56 Responses to “The Story of the Mexican Fisherman”


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  1. Courtney, I love this post! You have no idea how much it hits home with me. I’m preparing to sell my house and downsize to a cozy little condo where my overhead will be less so I can spend more time doing what I enjoy. Thank you for this! I love it.

    By the way, where’s your Twitter button? I’d retweet this for you if you had one!

    Angela Artemis

    • Courtney Carver

      Angela, I can’t wait to hear about your move! Working on the Twitter button! Thanks – Courtney

  2. Courtney,
    I came back and tweeted you!
    I hope to put my house on the market by June 1. Right now I’m in the furious cleaning and sprucing up stage.
    I’ll keep you posted.

    Thanks again for this terrific post. I’m going to reference it in a future post – next week on Mystic Musings. I’ll send you a link


  3. Great story and one that we all need to be aware of these days!

    It is OK to sit around and do nothing more than what you need to sustain yourself.

    We are all okay just as we are without having to embellish ourselves with excessive trappings.

    Who needs an MBA when you can have a siesta in the sun?!

  4. What a great reminder that enjoying life and being content are more important than money could ever be!

    Many thanks,

  5. Courtney Carver

    Glad you liked this story. I think it is so powerful to be able to say, “I have enough”.

  6. Tessa

    Love this story, I can see why it inspired you. This is just what I needed to read today; a great reminder that there is so much more to life than just work and money, and really, what is the end goal of it all anyway?

  7. Courtney,
    Glad you got the Twitter button in! I see it’s been used – alot!

    Come over to my site today to read my latest post: Would You Rather Have a Big House Or A Big Life?

    I cited you and your blog and linked to you.

    Look forward to seeing you there!

  8. Hey Courtney, I came here from Angela’s Mystic Musings and Meditation blog. I really like this post because it shows us that people have different views of what happiness means, just like between the American businessman and the Mexican fisherman. Thanks for this story. It’s one of my favorite ones from The 4-Hour Workweek.

    • Courtney Carver

      Hulbert, thanks for your feedback. Is the Mexican Fisherman story on the 4-Hour Workweek website or in the actual book? I don’t think that is where it originated but would be curious to find out! Take Care, Courtney

  9. This is a great story! I made some changes in my own life a couple of years ago. Now I’m no longer stressed out and have more energy than ever. Thanks for sharing this story with us. Take care, A.

  10. yogesh bhalekar

    Truly Amazing!!!
    thank you for sharing this, I will treasure this piece of advice and Share it with others… thanks!

  11. Wow, this is an amazing story.

    Reminds me that it is better to live in the PRESENT and with what we need.
    We don’t need to have it all.

    I have to share this.

  12. Karthikeyan

    Hi Courtney

    I am from India and we have the culture of saving (first) & then spending which is slowly changing. Secondly there is lot of money that might require for child education. so the idea given Amercian MBA looks great to me.

  13. John

    What a great reminder of what our priorities are and how to live. There’s a song that’s based on this story that I recommend: “The Life” by Kenny Chesney. Even if you’re not into his music the lyrics are worth reading.

  14. Great story. I left Hollywood about 10 years ago to start http://www.projectbluesphere.com now i am a minimalist sailor I make my own wine, bread, pasta, ect…. and spear fish most days.

    It’s good to see others interested in becoming free :)


  15. Hi Courtney,

    This is absolutely one of my favorite stories! I first it heard it told by a motivational speaker at a conference about six years ago. It was also a major turning point in my life…not one towards minimalism, but one that truly launched my search for what is most important in life. I’m happy to see you sharing it here and that it resonates with so many others as well. :)


  16. Great story … wonderful reminder about the choices we make and whether they are beneficial or not.

  17. This is my favourite tweet of the week! 😃

  18. I’m going through the archives of the blog, and I must say I find this story wonderful and truly inspiring :) Thank you…

  19. This is a terrific story, I really love it and it’s something that I speak to my hypnotherapy clients about as it really lets people see what they want from life.
    Some choose to be that fisherman all their lives and others don’t want that but it does open up peoples eyes to the way they are living ! thanks

  20. Hey I know this post is 3 years old… but its the story that really made me think about my life and quit my job and live on the beaches here in costa rica! I read 4 hour work week 2 years ago and started over as I closed the book.

    Be more with less.. forever! Thanks for the post!

  21. Courtney – we are an India based band called Contraband. This story inspired us to song, and heres the result. You might like it

  22. Rob

    You claim to be the author of this story ?

  23. I’ve read this story through an e-mail forwarded to me years ago. It stuck in my head though and searched for it again and found your page. (I later found out it was written by a certain Mark Albion.) Anyway, I am at a crossroad of my life and been asking why I’ve been working my ass off, climbing the corporate ladder, trying to get rich, afraid that I would grow old with having nothing. But when I went home to my family in the province last Christmas, I realized I have my treasure there and I don’t need to accumulate more treasures living alone in another city. I’m glad to have read it again and found peace knowing that I can live a simple life and can be joyful with it.

  24. Have always loved this story, and your version is concise and well spoken. Buddha told us “Life is suffering” and that most suffering is due to attachment. Living half the year for last ten years in a small Mexican coastal village accessible only by water taxi has taught me I don’t need all the “stuff” I spent a lifetime accumulating and don’t miss for those six months . It’s a trap and I have joined the Tiny Home Movement, spending summers in my 308 sf cabin at Lake Tahoe while managing my next door 3 story 3000sf home as a vacation rental. My friends think I’m lucky, but luck has nothing to do with it.Luck is preparedness meeting opportunity followed by right action. All you have to do is clearly define the life you want to live, determine the price you’ll have to pay, and pay the price, which usually involves giving up things and making changes. Focus on what you want and it’ll happen. Unfortunately. most think more about what they don’t want, and that is what shows up in their lives.Keep up your good work, amiga.

  25. kirti raj Syangden

    I have learn to limite desire.
    and the message for all of us – obviously the man who is always looking for more money will loose out in the end.

  26. Roland Garros

    What a great little story. Here’s an epilogue: the Mexican (or insert any other nationality) fisherman who was very “life” rich with time spent with family and without the headaches and stresses of the daily grind one day gets diagnosed with something minor like kidney stones or first stage melanoma. He dies in some 3rd class hospital soon after because of 3rd class type hospital complications and less than adequate pharmaceutical follow up simply because he didn’t have the few thousand $ (or insert whatever currency here) that he could have easily saved up with just a little more time ‘invested’ for unforeseen events. Now without a head of the household, his young children and wife, who are all likely also ‘busy’ catching 1 fish a day and also not planning for the future start to question whether they should be doing a little more with their time so that someone maybe will get to further their education and maybe open up a few more options other than fishing for a few more generations.

  27. Roland Garros

    … we can sing praises of the simple life, but it’s almost inevitable that someone will eventually want a refrigerator, washing machine, built in kitchen, 4 x 4 truck, Escalade, infinity pool, etc. etc. etc.

  28. Alma

    Are you the original “author?”

  29. John

    The original Story was written by German writer Heinrich Böll and published in 1967. He won the Nobel Prize for literature shortly thereafter.

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