A boy walks up to an old successful philosopher and says, “I wish to have success like you.”
So the old man tells him to meet him at the lake early the next morning and he will impart all of the wisdom that the boy needs to be successful.
The boy wakes the next morning very excited about the prospect of learning from such a wise and successful man. He hurries down to the lake to find the old man meditating waist deep in the water. He stares at him and after a period of time the man motions for the bow to join him. The boy quickly undresses and runs into the lake to meet the old man.
As soon as the boy got within arms distance to the old man the old man grabbed him and shoved him under the water. The boy floundered, splashed and fought but could not overpower the man to return to his feet. They struggled against each other for about 20 seconds before the man let the boy up slightly asking him a simple question before pushing the boy back under the water.
The question was: “Do you want air?”
The boy shook his head frantically yes as he again started to fight for air, after about 25 more seconds the man lifted the boy up and asked him another question before shoving him back in the water. The question was, “How bad do you want air, what are you willing to do to get it?”
This time the man held the boy underwater for 30 more seconds before he let go of the boy and the boy burst through the water furious, crying, humiliated, and glaring at the man with an intense feeling of disgust. The man went back to his meditation without looking at the boy at all and said very calmly to him, “When you need success the way you need air, you shall have it.”
The boy left there that day with 3 conclusions:
1. He would never underestimate the strength of an old man again;
2. He developed an intense fear of open water and swimming with others;
3. Probably more important than all the rest, he knew how bad he had to want it. He found out what he would do to get something he wanted.
He left the lake and became one of the most successful people of his time.
Ask yourself how bad do you want it, what would you do to get it, what is it about it that appeals to you? Dig deep for the answers to these questions, and know that when you truly want something with all your mind and heart and are willing to lay it on the line to go get it, even if you don’t achieve the person you become over the journey is worth it.
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