The city and country mouse story is about a pair of mice; one resides in a house in the city and the other lives in a house in the country. One day, the city mouse visits the country mouse and finds the available food consisting of berries and kernels of corns to be too sparse to its liking. The city mouse then invites the country mouse to visit its dwelling in the city reassuring it that the food is far more plentiful.

The country mouse agrees to visit the city and is overwhelmed to find plenty of available food in the house. It is not soon after both mice have commenced eating, when a cat jumps behind the wall and starts chasing them. Both mice run for their life and hide in a hole in the wall. They wait for the cat to leave and try again to eat and once more the cat chases them away. At this point, the country mouse decides to go back to its home where there is less food but it can eat in peace.

The moral of the story is that sometimes working in an environment that is stable and not very glamorous may be superior and more attractive to an environment that is hectic and full of unexpected interruptions, to the point of causing undue stress. In other words, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

In professional and personal situations, one is offered both physical and mental rewards. Both elements are necessary for a person to have a fully satisfied and balanced relationship. However, if one of these elements is missing, or if unfortunately both are missing, the relationship is broken and one has to re-assess whether to continue with the understanding of the underlining costs of the existing situation or seek a different one.

This same choice holds true in the management of one’s daily activities at work and home. You may choose to exhibit sloppy productivity behavior and be happy with it or decide that you want to be at the top of your game and use your time as efficiently as possible in order to accomplish more desired outcomes with the time that you have freed up.


Written by

Eli Fathi

Eli has been a technology entrepreneur for the past 30 years and has founded or cofounded a number of companies with a few successful exits. Currently, he is the CEO of a company offering automated fraud detection platform. Eli was the cofounder of Fluidware Corporation, an Internet software company offering Software as a service (SaaS) online applications based on collaborative feedback. He was the co-CEO from inception until the acquisition by SurveyMonkey.

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