When we finish reading a chapter of Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World (for those unfamiliar with Og Mandino or his timeless classic..it is not just for those in a sales profession..highly recommended reading and “living the book” for everyone, especially teenagers and young adults)..we have to write our favorite sentence from the previous chapter at the top of the new/current chapter.
We read this sentence aloud before each of our three daily readings. The sentence from Chapter 5 that resonated the most with me is “..my last must be my best.” It dovetails nicely into Chapter 6, “Today I will be master of my emotions.” Mastering our emotions goes a long way towards helping ensure we make “today the best day of our lives.”
Complacency has been the force which “approached me with a smile and the hand of friendship” the past two weeks, and Mandino’s antidote to this negative force is “to remember my competition.” So when thinking about my competition, I immediately think of other professionals in direct sales, and maybe even some other fathers who stay in great shape. This is of course a scenario where someone wins and another loses; competitive.
I read an article tonight on the Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly. After reading it I thought to myself, “this is my competition, but not in a win/lose way.” If I were to recall Kelly’s story each time complacency attempted to sit in..I could use it to spur myself back into action with renewed vigor. This is how I now interpret Mandino’s call to “remember my competition.”
With all that Kelly has and currently goes through, all the while keeping his amazing positive attitude..this is a person with whom I would like to “compete” in order to stay sharp. Read his story..it has all the makings of a country song..but where all of the losing and setbacks serve a purpose in our hero’s mind.
Kelly is someone who has an inner drive to make his last be his best..and if it is not his last.. he falls to his knees and gives thanks..and gets right back up and keeps moving forward.
Enjoy Jim’s story and may you draw inspiration from it as I do, and perhaps think of him when you need to think of competition..striving to keep and attitude and perspective as Kelly does will serve to make you and I better at all we do..including living life.