How Bad Do You Want It? The Secret to Success (or How to Find the Motivation to Be the Person You Want to Be)

Eric Thomas Secret to Success

The Secret to Success: The Beach Story


A young man desires to become a successful millionaire, so he goes to see the wise guru, who knows the ultimate secret to success.

The young man says to the teacher, “I want to become rich and successful. Can you help me?” The guru smiles and says, “Meet me at the beach tomorrow at 4 AM, and I will tell you the secret to success.”

So the next morning, the young man shows up on the beach at 4 AM, just like the guru had asked, wearing a suit and tie. Upon arriving, he realizes that the guru is already in the water swimming, dressed not in a suit and tie, but in a pair of swimming trunks.

The guru spots the young man and motions for him to come in the water.

So the young man goes knee-deep into the water.

“Come out further,” the guru says. “This is an expensive suit,” the young man replies, “I came here to learn the secret to success, not the secret to swimming.” “The secret must be told in this water. It is your choice to learn the secret or not.”

So the young man goes waist-deep into the water, soaking his expensive suit. “Further,” the guru says.

The young man becomes irritated.

“Listen old man,” he says with impatience, “I’m already in the water. I didn’t come here for a swimming lesson. Tell me the secret to success right now or I’m leaving.” The guru, unaffected by the young man’s outburst, replies calmly, “You are already waist-deep. What’s a few more steps?”

So the young man wades deeper into the water until the water is up to his neck. The sun is beginning to rise.

“So tell me the secret,” the young man demands. The guru says, “Sure,” and suddenly forces the young man’s head under the water.

The young man, caught off guard, swallows salty sea water by accident and begins to drown.

He flails his arms and tries to push the guru off him, but the guru continues to hold the young man’s head underwater, using all of his strength to keep him there.

Just before the young man loses consciousness, the guru pulls the young man back up, who begins coughing immediately and gasping for air.

The guru immediately asks the young man a question:

“When your head was under water, what did you want to do?” “Kill…you…” the young man sputtered out between hacking coughs.

He grabs onto the guru with the intention of drowning him, but the young man is still trying to recover and is unable to push the guru’s head underwater.

“Besides that,” the guru said, pushing the young man’s hands off him. The young man coughs some more. He looks up at the guru and sees that he is still looking at him, waiting for a response.

His stern look causes the young man to become enraged.


He shoves the guru aside violently and begins stumbling towards the shore, coughing up sea water as he wades and splashes.

What the guru says next however, stops the young man in his tracks:

“When you want success as much you wanted to breathe just now when you were drowning, then, and ONLY THEN, will you have success.”

And with that, the guru goes back to swimming.

And by the end of the year, the young man becomes a multi-millionaire.