Are You Sure You’re Ready for Success?

Let me ask you a question;

What’s your biggest hope, wish or dream right now – and what’s stopping you from achieving it?

At the very beginning of my sales career, I needed to pass a couple of industry exams to ensure I continued on the right track – at the time, it meant a lot to me, it felt like everything was riding on passing those papers.

The night before the big day, I went to the local church and had a chat with our local vicar, Howard.

“I was wondering if you could say a prayer for me,” I asked, “my final exams are tomorrow – and I could use all the help I can get.”

Howard sat me down, smiled and started to tell me this story……..

“There was once an elderly lady who longed to visit a particular stately home…

She had want to visit this house for a very, very long time because she had heard that the gardens were truly wonderful, a miracle of nature, a sight to behold – and this Sunday was going to be her big day – so she got there early.

So early in fact, that the mist was still hanging over the lawns down to the lake, as she stepped out on to deep gravel path and into the acres of woodland and flowers.

The entire place was hers to explore alone, and realising this fact, she took her time strolling slowly through the beautiful gardens.

Eventually, she started to tire and began to make her way back towards the house. She turned the corner heading back to the original gravel path – and there, sitting on a wall eating a thick cheese sandwich – was the old gardener. A tatty cap resting on his head at a jaunty angle, a thick heavy coat on his shoulders, his boots covered in wet grass trimmings.

She felt that she had to say something – that she should congratulate him on his masterpiece – let him know what a fabulous job he’d done.

“Do you know” she said to the gardener “between you and God – you have created a truly beautiful garden here.”

The gnarly faced gardener wiped his mouth, looked up at her, smiled and said,

“You should have seen the state of it when God was all by himself.”

Howard the Vicar finished telling me the story, I smiled and thanked him for his time, he patted me on my shoulder and we both got up to leave.

“You will still say a prayer for me though, won’t you?” I asked

“Of course I will,” replied Howard, but if you haven’t put the appropriate effort in to becoming successful, I’m afraid it won’t make a blind bit of difference to the result.”

And that was the point of his story.

Success is taken by the person, who has made themselves ready for its arrival.

When I was an even younger salesman, I called on a catholic school for a business appointment with the headmistress – an incredibly scary Mother Superior figure who quite clearly ruled her domain with a rod of iron.

I was shown into her office and nervously waited for her to arrive, not wanting to touch anything or sit down, just staring out of the window, hands in pockets.

Suddenly – with the force of a hurricane – the door was thrown open and the Mother Superior bulldozed into the room.

“Have you made yourself a cup of tea?” she boomed

“No I didn’t think it polite.” I whimpered back

She picked up the kettle and filled it up at a nearby sink.

“Well get those cups young man, come on – hasn’t anyone ever told you?

God helps those who help themselves.

God – helps – those – who – help – themselves.”