An old Irish fable about success: The Salmon of Knowledge

Once upon a time in a land across the sea, Fionn, a curious servant boy, was sent to work for a wise old man.

One day Fionn asked the old man why he spent every day sitting by the river with a rod in his hand. 

"I am waiting for the salmon of knowledge, boy. The man who firsts eat this salmon will gain endless knowledge and will grow to be the strongest and most respected in the country."

"But", exclaimed Fionn naively, "how will you recognise it?"

Before the old man could answer however, the line went taut and his rod nearly leapt from his hands.

"Quick boy, help me pull him in. I can feel it, it's him. Hurry!"

The old man and Fionn pulled in the most magnificent salmon, hooked at the end and thrashing wildly in the water. 

Fionn was in awe but was clipped round the ear and told to prepare the salmon for eating. He was not, under any circumstances, to taste the Salmon of Knowledge.

As Fionn carefully tended the salmon in the fire, he saw an unsightly blister on the Salmon's skin and reached out to pop it. 

As the blister burst, his finger was scalded with the Salmon's juices.
He cried out in pain and quickly put his finger in his mouth.

Thinking nothing of it and, desperate to please the old man, he cooked the salmon to perfection and served it out. 

The old man smiled.

 "I have waited years for this moment," he said.  

He put the succulent piece of the salmon into his mouth. It was delicious. He sat back, shut his eyes and waited for success to enter his being. 

And.... nothing happened.

Awkwardly, the boy realized. 

It was he who had put his finger in his mouth with the Salmon's juices on it.
It was he who had tasted the Salmon first.
It was he who had all the knowledge of the world. 

He apologized and grovelled as the wise man scolded him for his incompetence.

But there was nothing he could do.

Although sad he had upset the wise old man, Fionn realised that a servant's position was not the place for him, now that he had all the knowledge in the world. So he packed his bags and set off to become the greatest, most successful leader and warrior of his people.

Watching him go, the wise man smiled to himself, stroked his bearded chin and pondered for a few moments.

"Success truly starts with belief"

Have a great week!