Plato’s mentor was Socrates. Plato thought Socrates was the wisest person of his time and he passionately desired to draw all of Socrates’ wisdom.
Legend has it that one day Socrates and Plato were walking down the beach having a deep philosophical conversation. Plato as curious as he was asked his wise mentor, “How can someone develop your magnificent wisdom?”
Socrates solemnly replied to Plato, “Walk with me into the ocean.” Then they turned and walked into the sea together. Student and teacher, two of the greatest philosophers of history, striding into the waves side by side.
The water started out around their ankles, then rose up to their knees, and then up to their chest. As the water got higher Plato wondered, “What is the lesson my master wants to teach me?”
When the water was about shoulder height, Socrates abruptly grabbed Plato’s head and pushed him down under the water. As Plato was held down, he wondered again what this lesson was all about.
After a time, when Plato ran out of air, he began to struggle to get his head above water. Panicked, he punched and kicked and fought with all his strength to free himself, but Socrates managed to keep him underwater. Finally, Plato blacked out due to the lack of oxygen.
Socrates composedly pulled Plato ashore and resuscitated him with ease.
When Plato regained consciousness, he angrily started accusing Socrates of trying to drown him. Socrates calmly explained, “If that had been my intention, I would have never pulled you ashore”.
“Then why did you do that?” Plato demanded confused.
Socrates passionately replied, “When you desire my knowledge as much as you desired that breath of air to keep you alive while drowning underwater and attempt to use all your energy to get it, then you shall acquire it”
So many of us desire things, but we merely want them at an intellectual level. We wish for a lifelong romantic relationship, financial independence, fame, success, wisdom, or even to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Yet, we never desire them enough and fight for them like Plato desired and fought to keep himself alive. This is one of the biggest reasons why most people cannot succeed in their life.
Successful people develop a vast hunger for success and go after it as if their lives depend on it. Only like that, they manage to overcome the discomforts and setbacks that haunt their success.
That’s one of the greatest lesson ever taught in life by an extremely wise philosopher. It has been mentioned in numerous success books, and in many cases, it was described as the major attribute that brought success to many of the most successful people. Understand this principle, apply in your life, and don’t wait for success to come anymore. Because you have to make it happen yourself. Period!