‘The Greatest Salesman:’ Disruption ... of Self
By Astrid Ambroziak
This Review was originally written for the Women in Parking newsletter.
Everywhere I look, one concept seems ubiquitous: “disruption’ of an industry or simply “disruption.” This is taking place in technology and, thus, in every industry, including parking, and in our daily life.
Changes are happening around us. For me to be a successful participant in these changes, I must make constant adjustments to my approach, and my behaviors – but, first of all, to my thinking.
I must reevaluate and then implement changes within myself, if I want to see larger changes around me. Changes that create value for me, others and the world, regardless the scale.
Disruption today seems to be this new concept that emerged through social media first. Nevertheless, it has been around for centuries.
A parable from biblical times – “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino -- reminds us of that. The tiny gem of a book was first published in 1968. Myriad successful entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, leaders and notable “disruptors” have found this 100-page treasure to be influential, inspirational and even life-changing.
Og Mandino’s classic story is a fable of Hafid. Some 2,000 years ago, young Hafid fell in love with a beautiful maiden, a daughter of a wealthy man. Realizing that as a camel boy he wouldn’t be permitted to love a young lady of such a high station, Hafid became determined to be a successful salesman of great wealth.
His adoptive father, Pathros, was the richest and the greatest salesmen in the land. Yet, Pathros knew that money couldn’t be the sole motivation to the success. That life must be, as humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow would say, purpose-based.
So Pathros, being a self-actualized person, after a sign and recognition determined that Hafid, indeed, was a mission-driven individual, passed to the boy a series of teachings, to help him to become “the greatest salesman in the world.”
The wisdom of these teachings was contained in 10 scrolls. Hafid had to read each scroll in the morning and in the evening for 30 days before being able to read the next one. The simple yet brilliant lessons of the scrolls were useless unless absorbed with body, mind and soul ... and lived.
In other words, Mandino applies neurobiology principles: Our amygdala impacts our reactive, repetitive and unconscious behaviors. To change them, we must implement these changes via diligent practice.
Scroll I: Today, I Begin a New Life
The first scroll is the basis of all the teachings and the key to the other scrolls. I must change my habits. To change my habits, I must have awareness of them and then replace the bad habits with the good ones. I must be determined. Wishful thinking doesn’t work. It all starts with making a vow and renewing this vow daily. Otherwise, those old habits it took years to form will creep back in. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” Also, I must be adaptable to changes. My experience of yesterday doesn’t necessarily apply to today, because today is different. Hence, thinking anew and in emergent manner is necessary.
Scroll II: I Will Greet Each Day With Love in My Heart
Love is my greatest weapon, says Mandino. I must love myself, and I must come from love toward others. That allows me to encourage, instead of criticize. Praise creates value, while faulting destroys. Finding solutions and being accountable, instead of gossiping, blaming and being divisive. I have no time for hate.
Scroll III: I Will Persist Until I Succeed
Take another step always. I don’t know how many steps I must take to reach my goal, but I must consistently move forward. I must remove from my vocabulary the words “cannot,” “hopeless,” “impossible.” Obstacles contain lessons and are detours. I persist, and I will win.
Scroll IV: I Am Nature’s Greatest Miracle
Don’t imitate. Don’t compare. I am unique with my own talents and my own mission. Being purpose-driven is the key. “For I was conceived in love and brought forth with a purpose.” Constantly seek to learn, grow and improve my manners, speech and skills.
Scroll V: I Will Live Each Day As If It Were My Last
Live today as my last day. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow never promised. “Why should I throw ‘now’ after ‘maybe’?” I must stop procrastinating. Today is the best day of my life proclaimed motivates my actions to mirror that proclamation. Appreciation opens doors and enlarges horizons.
Scroll VI: Today I Will Master My Emotions
My moods rise, and my moods fall. How can I practice being happy from within, what the Greeks called eudaemonia? “Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.” In Buddhism, there is a saying: Be a master of your mind, instead of your mind being your master.
Scroll VII: I Will Laugh
at the World
Can I laugh at myself? Human beings are the only living creatures who can laugh. I ought not to take myself so seriously. Be like a child, so I can always look up to others and, thus, be humble. Self-importance, grandiosity, ego -- will only distance me from others and success.
Scroll VIII: Today I Will Multiply My Value
I will live out of my vision. I must multiply my best performance by a 100 and measure higher. Never give up. I must always exceed my reach over my grasp. Make my next hour better than the previous one.
Scroll IX: I Will Act Now
Action holds the key. Act now without hesitation. Get into the arena. Procrastination comes from fear. I have only now, and all my thoughts and dreams matter not, if I don’t act on them immediately. Failure is not a factor, because regardless if I fail, I am dynamic.
Scroll X: I Will Pray for Guidance
I must ask for guidance -- from God, the Creator, the Universe, the Mystic Law. Emerson reminds me that I am an instrument of something greater. Every disruptor whom I admired from the past subscribed to that MO. I must ask for guidance, and I must always come from appreciation and compassion. “Bathe me in good habits that the bad ones may drown, yet grant me compassion for the weaknesses in others.”
Check out Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” Disruption is happening around us. We might not comprehend the disruption unless we disrupt, reexamine, renew ourselves first.
In the words of the late Paul Harvey: “It’s spring again. Og Mandino is back. He returns ... with another novel means of inspiring each of us to be something more than we are.”
Astrid Ambroziak, Editor of Parknews.biz, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.