A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino


“Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward toward the life that God intended for you . . . with grace, strength and confidence.” – Og Mandino
It’s kind of funny – my team went to volunteer during work hours today because it was American Thanksgiving. We were helping a local charity prepare Christmas meals for the less fortunate and after finishing, I realized that this was the first time I actually volunteered for something like this. It made me realize just how lucky I was to have all the opportunities that I’ve had over the years.
I’ve been journaling for awhile now and part of my journaling exercise is to go over what I’m grateful for. However, I feel like I’m starting to understand the true meaning of being grateful. If you haven’t done any volunteering like this, I highly suggest you do so.


“Andrew Carnegie said that there were two types of people who never achieve very much in their lifetime. One is the person who won’t do what he or she is told to do, and the other is the person who does no more than he or she is told to do.” – Og Mandino
I’d like to think of this as taking initiative. Take the initiative to do more than what is being asked of you, or what someone expects you to do. Whether it’s work or in your personal life. Not only will people respect you for that, but then you’d actually be getting more done per hour than others, allowing yourself to grow at a faster rate.


“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino
Such an interesting phrase. I’ve heard of live today as if it’s your last day, but never the concept of treating someone as if it was their last day. Yet, it’s such a powerful phrase. No matter how they might have treated you or how they look, by treating them as it was their last day, you will definitely be a lot more compassionate.


Og goes into a story about Lady Liberty on Liberty Island in New York. If you were to take a helicopter over the statue, you would see just how much detail there is for each strand of hair. The most interesting part is this statue was given in 1866, way before planes existed. Yet they took weeks, if not months, to add in all the details that no one would ever see.
Point of the story is, are you attending to the little things in your life? Some of the things that get overlooked are: your breathing, your ability to calm down and your ability to view challenges as opportunities. If you answered no for any of that, I highly suggest you look into each of those to see why they matter.


“Remember that even the most successful lives contain chapters of failure just as any good novel does, but how the book ends depends on us. We are the authors of our years, and our failures and defeats are only steps to something better.” – Og Mandino
You will never become successful without failing along the way. The question is how long do you want to drag out your failures? This is a daily part of my life as a sales person. I make dozens of calls and emails each day to try to educate people as to what they’re missing out on. However, when I first started, I was getting no one to agree to a meeting. However, each time I got a rejection, I tried a different approach. Fast forward 8 months, I have significantly increased my success and am now the top of my team. However, I know that I still have a lot to learn and I still welcome my rejections as a chance to further improve.

My Take Aways

The PN actually as the 17 big ideas that gets covered in A Better Way to Live. Many of these are key ideas that I highly suggest you take a look at yourself if you have the chance. However, for me, there were no real new concepts that caught my attention and so I will not be putting this on my to read list. If you personally resonated with any of the concepts I was able to cover, or you take a read through the PN and decided that this is a book you’d like to dig deeper into, you can buy A Better Way to Live here via Amazon, in which he currently has a 4.8 star rating (please note that I will be getting a small amount from Amazon, though it does not affect how much you pay – Amazon just makes less money than if you were to go onto the website yourself). I also suggest you check out the actual Philosopher’s Notes (note they even have courses that consolidate many of the concepts in the books that Brian Joshnson covers and puts them into videos that are really easy to digest). This is the first program that I’ve signed up for and am definitely getting my money’s worth!

Which of these big ideas did you connect with? Why?


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