Week 14 – Prepared for a New Beginning

Now that the New Year has arrived, I am grateful to have witnessed during my Master Key journey.   I have seen so many people grow from unsure, somewhat frightened, timid souls into strong, self-confident people, ready to change not only their lives, but potentially the lives of millions of others.

I was fortunate to come across a speech originally given by Og Mandino in 1990 in which he relates a true story of quiet desperation.  I will relate the story, abridged rather than quoting directly.  I am including the video of the actual presentation and segment described below.  You can read, watch or both – your choice!

It is a cold, miserable day in the worst part of Cleveland, Ohio.  Leaning up against a pawn shop window, protecting himself from the rain, was a 35 year-old bum.  He had no coat, his shirt was hanging out, his hair was down to his shoulders.   Afraid, alone – about as low as anybody can get.  Something  on the shelf inside the pawn shop caught his eye – a small hand gun.  Next to it was a yellow tag – $29.00.  He pulled three soggy $10 bills from his pocket, which was all he had in the world, and he said “Hey.  There’s the answer to all my problems.  I’ll buy that gun, get a couple of bullets, take them back to that mangy room where I’m staying, put the bullets in the gun, put the gun to my head. . .and pull the trigger.  And never again will I ever have to face that miserable failure in the mirror.”

The man had lost everything he had in life – a beautiful wife and daughter, a nice home, a promising job, all his faith, hope and self-esteem.

He tried to play the game of life like most of us do, without taking the time to learn the rules.  And now he was paying the price for his ignorance.  He was just about ready to throw his life away.  This scenario is repeated hundreds of times a day in this country, not counting the many that lose all hope and just “give up”.

He goes on to say that fortunately the bum in Cleveland didn’t end his life that day, for if he did, [he] wouldn’t be standing in front of [the audience] today.

(Here is the segment of the speech alluded to.  I encourage you to watch the entire 7 parts.)

So how desperate is your life is today?  As desperate as Og Mandino’s was on that cold wet day in Cleveland?  You now know that however hopeless you think it is, you can change it.

And that’s what Master Key course is all about.  Those involved took the time or are taking the time to “learn the rules” of the game of life and beginning to live it the way we were meant to live it.

We were blessed to get a 3 month head start on the New Year.  Our year – as long as we play the game of life by the rules.

Happy New Year to all.  Think big and you will become big.  And a special thanks to our Master Key mentors.

6 comments
Dre says January 5, 2016

Wonderful post and message. Thank you and thank you for finding the video.

    Ken Petersen says January 5, 2016

    Thanks, Dre. I knew him as an author, but until I found the video, I overlooked the fact that he was also an amazing speaker.

Dave Bernstrom says January 2, 2016

Great, I mean… Great message and post Ken 🙂 Thank you.

    Ken Petersen says January 5, 2016

    Thanks, Dave. I was glad to find and post Og’s speech. One of the most underrated speakers in my opinion. (Guess I have to start the 7-day Mental Diet again.)

Jean says January 2, 2016

An amazing story. It’s interesting how nearly every (if not every) person seen as successful has an anecdote similar to Mr. Mandino’s to share. It’s too easy to look at the successful person placed before our eyes and not realize what went before.

I’m reading Mandino and Haanel and lamenting that my family and church did not have these tools to use to teach their message while I was growing up. My frustration with churches and schools are they seem to only be able to teach incomplete lessons. Haanel and Mandino are the missing links.

    Ken Petersen says January 5, 2016

    Thanks, Jean. Your frustration with schools and churches are alluded to nicely by Emerson in his essay on compensation.

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