I have learned
something about success: I have learned that it comes with a tax.
There are those who will tell you that you can earn a six-figure income in just
months. There's nothing to it, they say. Just follow a simple system and your
financial success will skyrocket! Not so.
There is a tax in order to achieve what you
want; it is called dedication.
Orson Welles once said, "My doctor has advised me to give up those intimate
little dinners for four, unless, of course, there are three other people eating
with me." Some people will tell you that you can lose 25 or 50 pounds in just
weeks. It's easy, they say. Not so. Andy Rooney observed that the two biggest
sellers in any bookstore are cookbooks and diet books. Cookbooks tell you how to
prepare the food and diet books tell you how not to eat any of it.
And others will tell you that you can have the body of Charles Atlas, or the
Incredible Hulk, or Cindy Crawford. It's quick and simple, they say. Not so - it
is never easy to succeed at difficult goals. There is a tax, and that tax is
Do you want to excel in a sport, play a musical instrument well or become an
accomplished artist? One man was lost in New York City. He poked his head into a
taxi cab and asked the driver, "How do you get to Yankee Stadium?" The driver
responded, "Practice, practice, practice." You want to become really good at
something you enjoy? You can! But there is a tax to pay and that tax is called
Do you want better relationships with a spouse or a child or with friends? There
are never guarantees, but I promise that those relationships will suffer without
dedication. I wanted better relationships with my boys, and never felt I had the
time. So I decided when they were little that I would spend time alone with one
at breakfast every week. I kept this up for years. It was a time for listening
and talking, but never a time for correcting and persuading.
I made plenty of mistakes as a father, but if I had it to do over again, I would
do the breakfasts.
We pay a tax to succeed at anything worthwhile. That success tax is called
dedication, and here's the most wonderful part. Once you pay it, you'll find the
price was worth it.
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