Let me tell you a story that my Guruji once shared, a story of a fisherman and a businessman. While narrating the story, he said it was a classic story to remember.
To remember that happiness is not a possession but is a habit to be cultivated.
We can stay happy if we are content with life.
So, Enjoy the story 🙂
A businessman was walking down a beach trying to clear his head. He saw a fisherman lying on the beach doing nothing. The fisherman looked happy and was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun. He noticed the fisherman’s boat had few large fishes in it and was curious at what made him happy.
He decided to find out why this fisherman was resting instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.
“You should be working rather than lying on the beach!” said the businessman
“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the fisherman said as he unloaded fishes into a basket.
“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?” asked the businessman
The fisherman looked up and smiled. “I spend all the rest of my time sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset”
“You aren’t going to catch many fish that way.” “you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” said the businessman.
“What would I do then?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”
“What would I do then?” asked the fisherman again.
The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.
“What would I do then?” repeated the fisherman
“You could become a rich businessman like me.” said the businessman
Once again the fisherman asked, “And then What would I do”
The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You could then enjoy your life peacefully.” “You can spend all the rest of your time sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”
— Story: unknown source
Everybody takes away something from this story. My take away from the fable was that Happiness is not in Doing Everything Fun but in Noticing Happiness in Everything We Do.
Anything that we consider fun to do is never the same, isn’t it? It changes as we grow. so, what we thought was fun as a kid is not fun anymore. Have you noticed that being a part of something fun does not guarantee happiness? For example, if you love ice creams, just the thought of having your favourite flavour can make you happy but tell me, do you still feel the same intensity of happiness after the first two scoops of your favourite ice cream?
Our mind does not stay put on the ice cream for long. It wanders from the ice cream to something else and with that it take the happiness too. We all understand from our experiences that happiness cannot be derived from external conditions but is a state that depends on inner conditions. If we can make peace with our inner self then we can stay happy in whatever we’re doing.
The characters of the above story had different perspectives on happiness. The businessman was postponing happiness until his retirement and was miserable. The fisherman, on the other hand, believed in finding happiness in every moment.
In short, there are no excuses for staying unhappy rather we can cultivate the habit of noticing happiness in things we do. Trust me, if we look for it, we will find that in every damn thing that we do. We just aren’t looking, that is our only roadblock to happiness. Because we cannot always expect life to throw only fun and exciting things at us 😉