Thursday, September 27, 2012

A life well lived

As I rush from one task to the next.  Catching the next train and running after the bus, answering an email while paying online bills, I stop and reflect on my life.  I am living a life well lived, or is everything just a blurry of things to be accomplished so I can tick items off from my “to do” list?
Why the sudden reflection of a life well lived?  I read this story from unknown author, probably you have read it too because it is widely circulated in the World Wide Web, the story of the Mexican fisherman… And the story goes like this.
The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman 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 businessman then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The businessman 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 a 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, señor."
The businessman scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and I 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 and eventually open 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 LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But señor, how long will this all take?" To which the businessman replied, "15-20 years." "But what then, señor?" The businessman 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, señor? Then what?" The businessman 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 a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, "Isn't that what I'm doing right now?"
Well a life well lived would be, it seems to me is appreciating what you have.  While it’s not bad to plan for the future, but it is another thing if we are foregoing living in the present for the future.  Possessions and wealth are not enough.  While comforting, it cannot fulfill everything.  A life well lived is love and happiness in abundance.  Acknowledging that love is not a feeling but a verb is to show the people that matters most to you that you love them.  And happiness is in having the realization of how blessed you are for what you have.  Not everything will be easy and turn out exactly how you planned it, but choose to be grateful for what you have and happy for that gift of your life.
As I go on with life adjusting and trimming it to become what I want my well lived life to be, my only hope and prayer is that I may not be drowned by the mundane things of life and the lure of “success” that every Jane, Mary and Harry are aimlessly striving for that I lose focus of what a well lived life is really about.
What is a well lived life for you?



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