Og Mandino: The Greatest Secret in the World Book Summary




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Chapter 1

  • The most valuable result of all education is to make you do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. It is the first lesson that ought to be learned. And however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.


Chapter 2

  • Simplicity is the keynote of success in any endeavour.
  • The worst enemy you have…your bad habits.
  • Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.
  • In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law i will obey, which precedeth all others is – i will form good habits and become their slaves.
  • My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrants is habit.
  • Therefore, if i must be a slave to habit let me be a slave to good habits. My bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for good seed.
  • I will form good habits and become their slave.
  • For it is another of nature’s laws that only a habit can subdue another habit.
  • Reading has become habit.
  • For any act with practice becomes easy.
  • For when an act becomes easy through constant repetition it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often.
  • I will not, break this habit of daily reading.


Chapter 3

  • The thirteen virtues necessary for true success: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquillity, chastity, and humility.


Chapter 4

  • Failure will never overtake thee if thy determination to succeed is strong enough.
  • I will greet this day with love in my heart.
  • For just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and spears of anger.
  • And most of all I will love myself.
  • If I have no other succeed with love alone.
  • Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.
  • To each and every one of us, love gives the power of working miracles if we will.
  • It is possible that a man can be so changed by love as hardly to be recognized as the same person.
  • Love, and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much as the two sides of an algebraic equation.
  • It is the duty of men to love even those who injure them.


Chapter 5

  • 95% of all individuals lack the determination to call on their unused capacities.
  • I will persist until I succeed.
  • If I persist, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.
  • I must fail often to succeed only once.
  • I plant the seed of tomorrow’s success.
  • If I persist long enough I will win, I will persist, I will win.
  • Every noble work is at first impossible.
  • The conditions of conquest are always easy. We have but to toil awhile, endure awhile, believe always, and never turn back.
  • I hold a doctrine, to which I owe not much, indeed, but all the little I ever has, namely, that will ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance all things are attainable.
  • Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure.
  • No road is too long for the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste, and no honours are too distant for the man who prepares himself for them with patience.


Chapter 6

  • I am a unique creature of nature.
  • Man is an animal which alone among the animals refuses to be satisfied by the fulfilment of animal desires.
  • The way of a superior man is threefold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.
  • I mean to make myself a man, and if I succeed in that, I shall succeed in everything else.
  • Man himself is the crowning wonder of creation; the study of his nature the noblest study the world affords.


Chapter 7

  • Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.
  • I will live this day as if it is my last.
  • The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he hoped to make it.
  • There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy this interval. The dark background which death supplies brings out the tender colours of life in all their purity.




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Chapter 8

  • The emotional cycle in human beings.
  • Your actions can control your thoughts.
  • If you act healthy, you will feel healthy.
  • Today i will be master of my emotions.
  • All nature is a circle of moods and I am a part of nature and so, like the tides my moods will rise; my moods will fall.
  • Yesterday’s joy will become today’s sadness: yet today’s sadness will grow into tomorrow’s joy. Inside me is a wheel, constantly turning from sadness to joy, from exultation to depression, from happiness to melancholy.
  • Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who force his actions to control his thoughts.
  • If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel ill I will double my labour. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will remember past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
  • Today I will be master of my emotions.
  • If you want to succeed in the world you must make your own opportunities as you go on. The man who waits for some seventh wave to toss him on dry land will find that the seventh wave is long time a-coming. You can commit no greater folly than to sit by the road-side until someone comes along and invites you to ride with him to wealth or influence.
  • The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know then when they are gone.
  • Everyone has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.
  • A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
  • The best-men are not those have waited for chances but who have taken them; besieged the chance; conquered the chance; and made chance their servant.


