Category Archives: Faith in the world

Some outstanding motivation and wisdom worth reading on a regular basis

Hey, guys!

Thought I’d share something that might strike a cord with some of you.

This comes from the book “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” I personally try to read it about once a week or so, and while it’s about sales, you can replace the word “sales” with whatever you do (i.e. woodworking, painting, repairing, writing, etc.).

No matter what it is, if you can put love in your heart toward the work and customers/clients you are serving, you’re going to land higher and achieve more. Here’s the speech, which I’ve edited down and condensed (bold emphasis is my own):

  • Only principles endure, and good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law is I will form good habits and become their slave.
  • As I read these principles each day, I will begin to awake, each morning, with a vitality I have never known before. My vigor will increase, my enthusiasm will rise, my desire to meet the world will overcome every fear I once knew at sunrise, and I will be happier than I ever believed possible to be in a world full of strife and sorrow.
  • Soon, these actions and reactions will become easy to perform, for any act with practice becomes easy.
  • And when an act becomes easy through constant repetition, it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is a man’s nature to perform it often.
  • Today, my old skin has become as dust. I will walk tall among men and they will know me not, for today I am a new man, with a new life.
  • When I am making sales, 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 just as the sun’s rays soften the coldest clay.
  • I will greet this day with love in my heart.
  • And how will I do this? Henceforth I will look on all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.
  • And how will I speak? I will laud mine enemies and they will become friends; I will encourage my friends and they will become brothers. Always I will dig for reasons to applaud; never will I scratch for excuses to gossip.
  • How will I react to others? With love. For just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and the spears of anger.
  • And how will I confront each person that I meet? In only one way. In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You. Though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkle my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened. And who is there who will say nay to my goods when his heart feels my love?
  • I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation.
  • Never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter, rather I will share it and it will grow and warm the earth.
  • I will persist until I succeed.
  • With love I will increase my sales a hundredfold and become a great salesman. If I have no other qualities, I will succeed with love alone. Without it, I will fail though I possess all the knowledge and skills of the world.
  • I will greet this day with love and I will succeed.
  • I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.
  • The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning.
  • Always, I will take another step. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.
  • Henceforth, I will consider each day’s effort as but one blow of my blade against a mighty oak. The first blow may cause not a tremor in the wood, nor the second, nor the third. Each blow, of itself, may be trifling, and seem of no consequence. Yet from childish swipes the oak will eventually tumble. So it will be with my efforts of today.
  • I will build my castle one brick at a time for I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.
  • I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are the words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me, then I will work on despair. I will toil and I will endure.
  • I must fail often to succeed only once.
  • I will try, and try, and try again.
  • When each day is ended, not regarding whether it has been a success or failure, I will attempt to achieve one more sale.
  • I am nature’s greatest miracle. A hundredfold or more can I increase my accomplishments of yesterday and this I will do, beginning today.
  • I am here for a purpose, and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.
  • I will practice, and improve, and polish the words I utter to sell my goods, for this is the foundation on which I will build my career and never will I forget that many have attained great wealth and success with only one sales talk, delivered with excellence. Also, I will seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted.
  • I will live this day as if it is my last. Yesterday is buried forever and I will think of it no more. Neither will I think of tomorrow. Why should I throw now after maybe? And why should I torment myself with problems that may never come to pass?
  • Each hour of this day will I cherish for it can never return. Each minute of this day will I grasp with both hands and cherish with love for its value is beyond price. What dying man can purchase another breath? What price dare I place on the hours ahead? I will make them priceless!
  • I will avoid with fury the killers of time. Procrastination I will destroy with action; doubt I will bury under faith; fear I will dismember with confidence.
  • Where there are idle hands, I will linger not; where there are idle bodies, I will visit not. From here on out, I know that to court idleness is to steal food, clothing, and warmth from those I love. I am not a thief. I am a man of love and today is my last chance to prove my love and my greatness.
  • Today I shall embrace my woman with sweet kisses; Today I shall lift up a friend in need; Today I shall make the best day of my life. I will drink every minute to its full. I will savor its taste and give thanks. I will make every hour count and each minute I will trade for something of value. I will labor harder than ever before and push my muscles until they cry for relief, and then I will continue. I will make more calls than ever before. I will sell more goods than ever before. I will earn more money than ever before. Each minute of today will be more fruitful than hours of yesterday. My last must be my best. I will live this day as if it is my last, for it is my last.
  • I make my own weather. If I bring rain and gloom and darkness to my customers, then they will react with rain and gloom and darkness.
  • Ignore your thoughts. Each day you awaken, before sadness, self-pity, or failure captures me, I will follow this plan of action:
    — 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 will wear new garments.
    — If I feel uncertain, I will think of wealth to come.
    — 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 master my emotions.
  • Despair and sadness are easy to recognize, but these dangers approach without you noticing:
    – If I feel overconfident, I will recall my failures.
    – If I overindulge, I will think of past hungers.
    – If I feel complacency, I will remember my competition.
    – If I enjoy moments of greatness, I will remember moments of shame.
    – If I feel all powerful, I will try to stop the wind.
    – If I attain great wealth, I will remember one unfed mouth.
    – If I become overly proud, I will remember a moment of weakness.
    – If I feel my skill is unmatched, I will look at the stars.
  • No longer will I judge a man on one meeting; no longer will I fail to call again tomorrow on he who meets me with hate today.
  • I will laugh and my life will be lengthened, for this is the great secret of long life and now it is mine. I will laugh at my failures and they will vanish in clouds of new dreams.
  • Each day will be successful only when my smiles bring forth smiles from others and this I do in selfishness, for those on whom I frown are those who purchase not my goods.
  • Only with laughter and happiness can I truly become a success.
  • I have a choice. I will not let my life be fed to swine nor will I let it be ground under the rocks of failure and despair, only to be broken open and devoured by the will of others. Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold. And how will I accomplish this?
    — Today, I will set goals for the day, the week, the month, the year, and for my entire life.
    — Today, I will surpass every action I performed yesterday.
    — Today, I will do the work that a failure will not do.
    — Today, I will not be content with my performance in the market.
    — Today, I will strive to make the next hour better than this one.
    — Yet, never will I proclaim my own accomplishments. Let the world, instead, approach me with praise and may I have the wisdom to receive it in humility.
  • I will act now.
  • I will act now.
  • I will act now.
  • Only action determines my value in the marketplace and to multiply my value I must multiply my actions.
  • Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the weak become strong. I am not weak. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure.
  • I hunger for success. I thirst for happiness and peace of mind. Lest I act, I will perish in a life of failure, misery, and sleepless nights.

