“Certainly, my son,” replied Socrates. “Walk with me”. Socrates started to walk towards the sea. Once on the sand, Socrates continued walking right into the water as the young man followed. When they were both chest deep in the ocean, Socrates reached up placed his hands on the young man's head and pulled it down, forcing the young man's head under the water.
The young man was appalled. He had traveled a great distance to meet with this scholar. Socrates was a man of wisdom whom he admired and respected and all he did when he asked for the secret of success was to put his head under water. Never again, vowed the young man, would he seek the advice of Socrates.
Time, however as we know, has a way of healing wounds and after a week, the young man thought maybe he did something to upset Socrates. So back he went to visit the great scholar. Again he beseeched Socrates to teach him all he needed to know to be a great success.
Socrates smiled and once again willingly agreed. He asked the young man to follow him and again he began to walk toward the ocean. Just like before, Socrates walked into the water and when the water was chest high, Socrates grabbed the young man by his head and dunked him under water.
Now the young man was furious. Twice he had asked this scholar for the knowledge he needed to become a great success and twice Socrates took him to the ocean and dunked his head. Never, ever again would this young man return to Socrates and be insulted and humiliated.
Well, thirty days passed and the young man had a lot of time to reflect. He truly wanted to be a great success and decided to go see Socrates one final time. Upon arriving at Socrates’ home, he wrapped on the door. When Socrates appeared, the young man said, "I hope you remember me?”
This time the young man was extremely prepared; as soon as Socrates grabbed his head the young man took a deep swallow of air and held his breath for almost two minutes. When he finally surfaced gasping for air, Socrates was already back on the shore walking back home.
The young man, now livid, ran after Socrates. When he was a few feet from Socrates he shouted, “Socrates, why is it every time I come to you and ask for wisdom on how to be a great success all you do is walk me out into the ocean and dunk my head under the water?”