Four Thousand Weeks

Four Thousand Weeks

It's Working Reading Four Thousand Weeks 4 minutes Next Your Experience with TIACS

Hey Legends,

On my way home from Sydney a few weeks ago I was waiting at the airport and found myself killing time in a bookstore. I had finished my last book on the flight down and it was time to jag my next read. One jumped off the shelf at me, ‘Four Thousand Weeks’ - Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. $29.99? You’re mine!

I sat at my gate and started flicking through the pages. In short the book is all about how finite our time is here on this blue marble and how the majority of us either can't comprehend how short our life actually is or don’t want to confront the fact that on average we only have a pulse for about 4000 weeks, if we’re lucky!

Death, something sadly we all must face, is something that very few people talk about. Obviously our mission here at TradeMutt and TIACS is to preserve life and ensure that people don’t go down the path of taking life away from themselves. However I feel as though we as an organization and as a community need to start looking at how we are using the time we are running out of. 

One thing that I do know is that personally I get a big kick out of an old parable that is actually brought up in the book as well but it is one I heard a few years ago and it has really stuck with me. It goes a little something like this,

“A successful businessman on vacation was at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman proudly replied, “Every morning, I go out in my boat for 30 minutes to fish. I’m the best fisherman in the village”.

The businessman, perplexed, then asks the fisherman “If you’re the best, why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish? What do you do the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, spend quality time with my wife, and every evening we stroll into the village to drink wine and play guitar with our friends. I have a full and happy life.”

The businessman scoffed, “I am a successful CEO and have a talent for spotting business opportunities. I can help you be more successful. 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 with many fishermen. Instead of selling your catch to just your friends, you can scale to sell fish to thousands. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to the big city, where you can oversee your growing empire.”

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

To which the businessman replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the fisherman.

The businessman laughed and said, “That’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 – then what?”

The businessman said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, spend time with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends.”

Are you the fisherman now or the capitalist who is going the long way round on becoming the fisherman? Have a good think because time is running out…

If you or anyone you know, wants a chat with a mental health professional, reach out to TIACS on 0488 846 988, Mon-Fri, 8am-10pm AEST, ongoing and completely free of charge.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.