Saturday, July 5, 2008

Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal

A management consultant, on holiday in a fishing village, watched a little fishing boat docked at the quayside. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them.

"Not very long." answered the fisherman.

"Then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the consultant.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family and that he is happy with what he has.

The consultant asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon's rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few beers, play the drums, and sing a few songs..... I have a full and happy life." replied the fisherman.

The consultant 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 here, from where you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the fisherman.

"Oh, ten, maybe twenty years." replied the consultant.

"And after that?" asked the fisherman.

"After that? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the consultant, laughing, "When your business gets really big, you can start selling shares 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 having drinks with friends...and have a full and happy life"

“Isn’t that kind of a life I am enjoying now?” wondered the Fisherman

We grow up believing that what counts most in our lives is that which will occur in the future. We are doing everything to make a better future. Parents teach children that if they learn good habits now, they will be better off as adults. Teachers assure the students that the boring classes they attend now will benefit them later, when they are going to be looking for jobs. The General Manger tells the junior employees to work hard and have patience, because one of these days they will be promoted to the executive ranks. However the hope will remain with them even on the previous day to the retirement. “We are always getting to live,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson used to say, “but never living.”

As we know that we have only one life, we need to start living it. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You won’t get a second chance. And hence live every moment in your life, derive happiness and enjoyment in every moment of your life.

Have a fulfilling week ahead.