This week has been a week of struggles and personal battles.
Today, while flying back home, I decided to reach out for guidance from an old friend, a friend that I have always relied on since I was a young adult; A friend that I can always count on!
Og Mandino, my friend, is an author who left this world 2 decades ago but before leaving he helped millions of people and continues to do so through his writings.
He was a man who struggled with alcoholism, depression, unable to keep a job, and contemplated suicide. A tragic man with no aspirations…
At the age of 40 he was fortunate to find guidance in books in the library and started to write, not knowing how many lives he was going to change.
This morning I went back to my favorite of all his books, “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” a book that I have carried with me since I was a young man.
During a summer vacation from college I worked as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman. A tough job where one constantly needs motivation, motivation to knock on the next door expecting to make a sale, but knowing that a door could be slammed in your face. (About 50 times per day). Reading few pages from Og Mandino was my trick to maintain an enthusiastic attitude. After a few slammed doors my friend would lift my spirits to have the resolution to knock on the next door.
- As always, this day my friend was there for me and after reading the first few paragraphs, I was already back on track."The Greatest Salesman in the World" provided me the guidance that I needed:
Today I will be master of my emotions.
And how will I master my emotions so that every day is a happy day, and a productive one? I will learn this secret of the ages:
Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.
Each day, when I awake, I will follow this plan of battle before I am captured by the forces of sadness, self-pity and failure –
• If I feel depressed, I will sing.
• If I feel sad, I will laugh.
• If I feel ill, I will double my labor.
• If I feel fear, I will plunge ahead.
• If I feel inferior, I will wear new garments.
• If I feel uncertain, I will raise my voice.
• If I feel poverty, I will think of wealth to come.
• If I feel incompetent, I will remember past success.
• If I feel insignificant, I will remember my goals.
Today I will be master of my emotions.
- We all, no exceptions, will find ourselves in the middle of a conflict, internal or external. Many times we struggle, during the day trying to find some type of inspiration. Most of the times trying to accomplish a goal in our lives or just for the day. feels impossible.
So here is my thought:
When I feel trapped, I begin to write…
If I am not inspired, I look for a friend for advice, a friend that knows me during good times and bad times.
If I don’t have anyone that I can reach out to, I open a book that will encourage me.
If I don’t feel like opening a book, I go online where I always find plenty of inspiration: Ted Talks (Ted.com), Tiny Buddha (tinybuddha.com), Oprah (oprah.com) or my own, I Love Failure (iLoveFailure.com)…
I am fortunate that during my trip back I was able to find an outlet to deflate my head and get myself back on track.
We all need to have a channel or support mechanism... Remember you can always find a release valve; Keep looking for yours. Do not give up!
Most of the time at school, I walked around in a state of confusion. I did not understand a lot of what people were talking about. Theories, definitions, and statements were part of another world that everyone else belonged to except me.
I was a foreigner in the classroom, not understanding the language.
Today, as and old man, I remain confused but I realize that being an alien has become my biggest asset. My view of life is completely different than anyone else’s. I’m able to identify problems and solutions before anyone else.
So... I am thankful for my weakness that became my strength.
“Growth begins when we begin to accept our own weakness.” - Jean Vanier
To create a movement:
First, recognize something worth changing, a cause that you are passionate about and willing to fight for it!
Then, identify people that believe in the same cause and are committed to change.
Lastly, lead them to become the crusaders of change…
Now you are a movement!
Remember: To gain people’s trust, you truly have to believe and be committed to change.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Do you show gratitude for others? Do you allow others to define you? Are you taken for granted?
You may be smart, driven and ‘successful’ but whether you choose to respect someone or not, it’s your decision; a decision that will define your capacity and attitude that you need to make it in life.
Respect means valuing people’s points of views. It means being open to being wrong. It means accepting people as they are and behaving properly even though they are different than you. It means being polite and kind!
Respect is what makes the biggest difference in being successful in business and relationships.
On a different note: Respect should not be confused with submission, the willingness to accept an unpleasant situation; allowing someone to easily control you or simply giving in to what everyone else wants. Submission can define you as a person who is easy to influence, a pushover.
Always keep in mind that respect is mutual; it’s given and received; be strong and be kind!
‘What if’ is a statement full of stress and worries!
Things can go in many different directions and we should always try to be prepared. However, the more time we spend worrying about the possibilities and everything that can go wrong, the less time we’ll spend focusing on taking action and making changes.
For me: If I constantly keep doubting myself by asking ‘what if’, I know that I will only arrive to places that I don’t want to be or need to go.
So, my motto is: “get rid of the ‘what if’s’ and just focus on the what’s next!”
Knowing your strengths is essential to being happy and productive... Yet, by knowing and understanding your weaknesses is far more important.
Recognizing your limitations, isn't about showing a weakness or about admitting defeat; it is about empowering yourself to succeed.
By understanding your limitations, you will be able to focus on the resources available to you in order to be more effective.
By understanding your limitations you will be able to improve them and more importantly, no one will be able to use them against you!
Always keep in mind: “The human body has limitations but the human spirit is boundless.” Dean Karnazes
Who I am today as a person is largely due to my failures!