Og Mandino

Why don’t we ask?

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  The same holds true for receiving what you need.  You will not receive what you don’t persistently ask for.

What is stopping us from obtaining the very things that will make us successful? 

We might get advice that will be different than what we want to hear. “There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.” – Joseph Addison

We believe we already know all we need to know. “Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” – Og Mandino

There are many ways to ask. The most obvious is literally just asking someone who you believe has what you need.  But have you considered that if the goal of asking is to obtain what you need, then we could define asking in much broader terms.  If you need information then asking is reading a book.  If you need experience then asking is trying something new.  If you need to be more physically fit then asking is starting an exercise regimen. The act of asking is merely that which will bring you what you need.    

Don’t skimp – Ask for everything. You might as well ask for it all.  What is the ultimate you would like to receive? Ask for that.  You may not get everything you ask for, but why start with anything less than everything? Define all you need, then using our new definition of asking, find an action that can potentially deliver it.  Read books written by the best in the industry. Take on roles that will stretch you to your maximum.  Plan an exercise program that becomes part of your daily life, not just a short-term effort.

Asking is the beginning of receiving.  Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a spoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.” – Jim Rohn

Be persistent – keep asking.  You may not receive everything you need.  In fact, you may not receive anything you need – when you first ask.  That doesn’t matter.  If what you need is important to you, then ask again.  Ask differently.  But don’t give up.

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal.  My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur

Take action now to get a chance to succeed big later.

Don’t wait for the big opportunity before you give it your all. Instead grow where you’re planted; when you outgrow that you can be replanted somewhere else. Every professional was once an amateur who took action where they were to get where they got. Bob Proctor once said, “One difference between successful people and all the rest is that successful people take action.”

The action that successful people take isn’t just any action. For it to be impactful that action must be taken timely, early, and fully. Timely – do it now. Early – do it first. Fully – do it best.

Timely. What are you waiting for? You don’t know every answer and every turn you should take, but you do know where you want to go. Start from where you are, doing what you can do, and start today. I’ve heard it said that there are seven days in the week, and someday is not one of them.

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”– Napoleon Hill

Early. Starting today happens every day. You have a choice when you start your action on each day. Start early and do what’s important first. Read, reflect, and rejuvenate through daily exercise to fill yourself up before you give of yourself.

“Get up early. Show up fully. Serve massively. Make history.”– Robin Sharma

Fully. Go big or go home. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing great. Your daily actions, no matter how small the task, should be your best. Make a difference with what you do.

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”– Og Mandino



If you want to be the best – invest.

We often use the words spend and invest interchangeably. But the action created by these two words leads to very different outcomes.

According to Dictionary.com the difference between spending and investing is this: When you spend you “Use up, consume, or exhaust,” but when you invest you, “Put to use in something offering potential profitable returns.”

There three areas where leaders need to invest to be the best: Time, Talent, and Treasures.

Time – don’t spend your time, invest it. Warren Buffet has a great quote on financial investing that I think applies to how we should view our time as well, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” If you want to be the best, you should only spend your time after you have invested your time in generating a return.

Every activity has the potential to generate a return. Investing your time means setting a goal for the outcome. Some of this can be subtle as you may well say you’re spending time reading. I prefer to think of my reading time as an investment in my education. With that thought in mind I am particular in what I read and I take notes so that I have something more to take with me then when I started. We may also say we spend time exercising. Again, I invest my time in exercise with a certain goal of improvement expected and being measured. Once those investments are taken are of I may indeed spend time reading a book only for pleasure, or take a bike ride only for the sights.

Talents – don’t use your talents, invest in them. We all have innate talents that if developed and applied properly could place us ahead of many in that specific area. Without the proper work investing in their development, many talents are just being used as opposed to making a difference.

Author of the Harry Potter series of books, J.K. Rowling said she “Would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.” Note the focus on being the best she could. J.K. Rowling invested her time from a young age writing fantasy stories and reading them to her sister. As an adult, the idea for Harry Potter came to her on a delayed train ride. She immediately began writing and continued through her mother’s death, the end of her first marriage, and being on welfare to support her and her daughter. After twelve rejections from publishers, the book was picked up and the rest is history.   Rowling never wavered in her work on developing her talent and most would agree did her best in this area.

Treasure – don’t hoard your treasures, invest in them. When we hear the word treasure we usually think of money, jewels, gold or other valuable possessions. While those are indeed treasured for many, I like the other ideas of treasures listed below that should be invested in if we want to be the best.

“Treasure your relationships.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

“Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man.” – William Penn

“Treasure the love you receive above all.” – Og Mandino

“Contentment is the greatest treasure.”– Lao Tzu

“There is more treasure in books than all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”– Walt Disney



Are we willing to do what they did to get where they are?

long road of successWe admire successful people – and with good reason. Their accomplishments are often awe inspiring. We see what they do, what they have, and the impact they have on the world and we want the same for ourselves.

We want to be the sports star, the singer, the business person, but are we willing to do what they did to get where they are?

Overnight success rarely happens overnight. It’s only after years of hard work and often struggle, that someone is ready for their overnight success.

Baseball legend Willie Mays talked about what it took to be successful in his sport, “In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept constructive criticism. Without one-hundred percent dedication, you won’t be able to do this.”

