I saw this quote today . . . my apologies to whoever posted it because I failed to jot down the site's url so I could link back to it later:
"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."
This struck me as a great truth.
I didn't recognize Og Mandino's name, so I looked him up.
Augustine Mandino was an Italian immigrant (whose mother was Irish) who became an American author of books about success. He was born in 1923 and died in 1996. His personal story is fascinating. You can listen to it as well as read it at Og's Story.
Twenty-two books are listed on the author website, among them titles such as The Greatest Salesman in the World, The Greatest Secret in the World, and Secrets for Success and Happiness. You can even get a daily dose of Og if you want.
I couldn't help popping over to brainyquotes.com to see if there was any writerly advice from Og Mandino I could post. Here's what I found:
"To be always intending to make a new and better life but never to find time to set about it is as to put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day to the next until you're dead."
"To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can."
There seems to be a theme running through the quotes that speak directly to those of us who are victims of too many interests and a lack of focus:
"It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world. The great man or woman is the one who never steps outside his or her specialty or foolishly dissipates his or her individuality."
I can't really argue with Og's words. When we read interviews with the greatest athletes, musicians, dancers, writers -- whatever the specialty -- we see a common thread. These folks knew what they wanted at a young age and they made a commitment in time and energy to succeed. That's what we need to do, you know, no matter where we are or how old we are. Recognize what we want to do and commit the time and energy to do it. Og Mandino figured it out. So can we.