The story is told in a Mexican fishing village where a tourist complimented the locals on the quality of their fish. He asked how long it took to catch them. “Not very long.” they answered in unison. “So why didn’t you stay out longer to catch more?” The fishermen explained that their catches were sufficient to meet their economic needs. “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” “We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas. In the evenings, we go to the village centre, see our friends, play the guitar and enjoy the evening breeze together.”
The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You can start by fishing longer every day, sell the extra catches. With the extra income, you can buy a bigger boat, then a second one until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and eventually open your own plant. You can then leave this village and move to Mexico City or even New York City and from there you can run your growing enterprise.”
“How long would that take asked the villagers?” “Twenty or perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist. “And what happens after that?” Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!” Really and after that?” asked the fishermen. “After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings with your friends.” “With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty-five years?” asked the fishermen. The admonishment this week is for you to define where you are going in life and be sensitive enough to know when you are there, for where there is no vision human has tendency to be distracted by others opinions strongly swayed to accommodate what they think you should be doing. We are designed by God to become great in life, we are not human doing but rather human being. What we become is what we can see from the inside-out of our divinity.
Life for so many people is summarized in strings of activities. I believe life can be lived with a sense of significance and purpose. Let’s consider these virtues this Monday morning:
1. Commit to a cause greater than yourself. You are not the center of the universe.
2. Value people rather than things. Relationship is more important than silver and gold.
3. Give thanks for what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t have.
4. Celebrate your everyday life. Life is a privilege. Always find joy in what you do.
Commitment: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.” It is the commitment to unrelenting pursuit of your cause that produces excellence in life. Every obstacle is simply a course for you to develop your achievement muscle.
Perseverance: Resolute and unyielding, holding on steadily on a course of action in spite of difficulties, obstacles, suffering or discouragement. “And let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.” Perseverance is not just an attitude rather a way of life.
Practice regularly: This is the key to mastery. Trying means learning, learning means improving, constantly improving means you will eventually become good in whatever your passion resides. The truth is that we all have these virtues in us. Keep dreaming, believing, as you put in your very best, for fulfillment is knocking at the door!
The story is told of a store opened exclusively to women to assist them in picking their choice husbands. Among the instructions is a description on how to use the store. ‘You are permitted to visit the store ONLY ONCE’! There are six floors here and the attributes of the men increases as you ascend the flights. The rule binding here is that you may choose any man of your choice from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!
A woman goes to the store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign reads: These men got jobs and love God. The second floor sign reads: These men got jobs, love God and love kids. The third floor sign reads: These men got jobs, love God, love kids and are extremely good looking. ‘Wow,’ she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. Then she goes to the fourth floor where the sign reads: These men got jobs, love the God, love kids, drop-dead good looking and help with the housework. ‘Oh, mercy me!’ she exclaims, ‘I can hardly stand it!’ Still, she goes to the fifth floor where the sign reads: These men got jobs, love God, love kids, drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak. She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor where the sign reads: You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that humans are impossible to please. ‘Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!
The lesson for us this Tuesday morning is simply, at whatever stage of life we found ourselves as we in put the required efforts we must be grateful, be content with such that we have and learn to enjoy where we are on the way to where we journey. Things may not be as perfect as we planned but remember there will always be room for improvement.