What is a person’s greatest desire in this world? Happiness? Wealth? Health? Peace of mind?
The world’s greatest secret then undoubtedly, is the talisman to attain these. And it is a fairly simple one, or so says Og Mandino. Just remind yourself each day that, “I will win, and I will become a great salesman for I am unique.” That, in short, is the age old secret to “lasting wealth, health, happiness, and most important…peace of mind,” that Mandino shares through his motivational The Greatest Secret in the World.
This is no regular “how to” book. Nor is it a discourse on philosophy or mind control. Though Mandino maintains that this book contains the great secrets handed down to young Hafid (of The Greatest Saleman in the World fame), 2000 years ago, frankly these “secrets” are oft repeated and oft heard. The greatest secret in the world then is not how to find the road to success, but rather how to journey on it and not go astray. And this is what makes this book unique.
Mandino does not simply preach. He offers you a crash course on success, one that requires 10 minutes of your time, each day of your work week for 45 weeks . If you can do it, it’ll change your life and if you can’t, then in Mandino’s own words, “the money spent on this book has been wasted.” A burning desire to succeed is not enough. We all dream of a great tomorrow, but that tomorrow never does come.
So Mandino extorts you to sit up and make today great. And you can do it because, “You are nature’s greatest miracle….you are rare and unique and the ultimate product of several million years of evolution. Both in mind, and body, you are far better equipped than Solomon or Caeser or Plato to make something beautiful and meaningful of your life. You have a greater potential than anyone who has ever lived before you! ” Of course that also means that anyone born after you will always have greater potential than you, but let’s not get cheeky here.
The Greatest Secret in the World is truely an inspiring book because it relentlessly eggs you on. It is engaging, it is colloquial and it is challenging. It even contains a success recorder diary to enable you to gauge your progress. It is designed as a lesson. You read, you follow and then you record your actions. When Mandino believes that you are on the right track, he takes you to the next lesson and once again you read, follow, record. So it continues for 45 weeks. Of course most people will admit that they read the book in one or two sittings, at least for the first time. It is difficult to pause and wait patiently for the next lesson but it might just be worth it.
Through this book, Mandino teaches you to self examine, to identify your bad habits, to focus on your strengths and to control your moods. He takes you back to the basics -Don’t take others or yourself too seriously. Don’t procrastinate. Live each day as if it is your last- only this time, he ensures that you don’t just preach, but you practice. He constantly questions you, taunts you. Can you do it? Do you have the discipline, the self control? Will you give up? And in proving that you won’t give up you gradually become adept at mind conditioning, which Mandino believes is central to success.
I have just one grudge against Mandino. It might be that at the time he wrote this book, professional women were a novelty but did he think that only men desire success? Only they want health, health and happiness? His books are all addressed to men (Greatest sales man, not woman or person). He tells you to decide what job title and salary you want to achieve at the end of your 45 weeks crash course and share it with no one but your wife. Disastrous, especially in a world where one has to at least pretend to be gender sensitive.
That apart, The Greatest Secret in the World is one of those rare books that focuses on action, rather than on mere words. Follow it and success is guaranteed because, “failure will never overcome you if your determination to succeed is strong enough.”
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