YOUNG ONE: “Master, does success go to the clever one, or to the lucky one?”
MERLYN: “Success is sometimes discovered by the clever one, and occasionally by the lucky one, but it is most often laid hold of by the determined one.”
YOUNG ONE: “Will you teach me to be determined?”
MERLYN: “Determination is dangerous… relentless… remorseless… and inescapable. It returns to its master with treasure between its teeth.”
YOUNG ONE: “Is Determination a dog? Shall I summon it with a whistle?”
MERLYN: “The whistle is a four-note tune that comes at a high price.”
YOUNG ONE: “Teach me the notes. I will pay.”
MERLYN: “Everyone wants to be a beast, until it’s time to do what real beasts do.”
YOUNG ONE: “Teach me the notes.”
MERLYN: “As you wish.”
This is what the old wizard taught me:
NOTE ONE: Count the cost.
MERLYN: “Consider everything that might go wrong. Is your goal worth enough that you would endure all this discomfort and pain? If the answer is yes, then make peace with those possibilities and you will be bulletproof. No matter what happens, you will not panic. You will have already been there in your mind.”
NOTE TWO: Throw your cap over the wall.
MERLYN: “A group of boys walk a pathway next to a high stone wall that surrounds the estate of a nobleman. The older boys challenge each other to climb the wall, but none of them can do it. The youngest boy then takes off his cap and tosses it over the wall. Confused, the other boys watch as he quickly climbs the wall. Upon his return, he looks at them and says, ‘I was not going home without that cap.'”
NOTE THREE: Employ Exponential Little Bits.
MERLYN: “Ask yourself at every meal, ‘What difference have I made today?’ Do not let your head touch your pillow until you have taken an action that moves you a Little Bit closer to your goal, no matter how tiny that action might be. Exponential Little Bits are relentless activities that compound to make a miracle. When daily progress meets with progress, it doesn’t add, it multiplies.”
NOTE FOUR: Be an observer, a simple witness to what happens.
MERLYN: “You are responsible for your actions, not for the outcome. To be effective, you must be objective. Become a tool in the hand of the goal itself. Eliminate your ego. Do not seek recognition. It isn’t about you. It’s about the thing you’re doing. Are you willing to pay this price? Can you whistle the notes that summon the dog?”
YOUNG ONE: “You said the dog returns to its master with treasure between its teeth.”
YOUNG ONE: “I see blood on that treasure.”
YOUNG ONE: “And the blood is my own.”
MERLYN: “You are ready to whistle the notes.”
Roy H. Williams