Just as if I were back in 8th grade, I checked out of school before school was actually over, so no Week 24 blog when due. But I had already determined that I would be continuing on with a repeat of this course if offered the opportunity, and have thought about this blog for the whole month of April. As of May 1, with the start of Scroll VIII, my “Do It Now” mantra kicked in, and here’s my belated “final.”
As I’ve already shared with a couple of teammates, I missed a lot during the first go-round. I was struggling to keep qualified to stay in the class, with all the technical requirements I hadn’t done before, so totally neglected my business, and got way behind on the chore/service cards, the make-over tasks, and by mid-February, even the gratitude and good experience daily cards and the daily sit — would “overwhelmed” be an appropriate description?
But I did keep faithfully reading Mandino and Haanel, and I think that’s what kept me going. Especially Mandino’s Scroll VI on mastering emotions, and Scroll VII about laughing. So much down-to-earth, common sense truth here —
“Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions;
Strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.”
It’s funny how that truth jumped out at me while I was taking a break to read one of my “escape” books, when the heroine was feeling depressed and out-of-sorts, and “did not want to smile, but smiled anyway… did not want to mingle, but mingled anyway.” I immediately said to myself (living alone, I do talk to myself every now and again) “there’s Og’s description of a strong character!” Wonder if that author has read “The Greatest Salesman”? I’m continually surprised when I’m reminded of things I’ve been learning start appearing in other parts of my life, like a confirmation that I really am on the right track.
This Scroll VI also reminded me to be aware of other people’s moods and emotions. “I will also understand and recognize the moods of him on whom I call. I will make allowances for his anger and irritation of today for he knows not the secret of controlling his mind.” In the past, I have hesitated (refused) to call someone again if they sounded upset when I talked to them the first time, thinking it was me they didn’t like. Now, as Mandino writes, “…now I know that tomorrow he will change and be a joy to approach….This day he will not buy gold chariots for a penny, yet tomorrow he would exchange his home for a tree.”
As much as I appreciated Scroll VI, my favorite one to date is surely Scroll VII — I will laugh at the world.
“I will laugh and my life will be lengthened for this is the great secret of long life and now it is mine. And most of all, I will laugh at myself for man is most comical when he takes himself too seriously. Never will I fall into this trap of the mind. For though I be nature’s greatest miracle am I not still a mere grain tossed about by the winds of time?…Will my concern for this day not seem foolish ten years hence? Why should I permit the petty happenings of today to disturb me?”
I just had to laugh when I read this because I could hear my own mother trying to console me, or calm me down, when I was having a major teenage meltdown — “What’s it going to matter in a 100 years?” No pity-parties allowed! If she had read Og’s wisdom, she probably would have shortened her advice to his four words:
“And how can I laugh when confronted with man or deed which offends me so as to bring forth my tears or my curses? Four words I will train myself to say until they become a habit so strong that immediately they will appear in my mind whenever good humor threatens to depart from me… This too shall pass.”
These four words have already been imbedded in my mind, and I find myself actually repeating them aloud when some silly frustration presents itself. I’ve also tried reminding others of this truth, but like my teenage self, the thought behind those four words sometimes doesn’t bring the comfort that person seeks. Aren’t tears or rants or histrionics much more satisfying in the moment? Ahhhh, the frailties of human nature strike again!
Then, his final reminder in this scroll is kind of the frosting on the cake. The truth of it can make such a difference in every person’s life, no matter what the circumstances — even poor in health. As God’s word reminds us in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”
“And so long as I can laugh never will I be poor. This, then, is one of nature’s greatest gifts and I will waste it no more… Only with laughter and happiness can I truly become a success. Only with laughter and happiness can I enjoy the fruits of my labor…To enjoy success I must have happiness, and laughter will be the maiden who serves me.”
Remember the Law of Growth — focus on finding something to laugh at each day, and stay in control of those emotions — choose to be happy, and you’ll attract those who will always laugh at your jokes, even if they’re not really funny, just because it’s so much fun to share a laugh. Here’s a start: What did one bear say to the other when they saw a couple of nudes in a hot tub? “Look, they’re already skinned!” ….. Sorry, best I could remember at 10:45 pm…. (-: