This Fisherman Taught Me an Important Lesson that Might Change Your Life

Are you chasing a dream without knowing what you want?

Adam J. Cheshier


Photo by sasan rashtipour on Unsplash

About ten years ago, my Grandad shared this folktale with me. It taught me one of my most valued lessons. Maybe you’ve heard it. . .

One afternoon, a Nicaraguan fisherman and his two young sons were boating back to shore after a full morning at sea.

The morning’s catch had filled half the rickety fishing boat’s real estate. All in a good morning’s work.

On the other side of the bay, a shiny white yacht was motoring in from open waters. The boat seemed to be half the length of a football field.

The youngest boy awed. “Father, look at that man’s boat. He must catch many, many fish.

The eldest turned to the younger brother and said, “Are you nuts? That man isn’t a fisherman. He’s a businessman. He must have two houses — or three!

The youngest boy had never seen such wealth.

The fisherman let his sons “Ooo” and “Aww” all the way to shore. At last, he spoke.

That man must have a lot of money. But, let me tell you something; there is one thing we have that the man over there will never have.

Yeah, right,” the eldest son said.

What? What do we have, father?” the youngest asked curiously.

The father got out of the boat — wading thigh-high in water. He looked his sons in the eyes and said,


The next day, around the same time, the fisherman and his two sons were once again drifting into shore. Today’s catch was even bigger than the day prior.

His sons transferred the fish from the boat to a cooler on the beach while the fisherman tied up the boat.

As they were doing so, a man walking by on the beach asked to buy a bucket of fresh squid.

Hello, there. I’d like to buy a few kilos of squid. My wife and I are dying for calamari tonight.

I’m sorry, sir,” the fisherman said from the water. “No squid today.



Adam J. Cheshier

Documenting obscure pockets of the world across long-distance overland expeditions. Recently celebrated 7 years of nomadism.