For the past several weeks we have explored a “Better Way to Live” through the lens of best selling author Og Mandino. When I first read this book nearly 20 years ago, I copied Og’s rules, framed them, and rotated them each week on my office wall. The following are rules #13 - #17:
Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.
You will achieve your grand dream, a day at a time, so set goals for each day – not long and difficult projects, but chores that will take you, step by step, toward your rainbow. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won’t have to drag today’s undone matters into tomorrow. Remember that you cannot build your pyramid in twenty-four hours. Be patient. Never allow your day to become so cluttered that you neglect your most important goal – to do your best you can, enjoy this day; and rest satisfied with what you have accomplished.
Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealousy, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.
Search for the seed of good in every adversity; master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valleys you must traverse. Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well when they cannot be discerned from the mountaintops. So will you learn things in adversity that you would never have discovered without trouble. There is always a seed of good. Find it and prosper.
Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
To maximize the power of these rules, pick one rule per week. Print it. Read it out loud in the morning and again at night before retiring. Reference: A Better Way to Live, Bantam Books, February 1990.
Charlie Dexter is a professor of applied business emeritus at the UAF Community and Technical College. He can be reached at email@example.com. This column is brought to you as a public service by the UAF Department of Applied Business.