There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.
We all have struggled with our work-life balance from time to time. I know for instance when a couple might have a new baby there is more time required at home. Some of us have struggled with a work assignment that seems to require lots of time in the office or maybe extra time on the weekend. I want to share with you a story I have heard a few times about the American businessman who is on vacation in Mexico. The story gives us a great check on perspective especially when it comes to different cultures. We in the United States may be much more ambitious than our neighbors from the south, but that is not always a good thing.
An American businessman was on holiday in Mexico.
As he relaxed on the beach, he noticed a fisherman coming in on his boat. The American complimented the fisherman on his catch and asked him how long it took him to catch that many fish.
“Not long.” was the reply.
“Then why didn’t you stay out longer?” asked the tourist.
“Because this is enough for me and my family.” explained the fisherman.
“So what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish for a while, play with my children, take a siesta and spend time with my wife. Then in the evening, I go into the village to visit my friends, I have a few drinks, play the guitar and sing a few songs. I have a full life.”
The American was surprised. “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you. You should spend more time on the water fishing, then you can sell the extra fish, make more money and buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?”
“With the extra money from the bigger boat, you can buy two or three boats and eventually hire more people to operate a fleet of fishing trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can start to negotiate directly with the processing plants. After a while you would be able to open your own plant. Then you could leave this little village for Mexico City and eventually, New York! From there you could operate the whole enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.
“And after that?”
“Well my friend, that’s when the fun starts.” explained the tourist, “When the business gets really big, you can sell stock in the company and make millions!”
“Wow, millions. What happens after that?” asked the fisherman.
“After that you’ll be able to retire on the coast, sleep in every day, do some fishing, play with your grandkids, take a siesta and spend time with your wife. In the evenings you will be able to go out drinking and singing with your friends.”
The fisherman just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.
Story originally from Better Life Coaching Blog.
What do you do to keep work-life balance?