May 22, 2011


Excerpt from The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

A great Egyptian pharaoh summons his two young nephews, Chuma and Azur, and he

commissions them to a majestic task: Build two monumental pyramids as a tribute to Egypt.

Upon completion of each nephew’s pyramid, Pharaoh promises each an immediate reward of

kingship, retirement amidst riches, and lavish luxury for the rest of their natural lives.

Additionally, each nephew must construct his pyramid alone.

Chuma and Azur, both 18, know their daunting task will take years to complete. Nonetheless,

each is primed for the challenge and honored by the Pharaoh’s directive. They exit Pharaoh’s

chambers ready to begin the long pyramid-building process.

Azur begins work immediately. He slowly drags large heavy stones into a square formation.

After a few months, the base of Azur’s pyramid takes shape. Townsfolk gather around Azur’s

constructive efforts and praise his handiwork. The stones are heavy and difficult to move, and

after one year of heavy labor, Azur’s perfect square foundation to the pyramid is nearly


But Azur is perplexed. The plot of land that should bear Chuma’s pyramid is empty. Not one

stone has been laid. No foundation. No dirt engravings. Nothing. It’s as barren as it was a year

ago when Pharaoh commissioned the job. Confused, Azur visits Chuma’s home and finds him

in his barn diligently working on a twisted apparatus that resembles some kind of human

torture device.

Azur interrupts, “Chuma! What the hell are you doing!? You’re supposed to be building Pharaoh

a pyramid and you spend your days locked in this barn fiddling with that crazy machine?”

Chuma cracks a smile and says, “I am building a pyramid, leave me alone.”

Azur scoffs, “Yeah, sure you are. You haven’t laid one stone in over a year!”

Chuma, engrossed and unfazed by his brother’s accusation retorts, “Azur, you’re shortsightedness

and thirst for wealth have clouded your vision. You build your pyramid and I will

build mine.”

As Azur walks away, he chides, “You fool! Pharaoh will hang you in the gallows when he

discovers your treason.”

Another year passes and Azur solidifies the base of his pyramid and begins the second level.

Except a problem arises. Azur struggles in his progress. The stones are heavy and he cannot

raise them to the pyramid’s second level. Challenged by his physical limitations, Azur

recognizes his weakness: he needs more strength to move heavier stones, and to do so, seeks

the counsel of Bennu, Egypt’s strongest man. For a fee, Bennu trains Azur to build bigger and

stronger muscles. With great strength, Azur anticipates the heavier stones will be easier to lift

onto the higher levels.

Meanwhile, Chuma’s pyramid plot of land is still barren. Azur assumes his brother has a death

wish since, by all appearances, Chuma is violating Pharaoh’s mandate. Azur forgets about his

brother and his nonexistent pyramid.

Another year passes and Azur’s pyramid construction slows to a disheartening crawl. It often

takes one month just to place one stone. Moving stones to the upper levels require great

strength and Azur spends much of his time working with Bennu to build greater strength.

Additionally, Azur is spending most of his money on counseling fees and the exotic diet

required for the training. Azur estimates at his current construction pace, his pyramid will be

completed in another 30 years. Unfazed, Azur lauds, “After three years, I’ve far surpassed my

brother. He hasn’t placed one stone yet! That fool!”

Then, suddenly, one day while hauling a heavy stone up his pyramid, Azur hears a loud

commotion erupting from the town square. The townsfolk, regular observers to his work,

abruptly abandon his plot to examine the celebratory fuss. Curious himself, Azur takes a break

and leaves to investigate.

Surrounded by a cheering crowd, Chuma trolls up the town square commandeering a 25-foot

contraption, a towering machine built from a twisted maze of gantries, wheels, levers, and

ropes. As Chuma slowly moves up the village street amidst the buoyant crowd, Azur fears the

explanation. After a short trawl to Chuma’s barren pyramid plot, Azur’s suspicions are


Within minutes, Chuma’s strange machine starts moving heavy stones and begins to lay the

foundation to his pyramid. One after another, the machine effortlessly lifts the stones and

softly places them side-by-side into place. Miraculously, the machine requires little effort for

Chuma’s operation. Crank a wheel attached to a rope and cantilever entwined by a gear system,

and bingo! Heavy stones are moved quickly and magically.

While Azur’s pyramid foundation took over a year to build, Chuma lines up the foundation to

his pyramid within one week. The second level that Azur so arduously struggled with is even

more shocking: Chuma’s machine does the work 30 times quicker. What took Azur two months

takes Chuma’s machine two days. After 40 days, Chuma and his machine accomplish as much

as Azur’s three years of toilsome work.

Azur was destroyed. He spent years doing the heavy lifting while Chuma built a machine to do it

for him.

Instead of honoring the machine, Azur vows, “I must get stronger! I must lift heavier stones!”

Azur continues the hard labor of pyramid building while Chuma continues to work the crank of

his machine.

After eight years, Chuma finishes his pyramid at age 26: three years to build the system and

five years to reap the benefits of the system. The great pharaoh is pleased and does as

promised. He rewards Chuma with kingship and endows him with great riches. Chuma never

has to work another day in his life.

Meanwhile, Azur continues to dredge away at the same old routine. Lift rocks, waste time and

money to get stronger, lift rocks, and get stronger. Sadly, Azur refuses to acknowledge his

flawed strategy and endures the same old process: Carry heavy stones until you can lift no more

. . . then get stronger so you can lift heavier stones.

This mindless prescription leads Azur to a lifetime of toil. He never finishes his pyramid

promised to Pharaoh simply because he decides to do the heavy lifting himself when he should

have focused on a system to do it for him. Azur has a heart attack and dies while on the 12th level

of his pyramid, just two levels from finishing. He never experiences the great riches promised

by Pharaoh.

Meanwhile, Chuma retires 40 years early in a crown of luxury. Sloshing in free time, Chuma

goes on to become Egypt’s greatest scholar and an accomplished inventor. He is entombed

alongside Pharaoh in the same pyramid he built.

Posted By Acombfosho at 08:19 AM


Tags: Parable


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