As I was going through my list of recommended books, this one caught my eye. The Greatest Salesman in the World, despite it’s name, isn’t that much about selling goods, it has more to do with confidence in yourself and selling your idea to people, and that way you’ll be able to sell anything to anyone looking to buy something.
The book, written by Og Mandino, tells a story about an old trader who became very wealthy, and in his old age he started giving away his wealth to the people who had served him over the years. The reason why he became so rich, was because of secret techniques he learned from scrolls that were given to him earlier in his life.
As his last effort, he decides to give these scrolls to his most loyal servant (or someone who he thought deserving of the scrolls), and that’s how the story begins.
The story itself isn’t impressive, I have to say, but we do get to know what’s in these scrolls, so we can learn how to become the greatest salesman ourselves.
As for what I’ll do in this blog post, I’ll simply introduce each scroll to you, so you can see what they are all about. Text in these scrolls is repetitive (on purpose), and I recommend you either buy the book or find the content of these scrolls online if you are interested in it.
Greatest Salesman In The World, By Og Mandino
The Scroll Marked I
Today I begin a new life
“Today I begin a new life.
Today I shed my old skin, which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and
the wounds of mediocrity.
Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.
Today I will pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines in the
vineyard, for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have come
before me, generation upon generation.”
This being the first scroll, it’s about the start of the journey to becoming the best salesman. You are supposed to read the scrolls in order, and they are meant to be read like mantras, repeated daily.
This scroll is the basis of it all, and it’s essential you understand and apply the teaching in this scroll before moving to the others. You need to commit to a change in your life, because without commitment, all the other teaching in this book won’t do you much good.
The Scroll Marked II
I will greet this day with love in my heart
“I will greet this day with love in my heart.
For this is the greatest secret of success in all ventures. Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men and until I master this art I will remain no more than a peddler in the market place. I will make love my greatest weapon and none on whom I call can defend against its force.
My reasoning they may counter; my speech they may distrust; my apparel they may disapprove; my face they may reject; and even my bargains may cause them
suspicion; yet my love will melt all hearts liken to the sun whose rays soften the
This scroll is about being positive. Now, depending on who you are, this is either very difficult or very easy.
However, once you have decided that a change is necessary for you to proceed in life, and then committed to changing your life for the better, being positive comes almost naturally.
It’s true. People prefer positive people over negative ones. That’s just how life works in the end. Try to be the one positive person someone else meets during their day full of neutral, negative and angry people. It’s not that difficult if you give it a try. Just don’t let other people affect your mood – they’re just being jealous.
The Scroll Marked III
I will persist until I succeed
“I will persist until I succeed.
In the Orient young bulls are tested for the fight arena in a certain manner. Each is
brought to the ring and allowed to attack a picador who pricks them with a lance. The bravery of each bull is then rated with care according to the number of times he demonstrates his willingness to charge in spite of the sting of the blade. Henceforth will I recognize that each day I am tested by life in like manner. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.”
Persistence is the key to success. I’ve seen so many examples of this happening online that I can’t even begin to count the numbers anymore. Everybody has to start somewhere, and starting is definitely the first and a very important step, but being persistent is I’d say just as important.
Think of all the small business owners, bloggers, YouTube, people who grew their following on social media and are now big names in the industry. Many of them too started from nothing, and didn’t see growth for a long time. They just followed their passion and kept at it until one day, they finally started to gain popularity.
Keep at it. It it’s your passion, it will shine through.
The Scroll Marked IV
I am nature’s greatest miracle
“I am nature’s greatest miracle.
Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart,
my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that
live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think
exactly like me. All men are my brothers yet I am different from each. I am a unique
This chapter talks about understanding yourself. You are you, and there isn’t anyone quite like you. We all share similarities, of course, but all of us have something that makes us our oneself.
Understand that you are unique, and that is your greatest asset. Learn how to appreciate you for who you are, because that is all you’ve got. Don’t try to be someone else, be yourself and be honest about it.
The Scroll Marked V
I will live this day as if it is my last
“I will live this day as if it is my last.
And what shall I do with this last precious day, which remains I my keeping? First, I will seal up its container of life so that not one drop spills itself upon the sand. I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, yesterday’s defeats,
yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?
Can sand flow upward in the hourglass? Will the sun rise where it sets and set where it rises? Can I relive the errors of yesterday and right them? Can I call back
yesterday’s wounds and make them whole? Can I become younger than yesterday?
Can I take back the evil that was spoken, the blows that were struck, the pain that
was caused? No. Yesterday is buried forever and I will think of it no more.”
I don’t actually like the saying “live this day as if it is your last”. That being said, that is not what they saying itself, or this chapter, is about. It’s about two things:
- Your time is limited. So, you should use your time efficiently doing the things you love rather than wasting your time on things that you could do without.
- Your time is limited. So, you should try to enjoy your every day, no matter what happens, rather than spend your time worrying about the things you can’t affect. The only thing you truly can control is yourself, so focus on that.
That is how I interpret this saying. It is not actually about living every day like it is your last, it’s more about enjoying the moment.
So, learn to enjoy the moment, the small and big ones. Embrace your life with open arms.
