Talk is cheap; only action matters.

Do you say you want something? Or do you act like it?

 

A young student approached their mentor one day and said,

"I want to be successful."

Their mentor nodded and simply responded,

"Meet me at 5am tomorrow by the ocean."

The student agreed. The next day, the student arrived at the chilly, wind-swept beach. They found their mentor unexpectedly in the water, who waved the student closer and signaled them to follow. The student pulled their jacket tighter and frowned, saying,

"I wish you would've told me we were getting in the water."

The mentor replied,

"Opportunity comes when you least expect it."

The student grudgingly removed their shoes and stuffed their socks inside. After rolling up their jeans to the knee, the student tentatively walked through the cold water until their shins were submerged. They looked expectantly at their mentor,

"I can't come in more, I've got my phone and wallet."

The mentor patiently responded,

"Choose."

Even if they didn't like it, the student understood. They took off their jacket and reached into their pockets, pulling out the phone and the wallet and the keys. They wrapped their belongings in the jacket then tossed them back onto the sand.

Frustrated and cold, the student cautiously walked into deeper water. With each new step the water got colder, the wind whipped harder, and the student doubted further. Though the walk felt endless, the student eventually came face to face with their mentor. The mentor, however, said nothing.

This proved too much. With the water weighing down their clothes, the wind stinging their eyes, and the cold squeezing them like a python, the student snapped,

"This is stupid! How is any of this supposed to teach me h-"

Before they could finish, the mentor quickly reached out and grabbed the student's head and pulled it into the water. Taken by surprise, the student felt the shocking cold rush around their face. The student was angrier than ever and tried to resurface, ready to punch their mentor.

But the mentor was stronger than they appeared.

The student struggled but couldn't break free. They flailed and kicked and clawed but nothing worked: the mentor held firm. Quickly, the student's anger was replaced by fear. They felt the burn in their lungs, begging to breathe. They heard every cell in their body scream to escape. The student fought. Even as their body began to slow, and their struggle weakened, the student kept fighting.

As the world got darker, the mentor pulled the student out and held them close. The student gasped and choked, crying from fear and happiness and release. They held onto their mentor, focused only on taking another breath.

The mentor said quietly,

"When you want to succeed as badly as you need to breath, then you'll be successful."