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 November 11, 2008

Today: That Which Is Most Precious In Life.

Dear Reader: Today’s story offers such strong advice; it could elevate your life. It’s from Saul, a fictitious Holocaust survivor whose life is based on actual Holocaust survivors and that of a self-made billionaire who is anonymously donating his fortune to help others in need.

As a boy, Saul came to America after World War ll and over the years he grew into a wise adult who later made a fortune in business.

His guest today is 21-year-old Kwan a recent South Korean college graduate who traveled across the world to Saul’s Los Angeles area home to learn from the shrewd master.

“A question I’ve been anxious to ask you,” Kwan said, as his heart raced with excitement. “Is from all of your experiences, please tell me what it is that you believe is most precious in life.”

“My young friend,” Saul replied with a smile, “That which is most precious in life is free, but once it is used, not even the richest person can buy any more of it. The answer is profound yet simple. It is life changing and if you will use what I’m about to tell you, it will immensely uplift your life.”

“To introduce it to you,” Saul continued, “I’d like to tell you a story from my childhood in Poland. My father and mother and I used to happily talk about all the things we were going to do together.

“We were going to visit Jerusalem for its historic and religious significance, we were going to go to an Olympic Games to see the greatest athletes perform and they planned to introduce to me many of the greatest books ever written so we could discuss them together.

“But suddenly the Nazis invaded Poland and a Black Death cloud swept over Europe. My parents barely got me out of the Warsaw Ghetto before they were killed, and all that we had planned died with them.

“Those horrible events taught me an extremely valuable lesson which I’m about to share with you and it made a huge difference in how successful I became.”

But as Saul thought about his parents, those long ago events became as real as if they were just happening, and tears trickled down his cheeks, and he fell silent.

“I know how painful this must be for you,” said Kwan. “I too lost my parents when I was a boy and not a day goes by that I don’t miss them. I wish my mother could still hug me, and my father could know how much his devotion meant to me. Tears welled up in Kwan’s eyes as well.

“Under these circumstances,” said Saul. “You’ll understand well the value of this lesson. Yet it is something people often foolishly take for granted.

“That which is most precious in life,” Saul said as he rose to his feet, “Is time.”

“We don’t have yesterday,” Saul said, “It is gone and no amount of money or wishes can bring it back. And as I learned from the sudden loss of my parents, we don’t necessarily have tomorrow. It is promised to no-one.

“But we have today, and today may be all we will ever have. Whatever dreams you have Kwan, it is now that you must pursue them, for you might never get another chance.

“As you pursue your dreams,” Saul continued, “As often as possible, avoid time wasters, such as meetings that go nowhere or people who idly gossip as they thoughtlessly kill time. Be a positive force and uplift people rather than waste that which is most precious.

“But there’s more for you to consider,” Saul added. “Life is short and you don’t want to miss God’s gifts during your brief journey.

“Come with me,” Saul said motioning to the young man. They walked out to Saul’s courtyard and Saul pointed at burgundy red roses in full bloom under the summer sun. The air was laden in their perfume.

“Did you see these roses when you arrived,” Saul asked. “No,” replied Kwan as he looked at them for the first time. “Don’t be in such a hurry or you’ll miss the roses of life,” Saul said. “We get busy and overlook the beauty of God’s awe inspiring artistry.

“Before you fly back to South Korea,” Saul continued, “Walk across a white sand beach. Let your feet sink into the sand and feel it between your toes as you approach the vast blue sea.”

“And when you return home, always allow time to enjoy such natural wonders.

“Do you have a girl friend,” Saul asked. “I do,” said Kwan with a boyish grin. We’ve been together for two years.”

“Do you spend time with her,” Saul asked. “Not enough,” Kwan replied.” “Don’t be too busy for your loved ones,” said Saul. For you may not be here tomorrow or she might not be, so give her some of your time, and tell her you love her while you have the chance.

“And if God some day should bless your life with children, give them all the love and attention you wish your parents could have given you. For your children too may be gone tomorrow or they will simply grow-up and have their own lives so don’t miss their childhood.

“You and I are fortunate to have today,” Saul said as he shook Kwan’s hand, “So seize this day and make the most of it. And if God gives you tomorrow then gratefully accept that divine gift and treat it as the miracle it is.”

Success Tip of the Week: You too please seize this day, for it is the only one you know you have.

Editor's Note: Thank you to Og Mandino (1923 to 1996) whose book “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” helped to inspire this and the two prior articles.

In the next KazanToday: A humble woman who surrendered her home and her possessions and walked the earth to bring peace.

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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!