What did they really do to get there? Mary Kay Ash founded Mary Kay Cosmetics in 1963 with a $5,000 investment. Today the company has over 3 million consultants worldwide and wholesale volume in excess of 3 billion. During her life, Mary Kay won many business honors including the Horatio Alger Award, was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, and authored four best-selling books. Mary Kay Cosmetics was named as one of “The 100 best companies to work for in America,” by Fortune Magazine.

On success, Mary Kay is quoted as saying, “You can have anything in this world you want, if you want it badly enough and you’re willing to pay the price.”

Here is a brief history of her rise to success. While in high school her father became ill and her mother supported the family working 14 hours a day in a restaurant. Mary Kay took care of her father along with attending high school. She married at 17 and she and her husband had three children. While he served in World War II she took a job selling books. Ash went on to work 25 years in corporate sales before resigning to turn her attention to writing a book, which became her plan for Mary Kay Cosmetics.

In 1963, Mary Kay and her second husband started the company, Mary Kay Cosmetics.  Before the company could open its operational storefront in Dallas, her second husband suddenly died and the rest, as they say, is history.

Are you ready for the journey? Og Mandino wrote the bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World in 1968 at the age of 35. He went on to write many others and his books have sold over 50 million copies and have been translated into over 25 languages.

After graduating high school, Mandino planned to study journalism in college. When his mother died in the summer he chose not to attend college but to enter the Air Force and became a pilot during World War II. After the war he became an insurance salesman and found himself in a library despondent as he was not living the life he desired. Reading several self-help books here and in many other libraries he found the W. Clement Stone book, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude that changed his life.

Og Mandino commented on his journey and said, “The road to success, for me, was a long and arduous journey, strewn with obstacles and traps, pitfalls and hurdles. I speak of those sad and frustrating times in the hope that my personal experiences will serve as sufficient evidence for all who hear me that they have it in their own power to make their lives as glorious as they choose.”

Want to be generous? Get more to give more.

generous with your giftsA generous person must first be a successful person who is focused on what they have before they can think about how to use it. Understanding what you have and getting more of it is half of the equation – the other half is how you use what you have. Success only comes from finding a way to bring these two pieces together – the having, and the giving. Zig Ziglar put these two concepts together when he said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

Understand what you have. When we talk about being generous, money is the obvious first place we go to. But money is only the beginning and in the long run the lessor of what we have to give. We are all endowed with gifts that we can be generous with – Time, Knowledge, Encouragement – to name a few.

We don’t really know what others are looking for so as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

Getting more of what you have. There are many books and conferences dedicated to getting more money, so let’s look at the how we can be dedicated to get more of the other gifts we can give.

Time – There is a finite amount of time so in reality we can’t get more, but if we want to give more of our time we can prioritize how we are using the time we have. Start by deciding what activities are the most important then align your time to accomplishing those.

Knowledge – We all know something, and most people know a lot. If you want to be generous with your knowledge, then the path to getting more is fairly simple – read more, study more, discuss more – strive to learn more each day, a little at a time.

Encouragement – Lifting others up requires much more passive skills than we think. The key activity of encouragement is listening. This requires that we strive to gain more patience to search for just the right moment to ask the right question, or perhaps point out a new direction for someone to consider.

Robin Sharma talks about creating Perfect Moments in our lives and in the lives of others. All of these perfect moments revolve around experiences with those that we are closest to. He says, “Living a gorgeous life doesn’t require a lot of money. Just a lot of dedication.”

Using what you have. In his book The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino writes about achieving a life of abundance. The main character in this book learns the full measure of success when he is told, “Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving.”

Understanding what we have and how to get more of it only leads to success when we are generous in sharing. Find ways to be in situations to use what you have for the benefit of others. Measure your opportunities against the yardstick of generosity and you will find success will be yours to receive and to give.

Never underestimate the power of persistence

persistencePersistence requires that you constantly sell yourself on the idea that you will accomplish what you set out to do. You may not always know how, but you will succeed.

Cavett Robert, founder of the National Speaker Association talked about persistence when he said, “You don’t drown by falling into water, you only drown if you stay there.” You fell, so what, get up and get going. You only have to get up one more time than you fall.

Persistence is what makes people successful. President Calvin Coolidge wrote, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence… Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.”

There are three steps that you must take to tap into the power of persistence. Og Mandino authored a tremendous book titled The Greatest Salesman in the World. I have referenced some of his wisdom in each of the three steps listed below:

Take the first step – Determine to not stop until you succeed. Don’t start your journey until you are convinced you will reach the end.   Before you take a single action know that not every one will work out as planned, but that through all of your actions you will be successful,

“If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.” – Og Mandino

Take one step at a time – Determine to enjoy the journey. The path to success is filled with wonders and opportunities to learn and grow. Be all in to every step, you never know what nugget of wisdom you will find.

“Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.” – Og Mandino

Take the next step – Determine to always look forward. Your full reward for persistence is at the end of the journey. Never stop and never settle for anything less than completion.

“The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning…Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road.” – Og Mandino



The depth of your foundation, determines the height of your success.

foundation of pleasant thoughtsNature has a way of teaching us many lessons if we are careful to observe.  George Washington Carver said, “Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books.”  Walking in the woods you can see many sizes of trees.  The various sizes are due in part to the type of tree, but also to the availability of soil and nutrients for the tree’s roots to spread and form a stable foundation.  Trees will not outgrow their capacity to withstand external stress through the strong foundation of their roots.

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