The Path of Success… An Inspirational Journey with Mr. Twain


There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.

Mark Twain

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Mark Twain

The Philosopher’s Corner

Ever want something so bad you can taste it? Every essence of your body, your mind, your being aligns with the vision… and then poof!

It’s gone… But is it?

Ever experience that same dramatic shift. The enantiodromia of disappointment. I believe we all have, that is why so many more people reconcile themselves to the second versus the first group as Mr. Twain reminds us above.

The greatest lesson I ever learned was from a failed first draft of a thesis I had turned in during my undergraduate days. The professor had beautifully positioned much more red ink on my 30+ page draft, with what seemed to be as much criticism on each page as there was written content. OUCH!!!

The paper ended with “See ME!”

As I approached his office to discuss options, I expected a raving lunatic to be on the other side of the door. Instead, I found a wonderfully calm man who sat me down, offered me coffee, and proceeded to explain that I had two options in life.

“Tom” he said. “You don’t know how to write.”

I stood my ground, Navy pride and all and stated “what do you mean… I passed English 1A and 1B.”

He then proceeded to tell me that any professor that would pass me is lying to themselves as well as me, and are doing me a disservice.

I was shocked. I had no comeback.

He went on and ended with a set of options.

  1. “You can drop this class, and pray that I don’t teach it again next year. You can hope to have an easier professor who will pass you along like all the others did in your case; or”
  2. “You can read these books, learn to write, pray that you get an ‘A,’ so that I can average your grades to a D.”

It was a challenge, and one that I was pissed off enough to take.

Four months later I wrote a good enough thesis to attain an B, which when averaged should have given me an F.

However, the man lied. He did not live up to his word. As I looked upon the final grades for the semester, he gave me an ‘A’ instead. What a wonderful lesson it was. A lesson that follows me to this day.

You see, there are no failures in life, only lessons not learned. What a beautiful concept. Even if a dream goes poof… is is truly gone, or just hidden behind some work that needs to be accomplished.

With many prayers and blessings my friends. Believe… Achieve… Advance Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams.


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