Four questions to ask yourself to find out the strength of your “Why”.

A lesson in life and leadership from a fisherman.

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As the world seems to get busier and busier, it’s important to remember we all have 24 hours in a day. It’s easy to think we are busier than everyone else, and that we are just swamped compared to others! 

Try this instead: Declare that you ultimately control what you decide to do with those hours, and what legacy you will be leaving behind based on what you decide!

I’d like to share a short story.


There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small village.

As he sat, he saw a 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?”

“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?”

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” –  Lincoln 

The lesson here is pick your battle with intention and decide who you want to be. 

Questions to ask yourself

1. Are my goals the true reflection of who I want to be?

2. Are my goals backed up with reasons in my own mind that I am proud of? Why do I have these exact goals?

3. Who you have shared those goals with that can help you get there?

4. What will I achieve with the goals I have set that is the interest of humanity, what will be the legacy be long after I am gone?

Remember, if you don’t know what you are doing and why, no one else will know, or perhaps care to buy in to your vision!

Jamie is the Founder and Chief Dream Officer at Reaptimistic.

Reaptimistic offers realistically optimistic coaching on leadership and HR services based in Los Angeles, with a twist, our leadership theories are based on the humble dog, love and the code of care, to T – H – I – N – K. Is True, Is it Helpful, it is Inspiring, Is it Necessary and is it Kind?

Join us on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook and visit us at

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