Today is the day I start studying Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman course. In this course, I have to read a scroll 3 times a day for a month before switching to a new one. There are ten in total. The title is the first six words of the first scroll.
I am hoping that this will help me out in changing my life for the better. However, if it doesn’t do a damn thing for me, I will report that in about 10 months so that people like you won’t have to waste your time on this.
10 months is a long commitment and a lot can happen during that time. Before I started this course, I already had a plan on how to go about this scroll reading thing. However, a couple of days ago my boss decided to change my responsibilities. My work schedule might even change because of it. To be fair, though, I am liking the change.
Anyways, I am going to go through with this.
A long time ago, I watched this video by this salesman Elmer Wheeler called “Sell the Sizzle”. It is a funny little documentary about salesmanship. I am no salesman nor do I want a career in sales. However, there is an important point I have learned from this video, salesmanship is a part and parcel to our social make-up. We sell ourselves to get a job, get friends, and even lovers. Politicians sell themselves for elections and try to sell their ideas, such as how Bernie Sanders tries to sell his ideas for Medicare-for-all or Donald Trump with the US-Mexican border wall.
Earl Nightingale once said this in his famous speech, “The Strangest Secret”: To be successful in selling, and remember that each of us succeeds to the extent of his ability to sale; Selling our families on our ideas, selling education in schools, selling our children on the advantages of living the good and honest life, Selling our associates and employees on the importance of being exceptional people; true, of course, to the profession of selling itself.
So yes, salesmanship is a useful tool to move up in society, even if it’s not a part of our career.
This reminds me of something I was thinking about during the time part of the US public were calling for defunding the police.
While the police in the US are considered a scary group of people, Chinese police were much worse. Sure American cops do talk in this rude, tough guy attitude but a Chinese cop will out and out swear and personally attack you. It was so prevalent that when I went to Beijing in 2008 after the Olympics, I was shocked when a policewoman politely asked if she can help me when I was trying to figure out the newly-expanded subway system. Nevertheless, nobody in China likes the police.
One time, while living there, I met this local crime boss at a dinner party. He took a liking to me and wanted to share a few drinks with me. We even went out for lamb shish kabobs to fill our drunken appetites. The one quality that I saw in him was that he was the most charming person I have ever met. He even stood up for me when other Chinese were being rude, which was a rarity. I could easily see that he had friends in from all walks of life. That being said, knowing his background, I kept my distance from him and never trusted the guy.
That’s where I have to note about the dark side of selling: it can also turn into nothing more than pure manipulation. If I am not careful, I can do more harm than good this way.
When I was in college, there was this pyramid scheme going around in the campus. A lot of young men and women were seduced by dreams of money and getting experience in business and they joined in. They also tried to get other people to join in, including myself. A lot people had their lives ruined by this scheme.
Of course, I sometimes write about the Soka Gakkai which is considered a cult by many. Cults use a lot of sales tactics to get people like you to join. Want to make more money? We can help! Want to get married? We can help! Want to be happy? We know how to make you happy!
One time I had a short relationship with this one American woman when I was living in Korea. While I am not lucky in love, I am still on good terms with my other ex-girlfriends. She is the exception. She was very manipulative and controlling. As she only cared for her wants and needs, she loved playing with my mind in order to satisfy her ego trips. Every time I put up boundaries to keep things healthy, she would find ways to destroy them.
These are the reasons why I should always examine my sense of integrity so that I won’t ruin others have others have (or have tried) to ruin me.
Golden rule: Do unto to others as you would have others done unto you. This is number one.
So, my plan here is to read the scrolls and write a report each month on how am I doing. I might write about other things here and there that come to mind. Some of it will be related to this new learning. Some of it, not so much. I might even talk about qigong as part of my reports as well.
You might be wondering, why is it I put up this Hindu painting on this post?
Well according to Hindu mythology, whenever the world is in trouble the god Vishnu incarnates into a being to help humanity deal with its disasters. There are 10 avatars in this one “official” canon, so each month I will put a picture of each avatar and write my thoughts on them.
I’d like to add a little curry to my writing.