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And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.

~ Abraham Lincoln

by Pete Ferguson

Years ago a young American, celebrating his recent graduation from an Ivy League University with an MBA, visited a small village in south America. With its pristine beaches and warm weather, the location was the vision of Paradise for every American Corporate cube dweller.

He took time to walk the beach each day and watched the small boats return from fishing. He approached one of them and complimented the fisherman on his fine catch, but noted that it was such a small bounty.

Eager to put his newfound education to work, he asked the man how long it took to catch the fish. "Not long" replied the fisherman.

The young man then asked what the fisherman did with the rest of his day, to which he replied, "I sleep in late, go fishing, return to play with my children, eat a nice lunch, take a siesta, meet with family and friends, play guitar and then go to bed. I have a full and busy life."

The young many quickly replied, "I just received my MBA, I could help you. If you fished longer, you could bring in more money, buy a larger boat, and eventually have your own business. Some day you could then sell the business and make a lot of money."

"How long would this take?" asked the fisherman. To which the young man replied 10-20 years.

"What would I do then?" asked the fisherman. "Anything you want! You'd be rich," replied the young man.

To which the wise fisherman replied, "I currently have everything I want, what more could I want for?"

Having traveled Europe and the Asia Pacific region, in addition to spending time along the Mexican border and in Canada, I have seen that as Americans, often our idea of "success" is really distorted ... Continue Reading

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Comment by Jeff David on June 20, 2012 at 1:23pm

Thanks Peter, I love this story. Having lived in the Philippines for a couple years, I really saw that life was defined by who you have, not what you have.

Just last week I ran into a lady at the grocery store with whom I worked 10 years ago. She has a son who is a very successful CEO of a major corporation. She has another son who is a stay at home dad. She told me that the CEO son told his brother, "you are the luckiest guy in the world because you get to spend so much time with your family; I work 14 hours a day."

Let me know if next Tuesday works for lunch.

Jeff David

PS: I have a new post up today on a sandwich we made at home: www.hometownslop.blogspot.com

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