How Much Money Is Enough? The Story Of The Mexican Fisherman


Let me tell you one of my favorite stories. It’s about an American businessman and a Mexican
fisherman. The story goes like this: An American businessman,
who was severely overworked, visited his doctor. The doctor told him that he’s stressing himself
with his job too much, and that he needs to take a break to reset himself. The businessman
obliged and the next week he took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village. However, on the very first morning, he already
got an urgent call from the office. Because he was stressed out and unable to
fall back asleep, the businessman walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked,
and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the
quality of his fish. “How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked. “Only a little while,” the Mexican replied
in surprisingly good English. “Why don’t you stay out longer and catch
more fish?” asked the American. “I have enough to support my family and
give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket. The American was visibly puzzled. “But…” “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
asked the confused American. The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with
my children, take a siesta with my wife, and stroll into the village every evening, where
I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos.” “I have a full and busy life, senor.” The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and I can help
you.” “You should spend more time fishing, and with
the proceeds you would get from selling the fish, you could buy a bigger boat.” “In no time, you could buy several boats with
the increased haul.” “Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing
boats.” The American continued, “Instead of selling
your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening
your own cannery.” “You would control the product, processing,
and distribution.” “However you would need to leave this small
coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City.” “Then to Los Angeles, and eventually to New
York City, where you could run your expanded enterprise with proper management.” The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, senor,
how long will all this take?” To which the American replied, “15–20
years, 25 tops.” “But what then, senor?” The American laughed and said, “When the
time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and
become very, very rich.” “You would make millions.” “Millions senor?” “Then what?” “Now this is the best part.” “You could finally retire and move to a small
coastal fishing village.” “There you would sleep late, fish a little,
play with your kids and take a siesta with your wife.” “You could stroll into the village in the evenings
where you would sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.” Interesting story right? A lot of people want to make more money so
they can live a better life. They tell themselves: “Once I make enough
money, then I’ll go live the life I want.” But that’s a mistake. Living the life they want should be accomplished
now, not later. They spend the majority of their lives working,
but along the way, they often forget what they’re working for. They start to prioritize work and making more
money without a reason, and that’s a problem. They just want to have more and more, with
no apparent end goal. The Mexican Fisherman story is here to remind
you to take a step back, and think about what you’re actually working for, and what you
already have. Every so often, you should reflect on and
reevaluate your priorities. There is more to life than just work and money
after all. Don’t get me wrong, having money is a necessity,
and working hard is a positive trait. But you shouldn’t blindly chase money just
to have more of it. I think it’s important to have a clear vision
of what you’re working towards, so that one day you’re actually able to say; “I have enough
and I don’t need more”. Thanks for watching. If you liked the story, share it someone who
might benefit from it. I want you all to become better than yesterday.

100 thoughts on “How Much Money Is Enough? The Story Of The Mexican Fisherman

  1. This is a stupid story and takes no real world issues into account. What if the fisherman gets sick, what if his boat breaks, what if there are no fish for several month? STUPID

  2. This is honestly the worst advice you could give someone. Stop making money evil. It isn't greedy to find success and be profitable. Money is just as good as it is bad. It depends on the user.

  3. Im kind of late to the party but here is my take on the story. All things being equal, the mexican has a better life than the american, but for how long is the real question. There are so many older people who can no longer support finishing for themselves, and havn't saved enough money to continue on happily without help. This is a very real problem with hispanic families(ask me how I know). People should focus their early years to create passive income for themselves so THEN they can actually live the life they want to live indefinately.

  4. American guy has a point you know, lazy and mediocre life style mentality needs to be broken among the Mexican people. Smh! Promoting laziness!!

