There once was a successful business man who vacationed in a small village in South America. He happened to meet a fisherman at a local cantina and they struck up a conversation. The businessman was intrigued by the fisherman’s little fishing business. He shared how he took his boat out a few days a week and then sold his catch to the local market.
The businessman’s wheels began turning as he thought of the possibilities this man had. He explained how he could invest in the fisherman’s business and help him expand. Then he could buy another boat and hire friends or family members to work that boat. He could continue to buy additional boats with his profits and eventually get a contract with a much larger market or retailer in the city.
He explained how that, for his business to be successful, he would need to put in a lot of hours to make sure everything was running smoothly, but eventually, the business would run smoothly and the fisherman wouldn’t have to work so hard.
The fisherman looked a little confused by all this. He asked the businessman, “Why would I want to do all of that? What would be the reason?” The businessman told him that he would then have the freedom to fish for fun a few days a week, and spend time with his wife, children and extended family.
The fisherman’s eyes lit up. He finally understood!
Then he turned to the businessman and said, “That is what I ALREADY do! Why would it be necessary to go through all that work and expense, if I am already doing what makes me happy in my life?”
The businessman opened his mouth to speak, and realized he did not have an answer for the man. He shook the fisherman’s hand and left the cantina, and actually began contemplating his own life and why he was working so hard…
Living happily just as you are
Which brings me to my question for contemplating:
Where is the balance between being perfectly content with who you are and where you are at in your life AND striving to achieve to be your best, to reach for achieving more, doing more than where you are?
Think of the many people who are completely happy with where they are in life. They are happy enough with their 9-5, their handful of friends, a few hobbies, their small, yet sufficient home. They are happy with who THEY are as a person. They feel no desire for growth or change other than maybe improving their bowling score. Their world seems to be very small. Maybe like the fisherman in the story above?
And then there is the person who is constantly seeking growth and change, never really content with the level or place they are, because they are always striving forward. Never content with the current situation. And maybe this is where the businessman above falls. And to be honest, this is where I find myself a lot of the time.
Where is the happy medium? Is there a happy medium?
What does it look like? How does it feel?
Is it possible to be content with your current situation, yet be striving for personal growth?
Can you live happily being who you are, and yet be striving to change?
Is it possible to be content, yet motivated to change a habit or circumstance, without becoming obsessed over the desire to improve?
I would love to hear your take on this. I don’t have the answers here and would love input and perspective!