When in financial ruin and struggling with alcoholism, Augustine “Og” Mandino wrote the bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World. He overcame what seemed overwhelming obstacles in his life when he discovered the greatest secret of success.

This book contains his “time-tested wisdom of the ancients distilled into ten simple scrolls” which, in turn became one of my favorite books — The Ten Ancient Scrolls for Success. The author states that by following his prescription of studying each individual scroll or affirmation three times a day for a month, the wisdom of the scrolls would replace bad habits with good habits. By focusing on just one scroll per month, it takes ten months to complete the process.

Mandino said it “will seep into my other mind, that mysterious source which never sleeps, which creates my dreams, and often makes me act in ways I do not comprehend. As the words of these scrolls are consumed by my mysterious mind I will begin to awake, each morning, with a vitality I have never known before. My vigor will increase, my enthusiasm will rise, my desire to meet the world will overcome every fear I once knew at sunrise, and I will be happier than I ever believed it possible to be in this world of strife and sorrow.”

The book expresses the author’s philosophy that every person is a miracle and life should be lived with joy, confidence and vigor. It is purposeful and charted with both the path and the destination. With good habits in place, taking action leads to a life of abundance and success. He wrote in Scroll I, “I will not fail as the others, for in my hands I now hold the charts (the Ten Scrolls) which will guide me through perilous waters to shores which only yesterday seemed but a dream.”

Below, I’ve listed just a short section of each principle from Og Mandino’s Ten Ancient Scrolls for Success:

? Scroll I - Today I begin a new life. Today I shed my old skin which hath too long suffered the bruises of failure and the wound of mediocrity.

? Scroll II - I will greet this day with love in my heart. For this is the greatest secret of success in all ventures. Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men and until I master this I will remain no more than a peddler in the market place.

? Scroll III - I will persist until I succeed. Always I will take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. For now I know one of the greatest principles of success; if I persist long enough I will win.

? Scroll IV - I am nature’s greatest miracle. Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me.

? Scroll V - I will live this day as if it is my last. I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?

? Scroll VI - Today I will be master of my emotions. Henceforth I will recognize and identify the mystery of mood in all mankind, and in me. I will master my moods through positive action and when I master my moods I will control my destiny.

? Scroll VII - I will laugh at the world (Keep perspective) Never will I allow myself to become so important, so wise, so dignified, so powerful, that I forget how to laugh at myself and my world.

? Scroll VIII - Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold. In setting my goals, I will consider my best performance of the past and multiply it a hundredfold

? Scroll IX - I will act now, I will act now, I will act now. My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action.

? Scroll X - I will pray for guidance. I ask not for gold or garments or even opportunities equal to my ability; instead, guide me so that I may acquire ability equal to my opportunities.

Mary Garza Cummings is a free-lance writer. To contact her, email askseniorfocus@aol.com