the price of success

The following is typed verbatim from a memo I was given in the summer of 1998 from my English Channel Coach and mentor Bruce “Buzz” Tabatchnick.  I’ve always assumed he’s the actual author, his name is the only one on the memo.

Twelve and a half years later I still find the words of this message to be a powerful source of motivation.  Its so easy to fall into a rut or accept mediocrity; I know that I benefit from a little kick in the ass from time to time.  In case you could too, I decided to share this for everyone to read.

(btw, the whole swimming the English Channel thing is a different story for a different day).


To: Members of the English Channel Expedition

From: Buzzy Tabatchnick

Message: Here’s a piece that I have always found helpful in explaining the price of success.  Please add it to the front of your notebook and try reading it often.


“What is the price of success?”

It is simple:

To use all of your courage – to force yourself to CONCENTRATE on the task at hand – to think of it deeply and constantly – to study it from all angles – and to plan.

To have dedicated and sustained determination.  To accomplish your objective, not only if circumstances be favorable, but in spite of all adverse circumstances and setbacks – nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished without pain and hurdled obstacles.

To refuse to believe that there are circumstances sufficiently strong enough to keep you from accomplishing your goal.

Hard?  I should say so!  That’s why so many people never enter the race.  They answer the call of mediocrity, and remain on the paths of the beaten.  The impossible has never been achieved without a TOTAL COMMITMENT.  That’s the price of success.

Everyone should ask herself/himself: Am I willing to endure the pain of this struggle for the comforts, the satisfaction, and rewards that go with achievement?  Or shall I take the easy road and bear the hurt of the mediocre person – never knowing how great I could have become?


Mrs. and Mr. Tabatchnick - July 1998

members of the ECE, with Coach Buzz in the way back


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