  5. Many jobs don’t allow a low number of work hours. It’s hard to buy land & pay for health care on a low income. That story is great for people who live in sparsely populated areas where they don’t have to buy land or vehicles to drive around. Not possible for most people. There’s taxes to pay, and it’s just not right to burden others with paying for our healthcare if we can work enough to pay for it. We homeschool to get enough time with the kids even with my husband’s long work hours. Now we own 2 properties next to each other, 2 houses & total of 21 acres. 3 of our 4 kids want to stay & share the farm. My husband’s career isn’t possible on low hours. Who else is going to do machine shop work? It’s not like our culture is just as awesome without it. It’s needed for the healthcare industry supplies & tools, transportation & safety. Nice that a random Mexican can sit back & do little work & still be safe, but that’s not the norm nor can never be. You forgot to mention the cartels trying to attack his family & neighbors & his lifestyle makes him defenseless against criminals if most people choose to work that little. In a perfect world with warm temps year round & only nice people & no need or desire for medical rescue that would be normal for all people to be able to be job lazy.

  6. If you choose to live life completely in the moment and have no thoughts about tomorrow, then tomorrow will supris you and seem very cruel. If you have enough for just right now, then you might be unprepared for life. Health problems, a natural disaster, or a change in the tuna migration could be catastrophic. No I'm not saying we should work ourselves to death. I just believe in being prepared for life.

  7. This contrasts spiritual wealth versus material wealth. If you are higher up on the spiritual order, you transcend the basis material needs, refer to the Maslow's hierarchy (Physiological Needs of food, water, breathing, sex.) It doesn't take very much to satisfy that level, as animals do it all the time. The white people who control the western white societies get workers stuck at that level so that they can control and enslave them and drive them to work like a dog (like the businessman in the story.) Greed for materialistic wealth got the businessman stuck at the lowest level. He in turn tried to convince the Mexican who lived on a higher level the 3rd level of Social Needs: Friendships
    , Romantic, Family, Social groups, Community groups) to abandon this higher plane to pursue the excesses at the lowest level so that he can one day "earn" his way up to a higher plane. Sounds absurd but western people fall for it all the time and never figure it out throughout their lifetime.

  8. The problem is how do you know when enough is enough when inflation eats away at savings, and easy low stress jobs typically don't pay much at all, not enough to save for the future.

  9. I'm just gonna stop right here and say that this is a great story. Our pastor told us this a while ago. Some details were different but the objective is the same.

  10. …and so this is why Mexico remains a Third World country after centuries of being, well, Mexico and The US remains 1st world power.

    It's true people here in Mexico think this way, but this lack of drive translates into mediocrity and very deficient services both public and private. Uneducated people or half/educated people don't make good citizens and bad citizens drive down the general social welfare of a nation.

    It's true not everything is about money, but in Mexico they confuse money for skill, so this translates into NOT having much of either. After all, everything has a price, and Mexicans are not willing to pay for the price of progress and ridding themselves of this culture of mediocrity and pretending.

    The Mexican in the story is right if he wants to remain poor with no other lifestyle or means of sustenance than fishing to provide for himself and his family until he can't. The American in the story is right, as well, if he wants to remain rich but especially if he wants to keep that wealth by improving his skills and those that translate into competitive advantage of his businesses for the welfare of a nation in this case The United States.

    This lifestyle of mediocrity and driving down the social welfare is evident in the Mexican immigrants living and born in The US. They just don't want more, but then again they take with them this culture of mediocrity and this eventually creates a third-worldly environment similar to Mexico although not that bad; those who aren't into this way of thinking won't allow it, and they can't or else they won't be 1st power for long….

  11. The true is you will never make the money you want and you will end old without accomplishing or living that dreamed life, most probably never leaving your town and only remembering all the things you didn't fulfill

  12. That's why I'm retiring young. Too many people keep working until they can barely walk, only to die a couple of years later without having enjoyed any of the fruits of their labor. Makes no sense.

  13. I've heard this before…it really made me think. So I quit full time, went to part time and started my own side gig. I also expanded my other side gigs.

  14. I love this story, but wonder what the answer would be if he was asked:
    "What is your plan if, God forbid, you become disabled or killed. What is your plan to care for your family in the event that you cannot?"

  15. I've been a Mexican fisherman all my life. Now I can no longer fish. I should have tried the American businessman's method.

  16. But the story does not consider the time when you can no longer work. The purpose of work is to gain a surplus now so that when you are too old to work you will have money enough to live and not be a burden to your family or community.

  17. I like how the Mexican fisherman sounds like speedy Gonzalez. I'm Mexican living in Mexico and have never met someone with that accent. But Americans seem to accept this as a fact.

  18. This is not the Story of the Mexican Fisherman…It's a story of Heinrich Böll called "Anektode zur Senkung der Arbeitsmoral". And it's about a german businessmen and a spanish fishermen.

  19. This would be so much better if they hired a real commentator. This guy seems like a nice guy, but obviously not a professional.

  20. I find it hard to believe that the Harvard guy didn't realize he said exactly what the Mexican said he did already. If he did say that exactly, college is useless.

  21. Don't know the part of scripture where Our Lord Jesus Christ tells a parable of the rich man who had a bountiful harvest and said to himself that he was going to construct bigger grain silos to store his harvest because he was set for life. "YOU FOOL, THIS VERY NIGHT YOUR LIFE WILL BE DEMANDED OF YOU"

  22. This also reminds me of the late Aristotle Onassis. Being a Billionaire shipping magnate there was one thing in life whe wanted badly and with all that money he never got it. I will leave this to the public to ponder what it was that he wanted…I know what it was.

  23. and exactly there is the basis of the economic problems of mexico .. and the health problems of the US
    find a healthy middleground

  24. Had one guy talk me into becoming Muslim until I found out no pork……Nope! Just told my employer I'm changing my religion to Mexican so I can take siestas at work and they cant do shit about it.

  25. I saw this "parable" on a traditional Catholic website, and it immediately struck me. I was thankfully only 41 at the time, and my wife, three little girls, and I moved to Mexico where I slept in, taught English a few hours at our own school, and I took "siestas" with my bride, and played with my kiddos, and in the evening, went out to eat "cena" with my friend who owned a hamburger place … I still do just that! "I have a very full and busy life, señores"! My pic is about three years old; I am 53, and have no stress. No debt, kids in uni now. Life's great! Thanks for sharing this story. It's a life saver! 😀

  26. I've heard this story before, it's pretty interesting, but it's the first time i heard that the fisherman was a Mexican? According to the original story he was European. There is one moral flaw in this story though, life isn't only about yourself and your pleasures. It is about helping others. And i can certainly say a businessman will help more people than a fisherman who only cares about his daily catch. I will agree that there is nothing wrong with enjoying your time fishing, but i don't believe that was what the moral of the story was about.

  27. "Enough" money is the amount that lets you do whatever you want, for as long as you possibly can. It is therefore different for everyone. If what you want to do is paint pictures all day, the money you will have to pay to access the type of environment where there is a 0% statistical likelihood of anything stopping you from doing that, is not the same amount as it would take to access an environment where you could murder people for fun with impunity (like Saudi Prince or King of Thailand level money). Therefore this question has no quantifiable answer.

  28. Time is invaluable, and we have less and less of it by the minute till death. If you focus mainly on making money in life, you'll never have enough of it just as in the parable until it is really too late.

  29. An 18century Englishship's captain come ashore onto a tropical island and speaks to the king of the island and tries to explain to him about what money is, the captain says without money you cant eat, the island king asks "Is there no fruit on your island England, is there no fish in the sea around the island? the captain says yes there is, the island king say " you have fruit on the trees and fish in the sea but if you dont have money you dont eat? thanks but I'll stay here.

  30. The Mexican is thinking of himself and his family but there are other families that don't have boats to fish from in that village, if the Mexican had a bigger boat or more boats he can hire others who will also feed there families.

