The Businessman and the Fisherman Story

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A great story about the true meaning of happiness and how sometimes we have our priorities backwards.

A management consultant, on holiday in a African fishing village, watched a little fishing boat dock at the wayside. 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.

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 or maybe even in the United Kingdom, 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…”

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Keep Your Writing Flowing

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As a writer I come up with stories all the time and frequently keep them in a notebook just to keep them straight. A lot of the time the stories are simply concepts or one liners that come to me, or even lines of dialogue that don’t really fit in anything else. But just because I create what I think are great ideas (at the time) it doesn’t necessarily mean that I follow through with those stories. Sometimes they remain just a line or two in my notebook and sometimes they evolve into something more.

The important thing about story creation is just allowing yourself to create the story. A lot of times I put pressure on myself to get things done by a certain time or try to force the story to come out. But the problem with that is sometimes the story suffers because of this pressure or I just want to stop writing altogether because it not longer seems fun. Writing isn’t always going to be fun and easy for me but if I lose sight of the enjoyment of it, it just becomes monotonous joyless work and that is the worst kind of work.

That’s being said here are some fun ways to keep the creative juices flowing:

  • Eat Something Delicious. Have you ever been upset with your writing while eating cheesecake or strawberries? Didn’t think so. Just be careful not to get those delicious things on your keyboard. Yeah… not fun.
  • Think Big PictureWhen I create a story I start by making index cards or checklist with the main plot points. I create the whole story with this. A lot of times I get frustrated with writing the more detailed stuff of stories like the what the scene looks like and what the characters are wearing. I come back and look at the big picture of the story and it helps me to get grounded again.
  • Reread What You Wrote. I know there are some cardinal rules out there about writing first and rereading once you finished. But sometimes I like to go back and read what I’ve done. It throws me from the writer seat into the reader seat. I get to the end and go “that’s it?!” then laugh because obviously I haven’t written anymore.
  • Take a Walk. There is a park by my house that I love to stroll through. There is something about it that moves my creative spirit. Find that place for you and visit it whenever you need a break.
  • Close Your Eyes. Not to sleep! But to imagine the story as it plays out. A lot of times I get trapped trying to keep up the details of the story. I’ll have five characters in a room and finish a scene only to realize I lost one of the characters in the story. They were there and then they disappeared. To keep track I stop and imagine myself viewing the story with as much detail as possible then translate that to the page.
  • Tell the Story to Someone Else. When you have to explain your story to someone you start to see the parts that are missing, especially when they ask questions about certain things. It’s easy to have the whole picture in your head but telling the story to someone else helps you to realize just how whole the picture is on paper.
  • Listen to Music.  Usually when I write a script I create a playlist of music that is specific to the feeling of that script. When I play the music it stirs emotions in me and I put that toward the script. It also helps me to stay focused in the moment of writing.

It important to find ways that help you keep your writing fresh for you, that way you finish can be just as strong as your start.

Got any other ways you keep creative juices flowing? Let me know below.

Image courtesy of winnond/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net