Hope you guys got half as much from that as me! I’d suggest reading it on a regular basis and modifying it to suit your own industry or trade, so that you can read it as if it’s a daily or weekly mantra. (Maybe Monday before commuting to your job or Sunday night as you’re dreading going back to work?)

Here’s the link to the book again in case you’re interested in it: “The Greatest Salesman in the World.”

Keep pushing,

Stan R. Mitchell

P.S. Enjoy my writing or videos?! You can leave me a tip at this PayPal link. : )

—————————

Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story. Learn more at http://stanrmitchell.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith in the world, Motivation

Let’s send some love to this soldier

I was going to write a Thanksgiving post naming 100 things I was thankful for. And I was going to challenge my followers to name ten, as well.

It would have been heartwarming. It would have been appropriate for the holiday. Every thing would have fit nice and neat.

But then I came across this post: America today.

I can’t tell you how much I relate to the feeling of being lost and lonely that Mike shares in his post. Mike is a former soldier who was forced into medical retirement. He is a veteran with 11 years of service, who served as an enlisted infantryman in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was medically retired for traumatic brain injury and other related conditions.

I have been following Mark’s blog for nearly two years now and he’s the real deal. And like most vets who get a heavy dose of the green machine, he’s been struggling to adjust to civilian life. With nearly two years under his belt, it seems as if he’s having as hard a time, if not harder, now.

Speaking for myself, I’ve been out nearly 20 years and there are still days where I’m struggling to adjust. And I’m 100 percent confident I saw a lot less combat than him, and that my own struggles with adjusting to civilian life are far less for two reasons.

First, I chose to get out.  Whether that was the right decision or not, I’ll never know, but I chose to get out. Mike didn’t have that option. He was forced out due to injuries.

Secondly, he served three times as long as I did, and saw far more combat deployments.

At any rate, let me get to the point: Mike has just gone through a divorce and a custody battle, and he seems to really be struggling right now. (You can see that for yourself in his post I linked above.)

I know what it’s like to go through a divorce, and live in the basement of a couple generous benefactors, with barely a dime to your name. I know that cold, dead feeling that arises when you find yourself back on square one, with nothing but packed boxes, incomplete furniture sets, and pictures that you wonder what to do with.

Mike is a warrior, and he will fight his way through this. I firmly believe Mike will eventually find love and happiness again, and that he will slowly but surely adjust and fit in better in this thing we veterans call the civilian world.

But he’s not there yet, and he’s not going to be there in three months or even a year from now.

And so I have this request. I’d love for you to take a couple of moments, click on the link, and leave a comment for Mike. Thank the man for his service, and tell him you’ll say a small prayer for him and the hundreds and hundreds of others just like him.

