Og Mandino fans will enjoy this week’s review of one of his classics, The Choice. If you haven’t read Mandino or haven’t even heard of him, this is the week to participate and get introduced.
The Choice is a fast-reading parable with a clear message: you can choose a better way of life.
You need not spend your life wallowing in failure, ignorance, grief, poverty, shame, and self-pity. If this is true then why have so many among us apparently elected to live in that manner? The answer is obvious. Those who live in unhappy failure have never exercised their options for a better way of life because they have never been aware that they had any choices.”
- Excerpt, The Choice
The message is communicated through a now common plot: the hurried, successful businessman who is missing out on his life leaves his golf clubs behind, quits his job, and lives his dream.
While admittedly the story line sounds a bit obvious, Mandino pulls you into a tale that you either relate to or wish to mimik with your own great escape. In 162 pages, you vicariously experience rekindled fulfillment, excitement, and life, and then wait on pins and needles when a call to action pits values against one another.
The Choice was the first Mandino book I read and the timing could not have been better. The character leaves his corporate job to become a first-time author, drafting a self-help book. The parallels last Fall seemed by design and I thoroughly enjoyed reliving his leap of faith this week.
Perhaps one of the reasons that each of Mandino’s works is so impactful is because of his own story. Augustine (“Og”) was a World War II veteran who became an alcoholic, was left by his wife with his daughter in tow, and nearly committed suicide. His former life stands in stark contrast to his legacy as the author of 19 books, the most widely read modern inspirational author, and one of the most sought after speakers up until is death in 1996. All because on that cold night that he considered ending his miserable life, he warmed up in a public library instead, picking up motivational self-help and success books one after another, until the messages finally stuck.
What was the last sign that reaffirmed your direction?
I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”
― Og Mandino
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