March 8, 2008

Acknowledge Your Present

Very often we are so focussed on future that we lose sight of gifts in our present.

It is important to design our future and move towards it. However, this should not be at the cost of being ignorant of our present. It is more important to be aware of our present and be conscious of the gifts that we already have. Failure to acknowledge your present would mean a life full of frustrations, simply because you step into your future only when it becomes present.

The story below illustrates this beautifully. I came across this story multiple times on the internet. The author is unknown.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican.
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have an MBA and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
"And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"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 drinking and enjoying your friends."
The Mexican looked confused, “But... I already live this life”

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Merging Point said...

I have heard this story in a different way, Aseem! The essence is simply superb. Contentment is all that one needs to have. One of our friends did that and its inspiring to feel that fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

Aseem, I have heard that story before but it never loses it's simple message and is worth revisiting again and again. I wrote a post today that also talks about looking at life a little more simply. Glad to visit you again, Rick

fruitu said...

Beautiful post Aseem!, Most of us always chase one or the other to have a safe and secured future, in the bargain we miss the valuable present.

Maxwell Hoffmann said...

Aseem, this was a very valuable lesson. I had not heard this story before. Thank you for sharing it.

MadMerv said...

I had not heard this story either. It's a reminder that quality of life is ultimately what makes us happy.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Thanks, I haven't heard this story before and it made my day.

Ray Gratzner said...

This story made me smile. Capitalism provides no personal feeling of sense, when we focus on making more profit.
Thank you.

Dorothy said...

Oh my gosh...I love that story. Would you mind if I posted it on my blog grammology and said it was from your blog....? How long do you think it would take most Americans to get the point? (if ever) This is the best, thank you..

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call your gram

Aseem said...


Please free free to post this story on your blog.

Unknown said...

Nice Aseem!!!
Well any one has ever pondered, why we are so much involved in seeking future that we become entirely ignorant of our present. Is that so because future is always very fascinating and human heart is never satisfied with what God has already bestowed on them.
I believe all those people in this world who are contented are the most luckiest beings (like that Mexican).Because some times I have observed the scenario that the more we pursue for future the more we are lost in worries of life.
We may get lot of money and luxuries of life but in return we lose contentment, self satisfaction and peace of mind and heart.
But in my opinion we must not impose so much self satisfaction on our attitude that impedes our progress. In fact we must always thank God for what ever blessings He has bestowed on us and look for bright opportunities in future as well.

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