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Today is ‘One day…’

Ages ago, there was this guy who went fishing everyday in what I think was a tiny village in Greece.

Effortlessly he caught fish after fish. He did it for no more than 3 hours a day, catching no more than he and his family needed. The rest of the day he spent with his kids, grandkids and wife, sitting with them, talking with, laughing with them, just being with them.

One day he was doing what he does everyday on the docks, fishing for no more than three hours, and there was a wealthy American tourist on the docks watching the Greek man pull in fish after fish. He was impressed. Then the Greek man stopped and started packing up. He had his haul and he was done for the day. The wealthy American approached the Greek man. He introduced himself and told he is a PhD in Business. The American asked him why he was stopping and the Greek man told him. The wealthy American asked him what he does with the rest of his time…

‘In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and when evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.’

The wealthy American was shocked and thought how could this man not have the ambition to capitalise on this high ROI opportunity. He told him, ‘…But you could be doing so much more!’

Intrigued, the Greek man asked him what he meant.

‘Well, if you fish all day, instead of the 3 hours you do, you could then sell each day’s haul to a large commercial seafood distributor.’
Curiously, the Greek man asked him, ‘Wow. Then what?’
Then, you could buy a boat and ship offshore for even bigger hauls.’
‘Wow. Then what?’
‘Then, after you’re catching so much more fish and selling so much more and making more money, you could buy a couple of extra boats, and employ four of five full-time fisherman to work with you. Then you could make even more money.’
‘Wow. Then what?’
‘Then in 5 years, you could buy a full-time dedicated fishing ship.
‘Wow. Then what?’
‘Then in another 5 years, you could buy a whole fleet of ships, and employ dozens of staff.’
‘Wow. Then what?’
‘Then in another 15-20 years, you could sell off your company to a major international commercial fishing line and then retire.’
‘Wow. And then what?’
‘Then you’d be free to take naps in the afternoon with your wife, and when evening comes, you could join your buddies in the village for a drink — play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.’

I forget if the fisherman was actually from Greece, and some of the precise details of what the American businessman said, but what’s important is the message.

If you’re working for something that you hope to be doing some day, and you have the choice to go do it now… stop. And go do it now.

I would love to be doing something fulfilling for work, spending every minute of my working day on something I give heaps of fucks about. And when I’m old the only place I want to be is down the beach with my dog, crashing through waves like a kid, throwing the ball for my dog or trying to catch it myself, and trying to look like I can bodysurf.

But I can do that now. So when I catch myself spending hours on email, in an attempt to build my career, so that one day I can be on a beach with my dog crashing through the waves all day like a little kid, I stop. I turn the computer off, I go to the beach with my dog and crash through waves all day like a little kid. 30 years ahead of schedule.

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