When Michael Santos mentioned this book I had not anticipated a book that would resonate so deeply with my core values and goals. To be honest, I was anticipating a book that focused just on becoming a greater salesman, what I read was a book on an everyday lifestyle for those who want to be successful.
Mandino sets the stage using a wealthy merchant and his adopted son, who is a camel boy that aspires to be a great salesman like his father. In his dying days, the Merchant is passing on a great wealth of knowledge to his son, in fact, it is the secret to his own success, and he tells Hafid that if he follows the instructions set out in these ten ancient scrolls he will not fail to become the greatest salesman in the world and that “Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough.” For an incarcerated individual trying to succeed against all odds, that is a wonderfully powerful message.
There are ten ancient scrolls, which each emphasize a different point of focus, but it is the first scroll that sets it all off with the creation of good habits. Whether an athlete, a salesman, or an incarcerated drug addict, it is our habits that control our behaviors. Mandino says it best in the first scroll when he says, “..the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey, which precedeth all others is–I will form good habits and become their slave.”
Love, persistence, affirmation, focusing on what is, and so many more lessons lie within these pages that at the end, even one of the most famous writers and speakers in history is passed these scrolls that secretly help him become who he was. In this final chapter, I realized that we are all aspiring to become this “greatest salesman in the world.” Because realize it or not, whether it lies in becoming a great merchant, realtor, doctor, spokesperson, minister, or athlete, whatever we aspire to be, we are salesmen. We have an idea that begins with us taking on the habits, conditioning, values and lifestyle, everything physical, mental, and spiritual, in order to share this idea with others in a way that they will not only listen but share our enthusiasm and passion in the idea. Even if it is of no monetary value, something spiritual or inspirational, or educational.
A doctor must convince the patient he is worthy of operating on them just as much as the merchant had to persuade the buyer to buy the robe. And the preacher must convince the attendees he is worthy of listening to his sermon as much as the realtor must convince the potential buyer to let him/her show them the home. And without the conditioning and fortitude necessary, each would fail in their ventures.
As an incarcerated person facing a thirty-year federal sentence, a drug addiction, and a lifetime of bad habits and conditioning, I had to create new healthy habits to replace the old habits. I had to repeat these habits until I was conditioned to do them without thought. I had to change my focus and my old way of thinking. How I see the world and my position in it.
I had to create new affirmations that lined up with my desires, remind myself that I AM a success, not a failure. I AM of value, not a piece of garbage. I had to focus on what is, and not get lost in what might be, in order to take advantage of every second to become the success I desire to be. I was taught that a dream without action is just a wish, so I have to take action each day. This book reiterated all that and so much more.
I am thankful for Michael recommending this book, and after having devoured its words I have passed it on to several others. Thanks Michael.