Og Mandino was one of the leading inspirational authors in the world. But once, he was a thirty-five-year-old derelict who nearly spent his last few dollars on a suicide gun. In A Better Way to Live, he describes the joyously redemptive process that turned a down-and-out alcoholic into a millionaire and a happy man within ten years. Og Mandino is the only person who could tell this heartwarming tale of personal triumph—because it is his own true story. And it can profoundly influence your life. Here are the principles that turned Og Mandino’s life around: his seventeen “Rules to Live By.”
These simple, easy-to-follow rules comprise a sound, wise prescription for inner growth and for a fulfilling everyday life that will work for you—just as it worked for Og Mandino. You can avoid spending even one more day feeling failure, grief, poverty, shame, or self-pity. Here is a better way to live: a way that literally saved Og Mandino’s life, a way that can help make your dreams come true.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||385 KB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
There was only one other customer in Don June’s Scottsdale barber shop, and he couldn’t help overhearing my announcement to Don that I was finally “golfed out” and ready to commence work on my next book, one that would be based primarily on material from keynote speeches that I deliver many times each year to corporate and association conventions.
In all my writing and speech-making throughout the years. I am forever reminding my audiences that, like the laws of nature, gravity, and physics, the true principles of success have been with us for thousands of years. They have never changed! And these old principles will always work for you—or against you—no matter how you are trying to live your life.
Unfortunately, we’re living in an age that often seems to be traveling faster than the speed of light. We’re all looking for fast answers to our problems … easy solutions … quick fixes … free lunches … elevators to success … and this futile search for a philosopher’s stone that will somehow magically transform our daily efforts into trunks of gold has blinded us to the old laws that have always worked and always will work. Even though they’re still right under our noses, we no longer recognize them … and so they have become “secrets.” How sad.
Although I planned, in the new book, to introduce and then explain these ancient principles and how they could be applied by my readers to change their lives, almost immediately, for the better, both my publisher, Bantam Books, and I felt that we should have a different title than “The Greatest Secrets of Success,” which is how my speech has always been billed and promoted. But what? Several agonizing weeks passed while we tossed ideas around with little progress.
For most authors, writing without a title is no big deal. They just forge ahead with their work, confident that sometime before they complete the book, a year or more in the future, either they or their publishers are certain to come up with something provocative enough for that cover page. Not me. I’ve always needed a title first—a banner around which I could rally my thoughts and feelings constantly, not only when I was at the typewriter but also when I was away from it.
Commencing with The Greatest Salesman in the World, in 1967, I’ve always known the title of all thirteen of my books before I ever typed the first sentence of Chapter One, and since that procedure has worked well enough to sell more than twenty million volumes, in eighteen languages, I wasn’t about to alter my routine in any way. And then, as has happened so many times in my life, fate, chance, luck, coincidence, God (call it what you will) intervened and resolved my problem.
After that other barber-shop customer paid for his haircut, he hesitantly approached my chair, where Joan was already doing my nails, and said, “Mr. Mandino, I think your books are great. I’m a dentist, and I give courses in self-esteem to other members of the dental fraternity, which, for reasons we still don’t completely comprehend, has one of the highest suicide rates of any profession in the nation. I use many of your books to reinforce the guidelines on living that I teach.”
I mumbled some words of appreciation as he was opening the front door. He paused before stepping outside, turned back, and said, “My favorite book of all you have written is The Choice.”
I grinned and nodded. “There was a lot of me in that one.”
“I rather thought so. Would you be open to a suggestion from this unabashed fan of yours?”
“Well, in the The Choice, your hero walks away from corporate life and writes a book with a great title that becomes a smash best-seller. I wish you would seriously think about writing a book with that very same title. Perhaps you might even consider it for this new book you were just discussing with Don. Then you could take the rules and suggestions for a more fulfilling existence that your hero wrote and spoke about in that book and combine them with the many other old principles and secrets of success that you have dealt with in all your other works and speeches for so many years. Do that and you most certainly would produce a very special volume that could help millions escape from their prisons of drudgery and unhappiness. Just make it simple and easy for us to use and follow—a modern Book of Life, if you will.”
As he disappeared into the bright Arizona sunshine, I’m certain that I was at least a foot out of the barber’s chain. Maybe more. I couldn’t wait for Don to finish his cutting and trimming, and I’m positive I exceeded a few speed limits racing up Scottsdale Road on my way home to phone my Bantam editor, Michelle Rapkin.
“Another title?” was her greeting.
“This is it, lady. Now I’m ready to go to work!”
“Tell me,” she said anxiously.
“I’m going to borrow the fictitious title given to a fictitious book by a fictitious character created by Og Mandino …”
“… who is definitely not fictitious!” Michelle exclaimed.
I took a deep breath. “I’m going to call the new book A Better Way to Live!”
Michelle phoned back late that afternoon. The reaction from Bantam’s executives was unanimous approval!
That stranger making contact with me in a barber shop and providing me with the title of the book you are now holding—fate, coincidence, luck, chance … ?
Let’s take it another step. There are approximately fifty-five thousand new books published each year, and there were probably twenty thou sand different titles, both hardcover and paperback, in the store where this book was purchased. And yet, of all the books you could be reading at this very moment, you are holding A Better Way to Live.
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.
Is this only a chance meeting between you and me? I don’t believe it. As the wise old British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a long time ago, “Chance is but the pseudonym of God for those particular cases which he does not choose to acknowledge openly with his own sign-manual.”
We have been brought together for some special reason, we two. Let’s make the most of it.