Tito and Mike had just completed a scavenger hunt. The two men were now standing before their host with the items they found. Tito had a video camera, a microphone, a model house, a toy limousine, and a fake $1000 bill, and was quite pleased that he found them all so easily.
Mike had a mule statuette, and was distraught at taking a long time just to find one object.
The host told Tito that his items represented fame and fortune, and that he would become a famous billionaire when he left the room.
The host turned to Mike and said that the mule statuette stood for hard work and stubbornness. He then said that Mike would become a confident and motivated man.
Upon the contestants' leave, a limo was waiting to pick Tito up.
Tito eagerly entered the vehicle and offered to drop Mike off at his home.
Mike's anger at his prize dissolved the moment he was outside. Suddenly, he felt like he could do anything he wanted. He took Tito's offer and asked the driver to turn the radio on.
Mike sang along with the radio throughout the whole trip, earning compliments from both Tito and the driver. When he got home, he found that he enjoyed the singing, although he could have sworn he'd been too nervous to perform in public before. He decided to attend tomorrow's open-mic night.
Meanwhile, Tito flew from Virginia to Georgia to live closer to a large portion of his family and to take them out to dinner that night.
Mike's performance was met with heckles, then the club owner escorted him off the stage before he could finish.
Tito, nicknamed The Miracle Man, and famous for his unexpected fortune, now owned a mansion in Georgia, complete with a garage for his seven cars that were each assigned to one day.
Mike went to another club to perform. This time, he completed the song. However, it was met with dull response.
Months later, people still asked Tito for autographs everywhere he went. His own family and friends would often turn get-togethers into a celebrity meetings.
Family and friends would tell Mike that he should just quit singing. But Mike was not willing to give up. He enrolled in singing classes and practiced every chance he could.
Tito was becoming frustrated at all of the attention he was getting.
Mike finally gave a great performance and was offered a job as a singer in a small club. This job did not pay him enough to quit his other one.
A year later, Tito was a married father.
Mike got laid off from his singing job, and it was back to talent shows. Fortunately, his work experience and classes gave him the technique he was missing when he first started. Easily, he became a requested name in that club.
Years passed and Tito's spending habits caught up with him. He turned himself into authorities for unpaid taxes.
Eventually, an agent discussed a record deal with Mike after a show.
Tito's wife took their son and left him in prison.
The agent unexpectedly called Mike several months later and had him sign a contract.
Mike wrote songs day after day. Usually when he performed them for the record label's critics, the songs would be rejected. This went on for weeks before they decided on a good single.
The song went from being played on local stations, to being played in distant cities.
Finally, Mike completed his debut album and it was met with universal acclaim.
One year later, Mike released a new album, and it was just as popular as its predecessor.
Mike now had two hit albums and was working on a third with the same effort as his first two.
By that same time, Tito had lost everything he earned during his prime, and most of what he had before that fateful scavenger hunt. Because he lacked the experience and education to do so, he had no idea how to get it all back.
The moral of the story is, fame and fortune are the most obvious clues of success, and obvious clues tend to throw people off by giving them the wrong ideas. The smaller clues, such as how to increase one's skills, may be harder to find, but they are the most crucial.