The Secret of Success: The Parable of the Guru and The Drowning (wo)man


A Guru and a man walk by the edge of a river.

Suddenly, the man feelshimself seized by a strong hand at the back of his neck. His head was forced down under the water, by the guru. The Guru holds him there firmly.

“This is some kind of test,” the man thought to himself, as he sat still underwater.

After a minute passed, the man was growing breathless. The grip on his neck hadn’t weakened. Another minute crawled by, and now he was getting anxious. His heart beat heavily in his chest, his throat tightened, and his lungs screamed for air.

He struggled to arise, and the old man’s grip became even stronger, pressed him further down into the water.

Now, the man was in a panic. He thrashed around wildly, trying with all his energy to loosen the vise around his neck. Precious seconds passed.

He thought he was going to die!

Just as he was about to give up hope, the hand on his collar let go.

Violently leaping onto the shore, the man drew in his breath in heaving gasps. Oxygen flooded his lungs. His vision grew clearer, the hammering in his throat slowed down, his hands stopped trembling.

And he felt a deep anger welling up from within himself.

Standing up, he faced the Guru and screamed: “Are you CRAZY? You could have killed me!”

The Guru simply stared at him for a long moment.

Then he spoke for the first time:

“You wanted to know the secret of success. Here it is. Do you remember, just a few minutes ago, how badly you wanted to take that next breath of air? When you want success that badly, you will have it. That’s the secret of success.”