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Posted by TerryS ( on August 11, 2000 at 00:01:48:

> Success
> An old monk lived in a nearby town and the young man
> had heard great praise about his abilities and his
> wisdom.
> The young man decided to seek out the old monk and ask
> the monk his one burning question. The one question
> that nobody, so far, had been able to answer. Where is
> success?
> One morning the young man decided that this would be
> the day he would visit the old monk. He got up,
> shaved, combed his hair, and put on his most
> impressive business suit, and walked out into the
> morning air.
> The journey took many hours and the man was growing
> impatient when he finally caught sight of the old
> monk.
> He quickly walked up to the monk, with his hands
> impatiently holding his hips, and demanded, "Where
> will I find success?"
> The old monk slowly took out a faded road map and his
> finger shaking he pointed to the map. "You are here.
> You must get to there," the old monk said, pointing to
> a place further up the map.
> The young man impatiently tore the road map from the
> monks hand, turned abruptly and hurried away. No
> "thank you," no nothing. The young man took off in the
> direction which success laid.
> The young man walked and walked and walked. The sun
> began to set and the young man became ravenous, since
> he had not had a morsel to eat all day. He stopped at
> a nice restaurant and treated himself to their best
> steak dinner. After all, he deserved it. He was on his
> way to success. After his large and filling meal he
> stepped outside and found a rather expensive looking
> hotel. "I deserve it," said the man, believing he was
> on his way to success.
> The next morning he got up and continued on his
> journey. This day's walk was not quite so pleasant
> though. The young man found many turns in his road,
> and twice detour signs appeared around a bend in the
> road. He froze in place as he examined the first
> detour sign. He needed to know if he took the detour
> would he still find success. He decided he would end
> up in the proper spot, so he began to walk again. The
> road became narrow and uphill. Again, the sun began to
> set. There were no restaurants, though the rumbling of
> his stomach told the young man he needed food. And
> there was no hotel for him that night. The man sat on
> the side of the road, and then grew sleepy. He finally
> fell to the ground and was instantly asleep.
> The next morning the sun never rose, for the skies
> were a dark gray, and rain splattered the countryside.
> The man, now tired, hungry and cold looked again at
> the road map and decided that success was not too far
> off. He would reach it today. By tonight he would be
> successful. He had earned it.
> But the journey was beginning to look almost
> impossible, and after a few hours of fighting the cold
> and the rain the young man stood at the edge of a
> great precipice. There was no way for him to cross
> over to the other side and continue his journey.
> The young man stood shaking with anger. He called the
> old monk every filthy name he knew and unceremoniously
> turned immediately around and started walking back the
> way he came.
> The further the young man walked the angrier he
> became. Three days wasted! Three whole days. He had
> spent all his money on food and hotels and he didn't
> find success to boot. Oh how he raged. "The old monk
> is going to pay for this!" the young man pronounced!
> Because of the storm and the lack of food it took the
> young man four days to get back to his starting point
> with the old monk.
> Upon arriving he found the monk peacefully sitting
> among the trees where he had first found him. By this
> time the young man had worked himself into a frenzy.
> He was angrier than he had ever been before. He shook
> his finger at the old monk. He walked up to where he
> sat and shook his shoulders, brutally. He yelled and
> he screamed. The old monk sat perfectly still and
> didn't even seem to recognize him.
> The young man cried out in a deafening roar, "You!
> You! You worthless old monk!! You gave me the wrong
> map! You sent me on a wild goose chase to find
> success. It wasn't where you said it would be! You are
> not wise, but instead, you are a fool!"
> The old monk slowly looked up at the young man and
> quietly and calmly requested that the young man show
> him the map. The young man threw the road map in the
> old monk's face in a fury! The old man carefully
> looked at the map and repeated, "You are here. Success
> is here," once again pointing to the same place on the
> map.
> "I followed your directions and still I did not find
> success!" cried the young man.
> "How many times did you try?" the old monk inquired.
> "What do you mean, how many times? I went there just
> once!" "The trip took three days up and four wasted
> days back!" roared the young man.
> "That was your problem," the old monk murmured
> quietly. "Success is not a one time trip. It is a
> journey. You must always pass defeat and failure
> before you know success. You wanted instant
> gratification. Instant success. You didn't pay your
> dues. You didn't pass failure and defeat. Perhaps next
> time you will get further along on your path to
> success. First you need to taste failure. It has a
> bitter flavor. Success and victory taste like the sun,
> like the moon, like the fresh night air. You will know
> success when you finally taste it." "Now go away. Try
> again. And again. Keep on trying. You now know the way
> to succeed. First you must fail. Success will come in
> time." At that the old monk slowly rose and
> disappeared into the woods.
> The man stood motionless for the longest time, then
> slowly turned, looked again at the road map, and
> headed off in the direction of success.
> Years later the old monk still sat under the same old
> trees. He slept on the same bench, surrounded by
> Redwood Trees. Suddenly the old monk's eyes popped
> open. He smelled the air, and he listened to the wind.
> His lips slowly curled up at their ends, and he gave a
> slight sigh. "Finally!" he thought, "at long last the
> young man has found success." "Oh, the sweet smell of
> success, and the music that it plays."
> The End

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