.
It was then, when I started to look closer I realised that there was a series of things bubbling beneath the surface. Here are the realisations I’ve noticed people making.
1. That money is an enabler of lifestyle
Motivators come in many shapes and sizes.
Money is an obvious one. It’s one that may be previously been never questioned. Of course, you’d go for the raise, pursue more money, and move companies for a high pay cheque.
But when you break money down into what it actually is, an enabler for the life you want, things get interesting.
Now if the life you want is fancy cars, big houses, and important meetings then sure, climb that ladder. But if it’s not (which it isn’t for everyone) things get interesting.
2. Time is the asset, not money
When you fall down the rabbit hole of what money actually is, you realise that it is the only thing that can buy you time.
That’s when things get interesting. If you see more as a time vehicle, you start to unpick all the beliefs you held dear to your heart. You realise that a job isn’t the only way to buy time, you realise that time is also bought by assets that can make you money.
You start to look at your time and audit it:
Am I having fun?
Do I like spending my time doing this thing?
Could I be living a more fulfilled life elsewhere?
This is not, I repeat not about quitting the ‘rat race’ and becoming free, whatever that means. It’s just about looking at how you spend your time and asking if that makes you happy. Net happy, not happy all the time it doesn’t exist. It’s the net of the good and bad days.
Read also: 6 stupid habits that rapidly kill your drive and energy (must read)
3. Not caring what other people think
The biggest shift I’ve seen in 2022 is not caring about what other people think.
It’s like one by one people are unplugging themselves from the opinions of others and stepping into a life that makes them feel good. They accept that people might think differently about them and that’s okay. That’s not their issue.
People are realising that in order to live a life that’s true to them, they need to untether themselves from the opinions of others and I’m so here for it. People are defining success, happiness, health everything.
And honestly, it’s magical to see.
What is so liberating about this entire thing is that all over the world people are starting to live the life they’ve always dreamed of. And it’s not the money by the way. It has little to do with money.
I’ll tell you about my own liberation.
For years I was an onlooker, someone that sat on the sidelines reading, watching, and listening to all these amazing people. After every 2-hour session of consuming from the world’s most successful minds, I’d sit there and think ‘I wish that could be me, they don’t sound that much better than me’.
Whether they are or they aren’t it’s not the point. The point is that I had the courage and self-belief that I could try. That’s been my last 2.5 years. Sure I’ve earned a bit of cash along the way but that’s beside the point.
The best feeling you can chase is self-respect.
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