I’m gonna retire in a bikini…

I’ve got a plan. In a few years I intend to retire from city life and move to a tropical island somewhere, where I can take the tourists fishing. I will have an outdoors shower, a jacuzzi under some palm trees and a veranda facing the ocean. Every morning I will pick my breakfast from the trees in my garden. I’ll own a business, or ten, that can be run from the middle of nowhere, but give me a chance to go travel and visit civilization ever so often. My boyfriend will be a great surfer and teach me how to ride the waves and j-u-s-t c-h-i-l-l will no longer be a theoretical dream, but a practical reality.

Seriously speaking (actually, I was quite serious) I see so many people, myself included, running around hunting a dream that is partly ego, being in constant agony, whereas we could all be sitting fishing whilst watching the sunrise. I have said this before, but most of my happy memories includes the ocean, the sunshine and a bunch of fun people. That’s it. That made me happy. Yet I’m running around like a maniac trying to “make it” in the big city.

Of course we all need self-realization – do what we love and earn a good enough living to lead a nice life. It is also my belief that we need to help others, or the planet, to feel fulfilled. What we don’t need is trying to please our egos by driving Porsche.

There is a story I may have told before, but it deserves to be retold time and time again, until finally, one day, we get it:

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

(classic Brazilian story, probably also present in other cultures. Someone found the English version, but I could not identify the translator)

From Paulo Coelho’s blog.


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