Our view of success reflects our values. All of us – parents, students, ministers, gang members, police officer, burglars – are driven by what we value. Our values are reflected in what we give our lives to. They’re reflected in the way we use our time and energy.
This is a brief story about a fisherman who figured out what the true meaning of success:
[one_half] A fisherman lying on the bank of a river in Maine was having a great time. He would cast his line into the gently moving water, and now and then he caught a silver salmon.
He had his lunch and beverage by his side as he sat in the shade of a tree. His stringer was getting heavy with the weight of the fish he had landed. He was bringing in another large fish when a well-dressed businessman drove up and came over to him. “Don’t you know that you could catch many more fish if you would put several lines in the water?” he asked.
The fisherman replied, “Why would I want more fish?”
“Well, look, it’s simple,” the businessman said. [/one_half][one_half_last] ”If you had more lines, you’d catch more fish and make more money. You could buy a fishing boat. Once you did that, you could open up a store and sell your fish to everyone. After you open one store, you could open several others. You’d employ people, and eventually you could become a fish wholesaler and ship fish all over the country. And then you would become very wealthy.” The fisherman took a bite of his sandwich but looked skeptical at the businessman. “And then what would I do?” he asked.
“Well, if you’ve become that successful, you’d have all the time you want to do what you enjoy the most. You could lie back, relax, and go fishing.”
The fisherman just smiled and said, “But that’s what I’m doing now.” [/one_half_last]
You see, this fisherman’s values were reflected in how he used his time. He knew he was successful, even though it was not apparent to other people. He knew that his success was not measured by how much he owned or how much money he had but by his sense of inner contentment. That fisherman knew that success was something internal rather than external.
Are you like the fisherman?
Will you know success when you see it or will you keep pursuing an illusion? Terry Hershey says, “We live in a weird world where more is never enough. We cannot be content, so we fantasize about those who do ‘arrive’ by reading about lifestyles of rich and famous people; we sacrifice the values of our ‘ordinary life’ of relationships, family and personal solitude to pursue the ecstasy of that which will let us ‘be somebody.’”The fisherman knew he was somebody. He had found his ecstasy in simple pleasure.
~from ‘Finding the Life You’ve Been Looking For’ by H. Normal Wright