Oct 12

The Story about the poor old FishermanOne day a rich Westerner who had made sqillions from speculating on the stock market was strolling along the beach and saw the fisherman pulling in his boat with his meager catch.

The rich Westerner stopped and remarked “not much of a catch today”. The fisherman replied “yes not much” but explained that his small catch was enough for him and his family.

The rich Westerner asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, play with my children and have an afternoon’s rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go to the local pub to see my friends, play some music, and sing a few songs….. I have a full and happy life.” replied the fisherman.

The rich Westerner ventured, “I have an MBA from Harvard 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.

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 a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a city from where you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.What a poor Fisherman can teach you about Retirement

“After that? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the rich Westerner, laughing, “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stock in your company and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” pressed the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings with friends…”

I found this story posted by Allan, Moderator of the Bali Forum.

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written by Chris

25 Responses to “What a Poor Fisherman Can Teach You About Retirement”

  1. elayNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi..this is a nice and inspiring story..=)

  2. nickNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Then the retired fisherman used his millions to open a school, library and hospital so that the fishermen who stayed behind could enjoy life a little longer, realise the breadth of experiences avaliable the world has to offer and his children did not have go hungry when there was no fish to catch because they learned how to do other work.

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    …and he got 2 kids, named them Paris and Lindsay, they were spoiled as hell and brought through the family inheritance in a bit less than 1 year, without ever knowing the value of money, the meaning of life and other wisdoms. ;-)

  4. mercuryNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    lol seems like the poor fisherman doesn’t think about expending their business at all. Maybe they think fisherman unable to get rich

  5. SanNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    I heard about a similar story about an Indian villager who along with his wife, used to make and sell clay pots and was leading an easy life…..

    Crow is black in all parts of the world.

  6. ChampDogNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    What will the fishermen respond to the last answer? I thought the fisherman will respond with I already have all these now without expanding my business. I initially thought the moral of the story is to the us to understand “What is enough”. But it seems like is meant for business inspiration based on you guys reply. :)

  7. NealeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thats sweet & so true :)

  8. digitalnomadNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Now this is one I need permission to reprint.

  9. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Digital Nomad – sure you can reprint the story. It would be just nice, if you could refer to the source and article link and maybe not print the whole article or add some of your own words. This way we both aren’t punished by Google too much regarding duplicate content. ;-)

  10. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Business Expansion can for sure be the answer for some. As long they are happy with it? Happiness is naturally defined different by everyone who opts to answer to it. Is that what you meant, Champ Dog? Mercury was actually pointing in that direction, if I got that right.

    Although personally I think the Fisherman is rich laready, even if not monetarily but maybe rich in life experience, the understanding of what counts in life or a sense to fulfillment. Arglglggl!

    Drinks and discussion really doesn’t mix for me. ;-)

  11. ArunNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Remember reading this one long back somewhere(the Indian version)..
    I took my step last week.. retiring next month and going to on the road.. can’t wait for it :)

  12. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Arun, congrats on your decision to fulfill your dreams!

  13. DanielleNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    So funny, isn’t it. It reminds me of the Hemingway story the old man and the sea, one of my all time favorites.

    Wishing you and yours health, balance and joy.

  14. SallyNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    This is an interesting discussion. I have sympathy with the fisherman in the story. But I think that people should pursue their dreams, and if your dream is to run a big business and make lots of money, and yes, invest it in your community, then that is fantastic and good luck to you.

    However, although many people don’t have the will or the drive to do this, society seems to think that this is the only measure of success. So people slave away in jobs that make them miserable, chasing someone else’s dream.

    It’s important to know yourself, to know what makes you happy and to do that instead of doing what other people simply expect of you.

    Great story!

  15. raviNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    I think this story speaks to the whole concept of the “work till you die” dillemma in modern society. The vast majority of people are not millionaires nor will they ever be…or at least if they do become wealthy have spent thier lives working away or are too old to enjoy themselves too much…i’m getting out of the rat race in the next few years for sure.

  16. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Wow, thanks for all the great comments so far! It’s really good that everyone has a slightly different view. And it would be surely boring otherwise. ;-)

  17. EpicurienneNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hi Chris,
    I’m truly inspired by your site. Would it be okay for me to add you to my blogroll?
    Warm wishes,

  18. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Epicurienne, sure – go ahead, I feel honored! Will check out your site as well in the next few days. Have a great weekend! ;-)

  19. EpicurienneNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Thanks Chris. Actually, I was wondering if I could e-mail you a few questions about leaving the rat race so I can write about you on my blog. Let me know what you think!

    FYI my e-mail is epicuriennemail@yahoo.com


  20. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Epicurienne, you got mail!

  21. AlexNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I don’t see this as a inspirational story. I see the satirical side in which our society says the only way to become happy and do what you want is to become rich until your old. In the end the man ideally ends right back where he started, except older missing those moments with his family slaving away. The message I get is that happiness comes from the simple things in life, you don’t need money to travel across the world, everything you need to be happy is right in front of you, and these simple forms of happiness are cheap, mostly free.

  22. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    And that’s why it worked inspirational for me, Alex. Mileage will vary. Of course, it’s satirical also, as many people will read the story, chuckle maybe and continue to do what they’re doing, like the rich Westerner in the story. Isn’t that ironic? :D

  23. ChrisNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Some of the comments to this article are curious. The point of the story is that most of us work so hard so as to “one day be bale to enjoy life”, whereas if we keep life simple, than we can enjoy our lives now. No riches required. Live for the moment. However, if you are caught up in ‘making your mark’ through attaining wealth, and then opening hospitals, schools, etc(which most rich people do, lol) then happiness will always be for some future date. Here news for you, the world will not remember your wealth. It is the backwards approach to bringing meaning to your life. Wealth is fine, but dont sacrifice your life for its attainment. Many more people chase it their entire lives than actually attain it. Give your life meaning now, and dont bank your happiness some future goal which may never be realized. Heard this parable before, one of my favorites… parables…

  24. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you, Chris! ;-)

  25. DonNo Gravatar BRUNEI DARUSSALAM Says:

    This is a great story but, sadly, a realisation that most people have once it’s too late. There is no second chance.

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