By: Stefan Aarnio

Remember: Please share this article if you found it enjoyable


Get Stefan Aarnio’s NEW book Self Made at


There once was a farmer who owned a donkey.


One day the donkey fell down a well and the farmer heard the donkey crying for help.


The farmer looked down into the darkness of the well and he could see that the donkey was trying to save himself but could not climb out of the well.


The farmer lowered a rope and tried to fish the donkey out of the well, but the donkey was too heavy.


The farmer tried lowering a ladder into the well, but the donkey didn’t know how to climb.


The donkey tried encouraging the donkey, but the animal didn’t understand what he was saying.


The donkey cried and realizing that his favorite donkey was never coming out of the well alive, the farmer began to cry too.


The farmer said goodbye to his favorite donkey and grabbed a shovel.


The farmer began to shovel dirt onto the donkey, figuring that the donkey was as good as dead he might as well burry him.


With every shovel full of dirt, the donkey cried for help as he was being buried alive in fresh dirt.


Finally, the donkey realized that the dirt being shoveled into the well was firm enough to step on and as more dirt piled into the well, the donkey slowly climbed up one step at a time.


Finally, the farmer thought the donkey was gone for good and the pile of dirt was reaching the mouth of the well.


The donkey was not dead, but instead, climbed out of the well by stepping on the dirt the farmer had thrown onto his back.


Step by step, shovel-by-shovel, the donkey climbed out to safety and was saved.


The successful man builds his success out of the bricks that others have thrown at him.


For JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, and the richest woman in England, she built her success on the “solid foundation of rock bottom”.


The famous Mexican Proverb says, “they tried to burry us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” Perfectly encapsulates the wisdom of the donkey parable above.


Very often, life comes crashing down. We become buried in too many obligations, too many liabilities and too many projects. However, the ones who become successful understand that quitting is not an option and working through the trials and tribulations that life throws at us is truly what makes us champions in the end.


In the words of General George S. Patton “Pressure Makes Diamonds”; In the vein of the Mexican proverb above, seeds need dirt to grow.


My 95-year-old grandmother says “you need to eat a peck of dirt before you die”.


What dirt are you eating?

Thanks for reading,

Respect The Grind,

Stefan Aarnio


Get Stefan Aarnio’s NEW book Self Made at