Chapter 9

  • People who laugh actually live longer than those who don’t laugh. Few people realize that health actually varies according to the amount of their laughter.
  • I don’t know what success is, but i know what failure is. Failure is trying to please everybody.
  • I will laugh at the world.
  • This too shall pass.
  • I will laugh at the world, I will paint this day with laughter.
  • Only with laughter and happiness can I truly become a success.
  • A laugh is worth a hundred groans in any market.
  • If we consider the frequent reliefs we receive from laughter, and how often it breaks the gloom which is apt to depress the mind, one would take care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life.
  • The most utterly lost of all days is that in which you have not once laughed.
  • I had rather have a fool make me merry, than experience make me sad.
  • Be cheerful always. There is no path but will be easier travelled, no load but will be lighter, no shadow on the heart and brain but will lift sooner for a person of determined cheerfulness.


Chapter 10

  • The greatest secret in the world is that you only have to be a small, measureable amount better than mediocrity…and you’ve got it made.
  • We live in a world of mediocrity…and mediocre individuals.
  • Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.
  • I too must nurture my body and mind to fulfil my dreams.
  • First I will set goals for the day, the week, the month, the year, and my life.
  • Must i have objectives before my life will crystallize. In setting my goals I will consider my best performance of the past and multiply it a hundredfold. This will be the standard by which I will live in the future. Never will I be of concern that my goals are too high for it is not better to aim my spear at the moon and strike only an eagle than to aim my spear at the eagle and strike only a rock.
  • The height of my goals will not hold me in awe though I may stumble often before they are reached. If I stumble I will rise and falls will not concern me for all men must stumble often to reach the hearth.
  • Let others build a cave with their clay. I will build a castle with mine.
  • To surpass the deeds of others is unimportant: to surpass my own deeds is all.
  • Mediocrity is excellent to the eyes of mediocre people.
  • The highest order of mind is accused of folly, as well as the lowest. Nothing is thoroughly approved but mediocrity. The majority has established this, and it fixes its fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way.
  • Folks who never do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.
  • Those who attain to any excellence commonly spend life in some one single pursuit, for example is not often gained upon easier terms.
  • Great souls have wills, feeble ones have only wishes.
  • Don’t expect what you don’t expect.


Chapter 11

  • If a business day is a social success, it has been a business failure.
  • Why is it easier to make any day a social success than business success.
  • So, like the rest of nature which also follows the line of least resistance we procrastinate, we stall, we make innumerable excuses to avoid what we know should be done. We avoid getting into action, productive action, as long as possible, and if there is any single identifying characteristic of those 95% who have settle for a life or mediocrity it is this trait of inactivity.
  • My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible.
  • All are of no value unless they are followed by action.
  • Action is the food and drink which will nourish my success.
  • I will not avoid the tasks of today and charge them to tomorrow for i know that tomorrow never comes. Let me act now even though my actions may not bring happiness or success for it is better to act and fail than not to act and flounder. Happiness, in truth may not be the fruit plucked by my action yet without action all fruit will die on the vine.
  • I will act now.
  • I hunger for success; i thirst for happiness and peace of mind. Lest i act i will perish in a life of failure, misery, and sleepless nights.
  • I will command, and I will obey mine own command. Success will not wait. If I delay she will become betrothed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the man. I will act now.
  • Heaven never helps the man who will not act.
  • Good thoughts, though god accept them yet toward men are little better than good dreams except they be put in action.
  • Life was not given for indolent contemplation and study of self; nor for brooding over emotions of piety; actions and actions only determine the worth.
  • Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.


Chapter 12

  • Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough.
  • Only guidance will i pray.
  • Discipline me in the habit of trying and trying again; yet show me the way to make use of the law of averages. Favour me with alertness to recognize opportunity; yet endow me with patience which will concentrate my strength.
  • Bathe me in good habit that the bad ones may drown; yet grant me compassion for weakness in others. Suffer me to know that all things shall pass; yet help me to count my blessing of today.
  • Expose me to hate so it not be a stranger; yet fill my cup with love to turn strangers into friends.
  • I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that i had nowhere to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.
  • All virtues such as persistence, hard work, faith, courage, industry, resolution, order, sincerity, concentration, and action.
  • Nothing that is worth doing can be accomplished in your lifetime; therefore you will have to be saved by hope. Nothing that is beautiful will make sense in the immediate instance; therefore, you must be saved by faith. Nothing is worth doing can be done alone, but has to be done with others; therefore you must be saved by love.




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