The Scroll Marked VI
I will be the master of my emotions
“Today I will be master of my emotions.
The tides advance; the tides recede. Winter goes and summer comes. Summer wanes and the cold increases. The sun rises; the sun sets. The moon is full; the moon is black. The birds arrive; the birds depart. Flowers bloom; flowers fade. Seeds are sown; harvests are reaped. All nature is a circle of moods and I am a part of nature and so, like the tides, my moods will rise; my moods will fall.
Today I will be master of my emotions.
It is one of nature’s tricks, little understood, that each day I awaken with moods that have changed from yesterday. Yesterday’s joy will become today’s sadness; yet
today’s sadness will grow into tomorrow’s joy. Inside me is a wheel, constantly
turning from sadness to joy, from exultation to depression, from happiness to
melancholy. Like the flowers, today’s full bloom of joy will fade and wither into
despondency, yet I will remember that as today’s dead flower carries the seed of
tomorrow’s bloom so, too, does today’s sadness carry the seed of tomorrow’s joy.
Today I will be master of my emotions.
And how will I master these emotions so that each day will be productive? For unless my mood is right the day will be a failure. Trees and plants depend on the weather to flourish but I make my own weather, yea I transport it with me. If I bring rain and gloom and darkness and pessimism to my customers then they will react with rain and gloom and darkness and pessimism and they will purchase naught. If I bring joy and enthusiasm and brightness and laughter to my customers they will react with joy and enthusiasm and brightness and laughter and my weather will produce a harvest of sales and a granary of gold for me. “
Think of how your words and actions affect other people around you. That is a good place to start.
The Scroll Marked VII
I will laugh at the world
“I will laugh at the world.
No living creature can laugh except man. Trees may bleed when they are wounded,
and beasts in the field will cry in pain and hunger, yet only I have the gift of laughter and it is mine to use whenever I choose. Henceforth I will cultivate the habit of laughter.
I will smile and my digestion will improve; I will chuckle and my burdens will be
lightened; I will laugh and my life will be lengthened for this is the great secret of
long life and now it is mine.”
Learn to laugh instead of cry. Learn to laugh not only when you are happy, but when you faced with ill health and danger as well. Laughter doesn’t mean you’re not serious. It just means you know how to not take yourself too seriously. Life comes and goes, rather fast in fact, so we don’t have much time to walk on earth. It’s better to face the world and life itself with bold laughter.
The Scroll Marked VIII
Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold
“Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.
A mulberry leaf touched with the genius of man becomes silk.
A field of clay touched with the genius of man becomes a castle.
A cypress tree touched with the genius of man becomes a shrine.
A cut of sheep’s hair touched with the genius of man becomes raiment for a king.
If it is possible for leaves and clay and wood and hair to have their value multiplied a hundred, yea a thousand fold by man, cannot I do the same with the clay which bears my name?”
How could you improve what you are doing with tools that you have available to you?
It’s not about the material, it’s about how you use it.
Be creative. Use what you have to a greater effect. That is what this scroll is about.
The Scroll Marked IX
I will act now
“My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible.
All are of no value unless they are followed by action.
I will act now.
Never has there been a map, however carefully executed to detail and scale, which
carried its owner over even one inch of ground. Never has there been a parchment of law, however fair, which prevented one crime. Never has there been a scroll, even such as the one I hold, which earned so much as a penny or produced a single word of acclamation. Action, alone, is the tinder which ignites the map, the parchment, this scroll, my dreams, my plans, my goals, into a living force. Action is the food and drink which will nourish my success.
I will act now.
My procrastination which has held me back was born of fear and now I recognize
this secret mined from the depths of courageous hearts. Now I know that to conquer fear I must always act without hesitation and the flutters in my heart will vanish. Now I know that action reduces the lion of terror to an ant of equanimity.”
Nothing will happen unless you decide to act on it now. It is your duty to live the life you always wanted. Set your goals high, and reach for them.
Take action. Fear passivity.
The Scroll Marked X
I will pray for guidance
“Never will I pray for the material things of the world. I am not calling to a servant to bring me good. I am not ordering an innkeeper to provide me with room. Never will I seek delivery of gold, love, good health, petty victories, fame, success, or happiness. Only for guidance will I pray, that I may be shown the way to acquire these things, and my prayer will always be answered.
The guidance I seek may come, or the guidance I seek may not come, but are not
both of these an answer? If a child seeks bread from his father and it is not
forthcoming has not the father answered?”
I am not a very religious person, so I don’t fully agree with this scroll. I would not pray for guidance.
However, the excerpt I decided to showcase from this scroll lines with my ideas rather well.
Don’t ask, or in this case pray, for material goods for nothing in return. Ask for help so you can acquire these things yourself. If no one is willing to help you, then you need to figure it out for yourself.
It’s a scroll about self-reliance after all, and the fact that you need mentors. You just need to read it that way.
Now it’s your turn to read the book, and the scrolls for yourself. I do recommend it, even though I didn’t really like the story, and I even disagreed with some of the scrolls (not fully).
It still has great value I think, and I think someone out there (myself included) would benefit from reading it.
You can buy the book here: The Greatest Salesman in the World
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