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Note: The article below has been written more than 9 years ago!

What to do in order to succeed?

It may seem obvious – in order to succeed, you need to feel good with yourself. Have a meaning, feel nice, enjoy life. After all, what good is success which only comes at the end of the life?

An American tourist was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, „Only a little while.”

The tourist then asked, „Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

The Mexican said, „With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The tourist then asked, „But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, „I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The tourist scoffed, ” I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, „But, how long will this all take?”

The tourist replied, „15 to 20 years.”

„But what then?” asked the Mexican.

The tourist laughed and said, „That’s the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

„Millions?…Then what?”

The American said, „Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.” (source)

But this article – To Succeed, Forget Self-Esteem – Heidi Grant Halvorson – Harvard Business Review – seems to contradict the common knowledge:

To answer that, it’s important to understand what self-compassion is not. While the spirit of self-compassion is to some degree captured in expressions like give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack, it is decidedly not the same thing as taking yourself off the hook or lowering the bar. You can be self-compassionate while still accepting responsibility for your performance. And you can be self-compassionate while striving for the most challenging goals — the difference lies not in where you want to end up, but in how you think about the ups and downs of your journey. As a matter of fact, if you are self-compassionate, new research suggests you are more likely to actually arrive at your destination.


People who experienced self-compassion were more likely to see their weaknesses as changeable. Self-compassion — far from taking them off the hook — actually increased their motivation to improve and avoid the same mistake again in the future.

And another one – Less-Confident People Are More Successful – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic – Harvard Business Review:

There is no bigger cliché in business psychology than the idea that high self-confidence is key to career success. It is time to debunk this myth. In fact, low self-confidence is more likely to make you successful.

So, what to do to succeed?

  • Be able to forgive yourself.
  • At times, be critical of yourself.

In order to get to happiness of success, you first have to pass through some period of unhappiness due to hard work / inner fights. It won’t be easy, perhaps. But you will, perhaps, succeed. :)

Last modified on: 2015.11.29, at: 18:29.

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