Running on Empty

I read through this story the other day and felt like I needed to share it with you. It's incredible how such a short story can be so powerful. After reading this for the first time, I was challenged with the question, "Chris, what is your end goal and what is your definition of success?"

Think about how the story below applies to your life and then pass it along to a friend. 

What is your definition of success? 

Can you accomplish what you want in life without running yourself down to empty? 


Running on Empty by Fil Anderson 

A couple of summers ago a story circulated around Wrightsville Beach about an investment banker from a large city who was vacationing in this delightful North Carolina coastal town. Standing on a small pier late one afternoon, he watched as a lone fisherman docked his small boat. Inside the boat were several, large, yellow fin tuna. 

The banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. 

The local replied, "Only a little while."

The banker then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The local said, "With this I have more than enough to feed my family and share some with my friends."

The banker then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take naps with my wife, stroll into town each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life." 

The banker scoffed, "I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with proceeds buy a bigger boat. Then with the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling what you catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening you own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and the distribution. You would, however, have to move to a large city, perhaps even to New York, where you would run you over-expanding enterprise."

The intrigued fisherman asked, "But how long will all this take?"

"Fifteen to twenty years," the banker replied. 

"But what then?" asked the fisherman.

The banker laughed. "Here's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."

"Millions?" the fisherman said. "Then what?"

"Then you would retire, move to a small fishing town where you would sleep late, play with your kids, take naps with your wife, stroll into town in the evenings where you would sip wine and play guitar with you friends."


What is your end goal, and can that end goal be achieved sooner without running yourself into the ground? 


Keep singing, 


Proverbs 16:9

Chris JamisonComment