I learned the other day what Og Mandino meant when he asked, “… what is success other than a state of mind?” The Greatest Salesman in the World, page 54. Success is a state of mind, and I will never experience success as a state of being until I am willing to experience success first in my internal world.
That’s the good news. The bad news is I have to reprogram my internal world in order to transform failure into success.
Wait! That’s not such bad news after all. It only takes a little consistent effort to reprogram the internal world.
Mr. Mandino had it right, there, too. Change isn’t instant, it isn’t automatic, but it is sure. An olive tree (his metphor for a desirable state) takes a while to mature, but it grows steadily from an olive planting or an olive seed.
The interesting thing about trees is that they grow with very little intervention or assistance once well planted. Vigilance is required during the seedling phase, to be sure. Water is needed, some fertilizing, and the ground needs clearing of weeds, creepers and other predatory plants.
Water is like ongoing assertion of positive intention, positive mental attitude (or faith) is the fertilizer, and the weeding is like continuallly casting away negative beliefs.
In essence, then, I am free to adopt the success mindset anytime I’m willing to claim it. All I need do is plant the seed, nurture the seedling, care for the sapling, weed the garden, and then, in good time, harvest the olives.
The rest of the good news here is that I don’t have to figure out how the tree grows. I don’t have to sign up for that class or stay up all night with that puzzle. All I have to do is summon a little faith, renew my intentions day to day, and continue to toss out the weeds of my useless, if previously cherished, unproductive beliefs.
Naturally, being human, it’s not likely I’m going to progress from grace to grace on this journey. Therefore, temporary or occasional weakness isn’t failure, at least not failure of any permanent sort. Progress isn’t measured by unremitting or uninterupted success. Progress is measured by the intent to progress, together with the easy, basic, simplistic practices of preserving the dream of success.
Again, Mr. Mandino lights the way. The difference between success and failure is determined by one’s habits. The old habits of failure can be overcome and replaced, in time, by the new habits of success.
And those habits I can, and I do, nurture every day. By these small and simple things can great things be accomplished.by