Would You Mind Coming Back Tomorrow?

A Motivational Story About Dedication


At the advice of his respected mentor, a young student of philosophy retreated to his room and decided to spend the rest of his life reading and studying. He was determined to find the answers to the most important questions in life. Every night, his mentor would visit him and they would talk about the things he had learnt that day.

One night, after a month or two, he felt tired, so he closed the books and decided to go to the city and get a drink. “A little rest should do no harm”, he thought to himself. He jotted down a note of apology for his mentor and quickly dressed up.

Coincidently, however, as he was about to leave, his doorbell rang. It was his mentor.

“Have I made a mistake? Shouldn’t we spend the night discussing the notes and conclusions of today? Where are you planning to go?”, asked the teacher.

“I don’t feel that well this evening. I didn’t read that much either. So, I thought I could go and get a drink or two. Would you mind coming back tomorrow?”

The teacher seemed prepared for the answer:

“If this night, on the road to the bar, you encounter a madman wielding a sword and running at you full speed with fiery eyes, do you think you will be blessed with the luxury to tell him: ‘I don’t feel that well this evening. Would you mind coming back tomorrow?’”

The student apologized to his teacher and invited him politely to his room. Their discussion stretched out deep into the night.

The teacher left with the rising sun, but the student went on reading until he fell asleep few hours later.


The lesson:

  • Benjamin Franklin was famous for his work ethic. In his celebrated essay, The Way to Wealth, through the character of Father Abraham, he expressed concisely many famous advices and sayings illustrated through this story.
  • These are only few:
    • “A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things”;
    • “There are no gains, without pains”;
    • “One today is worth two tomorrows”;
    • “Never leave that till tomorrow, which you can do today”.



  • “Come Tomorrow”, Zen Stories (Vladimir Martinovski & Vladimir Jankovski), 2013, p. 44.
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