Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino, American author and motivational speaker
On the surface, there’s nothing particularly unique about this quote. What is unique, and the reason the quote is so much powerful than the words themselves, is the man who said them.
Og Mandino was born in 1923 in Massachusetts, USA. In high school he was editor of the school newspaper and planned on attending the University of Missouri’s journalism school. But in the summer of 1940, before he entered university, his mother died of a heart attack and his dream of university died with her.
Og worked in a paper factory until 1942, when he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He became an officer and a bombardier, running bombing runs over Germany in World War II. When his military career ended, Og became an insurance salesman.
Maybe it was the constant rejection he experienced in sales, maybe it was his life not turning out how he had envisioned, maybe it was a lot of things put together; but one cold November morning in Cleveland, Ohio, Og thought long and hard about ending his life.
But before he did, he took a trip to the library. And as fate or God would have it, Og happened on some self-help, success, and motivation books. He took some of the books to a library table and started reading them, and he never stopped.
As a result of his depression, Og had become an alcoholic. These books helped cure him of that problem, but far more important, they gave him a reason for living.
He started writing his own self-help, success, and motivation books, and before long became a successful writer and speaker. His works were inspired primarily by the Bible but influenced by many of the writers whose books he read. He wrote the bestseller The Greatest Salesman in the World, and his books sold over 50 million copies. In addition, he was inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame.
Og primarily believed that we are all God’s miracles, only, the decision to do something worthwhile is a conscious one, as is the direction we choose to get there.
Above all, his life was a testament to what he preached. On that fateful November morning in Cleveland, failure could have won, he could have killed himself. What saved him was the fact that as low as he was, his determination to live was still stronger. Ultimately, that’s the only thing that saves us all.