Look at you! You’re just wasting your life away, lying around like that.

MISSIONARY: Look at you! You’re just wasting your life away, lying around like that.

SAMOAN: Why? What do you think I should be doing?

MISSIONARY: Well, there are plenty of coconuts all around here. Why not dry some copra and sell it?

SAMOAN: And why would I want to do that?

MISSIONARY: You could make a lot of money. And with the money you make, you could get a drying machine, and dry copra faster, and make even more money.

SAMOAN: Okay. And why would I want to do that?

MISSIONARY: Well, you’d be rich. You could buy land, plant more trees, expand operations. At that point, you wouldn’t even have to do the physical work anymore, you could just hire a bunch of other people to do it for you.

SAMOAN: Okay. And why would I want to do that?

MISSIONARY: Well, eventually, with all that copra, land, machines, employees, with all that money—you could retire a very rich man. And then you wouldn’t have to do anything. You could just lie on the beach all day.


This is one of the many passages and charts I find in books and articles on a daily basis. They span many disciplines, including:

I occasionally add a personal note to them.

The whole collection is available here.