Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a man who had everything.
He lived off the fat of the land – which in this case was astoundingly fat, rich and abundant, much like the belly of jolly Saint Nick – and had servants who attended to his every need.
He owned acres of farmland and forest. His production companies manufactured exotic skin creams and powders made from the nectar of the rare peslin flower found deep in the Amazon rainforest, and he was famous around the world for his business prowess.
Everything the man touched prospered. Everyone who really knew him loved him, but outsiders resented his success. “Born with a silver spoon,” they said. “He doesn’t deserve what he gets.”
The man didn’t listen to them. He didn’t even think about the. He just did what he knew to do, because he knew the secret to having it all.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, there was a wizard who was desperate to uncover that secret. The wizard masqueraded as a high powered attorney, and hired an investigator to follow the man and report back only when he had learned the secret.
The investigator staked out the estate of the man who had everything all day and all night. He tracked the man’s comings and goings, spied on his conversations, and studied his every action.
One night, while the investigator was waiting in the shadows, the man who had everything emerged wearing a long trench coat, a fedora and high boots that shone in the lamplight.
The man who had everything moved with purpose into the woods behind his home. The investigator followed closely behind.
Looking over his shoulder, the man who had everything turned on a flashlight and maneuvered down a path in the woods until he emerged in a grove of trees with a fire pit at the center. The man gathered wood and kindling from a nearby stash and lit a fire.
The investigator watched as the man took off his trench coat, hat and boots, then the rest of his clothes. He stood naked in the firelight and danced with the fury of the winds and the power of the earth. His flesh quivered and became transparent, as if he were fading in and out of being.
The leaves swirled around as the man danced, till he had worn tracks in the earth from his feverish feet.
The investigator watched, holding his breath. Wings sprouted from the not-quite transparent shoulder blades of the man who had everything, and he flew into the night sky.
“I have the discovered the secret!” the investigator said, excited because his high-powered client had promised him a great sum.
The investigator crept back to his car and took careful notes of everything he had seen.
The next day, the investigator went back to the clearing to gather evidence: samples from the fire, leaves that had flown through the air. He took photos of everything that might be useful, and reported back to the wizard.
The wizard placed his hands beneath his chin as he listened to the investigator’s report. “Surely, this sacred grove and ritual must be the source of the man’s power,” he said. “And now it will be mine.”
Two weeks later, while the man who had everything was away on a business trip to Beijing, the wizard seized his chance.
The wizard dressed in a long trench coat, fedora and boots, and crept through the woods to the grove behind the man’s estate. The wizard lit the bon fire, stripped naked, and danced in the way the investigator had told him.
“I call upon the elements,” the wizard cried. “Grant me your power!”
As the wizard twirled and spun, the hurricanes came to meet him. The lava within the earth’s core surged beneath his feet, and from the wizard’s back sprouted two great, black crow wings.
The wizard yelped in triumph as he rose into the air and flew. He soared through the clouds above the landscape, reveling in the surge of his wings through the air.
When he grew tired, the wizard flew back to the estate of the man who had everything, put his clothes on beside the embers of the fire pit, and drove back to his place in the city.
The next day, the wizard felt different. His back was sore where the wings had been, but there was no trace of them.
“Now, I shall do all the things the man who had everything has done and steal his success,” he declared.
So the wizard set out to accomplish things.
“The man with everything is a genius with investing,” the wizard said. So he invested in several companies, including Crow Holdings and Great Flight, Inc. as a symbolic nod to his experience in the clearing.
“The man with everything has a Fortune 500 company,” the wizard said. “So shall I.”
The wizard formed a company called Supernatural Sleuth and developed a software to detect and report supernatural activity, because it seemed like a good idea to keep tabs on the man who had everything and anyone else like him.
The wizard spent all his savings buying up 590 acres in Mississippi, so he could live off the fat of the land, just like the man who had everything.
Some of the wizard’s investments did well. Others lost money. In the end, the wizard made $333.
The wizard’s startup company got funded, but quickly went out of business when a competitor beat them to market with the Ghost Discovery app.
The wizard’s acres in Mississippi were pure marshland, and nothing would grow there but cattails and sedges.
“This is impossible!” the wizard exclaimed. “Perhaps the ritual was not strong enough.”
Once again, the wizard traveled to the grove behind the house of the man who had everything, lit the bonfire, shed his clothes, and danced till the hurricane and lava stirred. Once again, he sprouted crow wings and launched into the air.
The wizard flew round the world twice, and a third time for good measure.
“Surely the ritual will be potent enough now,” he said.
The next day the wizard went to work. He reinvested what little funds he had left, assembled a new board of directors, and located a special type of hay that promised to flourish on marshy land.
