An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican fishing village on doctors orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
"How long did it take you to catch them?" the American asked.
"Only a little while" the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.
"Why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" the American then asked.
"I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends," the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.
"But....What do you do with the rest of your time ?"
The Mexican looked up and smiled. "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, señor."
The American laughed and stood tall. "Sir, I'm a Harvard M.B.A and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats."
He continued, "Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would have to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you would run your expanding enterprise with proper management.
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, señor, how long will all this take?"
To which the American replied, "15-20 years, 25 tops."
"But what then, señor?"
The American 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, señor? Then what?"
"Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, Julia, and stroll into the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos. . . . . . . . . " :)
This is the about me section, however it would be remiss of me to not introduce all those who have made this company possible, for without them, this incredible adventure would have terminated long ago. If you would just like to know about me, simply see the testimonials section.
It was March 2016 and the end of another hectic day as a Chiropractor in Central London. It was as clear a moment as my flight home from Nairobi, Kenya, where I took the pain staking decision to retire from rugby union. Except this decision wasn't so painful. I had been working, learning and adapting to my new city life, trying to work out where I stand in this massive confusion that is, the health industry when I finally saw the wood through the trees.
There was a biting irony in the fact that I was becoming highly stressed working primarily with extremely high flying clients for, of all things, stress management. My then senior would look for incentives for rewarding high performance, private health is, after all, big-business. All I wanted was to take my colleagues back to where I had come from; mountainous, green, quiet, slow rural Mid-Wales. It seemed a million miles away from the 24/7 hustle and bustle of Central London, and the targets I had to meet to be rewarded, insurmountable.
I had found myself chasing fishing fleets.
Welcome to Luke R. Davies. :)
I was reading the Alchemist at the time by Paulo Coelho which is a fable of a young shepherd boy in pursuit of his treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. The morale of the story is essentially the same as that of the Mexican and the fishing fleets, which I felt was simply more representative of my entire health paradigm. It is a powerful fable, one that really highlights many of the issues that trouble our [western] society today. There is a striking resemblance of the Mexican and how real life centenarians world wide actually live, in good health too.
It is no coincidence that when we look at pockets of society such as Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Southern California (USA), Hojancha (Costa Rica) and Ikaria (Greece) that these people live so long in such fine health. The themes that run through these communities (known as Blue Zones, see Buettner, 2012) consistently include:
- Moving naturally, regularly - Background exercise that isn't thought about.
- Eat less - Painlessly consume 20+% less calories than the standard western diet
- Less meat, more plants - Less access to meat, particularly processed meat
- Drink red wine - yes, does appear to be a theme in blue zones, as much the social implications of doing so and in moderation.
- Having a purpose / raison d'être - Why I wake up in the morning / goals
- Downtime - clear stress reducing strategies, normally highly social ones.
- A faith - not religion, but a sense of belonging, a spiritual community
- Loved ones first - Family is an absolute priority
- Find the right tribe - like minded companions reinforce any given behaviour, good or bad!
When we look through the list here, it sounds a lot like our Mexican fisherman and perhaps most interestingly just like a Bio-Psycho-Social (BPS) model. A BPS approach is what current best practice advocates in western medicine. I think we could do far worse things than base our models on these societies and it is something that I am very passionate about. This will be very clear throughout this website and in all my health programmes.