Og Mandino was one of the motivational speakers and authors I followed while honing my sales skills many years ago. He believed we need to live each day by a set of principles that could help ground us and give us direction despite the obstacles we may encounter. His principles were about seizing the present. His creed included the following points.
- I begin a new life. I will fill my mind with good thoughts.
- I will persist until I succeed. I was not born into this world for defeat. I was born to win.
- I am nature’s greatest miracle. I will believe in myself.
- I will be master of my emotions.
- I will laugh at the world. I will stop taking others and myself too seriously.
- I will multiply my value a hundredfold.
- I will act now. I will not practice procrastination.
I strongly believe in all these concepts and have written about them in my books and this nationally syndicated column. These principles are as true today as they were 50 years ago. Let me analyze them one at a time.
Filling your mind with good, positive thoughts has no negatives. Positive thinking changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better. Good attitudes are contagious.
My favorite day is today, because every morning when I wake up, today is what I have to work with. Today is the only day we can take action and have an impact. Sure, we learn from yesterday. And of course, we plan for tomorrow because tomorrow holds enormous potential. And that is what I challenge you to exploit to the max.
Persistence and determination are what keep us hammering away. I don’t know anyone who has achieved any level of success without those two traits. When you have a dream that you can’t let go of, trust your instincts and pursue it. Persistence pays off.
If you believe in yourself, there’s hardly anything you can’t accomplish. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish your goals. Who says you’re not tougher, better, harder working, smarter and more able than your competition? It doesn’t matter if they say you can’t do it. The only thing that matters is if you say it. You must believe if you want to achieve.
Controlling emotions is a challenge for people of all ages. But it can be done! You are the only person directly responsible for your emotions, for how you act and react. No one makes you respond in a certain way. Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush – it can color any situation.
Laughter and humor are not only good for people, but they are healthy for companies. I’ve always thought that kidding around at work is a good thing, which is why I’ve encouraged it for years at our envelope manufacturing company. We don’t start a sales meeting without a good, tasteful joke or story.
What are your values? What is really important to you? How do you want to conduct your life? What are you willing to do – or not do – to have the life you want? Is there a line you will not cross? Having an established value system goes beyond that – it takes the guesswork out. Because you have already thought about how you want to live and be perceived, your responses and reactions can often be automatic. If you live by a great value system, your life will have great value.
Procrastination is a thief. It robs you of the one commodity that you just can’t buy back: time. It throws off schedules. It replaces accomplishment with inaction. It turns dreams into nightmares. One of the worst things you can do when faced with a difficult decision in almost any endeavor in life is to procrastinate.
When faced with a task that you just don’t want to do, many of us simply put it off until tomorrow. That’s why tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week. And one of these days becomes none of these days.
Og Mandino had another precept that I saved for the end: I will live this day as if it is my last. Living with urgency doesn’t mean living in a hurry. It simply means making the best of every day we are given.
Mackay’s Moral: There is no time like the present to make a better future.