How to Define Happiness: The Tale of the Fisherman and the Businessman
The tale of the fisherman and the businessman is a classic story reminiscent of Aesop’s fable. The moral of this story reflects the idea of what success looks like for each of us. Success, happiness, and contentment could be the simplicity that life already offers.
A businessman once sat by the beach in a small village.
As he sat, he saw a fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore, having caught quite a few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I nap with my wife, and the evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing, and dance throughout the night.”
The businessman suggested the fisherman.
“I am a Ph.D. in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and catch as many fish as possible. You could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish when you have saved enough money. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, and set up your own company and your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. You will have moved out of this village to the city, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”
The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”