Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

Written in a fable form, according to me this book is a manual of success. The story is written in a flashback mode where Hafid, the richest man of Damascus orders his chief bookkeeper Erasmus to distribute all his wealth among his managers and shares his story with him. Hafid was an ambitious camel boy who aimed to become like his master Pathros, the greatest salesman at that time when Hafid was a young boy. Hafid goes to Pathros and tells him that he wants to become like him and urges him to share his secrets of selling. Pathros assigns him a task of selling a robe in Bethlehem, a market where his other salesman avoid visiting since the people of that village are very poor. Hafid goes to Bethlehem and tries to sell the robe but he fails in doing so. While returning home, he finds a child shivering in cold, in his mothers arms and there he wraps the robe around the child's body and gives him back to his parents. He returns home feeling sad as he feels that now he won't be able to fulfill his dream of becoming rich and marrying his love Lisha, a rich merchant's daughter, for whom he wants to become rich.
While Hafid was returning home, Pathros is surprised to see a star in the sky following him and on prodding Hafid about the robe, Pathros realizes that Hafid is the one who deserves to get the 10 Ancient Scrolls which contain the secrets to successful selling.
A few snippets from the scrolls -
"Many times have you heard me say that the rewards are great if one succeeds but the rewards are great only because so few succeed. Many succumb to despair and fail without realizing that they already possess all the tools needed to acquire great wealth. Many others face each obstacle in their path with fear and doubt and consider them as enemies when, in truth, these obstructions are friends and helpers. Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many strugglesand countless defeats. Yet each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms forcing you to become better.....or quit. Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward; turn away from them, avoid them, and you throw away your future."
"Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough."
"Never feel shame for trying and failing for he who has never failed is he who has never tried."
"Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts."
"Happiness is the wine that sharpens the taste of the meal."
"Self-pity is the most terrible of diseases."
These are my favorite-
If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I wil wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I will remember past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
Today I will be master of my emotions.
"I am liken to a grain of wheat which faces one of three futures. The wheat can be placed in a sack and dumped in a stall until it is fed to swine. Or it can be ground to flour and made into bread. Or it can be placed in the earth and allowed to grow until its golden head divides and produces a thousand grains from the one.
I am liken to a grain of wheat with one difference. The wheat cannot choose whether it be fed to swine, ground for bread, or planted to multiply. I have a choice and I will not let my life be fed to swine nor will I let it be ground under the rocks of failure and despair to be broken open and devoured by the will of others."

It is one of the best books that I have read and is applicable to each and everyone who wants to succeed in life and I'm sure most of us want to.


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