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The Lost Keys to Success and Happiness
The Thirteenth Key: Perseverance
by Trenna Pennington


I have lost and gained many fortunes. Each one gave me a valuable life lesson, but the most valuable lesson I learned was from an old man I had met in Canterbury.

It was many years ago, but I remember it clearly. It was noon; I was sitting at my usual table, in my usual pub, eating my usual lunch drinking my usual beer, planning my revenge on three former business associates. Only six months earlier I had the perfect life. Money, power, respect, a loving family and a place to call home. Within moments it was all taken from me. I was arrested and send to jail, my business gone, and all my money even my family left. I spent the next five months pleading my innocence from my dark, cold cell. No one would listen. I went on trial and my lawyer and friend declared that the charges were false and that I had been framed by three business associates. I was released every day since then I have been coming to this pub and plotting my revenge on them. Then last week an older man sat down and we started talking, I told him how filled with rage I was and that the only thing keeping me going was the obsession with revenge I had.

"Son, I understand your anger and pain. "I too was arrested under false charges. It was a humiliating experience, but I realized that I needed to forgive my enemies for time would take care of them. Which it did, within a year they were both in jail for life for other offenses. Son, I'm going to share with you a key, this key is the thirteenth of fifteen and used together the keys will unlock your deepest dreams and greatest successes. They will turn your desires into reality. The only stipulation is that you must pass on the key to those you come in contact with.

Even though this experience was not a pleasant one as most disappointments and bad experiences are. It gave me the opportunity to strengthen my character and learn that each obstacle placed before us strengthens to pushes us to greater responsibility. We are a diamond in the rough; we have to be chipped away at to become the beautiful diamond. There is a solution to every problem; we just need to persevere until we find it. Each challenge brings closer to where we want to be, it sharpens our mind and teaches what doesn't work. No two people are the same but their experiences may be similar and you can empathize with others, teach others and learn from others. For me I had 6 major turning points in my life. First when I was 19, I worked as a bookkeeper. I worked hard and it paid off, my employer paid me a large salary. I quickly advanced to manager, then as fate would have it my employer lost his fortune and I lost my job.

The second turning point was when I took a job as a sales manager. I knew nothing about sales but I learned to take the initiative and find out what had to be done and do it before someone told me. I advanced rapidly again. I was highly paid and respected; I was on top of the world. I was greedy and vain. I thought money equaled success and the more money I had the more successful I was. Ah, fate awaited me again, like a stroke of lightning out of the sky. I lost my job and all my money. This was my first serious defeat. I mistook it for failure, but it was not it was only a temporary defeat. Every defeat teaches a lesson to those who are ready and willing to be taught.

The third turning point: I decided to leave sales and study law. I figured that if I was a lawyer I would gain back the money and respect I lost. I worked as a salesman during the day and went to law school at night. Along the way I realized the need for a school to train more salesmen, so I started one. It grew rapidly and I kept borrowing more money. This put me heavily in debt and I couldn't repay him so he took over my business and once again and I was broke. I wandered to myself if there was something more of value then money and power at the end of my rainbow. It was a fleeting thought and I got a job as a lawyer and had money, power and respect again.

The fourth turning point: I resigned from my position at the law firm and moved to a different city. I worked at another law firm and worked my way up to partner. A friend suggested we go into business together and I agreed. Our business was extremely profitable I was on the verge of finding my pot of gold. Then my business partner and a third man we had taken into the business wanted to force me out of the business without paying me. They had me arrested on a false charge and offered to withdraw the charge on the condition I turn over the business to them. It felt like I had been stabbed in the heart with a dagger. I had lost my friends, my money and my business in one shot. I took them to trial for malicious damage to character and I had the chance to send them to jail until I had been paid back in full. I had a hard decision to make I could take revenge or I could show mercy and let them go... I choose the latter. Each temporary defeat left its mark on my heart. Each turning point brought me closer to the end of the rainbow and my pot of gold. It brought me useful knowledge which became a permanent part of my philosophy of life.

The fifth turning point: The greatest way to learn is to teach others, so once again I started a school. It was successful for a few years and then students started going abroad to study and I was penniless Unfortunate is the person who never had the thrill of being penniless at one time or another. Poverty is the richest experience that can come to a person. An experience which one needs to get away from as quickly as possible.

The sixth turning point: It may be obvious to you that I had not found my passion, my purpose in life. I could have remained defeated or I could pick myself up once again. Success is getting up after every fall. I sat down and started to write about my life experiences. The words flowed out onto the paper; little did I know that this was the foundation for the most important turning point of my life. That document I wrote not only influenced my own career but the lives of tens of thousands of men and women.

Defeat is a destructive force only when it is accepted as failure! When accepted as lesson we needed to learn it is a blessing.

I did not wish to return to prison, so I decided to take the old man's advice and forgive my former business partners. Three weeks after that conversation, my former business partners were arrested and sent to prison for life. I got on with my life I got my family back and even though life has its ups and downs its all worth it because we are all stronger and wiser. The blessing from this experience… Priceless.

There is no failure for a person who has the perseverance to carry on.


The Author

The Lost Keys


Trenna Pennington is the CEO of Intrensic Integrated Business Solutions a growing business consulting firm in Canada ( She is also the author of "The World Wide What" a guide for Internet beginners originally published in 2002, as well as the "My life" series of health diaries, and The Whisper PALS series of children's books. Her most recent works are a series of articles dealing with "The Lost Keys to Success and Happiness". She is also the founder and executive director of The Welcome Inn Community Development Society.

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