Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today - The First Unmarked Scroll

Today I begin a new life
Today I shed my old skin, which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and
the wounds of mediocrity.
Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.
Today I will pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines in the
vineyard, for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have come
before me, generation upon generation.
Today I will savor the taste of grapes from these vines and verily I will swallow the
seed of success buried in each and new life will sprout within me.
The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity yet it is fraught with heartbreak
and despair and the bodies of those who have failed, were they piled one atop
another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.
Yet I will not fail, as the others, for in my hands I now hold the charts, which will
guide me through perilous waters to shores, which only yesterday seemed but a
Failure will no longer by my payment for my struggle. Just as nature made no
provision for my body to tolerate pain neither has it made any provision for my life
to suffer failure. Failure, like pain, is alien to my life. In the past I accepted it as I
accepted pain. Now I reject it and I am prepared for wisdom and principles which
will guide me out of the shadows into the sunlight of wealth, position, and happiness
far beyond my most extravagant dreams until even the golden apples in the Garden
of Hesperides will seem no more than my just reward.
Time teaches all things to he who lives forever but I have not the luxury of eternity.
Yet, within my allotted time I must practice the art of patience for nature acts never
in haste. To create the olive, king of all trees, a hundred years is required. An onion
plant is old in nine weeks. I have lived as an onion plant. It has not pleased me. Now
I wouldst become the greatest of olive trees and, in truth, the greatest of salesmen.
And how will this be accomplished? For I have neither the knowledge nor the
experience to achieve greatness and already I have stumbled in ignorance and fallen
into pools of self-pity. The answer is simple. I will commence my journey
unencumbered with either the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap of
meaningless experience. Nature already has supplied me with knowledge and instinct
far greater than any beast in the forest and the value of experience is overrated,
usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.
In truth, experience teaches thoroughly yet her course of instruction devours men’s
years so the value of her lessons diminishes with the time necessary to acquire her
special wisdom. The end finds it wasted on dead men. Furthermore, experience is
comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable
and impractical tomorrow.
Only principles endure and these I now possess, for the laws that will lead me to
greatness are contained in the words of these scrolls. What they will teach me is more
to prevent failure than to gain success, for what is success other than a state of mind?
Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words; yet
failure is always described in one way. Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in
life, whatever they may be.
In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have
succeeded lies in the differences of their habits. Good habits are the key to all
success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey,
which precedeth all others is – I will form good habits and become their slave.
As a child I was slave to my impulses; now I am slave to my habits, as are all grown
men. I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits and the past
deeds of my life have already marked out a path, which threatens to imprison my
future. My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear,
environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrants is habit. Therefore, if I must be a
slave to habit let me be a slave to good habits. My bad habits must be destroyed and
new furrows prepared for good seed.
                                                                                -Og Mandino