Advice That Works

Updated on November 8, 2017
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Noor Hussain is my name. For 20 years, I have been teaching English grammar. I am also a Columnist in UK based weekly English magazine.


Advice That Works

Once a young man met Socrates and asked about the secrets of success. Socrates observed the young man with keen eyes and smiled. He started walking to a destination unknown to the young man. He asked the young man to follow his footprints but keeping a gap of few steps. Walking through different streets, grounds and hilly areas, he neither stopped nor looked back. In fact the young man was much curious to know about the secret of success, that is why he didn't try to talk to Socrates even for once since the time he had started following Socrates. At last, Socrates stopped at the bank of a river. The young man stopped a few step back. Socrates smiled once again and stepped in the water. With the hand gesture, he asked the young man to follow him step by step. The young man was amazed by the hand-gesture of Socrates, but he got ready soon because he wanted to know the secret of success. This time, Socrates did not go ahead, he extended his arm to hold the hand of the young man. The young man put his hand on Socrates' hand and both began walking side by side with each other. The level of water was rising with the every step they took. Socrates stopped walking when he saw the water had rose to the neck of young man. The young man looked into Socrates' eyes and got a bit confused. There was a wildness in Socrates' eyes. All of sudden, Socrates held the young man from his back and began to push him down with great force. The young man could not incur the situation and got frightened. In order to escape from this critical situation, the young man was struggling very hard. But Socrates was insistent to push him down till his death. At last, the young man began to lose his senses. Having ensured of young man's failure in making efforts, Socrates dragged him out of water. After much efforts, Socrates brought him back to senses. The young man was looking a bit resentful, but the question was still intact in his eyes. When Socrates realized that the young man had become normal, he started to converse with the young man politely.

Socrates said," young man! now, I would like to tell you the secret of success, if you need to know?"

The young man said( with curiosity) " why not! in order to know the secret I put my life in danger".

Socrates cleared his throat and started taking " Ok, tell me, What did you need most of all while struggling to save your life?"

The young man replied ( a bit resentful), " I needed air the most. I struggled hard to inhale air."

Socrates smiled and asked another question, " Why did you need air most of all?"

The young man replied ( being a bit confused) " because it was the matter of life and death. Had I not struggled hard to inhale air, I would die in the end"

A Smile spread across Socrates' face, he began disclosing the secret of success. "young man ! listen to me carefully. The secret of success lies in the answer you have just given".


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