The last few weeks I’ve been working with the Og Mandino Scrolls, featured in his book “The Greatest Salesman In The World.” The book is designed to teach you lessons that will help you improve your job performance and your life performance as well. It features 10 ancient scrolls that have been passed down from Mentor to Protege over generations helping people improve to eventually become The Greatest Salesman in the World, which is really a metaphor to becoming The Greatest Person You Can Be, sales performance is just a great side effect.
Anyway, the exercise that is proposed in the book, is to read just one scroll, 3 times a day for an entire month, then when you have mastered that lesson, you can build and move on to the next. The scrolls are full of uplifting messages that should help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.
The month of November has been the first scroll for me, which is about forming Good Habits and getting rid of bad habits. Reading the scroll itself is the lesson as I have to read it three times a day, which will form a Good Habit for when the other scrolls are read and new lessons to be learned.
I’ve enjoyed the experience and realized that everything I want, needs to be broken down into a habit so I will do it automatically. I want to be able to wake up early every morning, I need to make that a habit, exercising when I start my day, I need to make that a habit, eating better throughout the day, I need to make that a habit, remembering my yearly vision, I need to make that a habit, feeling grateful for my life as it stands, I need to make that a habit, completing my Man 2.0 tasks and even writing regularly, I need to make them a habit.
Habits drive our lives, especially in today’s world when there seems to be so much going on and so much that could distract you from your goals. But the more your actions become habits, the more they will become natural and the better chance you will succeed.
“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams.” – Og Mandino
One of the many different blogs I have come across to help find motivation and guidance during my journey has been The Fierce Gentleman. Its a blog dedicated to helping men become real, honest to goodness gentleman. And provides a thorough, and quite impressive, Fierce Gentleman Manifesto to help keep their vision on track.
There was one post this morning that I read that really stuck with me. Talking about the 10 Qualities that Make a Fierce Gentleman, this post provided a detailed list of just what it takes to be a Gentleman. All of the items were bang on with what a Gentleman is comprised of, and most of these I am working on, or planning to work on after the priorities are taken care of.
They were all great, but the one that impacted me the most was number 5: “He has done, and is doing, his work.”
Summarily, this item mentions that a Fierce Gentleman is always improving himself in every aspect of his life, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, financial, social, sexual, or spiritual. It mentions that a Fierce Gentleman should not be afraid to consult experts and seek help when pursuing these improvements. I couldn’t agree more.
This is the journey I am on now, and although I felt right when I started pursuing it, it is always good to find qualification on my plan from another source.
I am continuing my journey, making it a part of each and every day. I feel that something has changed today. There is something new, that wasn’t inside of me before. Something that has recommitted me to my journey and motivated me to tackle every aspect of myself that I am not happy with. I feel I can do this.
As part of my journey to help find myself, it was suggested to me, by more than a few sources, that the best way to find out what you truly want in life, those long, long, long term goals that we spend our entire lives striving to achieve, is to write what you hope to be said about you at your own funeral. The idea creeped me out at first. Thinking that far ahead (I hope) about my life and what I had (want) to have achieved. I’ve always had long term goals in mind, but never have I ever thought of them in this type of context. I figured I’d give it a try though, and see what the end result was.
To begin, I imagined a great hall, beautifully decorated, in my favourite style and colours. Dim lights, save for a spotlight on a modest lectern and of course, my personal box housing me. As I visualized the room, I looked around to see all of my friends, family, business associates, acquaintances, past lovers, future family, and even those who didn’t like me very much, all out in the crowd, sitting, waiting to hear about the summary of my life.
At first, as I hovered my hands over the keyboard, I froze. I had absolutely no idea what to write. But I really started thinking about the future, and envisioned what I thought I would be like and what I would have done in 60 years from now. Despite any mistakes I had made up to my current point in life, 60 years later is a long time to fill and as I sat there, an entire life started to unfold around me. Almost to the point where I couldn’t keep my typing up with my thoughts.
I wrote about my successes and failures, my relationships, and the family I had built, the organizations I aided and developed. I found that I could visualize all of my triumphs, and even the sadness I might expect in those 6 decades. I touched on the mistakes I had already made and how they shaped me into the man I was on my deathbed. The one that was well respected, and loved by many. I wrote about my children that have not yet been born, and their grandchildren. I talked about my wife and the love we shared for so many years and how it helped me find my way.
It was a cathartic release to open up to myself about what I envisioned my life to be. For many things I wrote, I didn’t even know I wanted to do, or I didn’t really have an idea I wanted to go that far with it. When I was done, I had in front of me a summary of a life I would be proud to have lived. But also, I had a set of goals, of primary aims that I wanted to achieve in my life time.
I’ve since written these primary aims down, and now, I begin the work of building plans on how to achieve these life long goals. I’ve never looked this far out in my life before, but it feels good, and I look forward to building the life that I have had only a glimpse of so far. I am looking forward to continuing this journey, a little less blind than I have been, to be the man that I want to be.
I came across this video today that explains how to use a “Bullet Journal” which is meant to help keep you organized in your life. This is right up my alley and I am going to give it a try and see how it works for me. I know I need a better system than I have now, because it is definitely not working.