A Quest for Mastery – A Tale about Success
Coming together is a beginning
Keeping together is progress
Working together is success
A young entrepreneur came to the old master for advice. He looked him in the eye and said, “You have achieved wealth and greatness in your business, you are recognized in the community as a great leader, and you have cared for your family well. I want to become like you. Tell me, what is the key to your success?”
“There is a lot to learn,” replied the old man. “What you see is the end result of a journey. To get there, you must follow a certain path and pay attention to everything you do. You must be observant as to where the path is leading you, and of what happens along the way. You will learn a lot on your journey.”
“But where do I start?” asked the young man.
“At the beginning”, smiled the old master. “You want to be in business, you want to make money and you want recognition. These are al worthwhile goals, but they are not the only reasons to embark on the path. These things come as the by-products of something else, something much greater.”
“What do you mean?” asked the young man.
“Well, as you start on the journey, you must commit to continually improve your skills, to become better at what you do. You must strive to become the best you can be. More importantly, you must find a deeper purpose that will sustain you on your course. If money and recognition are your only goals, your path will be arduous and the journey difficult. And when you get to the end of the path, you may be disappointed.”
“Then what is this deeper purpose?” asked the young man.
“I have found a spirit based path where the main purpose of my work is to contribute to the well being of every person I meet. I began to see that my work could make a difference in the lives of others, and that applying this philosophy in my work, I could make a difference in the world.”
“And what exactly is that philosophy, and how does it apply in business?” asked the young man.
“This is the key,” responded the master. It is all based on love. Love means compassion, respect, and a genuine concern for the well being of another. When you come from the position of love, you will treat your clients with utmost respect. And you will always act with integrity. This means that you will express your authentic self, the essence of who you are. You will share a piece of yourself with your customers and will exceed their expectations every time you do business with them. This commitment to your clients will make their experience with you very special. You will also be educating them in the quality of service they should expect in the future.”
“Do you mean their standards will be raised?”
“Yes”, said the old man. ”And who do you suppose they will go the next time they will need advice?”
“To me, of course”, replied the young man.
“Exactly, when you treat your clients with genuine love and respect, they will become your loyal advocates and turn into friends with whom you will foster life-long relationships. They will tell others about you. New people will come to you to receive the same kind of service. Your business will grow like a tree, one branch at a time. The more branches it produces, the more offshoots will come. Your tree will become huge, and it will bear fruit bountifully. But you must remember that this will take time.”
“This is powerful”, said the young man.
“Yes, you cannot underestimate the power of love. As you practice this principle, love will grow within you. You will evolve into a better human being and you will inspire others to follow the same oath. Many wonderful things will happen along the way.”
“So, this will be far reaching”, the young man stated.
The old man continued, “ I have thought about this. Imagine what it would be like if people from different countries, involved in various businesses shared this philosophy? Imagine going to a new town or country and being able to find someone who would immediately understand what you are all about, someone who would support you, whom you could trust, who would consider your well being a number one priority? Imagine if a dentist, chiropractor, financial advisor, builder, a cleaning lady, all living their lives along the same principles?”
The young man said, “ I can see that this could change the world. But of course I have to start with me, and I will need your help. Can I come and see you again?”
The old man replied, “Please come and see me. It will be an honor to help you on your journey.
In the five years that passed the young entrepreneur touched many lives through his work. He became prosperous and gained recognition as a respected leader in the business community. His vision and leadership, and the strength of the organization he created inspired others.
When the two men met again, the young man sat across from the old master and thanked him for the words of wisdom that had inspired him to take the path he had followed.
The old man responded. “The teachings I gave you, I gained by following the path of my spirit. When you came to see me, your mind was like a young green plant, ready to grow. You wanted to find your path and you were open to learning. Tell me, have you followed your spirit and have found your path? What direction did you take and what have you accomplished?”
The young man said, “ I realized my path was to serve others. I envisioned my business built upon the foundation of love, integrity and the highest principles. It would touch the lives of business people around the world, becoming a vehicle for entrepreneurs to build great businesses, and to realize their full human potential. Eventually it would evolve into a community of people supporting each other in continuous learning and in achieving excellence in all aspects of their lives.
“There is tremendous power in collective energy. What is your vision for your business?” asked the old man.
“We see ourselves growing into a world-wide community of interconnected people evolving in the same philosophy, and building our lives and businesses through clients’ lifetime loyalty and advocacy. Together, we acquire the skills of delivering world-class service and building referral-based businesses. We have a vision that this philosophy will extend throughout the world, spreading the fabric of good will.”
“Success has many meanings and many different faces”, said the old man. “What does it mean to you?”
“We believe that success is about clarity, purpose and connectedness. It is a deep sense of fulfillment that comes from achieving balance across all aspects of life: material, emotional and spiritual. Material security is important because it gives us the freedom to express our creativity. Fulfillment arises from having a clear long-term vision for one’s life, a sense of evolving towards that vision, meaningful relationships and a connection with the higher power some call God.
“There is a spiritual aspect to your business”, old man said
“Indeed, there is”, the young man replied. “My business is a vehicle for personal growth. My team members and I evolve towards achieving congruency across all aspects of our lives, and toward expressing our authentic selves in the world. We are becoming more authentic as we become more aware of who we really are.”
“We recognize our own standards and boundaries. This means that we no longer feel guilty to say ‘no’, and when we say ‘yes’, we really mean it. We become fearless, and do not allow the fear of rejection, failure, or fear of success run our lives. We embrace competition because we compete only with ourselves. We learn from our mistakes and look ahead. We become possibility thinkers, open to opportunities and challenges. We learn how to continually upgrade ourselves and to create realistic expectations. We learn how to create action plans and to double our goals. We consider the body as a temple for our spirit and learn to take good care of it. We treat money as a form of energy, and learn to direct it purposefully.”
“What about relationship?” asked the Master.
“We learn how to really listen and hear, how to motivate people and how to get energy from others. We do not blame others but accept them for who they are. We treat them with compassion, wanting to bring out the best in them. We complete unresolved issues with family members and friends. It is an exciting journey.”
“Tell me about the Mastery”, asked the old man
“When we become Masters we have moved beyond building successful businesses and becoming financially secure. Mastery is about having evolved to a higher kevel as a human being. Now we focus on our inner qualities and the quality of relationships we create in the world. We have grown beyond just learning and move towards giving or ourselves to others. At this point we become co-creators.”
“Human spirit is like a pure gold”, said the old man. “We build our character when we melt the ore and discard impurities.”
“Mastery is about discarding what is false and expressing our true self. We have stopped mindlessly replaying the tape of our lives, with all the noises created by habits and beliefs that do not serve us. We have discovered our essence, and interact with the world from a position of authenticity and congruency. We can now mentor others on their life journey”, said the young man. “The greatest complement to us is when others can sincerely say to us, “I like me best when I am with you.”
“And when does this process stop?” asked the Master
The young man responded, “It never stops. The process of evolution goes on, just like an old saying, ‘When you reach a summit of the highest mountain, you keep climbing.’”
“You have done well, my son”, said the old man. “Keep doing your good work, for your purpose is truly noble, and your vision bright. Within each one of us lie the seeds of greatness. We must find the way to give them life. You have provided a path for others, and their seeds will grow because of your good work.”