We can’t help everyone, but this is one small way we can help at least one veteran. Let’s spread a little love before we gather with our own families for Thanksgiving.

I’d love nothing more than to see ten or twenty comments on his post a day or two from now. (He currently only has five.) Even better, I’d love it still more if you share this post and encourage your friends to leave a comment, as well.

You don’t even have to put your full name. Just your first name (or a fake name) and a comment sending the man some love. Let’s help Mike build himself up, so Mike can help his fellow soldiers build themselves up. And just like that, we can start a small ripple that has the potential to grow and grow.

So there you have it. Yes, I’m guilt tripping you. Yes, I’m asking you to click a link and leave a comment. And no, I don’t think I’m asking too much.

Here’s the link again: America today. Read it if you have a second, but most importantly, scroll down and leave a comment if that’s all the time you have. And please consider sharing this post. Let’s blow Mike away with the response! Can you imagine how awesome it would be if he got a thousand comments? I think we can do that. I think you can do that.

Now, please do your part. : )

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

—————————

Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.

4 Comments

Filed under Faith in the world

My fall story and how a few leaves inspired me to no end as a young boy

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is doing well!

I wanted to share a quick, personal story about my life, which I think might help inspire you, and which helped change the course of my life.

When I was a boy, I used to love to be in the woods. I loved to explore them and play in them with friends. But on one fall day about this time of year — probably about two weeks earlier — I was in the woods alone on a beautiful day and lost track of time.

And I was sitting there on a comfortable ledge, pretty high up on the side of a hill, just watching the woods. Back then, I could watch squirrels or chipmunks (or a deer if I was lucky) for hours without being bored, and that’s what I was searching for on that day.  

But there was nothing moving, even once I sat down and got quiet. It’s really rare that no animals are out moving, and as a matter of fact, it’s the only time I can recall it happening to me — and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the woods.

But back to the story, on that day there was nothing moving. No squirrels. No chipmunks. No birds or crows that I can remember, though surely there were some.

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

On this day, I was alone in these wide-open woods. A young boy, sitting on a ledge, watching leaves fall to the ground. And as I sat there, I lost track of time. I was mesmerized by the woods before me, as leaf-after-leaf drifted down.

The entire time, I anxiously waited to see something spring or prance by, but nothing did, and in about a three-hour time period, I can’t tell you how many leaves I watched drift and descend to the ground. Literally thousands, if I had to guess.

Most of them were brown and scarcely discernible from those around them, and they fell fairly quickly and predictably. But every now and then, in my trance-like state, I noticed one that wasn’t brown. Sometimes a yellow one. Or perhaps a red one. Even a couple of purple ones.

These leaves that stood out instantly caught my (bored) eye, and I’d watch them descend while ignoring their brown peers that dropped around them.

And sometimes, a vivid red or yellow one would be shaped in just a way that allowed it to catch small wisps of wind and float sideways as they arced to the ground. Even rarer, sometimes one would be so perfectly aerodynamic that it’d glide far and almost lift up with small winds that bounced along the ground.

For hours I sat captivated by these leaves of all colors, and their varying flight paths and trajectories. But by the end, I could only recall a few that had fallen. Perhaps a couple dozen out of literally hundreds and hundreds that I had watched.

And as I came out of my almost meditative state, prompted by hunger and a stark reality I had stayed out too long, a shocking realization hit me: we are all leaves.

We all fall, our lives brief.

Mostly, we’re barely noticed. Certainly not remembered. 

But I had noticed some of those unique leaves that day. I had remembered their form and color, and the path they had taken. And it instantly hit me that I didn’t want to be a brown leave that fell straight down, same as every other leaf.

I wanted to be yellow or purple! I wanted to glide and float and lift with the wind! I wanted to land a hundred yards from the tree from which I fell, not right below it!

I wanted some young boy to see me and take note! To smile and remember me, and make his own mind up to be a little different and memorable.

And from that day — I was thirteen — I swore to myself I’d do all I could to maximize whatever potential I had. Up to that point, I did things to please my parents and others. But after that magical day in the woods, I did things for me. I felt called to move toward greatness, and the Marine Corps fit my picture of what a great, young man would aspire to at that time.

Later, I’d feel that same call to become a journalist. And still later, an entrepreneur who launched a newspaper. Finally, I’d grow courageous enough to attempt the impossible mountain of becoming a full-time author.

I share these words, this story of mine, because I feel confident that  there is at least one of you out there who harbors some dream, as well, and I hope my small story will help inspire you to pursue it as vigorously (and responsibly) as you can. (Additional motivation for those with just such a dream: Find true happiness: announce your dreams to the world today.)