  31. Idiots now: "Haha, why is everyone so worried, haha. Just live your life simple and easy."
    Idiots later: "Gib welfare! Can't work, won't work. Why is life so unfair? Fuck the rich they're only rich because of my hard work!"
    Also known as ant and cricket.

  32. The money is needed to make sure that if something goes wrong there is enough safety to get through the troubles.
    So the Mexican who lives from day to day has no safety net.
    Collecting money for 20-25 Year may provide you with the safety net.
    Stupid video.

  33. Wow. The illustration is SOOOOOO racist, not to mention the faux “Mexican accent” this video sucks, the idiot that did this is just that, a damn idiot.

  34. How about if something bad happens? Not so many fish because of pollution or his neighbor starts doing the outlined plan above and overly fishes, wife gets a disease, kids need braces etc. It's overly simplistic and of course having more money equals more power and the chance of shaping the environment/the world into a better thing. Otherwise, the maniacal egotistic sociopaths climb to the top of the food chain and start shaping the world by their own will, while you live the life of a 14 year old. It's true it could be good if all people would think like that, but as long as a few bad apples can start world wars or influence climate change then you can't just ignore them.

  35. Funny thing is I stumbled across this video , I myself am a commercial fisherman and i enjoy my job the only times that I really haven’t is when I try to make more out of it more boats more gear more crew trying for more money all this = more stress less time with my family and a beaten on ur body , this story really is so true , yes it is important to be financially secure but u only get one life , u need to slow down and enjoy it sometimes before either u die from stressing urself out sooo much or wake up one day very old and can’t enjoy the things u waited ur life for , J Crab

  36. This story is another version of the "Anekdote zur Senkung der Arbeitsmoral" or "Anecdote to lower the working morale" by german writer Heinrich Böll from 1963.

  37. If you want ,I'll tell you the story of a dumbass painter who broke his back on a fishing trip and lives on disability! No I'm not bitter. Hehe

  38. Only one problem with a story: WIFE. Woo-men need security and will always push you to work yourself out to provide "enough", wife will never accept you working "just a little while" and then hanging around with your buddies, drinking wine and sleep late…

  39. The problem Is for some people ( sadly the ones who rule the world ) there Is no such thing Like " enough " a movie That explain this with a simple but powerful dialogue Is the sequel of wall street , shia labeuf asks his boss bretton something Like : " if it's true that every man has a price, what would be your to retire from this " bretton looks shia and say just one world " ..MORE"

  40. This is a great story, but I find it insulting to Mexicans the way that you drew up the fisherman. Why isn't he the same shape as the American? That is a caricature of Mexicans. It would be great if you redo the story without being so American-centric in the drawings.

  41. I love this story. American greed is the worst. Catch a fish, eat it. But don't take all the fish from the ocean so that you can have 3 McMansions and a fleet of private planes.

  42. Two major problems with this story: What if you genuinely enjoy productive/intellectual work a lot (as I do), more than many other things? I have no interest in drinking alcohol and playing guitar with my amigos. Secondly, who is to say you have to wait 20 years to enjoy a better life? I've been working hard and steadily increasing my quality of life all the while and am presently a millionaire living a great life meanwhile. This isn't a binary solution.

    I get it's just a story, but it's super short sighted, especially as described.

  43. What a stupid story with a stupid lesson! The Mexican fisherman will be fishing until he is 90 to support himself/wife while the guy who made millions will retire at 55 or younger.

  44. But if the fisherman remains content having enough, people with money will gentrify his butt from the seaside to the ghetto, because they want a second or third house that is by the sea. The top 5% are ruining it for the rest of us.

  45. Hold up! How the hell is a Mexican catching Tuna out of a small boat? I get the point, but it's kinda pointless. I can tell a non fishing Mexican wrote this.

  46. No man ever said… I want to spend more time with my wife. They go fishing and hunting to get away from the nagging and baggage. The kids on the other hand….

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