There Are No Excuses for Giving Up!

The worst thing in the world is when your dad gets into a financial problem while you’re really young and you have to leave your hometown with your family!

In the new city, dad is better off and life gets better. It was during his high school years that he lost his father. He had to start all over again!

Everything got more difficult…

Before he could get his high school diploma, he had to start working to support his family. Back then he was only 17.

We’re certain that Shahrokh, the hero of our story, will succeed, but why is it that in almost all the stories I tell, the successful people have always been through so much.

It’s not just them who have been through lot; everyone experiences the hardship at some point in their lives.

When ordinary people face a problem, they actually feel happy for the fact that they found an excuse to stop working and let go of everything even if it’s half done.

But in this kind of situation, successful people don’t act like others and therefore they succeed. In this story, I’m trying to remind that these two groups have been created by the same God. Successful people choose differently, meaning that they choose the difficult path.

Shahrokh could easily choose to stop studying due to his father’s death and family’s financial problem and just say I have to work instead of studying, and whoever listened to his story would have surely agreed with his decision.

But, with all the hardship in his life, Shahrokh was completing his diploma in literature. And the interesting thing was that he was even trying to get into university to study a major in Law. This field of study was really difficult for someone who is working as well.

But Shahrokh studied, studied and studied!

That year 4000 people were competing for a place in the Law faculty at Tehran University and I could easily say that none of them where providing for their families. Only a small number of people could get in and since when you try not only for yourself, God will help you more, he got into Tehran University.

He was living in Qom (a city close to Tehran) and he travelled to Tehran 3 times a week to attend his classes. The rest of the days he worked to support his family.

With all his effort, his life was on a good path until the age of 28 when he was diagnosed with a pulmonary problem which later on the doctor told him that he had tuberculosis. That was the same disease which killed his father. He was scared but, never gave up hope. He remembered all the obstacles he had encountered in his life and so, he started to fight again, but this time it was for his health. Even though he was working two jobs, he tried so hard to fight and finally he succeeded in defeating the disease.

He had big dreams, but even though he was trying really hard, as he moved forward he felt as if he was moving further away from his dreams. He was facing a lot of problems at work and on the other hand his disease and other life’s problems were pushing him away from his goals.

But Shahrokh Zahiri never gave up; even though now he was 42 years old and most people around his age were starting to think about retirement, with great courage he opened up a factory, producing new products which were never seen before in Iran. It takes a lot of courage to introduce tomato sauce and mayonnaise to people who only used yoghurt and egg whites. But Shahrokh Zahiri learnt the courage to live from all the previous years (from his childhood). He listened to his heart which said: have faith, and you’ll succeed.

When people saw his sauces, they would ask: are they edible or not?

With different techniques, he introduced this new product into ordinary peoples household.

He managed to start up the company with the name of “Mahram” and unless you read his life story, you wouldn’t believe that a brand which has more than 10 factories and more than 10,000 employees was started by someone at the age of 42 with a small amount of investment.

Unfortunately at the age of 48 his heart grew weak and the doctors told him that he might only be able to live for a short time but, it’s close to 40 years that he continues to live with his battery operated heart since his heart beats for his country. At the age of 84, he works 12 hours a day with his weak heart to teach a lesson of effort and perseverance to the students who stop working when they catch the flu.

Let’s summarize Shahrokh Zahiri’s lessons:

1- Just like all the other successful people, we have to be prepared for the obstacles in life and we have to believe that we can overcome them.

2- The physical problems that we come across shouldn’t pull us away from trying, even if they are life threatening.

3- Death of loved ones, financial and family problems do not have the power to stand in a way of ones efforts. These problems can’t stand in the way of brave men and women like you and I to continue studying or working.

4- He has two recommendations for the youth: Firstly is that to put your pride a side for yourself, family and your work. He says back then he was the only person in his company with a bachelor degree and used to get to work so much earlier than his illiterate collogues to clean everywhere even though it wasn’t his duty. He did it just because he enjoyed it and liked cleanliness.

Mahram’s great success never caused him to become too proud and in all his charity trips he did everything he could to make the kids happy.

Secondly, he owes his success to his teachers, university and business. He believes that people, who do not respect their teacher, will definitely face failure in life.

5- He worked two shifts through his life.

A message to take with you from this story:

If you want to reach your goal before anyone else, you have to run faster than the rest towards your goals. This is the only way you can get there quicker.