This is a story about a business owner who was searching for the secret to success.
Once upon a time, an accomplished business man set out in search for the secret to success. He had achieved much in his time in business but somehow felt he had not conquered success as he had hoped.
The business man came across a shaman who was high regarded for his wisdom. The man asked the shaman if he could show him the secret to success. The shaman studied the business man carefully and after a brief moment agreed. The shaman then told the man, “finding the secret to success is a journey. Are you prepared to follow me on this journey?” The man paused for a moment, trying to discern the gravity of this request and said, “sure, let’s go!”
They set out walking along a narrow path that led through an open field and into a loosely wooded area. As they continued to walk, the path began to elevate. After several hours of walking over broken ground at an uphill climb, the business man sweating heavily and breathing profusely asked the shaman, “are we there yet?” Without looking back the shaman motioned the man to continue walking.
The path became steep with twists and turns and many boulders to navigate. The business man was clearly fatigued and displaying signs of anger and frustration. As they neared the top of the hill they were climbing the business man cried out, “where are we going? I thought you were going to show me the secret to success.” The shaman acknowledged the man’s plight and encouraged him to continue the journey.
Finally, both men reached the top where the path opened up into a vast plateau of tall grass and scattered low lying plants. The shaman pointed to a lake off in the distance and told the man that the secret was near the lake. One hour later, they approached a crystal clear body of water without so much as a ripple crossing the water. The shaman took the man to the water’s edge and said, “the secret to success is in there. Kneel down and look deeply into the water.
The business man, now totally exhausted, somewhat bewildered but eager to get what he came for knelt down at the water’s edge and looked in with excitement and anticipation. After a brief moment and without looking back at the shaman, the man exclaimed, “I don’t see any secret in here! All I see is silt and seaweed. Where’s this secret you told me you were going to show me?”
Without warning, the shaman grabbed the business man by the neck and thrust his head completely under water! As he held the man’s head under, the business man now totally in shock began to fight. But the shaman was stronger than he appeared and held the man’s head firm. The business man realized that this was serious and he began to flail his arms around with all his might. Finally, he was able to grab the shaman’s sleeve and yank himself free. As he pulled his head out of the water, breathing uncontrollably and wiping the lake water from his face, he turned to the shaman and yelled loudly, “you almost killed me! What were you thinking? I could have drowned. You said you’d show me the secret to success and all you did was hold my head under water! What’s going on?”
The shaman stared the business man right in the eyes and said, “when you want success as much as you want to breathe, you will find the success you seek!”
How successful do you want to be?
About the Author
After a stellar 29 year career in the consumer products manufacturing industry, Steve Smith converted his knowledge and experience into a successful business and executive coaching company. In 2008, he opened GrowthSource Coaching in Orange County, CA