What does my ideal life look like…
I’m confident to say that I am very clear on exactly what I want my ideal life to look like. When I visualize my perfect life I can easily fill my time with all the things I enjoy doing like writing books in inspirational places, racing Ironman triathlons in different countries, and coaching clients while having the freedom to attend retreats and conferences around the world. Now I’m pretty close to doing just that as I’ve now had the pleasure to work with over 50 clients from 3 different countries, I’ve raced 2 Ironman races and have another one coming up in Mexico, the internet has given me the ability to share my writings and YouTube videos with my audience and I’ve made the world a better place in the process. However, this wasn’t the life that I had always planned and it’s taken me some time to figure out what true happiness means to me.
Throughout my childhood and through college I had always thought that I would be a successful businessman wearing dry cleaned suits with monogrammed sleeves, driving an expensive exotic car with a fancy Rolex on my wrist. My house would be over 10,000 square feet in a gated neighborhood on the golf course (trust me I’ve spent a lot of time visualizing this.) With this life of luxury I’d be super busy with my high net worth clients and I’d rarely have the time to spend with my family or friends. However, when I would make the time to squeeze them in my schedule we’d be going to expensive restaurants and drinking even more expensive wine while I tell stories about the massive deals I’m working on and the potential commissions I’d be earning so I can buy more of the overpriced things I don’t really need – thank god this isn’t the case. I already know I’d feel so empty inside and I’m blessed to understand that all those materialistic superficial objects are not what’s going to fill my heart with joy.
Growing up in South Florida a lot of people have these things and the message that this sends is that you are a happy and successful person with everything at your fingertips. You can “do whatever you want, whenever you want” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s pretty evident that the 80 hour work weeks, millions of dollars these people are chasing, their broken marriages, substance abuse problems and compromised health issues are not worth sacrificing and it takes some years for these people to realize that. There is a great story about a businessman and a fisherman and it encapsulates this dilemma very succinctly. It’s a famous anecdote and I know it’s famous because dozens of non-fictional authors tell it in their books. The most recent book I read that featured this story of the businessman and the fisherman was in the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris.
The businessman and the fisherman….
(taken from Paulo Coelho author of the Alchemist )
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?”
This story is the epitome of the way we live these days. The dichotomy that we are stuck in. We chase and chase and chase when what we want to do or what we want to have is right under our nose. We believe that the grass is greener on the other side but if you can be extremely clear on what matters most to you then you will find a way to get it and get it now. It’s crystal clear to see that the fisherman is already living his best life. Building a multimillion dollar business and taking it public on the NYSE is not what’s going to allow him to live his dream life faster as he is already doing that now. A lot of us are the businessman, we need to start thinking more like the fisherman. This is because we are groomed to believe that we should focus on what type of work we want to do or what type of job we want to have to be “successful” but I believe we should be doing the complete opposite. I think it’s time that we shift the paradigm from what we want to do to how we want to live.
What do I mean by this? Well before you start coming up with your perfect career or what type of work you want to do you should gain clarity on the type of life you want to live. Do you want to have freedom to travel? What do you want to spend your time doing? Do you want to make your own hours so you can spend more time with your family? How much money do you really need? I think we tend to overestimate the amount of money we need to do the things we want.
As I sit here writing this blog at Starbucks preparing for my business trip overseas I can’t help but feel grateful for all the opportunities I have in front of me. If you are someone that has uncertainty around your purpose in life just know you are not alone. Reach out to me via email or DM me on Instagram and I can help you find that purpose and create that life you are destined to live.