Never Catch the Fox

I had the privilege recently of meeting with a distinguished businessman.  And no, I didn’t go to a nursing home to see this gentleman.  Bill is now 81 years old but came to my office with a very big business proposal for a joint venture that would gain full benefit in the next 3-5 years.  He had a spring in his step and a sparkle in his eyes – obviously enjoying every minute of our business discussion. 

In asking a little about his background, Bill shared that he had some early successes in business and “retired” to an island just off the east coast in 1991 – eighteen years ago at the age of 63.  He had achieved the success he was looking for and would never have to worry about money again.  And then he told me, “Living on that island was the most miserable four years of my life.”  He returned to his roots in business and re-engaged in the daily challenges that drove him previously. 

His summary of what happened was simply – “Never catch the fox.”  What do the hounds do if they ever catch the fox, or what does a dog do if he actually catches the car?  Watch them sit down and lose interest quickly.  Cervantes said, “The road is better than the inn.” 

Don’t think reaching your goal is the only thrill.  Understand that the process of getting there is actually more thrilling than arriving.  I loved Bill’s gentle reminder to me to not just dream of the future – but to savor today.  Enjoy every step of your journey!

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3 Responses to “Never Catch the Fox”

  1. Theresa Says:

    What a delightful, inspiring lesson. That’s going to stick with me for a very long time. Thanks, Dan!

  2. Carl Says:

    Just recently I read a statement from Oswald Chambers that relates to this blog. Chambers said, “We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the the goal itself”.

  3. Andy Traub Says:

    It’s so interesting Dan that we pursue a goal and yet reaching that goal might be the demise of the joy. It seems that “finishing” or “attaining” many times leads to a very empty experience. So important to remember that as we all seek to achieve success. Perhaps true success is realizing that the pursuit is more enjoyable (and interesting) than achieving.

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