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August 30, 2004

Excerpts: Good Luck - Part II

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 4:33 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Merlins Challenge


A long time ago, in a very distant kingdom, Merlin the wizard gathered all the knights in the area. He took them to the castles gardens and told them:
For a long time, many of you have asked me for a challenge. Some of you have suggested I organize a tournament among all the knights in the kingdom. Others have asked that I hold a contest to prove your ability with the spear and sword. However, I am going to propose a different challenge.
Expectations were very high. Merlin continued:
I have heard that in our kingdom, seven days from today, a Magic Cloverwill grow.
The knights whispered to one another. They felt restless. Some knew what he was talking about. Others didnt. Merlin shushed them all.
Be calm! Be calm! Let me explain what the Magic Clover is. It is the only four-leaf clover that gives its owner a unique power: unlimited luck. No limits in time or space. It brings luck in combat, in business, in love, in riches . . . luck with no limits!
The knights talked among themselves once again with great excitement. They all wanted to find the four-leaf Magic Clover. Some even stood up, crying out shouts of victory.
Again, Merlin managed to calm them down and continued:
Be calm! Be calm! I havent told you everything yet. The four-leaf Clover will grow in the Enchanted Forest, beyond the twelve hills, behind the Valley of Oblivion. I have no idea about the exact place, but somewhere in the Forest, the Clover will appear.
All the excitement the knights had shown at the beginning vanished. First there was silence, then sighs of discouragement were heard. The Enchanted Forest was as big as all the inhabited area of the kingdom. It comprised thousands and thousands of acres of thick forest. How could a tiny four-leaf clover be found in such a vast area? Finding a needle in a barn would have been a thousand times easier! At least the latter would have been a reasonable challenge.
Facing such an impossible challenge, most of the knights started to leave the royal castle, groaning and looking with disapproval at Merlin as they filed past him.
Let me know when you have a reasonable challenge, said one.
Had I known, I wouldnt have bothered to come, said someone else.
What a challenge! Why didnt you send us to a desert to find a blue grain of sand? That would have been easier, said another knight ironically.
One after another, all the knights left the garden and returned to their horses. At last only two knights were left.
Well? asked Merlin. You are not leaving? One of the two knights, whose name was Nott and who wore a black cape, said:
I know it will be difficult. The Enchanted Forest is huge. But I know someone who can help me. I think I can find that clover. I will look for the four-leaf Magic Clover. The clover will be mine.
The other knight, whose name was Sid and who wore a white cape, remained in silence, until Merlin looked at him, trying to find out what he was thinking. Then he said:
If you say that the four-leaf Magic Clover, the clover of unlimited luck, will be found in the forest, I believe it shall be that way. I trust you. Thats why I shall go to the forest.
So being, both knights headed toward the Enchanted Forest, Nott riding his black horse and Sid riding his white horse.