Two Drops of Oil

A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Life from 
the wisest of men. The young man wandered through 
the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful 
castle at the top of a mountain. 

There lived the sage that the young man was looking for. 
The wise man welcomed our hero with a smile. 
With considerable patience, he listened attentively to the 
reason for the boy's visit, but told him that unfortunately, 
at that moment, he did not have the time to explain to him 
the Secret of Life. 

He suggested that the young man take 
a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours' time.
"However, I want to ask you a favor," the wise man added, 
handing the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. 

"While you walk, carry this spoon and don't let the 
oil spill." The young man began to climb up and down the 
palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon, 
lest the oil spills. At the end of two hours he returned to the 
presence of the wise man. "So," asked the sage, 
"did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? 
Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took 
ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful 
parchments in my library?"

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen 
nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of 
oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
"So, go back and see the wonders of my world," said the 
wise man, pouring another two drops of oil in the spoon 
and handing it over to our hero.
Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and 
strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention 
to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls. 

He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, 
the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work 
of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, 
he reported in detail all that he had seen.
"But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?" 


asked the sage. Looking down at the spoon, the young 
man realized that he had spilled the oil!
"Well, that is the only advice I have to give you," 
said the sage of sages. "The Secret of Life lies in 
looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting 
the two drops of oil in the spoon."

Therein lies your answer. The secret of life.
Realize that the dichotomy you’ve created between Present 
and Future is false! The Present is like the two drops of 
oil in the spoon, which you have to handle with utmost care, 
else it would spill from your hands with the slightest of stumble. 
And the Future is like the beautiful city with golden palaces

beautiful gardens, fragrant flowers and glorious art - 
something you have to enjoy and be motivated by.
The secret is to dream and build the beautiful vision of 
a glorious future, all the while keeping your concentration 
fixed on the two drops of Present in your hands.