Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on June 03, 2008

The devil made me do it.

In a bright orange glow, the devil sat at the front of a crowded auditorium. “I’m here as many of you requested,” said Satan. “What do you want of me?”

A pretty young woman stood up, and replied, “I want to be the biggest young star in Hollywood.” Then raising her voice to make her point, she added, “I want TV and movie deals and I want a music contract. I want everyone to know my name and get excited when they see me!”

The devil stared intensely at her and said, “What you want won’t bring you the joy you seek.” And the young woman replied, “Why don’t you let me be the judge of that.” Shaking his head and with a deep sigh Satan said, “Your wish shall be granted, but at the end of life, your soul is mine.”

“It’s worth it to me,” answered the young woman. “Super stardom is all I’ve ever wanted.”

Next a politician arose. “Satan,” he shouted, “I want power. I want to rule an empire. I want others to think of me as Napoleon or Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great and I want to be remembered in history as a brave leader just as they are.”

“Aren’t you a reborn Christian,” asked Satan. “Yes,” came the politician’s reply. “So what if I am?”

Rolling his eyes in disbelief, Satan said, “What you wish will bring great heartache to the world.” Then with a smile he added, “I gladly grant it to you. And at the end of life, your soul is mine.”

Next a heavy set businessman arose. “I want great riches,” he bellowed. “I want money to buy all the things I’ve ever dreamed of, big houses, cars, jewelry, clothes, everything! I want everyone to envy me when they see all the things I have.”

“And you think that will bring you happiness,” the devil asked as he shook his head. “Oh it will,” replied the man. “It will.”

“What you will discover,” Satan replied, “Is that you will have an empty life for what you’ve asked for has relatively little value and in itself can never bring happiness. But I happily grant your wish. At the end of life, your soul is mine.”

Just then, the devil noticed a 30-year-old man headed for an exit. “Where are you going,” asked Satan. “Out of curiosity I followed the crowd in,” the man replied. “I realize I’m in the wrong place and there is nothing you can offer me that I want.”

“You see,” the man continued. “I’m a roofer by trade. Each day I have the blue skies above me or in winter, I have the cool crisp fresh air to breathe. Sometimes I start work early enough to watch the sunrise.

“And I have no money worries for I always have work,” the man added. “Each roof will eventually need repair or replacement and if I treat my customers well, which I do, they will keep hiring me and they will keep recommending me to their friends.”

“But you have little education,” said the all knowing Satan. “But I do sir,” the man answered. “The library near my home has copies of most of mankind’s’ great writings from the Bible to Aristotle to Shakespeare to ‘Tuesdays with Morrie,’ and I’m an avid reader.”

“But you live in a modest home,” commented the devil. “And you can barely afford to provide gifts to your wife and little two-year-old daughter. “That’s true,” the man replied. “However I can afford the necessities and we live comfortably and we’re very happy together.

“One of our greatest gifts,” the man added, “is we have dinner together each night and then if that wasn’t special enough, a bit later I get to tuck our tiny daughter into bed.”

“But you’ll never be rich and famous,” Satin told him in no uncertain terms. “Yet I am those things at home,” the man replied. “I have a family and friends who know and love me and I get to live a life of my own choosing. This brings me all the joy being rich and famous ever could.”

At that point, the devil turned to the crowd and said, “Does anyone else share that man’s point of view?” Silence filled the air. Finally Satin said, “I wish you well. You are right, there’s nothing I can do for you.” Then with a big sinister grin, he turned to the crowd and said, “Who is next?”

Success Tip of the Week: You may already possess the world’s greatest of treasures if only you will recognize their value and enjoy them from your heart.

In the next KazanToday: A life changing secret behind an all-time best selling book.

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Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!