I just finished Month 4 of the Greatest Salesman Course by Og Mandino. I am glad that I finished this month as quick as I did. Last “month” went on for 2 months to make up for the times I skipped/slept through the thrice daily readings.
Another interesting event was that I got a Facebook message from this head teacher in the last school I taught in Thailand. In her roundabout way, she was wondering if I can go back to teach at her school. That did make me happy as I liked the school, I liked the kids, and I also loved the teachers’ quarters. That time I didn’t live in an apartment, I lived in a one bedroom house!
I didn’t accept her offer, though. The head teacher likes me and loves how diligent I am in my work. Unfortunately, she loves my diligence so much that she made me do extra tasks. I had to help her out with administration work. I also had to play mediator between her and my rival, “Bosco”. I had to convey her orders to Bosco because he wouldn’t listen to her and he thought he was above school policy. Last, but not least, she metaphorically twisted my arm to stay after school to teach her and her coworkers’ children to improve their English. Why? Because she caught me studying Thai. If I didn’t study Thai, she would not have me work extra hours teaching the teachers’ kids.
While I had a couple of false starts on the job hunt, I like to think of these two incidences as signs that my life is changing and that I am going somewhere. Again, nothing is more frustrating than trying to make my resume have a nice format and craft a cover letter only to receive no reply when I send them both. Insofar, this gives me motivation to apply to more jobs.
I also wrote on this post that I am not going to work out like an athlete or a martial artist and stick to a more minimalist approach. I workout 3 minutes twice a day, do a 5 minute qigong routine twice a day, and a seated stretch workout at least once. So far, I am surprised how much my life improved. It’s not much, but a little goes a long way. I will write more of this in 7-10 days.
The main message of this month’s essay/scroll is “I am nature’s greatest miracle.”
Of course, nowadays this sounds a bit weird as people on the internet call each other a “special snowflake” as an insult. I have met too many people who are entitled narcissists and I can understand why this insult exists. At the same time, though, self-belief is something needed for one to strike out and find one’s fortunes. One has to believe that s/he has the potential to do well and s/he will be able to overcome any obstacles that s/he will encounter.
There is a lot to unpack here, so maybe I will write more on my thoughts of this later . . . .if possible.
Starting tomorrow, Month 5!
The picture above is Vishnu in his 4th avatar Narasimha. I like to refer to him as the Hindu Lion-Man for obvious reasons, although Lion-Man is not really an accurate term and I will explain why later. As a kid I liked the story. As an adult, I loved it more.
Here is the summary.
After years of penance and prayers, a god appeared before King Hiranyakashipu to grant the king a wish. The king wished that no human, animal, nor god can kill him and that he could not be killed on heaven or Earth to which the god complied. After getting his wish, the king then declared himself a god and that other ones will be worshiped but him. Everyone in the kingdom complied, except his son Prahlada (who I think is the real star of the story). Prahlada insists that his father is not a real god and that everyone is better off worshiping Vishnu and/or Shiva.
Due to his son’s disobedience, the king tried to kill his kid in many ways, including trying to burn him alive. Yet, despite all his attempts, Prahlada still lived. The king finally decided to confront his son and tried to get the kid to change his mind one last time. Prahlada told the king that there is no way the king can become a god since the gods are every where. The king then asked, “Is there a god in that pillar?” Prahlada said, “Yup.”
The king then broke the pillar and out came Narasimha. The Lion-Man destroyed the palace like a rock star gone wild. After that, Narasimha put the king on his lap and then tore the king apart with his nails and his fangs. Why did the king die despite his powers? Well Narasimha is not a god, animal, or human being—he is all three. The king was on Narasimha’s lap, so the king was not on heaven nor on Earth.
As a kid, I enjoyed this movie and story as much as anyone who enjoyed Godzilla destroying Tokyo. It was the climax of a somewhat preachy tale of staying true to one’s religion.
The only thought that comes to mind about this avatar is that this is a morality tale about arrogance.
Whatever gifts we have, whether they are developed by ourselves or given by a god, we should never abuse them in any which way we would like. If we use our talents to harm and put down other people, someday those gifts of ours will turn out to be a curse.
As a guy who has seen arrogant martial artists and spiritual masters, I am often reminded of this story and how arrogance sets oneself up for failure.
It is always a good thing to be humble.