A Better Way to Live

Book

A Better Way to Live: Og Mandino’s Own Personal Story of Success Featuring 17 Rules to Live By by Og Mandino

My Highlights

Fate, coincidence, luck, chance … ? I don’t think so. I am convinced that many times, in the course of our lives, God challenges us with a golden opportunity, a seemingly impossible hurdle, or a terrible tragedy … and how we react—or fail to react—determines the course of our future, almost as if we were involved in some sort of heavenly chess game … with our destiny always in the balance

You might be surprised when you discover how close help is if you just ask for it.

Stone and Hill’s message was loud and clear: You can accomplish anything you wish that is not contradictory to the laws of God or man, providing you are willing to pay a price.

RULE ONE … for a Better Way to Live Count your blessings.

RULE TWO … for a Better Way to Live Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do.

When it comes to improving the career side of your life, the greatest secret of success was delivered to us from a mountaintop, nearly two thousand years ago, when Jesus told us that if we were compelled to go a mile with someone, we should always go two. The extra mile.

Work as though you would live forever, and live as though you would die today. Go another mile!

RULE THREE  … for a Better Way to Live Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long.

If you want to succeed, you must learn to live with failure. We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. Show me the person who has never stumbled, never messed up a job, never made a mistake, and I’ll show you a person with a very dim future.

Defeat. What is it? Nothing but a little education, nothing but the first step to something better. The only people who never fail are those who never, never try.

RULE FOUR  … for a Better Way to Live Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family.

RULE FIVE … for a Better Way to Live Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts.

James Allen told us that good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit. That wise old Roman Marcus Aurelius told us that our life is what our thoughts make it. Good or bad. Miserable or joyous. Triumphant or hopeless. Buddha said it even more forcefully. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” No matter what you choose to call it, positive thoughts produce, negative thoughts hamper and destroy.

RULE SIX … for a Better Way to Live Let your actions always speak for you, but be forever on guard against the terrible traps of false pride and conceit that can halt your progress.

RULE SEVEN  … for a Better Way to Live Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future.

RULE EIGHT  … for a Better Way to Live Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busywork. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!

RULE NINE … for a Better Way to Live Live this day as if it will be your last.

Never treat time as if you had an unlimited supply.

Today is your day, the only day you have, that day in which you can show the world that you can make a contribution that matters. What your part may signify in the great whole of life you may never understand, but you are still here to play it, and now is your time

No matter how crowded the hours, remember that they still can only enter your life just one moment at a time. You can handle any moment, no matter how tough, when it comes at you in single file.

RULE TEN … for a Better Way to Live Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight.

RULE ELEVEN  … for a Better Way to Live Laugh at yourself and at life.

Never take yourself too seriously.

RULE TWELVE  … for a better Way to Live Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do.

RULE THIRTEEN  … for a Better Way to Live Welcome every morning with a smile.

Be a self-starter. Welcome the dawn of each new day with a smile, grateful to your Creator for another opportunity to improve on yesterday’s performance.

RULE FOURTEEN  … for a Better Way to Live 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.

Listen to that wise old Roman Seneca. “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it be, without wishing for what he has not.”

RULE FIFTEEN  … for a Better Way to Live 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.

No one can ever distract you from being happy and doing your best … unless you give them permission to do so.

You cannot make progress in your life as a hermit, and so you must make contact with the world and its parade of misfortunes and critics, yet you need never allow either to rain on your parade. Turn away from the envious.

RULE SIXTEEN  … for a Better Way to Live Search for the seed of good in every adversity.

Always search for the seed of good in every adversity. There is no tougher rule to live by, and yet, after you have trained yourself to react to any problem with the words “That’s terrific!” and then take the time to discover what could possibly be beneficial about your serious problem, you will be amazed at how often you will turn certain defeat into victory.

Championships, in games and in life, are won by those who have learned to cope with adversity.

RULE SEVENTEEN  … for a Better Way to Live 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.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life,” wrote Marcus Aurelius, “it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” You will search for happiness forever, and fail, unless you look for it within yourself, within your own heart and soul, and then share what you possess with no thought of any reward.

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