This time the wizard’s investments did somewhat better, and he earned 20%. The startup made it through two rounds of funding before floundering and falling apart. The marshland wasn’t profitable, but the hay did grow and the head farmer assured him by next year the farm would break even.
“I don’t understand!” the wizard cried. “What am I missing?”
There was only one thing to do: the wizard must confront the man who had everything and extract the secret by whatever means necessary.
The wizard went straight to the estate of the man who had everything and pounded on the door.
“Yes?” a well-groomed man in a butler’s uniform answered the door.
“I must see your employer immediately!” he demanded.
The butler raised one arched eyebrow, took the wizard’s name, and told him that he’d consult his employer and return shortly with a response. With that, he closed the door in the wizard’s face.
The wizard fumed.
Two hours and twenty-two minutes later, the butler eased the door open.
“You may enter. My employer will be down in a moment.”
The wizard stepped into a well-appointed foyer with lush carpeting and an impressive work of art on the wall that looked suspiciously like a Picasso. The wizard took in the ornate details of the trim, the artful curve of the stairs leading upwards,the delicious scent of leather and money.
He wanted to scream.
And then, the man who had everything was there.
He was impossibly suave and distinguished with a well-trimmed beard in a Dolce and Gabbana suit.
“Clive says you’d like to speak with me?” he asked.
“You, you!” The wizard sputtered and blinked. “You have everything and it’s not fair!”
The man with everything laughed. “Well, I hardly think I have everything. If I did, there wouldn’t be anything left for me to try for, and that would be a horrible bore. Wouldn’t it?”
“How dare you mock me!” the wizard responded.
“I assure you, kind sir, I do nothing of the sort. What is the nature of your request, pray tell?” The man with everything’s impeccable manners only served to stir the wizard’s ire.
“I stole your ritual,” the wizard burst out. “I hired a private investigator to stalk you. The bonfire, the dancing, the flying, the whole thing and it didn’t work! Tell me, what is the secret of your success? You must tell me!”
“Oh, you’re the one who’s been canoodling in my grove, eh?” the man who had everything chuckled. “Then you should know that my secret doesn’t reside in any ritual.”
“What then?” The wizard was almost in tears. “I have to know your secret. I must!”
“It’s simple,” the man who had everything said. “The reason I have more things and achieve more success is because I’m willing to do and try more than most people.”
“That’s impossible!” the wizard said. “I’ve been copying everything you do and I haven’t had nearly the results.”
“But you have had results, haven’t you?” the man who had everything said. “What works for me won’t be exactly what works for you. You’ve got to follow your own knowing, and personally, I have no idea what that is. What I can tell you is that the more you do, the more results you’ll get. Guaranteed.”
“What about the grove and the ritual?” the wizard snapped.
“Oh, that’s just a little something I whipped up to entertain myself,” the man who had everything said. “It is quite the experience, you’ll agree.”
The wizard just stood there, looking. He could find no trace of guile in the man who had everything.
“Are you seriously telling me that the reason you have more is because you do more?”
The man who had everything nodded with a knowing smile. “It’s not because of my talent, I’ll tell you what. I dare say you have as much, if not more, persistence than me, even if you have a rather bizarre way of applying it.”
“What is it then?”
“I know the secret,” the man with everything said. “When you follow your truest desire, without agenda or expectation, the universe conspires with you to create it. Your inner guidance will show you the way.”
The wizard burst into tears. “I’ve been wasting my life,” he cried.
“My dear friend,” the man who had everything said. “There is more than enough for us both. Let me show you.”
And so the man who had everything became a mentor to the wizard.
He taught him how to act from inspiration and curiosity, rather than trying to duplicate the success of others. He instructed him in creating the power of momentum, keep-going-no-matter what, and flow with the Infinite Genius that is always available.
Most of all, the man who had everything taught the wizard to rest in the perfection of the moment and to love everything exactly as it was, even when things didn’t go according to plan.
Slowly, the wizard let go of his desperate need for things to be different than they were. He stopped comparing himself to others and his frenzied mind began to quiet down.
The wizard gave up his law practice and took up gardening and tending roses instead. The inspiration struck to create a hybrid rose. After years of experimentation, the wizard created a flower with a scent so luscious botanists came from around the world to tour his gardens and a whiff of its perfume.
The wizard’s success looked nothing like that of the man who had everything. He didn’t accumulate as many assets or become famous, because assets and fame weren’t what he truly desired. What he actually wanted was to create something new, alive and real.
So it was that the wizard and the man who had everything became great friends. And the wizard named his prize hybrid rose in homage to the secret he had learned: The Genius of Being You.