climber on sansetOne day a young man came to Socrates asking how he could gain knowledge and wisdom.

Socrates and the young man waded out into the sea, stopping when the water was about waist-high.

Socrates faced the young man, as if to say something, and without any warning plunged him under water.

The man thrashed about, violently flailing his arms, desperately trying to get some air.  This went on for what felt like an eternity to the man.

Finally, near the point of death, Socrates yanked the young man out of the water.  Bewildered and confused, the man sputtered and coughed and gasped, heaving in as much oxygen as his lungs would allow.

Then Socrates, in all calmness, said to the man, “When you want wisdom as much you wanted to breathe, you shall find it.”

Many things in life are not easily gained.  Most anything of TRUE value (not just monetary value) requires great effort to be won.  It’s the only way.

We must STRIVE HARD AFTER those treasures.  The crown of victory, the spoils of war, or that certain highly valued “whatever” (fill in the blank) that will change your life for the better, all come about after much effort.


What about that new job you’ve been trying to land?  How much do you want it?

How about that promotion you’ve been drooling over, and the only thing standing between you and it is getting a certain credential, or developing a certain skill, or “getting your numbers up”?

Hey, how much do you want it?

Or perhaps there’s a character quality you need to develop that will help your relationships improve, or a key area of yourself or your life that you need to change.

How much do you want it?

I remember talking to a mother of a high school kid—she said he would REGULARLY wake up at 4AM, and practice his electric guitar (unplugged of course!), walking up and down the hallways of the house, practicing riff after riff after riff after riff after riff.  At 4AM!!

You want to know how to become great?  Be like this high school kid.

Do you want “it” as much as this kid wanted to master the guitar?

I don’t know what your “it” is, but if it’s anything that has a lot of value, expect to fight for it.

Like Socrates’ young friend, who fought for the air that would keep him alive.

Go forth now, and strive, and then thrive.

--Sean Cox, Chicago



I’m Sean Cox,

I write these articles to provoke you to look at your life--to consider where you currently are and where you could be in the future. I want you to break free from the status quo, pursue your potential, and become a razor-sharp asset.

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