Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Socrates & Secret of Success!

“A young man asked Socrates the secret to success.

Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him toward the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue.

Socrates pulled his head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.

Socrates asked, 'What did you want the most when you were there?"

The boy replied, "Air." Socrates said, "

That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it." There is no other secret.

A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results.

To develop a strong desire you need to work on your strengths and not on weaknesses. So restart your life now by getting to measure your strengths and your hidden strengths will open up more and more opportunities for you to succeed. Who ever you are and where ever you are in your life, you can certainly make fresh beginning by getting to know yourself much better than before.

Working on your strengths help build success while working on weaknesses help prevent failure. To be on fast track to success and build quick growth opportunities, you can depend on the team of Behavioral Experts who coach you with state of the art measurement and development tools available. These tools enable the entrepreneurs, managers, students and career beginners to work towards realizing their dreams faster and better in less time and cost."

The above write up was a post in one of the Linked in Groups, by a Behavioural training specialist, to which I replied as follows:

While I agree with the message stated at the end, I cannot but say that the story does not support the message.

If we follow the incident, we can see that the boy got air not because of his desire for it but because "Socrates pulled his head out of the water". So the message inadvertently given by this story is that irrespective of your desire or struggle you will not get what you desire unless the outside forces operating against you permit you to achieve the same.

The story goes "The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue". I would have preferred slight variation. WHEN THE BOY STRUGGLED REALLY HARD, WITH A BURNING DESIRE TO GET AIR, HE COULD OVERCOME EVEN THE STRENGTH OF SOCRATES AND RAISE HIS HEAD ABOVE THE WATER. With such a story probably the inferences drawn my Sree Nidhi would be justified.

The reason I hated Slum Dog Millionaire movie was similar; not because it showed the dirty face of Indian Society but because it underplayed the struggle of human beings to overcome adverse situations. The protagonist in the Movie became millionaire by mere chance, by just being lucky to have got only those questions to which he knew the answers from his life. Even the last question where he took a chance turned out to be sheer luck for him.

The boy in this story or the protagonist in Slum Dog Millionaire did not achieve success through desire or struggle but for other reasons. What we need is stories that really appreciate success achieved through the individual struggles on the face of adversity.


I leave it to the readers to make their own inferences from the above, what makes success possible.