When The Student Is Ready The Teacher Will Appear


Tom Corley boats - crop

I remember asking one of the millionaires in my Rich Habits Study, a woman, what led her to take the leap of faith and start her own insurance agency.

The woman smiled and became reflective for a moment. Then she told me her amazing story.

It was a time of great discontent. She was in her mid-thirties. She was very unhappy with her job. She did not get along with her boss. She did not like her long commute, how much money she made and she shared with me many other things about her life that were dragging her down.

Then, one morning, she woke up to a voice in her head – “do what you love and you will never work another day in your life”.

The millionaire-woman told me she must have heard her mother say those words a thousand times growing up. But the words fell on the deaf ears of a child, until, as an adult, she became discontented with her job and her life.

It was only then, for the first time, that she truly heard the wisdom in her mother’s words, screaming to her one fateful morning. Words that had been living there, inside her mind, since a child.

Only when she was ready to receive that information, did the wisdom in those words have meaning.

Over the past ten years, I’ve spoken to thousands at various events, conferences, etc. My goal is always the same – to leave my listeners with some words of wisdom that might help take them down a path towards the life they were intended to live.

Most end up buying one or more of my books. Often, I would get thank you emails from former attendees, sometimes years later, telling me that they had just re-read one of my books and, as a result, had decided to make some major change in their life.

Initially, when I’d receive those emails, I would scratch my head and wonder to myself, why did it take so many years for my words of wisdom to sink it?

Then one day I came across the following Buddhist proverb:

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Truer words were never written.

Wisdom is all around us. We are literally bombarded by it every day. Family, friends, co-workers, supervisors, media, blogs, podcasts, TEDx talks, all spouting words of wisdom. Words that, far too often, fall on deaf ears – until, that is, we are ready to receive it.

Life altering events, unhappiness or discontent are often stop signs that force us to pause and reconsider the path we are on in our life. In those moments, moments represented by serous self-reflection, all of life’s distractions melt away and our entire mind opens up, allowing us to see or receive wisdom that had been staring us straight in the eyes for many years.

Wisdom only visits those who are ready to receive it.

Be Sociable, Share!
Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit


  1. If it’s okay to quote a Buddhist proverb I assume it’s okay to quote a Christian proverb too.

    “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7

    There is an entire section in the Old Testament called “the wisdom books.” And people wonder why Jewish families are often incredibly successful and wealthy? Coincidence? There is no Hebrew word for “coincidence.” Neither is there a Hebrew word for “retirement.”

  2. I fully agree with your words about the fact that only after a person wants to learn, he will always find a teacher. In my college everything is exactly the same as in this phrase. Teachers devote time only to those students who really want to learn something useful, and what will help them to become successful. And I believe that this is correct. After all, why should a teacher spend his time and nerves on a student who does not want to learn something. Thank you for this inspirational article.

Speak Your Mind