But this post isn’t just meant for the dreamers who have some burning fire inside their soul.

It’s my very strong belief that all of us can be memorable, despite trying work and life demands. All of us can be red or purple, soaring through the sky like the wind.

A great example of this is one of the most remarkable men I ever crossed paths with. I first met him when I was working part-time at a completely depressing manufacturing plant while I was in college. I don’t remember his name now, much to my chagrin, but he was a jolly man from the inner city.

So many people quit at that plant within hours or days of being hired that you didn’t bother getting to know the new ones, especially those assigned to parts inspection where I worked. But this smiling man was assigned to our station and my buddy and I watched him with great interest on his first day. We wanted to see how fast he’d break — same as so many others before him.

But this man just smiled and sang to himself, and whistled away that first day. He did all this real low and to himself. Not a pest at all, like some of the singers and whistlers out there!

The job required you to lift with your fingers these really heavy airbag cylinders, all of which were soaked in some kind of toxic who knows what. And if you were good, you’d do two per hand and work your way up to three or four or even five.

All the work was timed and each hour crawled by like a mini-lifetime. I kid you not, there was never a day (or even two-hour sprint until we could get a 15-min break) that I didn’t nearly quit.

Your fingers ached, the oil did weird stuff to your skin, and your clothes were ruined nearly every day. But Mr. Jolly New Man survived the first day, and left with a smile and almost a skip in his step — really remarkable given he was mid-fifties or early sixties, and the work was pretty grueling.

But day-after-day, it was the same. Mr. Jolly New Man came in as if he had the greatest job in the world, quickly volunteering for the worst parts of the job.

“Oh, it’s not too bad,” he’d say with a smile as he grabbed another crate to take the load off a weaker worker.

We soon learned he was poor, had no family, and rode the bus to work because he didn’t have a car. (And for my northern readers, let me assure you that in the South, you almost have to have a car. Public transportation practically doesn’t exist.)

Mr. Jolly New Man wouldn’t say much about where he lived, but it was my strong impression he lived in the projects. As we grew to be friends with him, we learned he’d never take any form of assistance. No ride home, even if the bus wouldn’t arrive for another hour. No ride down to the gas station for a snack after work, which was a mile away.

No, he’d rather walk it, even in a downpour.

My buddy and I were finishing up college, happily married, bright futures ahead of us, and at least thirty years younger, but I give you my word that this man was a 100x happier than us. (We were also, by the way, both spiritual and optimistic, happy people in our own right, but we sure didn’t measure up to him.)

Mr. Jolly New Man couldn’t work circles around us — we were both studs — but he held his own and surpassed us by miles with his attitude. We complained about having to be there and what better jobs were out there. He didn’t mind working late, even off the clock if it helped the boss. Or sweeping up afterward. Or tackling a couple more crates.

His attitude was unlike any attitude I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve met some go getters in my day.

Additionally, his countenance was not of this world, and his smile and laughter was infectious. Never has such an imperfect smile been so perfect. Or perhaps he’d forgotten his smile wasn’t perfect?

My buddy and I would try to talk news with him, but he’d ease his way out of the conversation. He didn’t want to talk politics, the economy, or a hundred other things that might kill that incredible attitude and smile of his.

Asked his thoughts on any of this, he’d usually smile real big and say, “Oh, I don’t know,” and pat you on the shoulder if his hands weren’t covered in grease.

Love just poured from the man, and surprisingly, though we learned he was Christian, he never talked about his views or pushed his religion.

He lived his religion, and it was one of the most beautiful sights to behold. A near modern-day Jesus who had no cares for money or security or any of the other things we all worry about so much.

To this day, I can say that few people have influenced me as much as this man. He wasn’t some decorated Marine. Not some kind of big-time author or famous person you hear so much about.

He was just a man who stood out, every single day of his life, like the yellow and purple leaves that floated down to the ground back when I was a boy.

I have told dozens of people about this man in the past twenty years, and I’ll bet every person that’s worked with him has done the same.

My point in this much too-long blogpost is that all of us can be like this man, striving to stand out more, to be more beautiful and memorable and inspiring.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you just never know who’s watching, or how much you will shape their lives for years to come.

In closing, I hope this small story of my life has in some small way sparked yours. Feel free to share it, of course, if it has.

Keep the faith, and be more beautiful!

P.S. Enjoy my writing or videos?! You can leave me a tip at this PayPal link. : )

—————————

Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story. Learn more at http://stanrmitchell.com.

12 Comments

Filed under Faith in the world, Motivation, Stories about my life