I’ve had two of my closest friends quit their jobs over the past few weeks and that got me to thinking. I’ve always preached that you shouldn’t work for work’s sake. Everyone has a passion and should be able to live their lives in pursuit of that passion. I was always pretty disappointed when my friends out of college took the first job offer that was put in front of them when I knew that the career path they set out on was not in their true best interest. I feel as though many of us try to follow the “American Dream” by going to a good school and then climbing the corporate ladder, only at the end to find out that the money is not all that worth it. This all reminds me of the story of the Mexican Fisherman, that I coincidentally enough saw posted in a Jimmy John’s yesterday:
An American investment banker 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 American 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 American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American 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 siestas 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.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and 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, eventually opening 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 will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American 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 – then what?”
The American 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 siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
So here’s to nothing. I vow to find my passion and pursue what I love everyday. It’s getting harder and harder to work my butt off at work when I truly don’t want to be there. Here’s to never working a day in my life.
“Here’s to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world – are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Inc.
February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011