By April 16, 2013 Read More →

The struggle will make you strong

Anthony Charles, CEO Choices Magazine and Team Titanium

Pulling on rope 300x165pxMany times people ask me what it takes to develop a successful business, and some are surprised by my answer. I normally check first to see if they are currently earning the type of money they want, or if they have a sound plan of action for achieving it. If the answer is no, then I inform them that it will take everything they have. What I mean by that is in order to achieve something really significant that they have never achieved before; they will have to be willing to do more than they have ever done before.

I once heard one of my hero’s Bill O’Brien say “Iron does not become steel until it’s been through the fire; and it’s the struggle that will make you strong.” It’s such a powerful quote. It reminded me of the story of a young boy who went to ask a wise old man about success; I’ll give you my short version:

After asking his parents how to become successful; the young boy was sent to seek the answer from a wise old man from his village. The boy found the wise old man on a beach, sitting on a rock, starring out towards the sea. After a long time of asking about success and being ignored by the wise old man, the young boy became more persistent and began to besiege the wise man. “Please, please wise man, I want to make something of myself, tell me the secret of success so I can learn, change and grow and take my place in society.”

The wise old man finally got up, looked at the boy and asked; “Do you really want to know what it takes to be successful?” The young boy said “Definitely”, so the wise man took the boy by the hand, led him across the sand and began to walk with him into the sea. He walked until the water came up to the boy’s shoulders.

The boy stood looking at the wise man perplexed. Without warning the wise man pounced on the boy and began to hold him under the water, the struggle was intense; the wise old man holding the young boy under the water, and the young boy trying desperately to escape. With what felt like his last bit of strength, the young boy broke free and struggled back to land. He collapsed on the beach coughing up water and gasping for breath; the old man came to him, held him in his arms and helped to revive him.

The young boy asked “Wise man, were you trying to kill me? All I wanted to know was the secret of success, why did you do that?” The wise man asked “When you were under the water, what did you want most of all?” The young boy replied “I wanted to break free.” The wise man asked “Did you give much of yourself?” The young boy replied “I gave everything I had.”

The wise man said “Any dream, goal or aspiration you begin to pursue in life will take real work, make sure you always give it everything you have and you will be successful, for it is not what you gain from chasing your goals, but what you become during the journey; the struggle will make you strong.”

I’m not sure what challenges you may have right now; neither am I here to trivialise them. I just want you to be strong enough to give it everything you’ve got. After all, sometimes it only takes everything you’ve got.

Stay positive, stay focused and live your dreams.

Anthony Charles

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