Lesson 7: The Antidote to GIGO, Seek Wisdom

by | May 21, 2016

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The Antidote to GIGO, Seek Wisdom



Seek Wisdom 


Many weeks ago, you were introduced to the idea of Seek Wisdom, Never Stop Learning.  I think that notion is a perfect antidote to garbage in, garbage out.  When we seek wisdom and pursue a disciplined, balanced life we tend to do a much better job of filtering out the garbage.

There are so many books and authors I could recommend to help you find an alternative to your typical time in front of the television, but I elected to focus on just one – Og Mandino.  Years ago when I was struggling and searching for some positive input, Mandino was one of the first authors I found.  He made a significant difference in my life.  Through him and a few others, I began to earnestly study positive psychology and personal growth writings, which I continue to do to this day.


Check Out This Related Blog:  7 Ways to a Better Life Part One



Og Mandino: A Brief Biography


On December 12, 1923 Augustine (Og) Mandino II was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, USA to Silvio and Margaret Mandino.  Mandino was once the editor of his high school paper, a worker in a paper factory, and then a military officer in the United States Army Air Corps.  While in the army, Og flew with fellow pilot, and star of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, James Stewart.

After the military, Mandino became an insurance salesman which had him traveling all over various places.  Eventually, all this traveling led him to bars and too much drinking.  He became an alcoholic, lost many jobs, as well as, his first wife and child.  Instead of taking his own life, Og took himself to a local library.  Here, he discovered self-help and motivational books and the writings of W. Clement Stone, and his classic, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.  Stone’s book changed Mandino’s life.

He went on to become a thoroughly successful writer and speaker.  He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.



Summaries of a Few Books by Og Mandino


Book One: The Greatest Salesman in the World

One day many, many years ago, I was wandering through a bookstore and stumbled upon The Greatest Salesman in the World.  It was not on an end cap and was in no way being showcased, but I still found it anyway.  It was in amongst a bunch of other Og Mandino books.  The paperback versions are almost all the same size.  I read the phrase on the cover, ‘learn how to change your life.’  With a 20% discount, I paid around $6; I figured how could I possibly go wrong.

The readers are introduced to a character named, Hafid.  Hafid is fortunate enough to become the recipient of a series of ten scrolls each designed to replace bad habits with good habits.  They are:

  • Scroll I – I will form good habits and become their slave
  • Scroll II – I will greet this day with love in my heart
  • Scroll III – I will persist until I succeed
  • Scroll IV – I am nature’s greatest miracle
  • Scroll V – I will live this day as if it is my last
  • Scroll VI – Today I will be master of my emotions
  • Scroll VII – I will laugh at the world
  • Scroll VIII – Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold
  • Scroll IX – I will act now
  • Scroll X – I will pray for guidance

It is a simple, yet powerful story that has sold over 2 million copies.




Book Two: The Twelfth Angel

The Twelfth Angel is a story that I have used for nearly 15 years.  I have had hundreds of people read it with great enthusiasm.  Fair warning, if the truth be told, many people shared that they got emotional at several points throughout the book.

Essentially, it is a story about a highly successful man who catastrophically loses both his wife and son in a car accident.  In desperation, gun in hand, two ‘angels’ come into his life.  The first is a long-time friend and perspective changer.  The second is a little boy with brain cancer.  Through the boy’s great passion and enthusiasm, the man develops a new reason to live.  He realizes that life is brutal, but that while we are here there must be a purpose and reason to lead and be better.  The young man also recites some cool quotes that inspire all those around him.

It is an achingly reflective story.


Book Three:  The Greatest Miracle in the World

The Greatest Miracle in the World has become a classic tale of Mandino’s.  In many ways, it is certainly similar in theme to The Twelfth Angel, but at a deeper level.  This time, the readers are introduced to a character known as Simon Potter, the Ragpicker.  Simon collects ‘rags’ or people who have been left behind, lost, or forgotten by society.  Through Simon’s relationship with another struggling leader, we get to witness conversations they have about philosophers, great writers, and timeless principles on leadership, wisdom, purpose, and much more.

Personally, I did not find this story as personally arresting as the other two, but it nevertheless, packs quite a punch.



Seek Wisdom as an Antidote to Garbage In, Garbage Out


Maybe, you will not like Og Mandino.  The point is, please find someone who will fill your life mentally with wisdom, good thoughts, positive messages.  Andy Andrews.  Fantastic Lessons.  Check out Audible.com and download a good book.  Download podcasts and listen to messages on the way to work.  Research some good TedTalks, and learn a few things.  Seek wisdom.  What would happen over time if you diligently pursued wisdom more than worrying about whether or not the DVR got everything recorded properly? 

Seeking wisdom is the antidote for garbage out in your life.  Fill your mind with wonderful thoughts, uplifting images, positive phrases, and over time, you will notice a major difference in the quality of your life.  You will find that more people will want to hang out with you.  You will find that opportunities just seem to come your way.  You will find that things that used to be problems are now just cleverly disguised as a learning lesson.  Seriously monitor the garbage that goes into your mind and body.  Seeking wisdom on all fronts is a perfect antidote for the garbage in and garbage out of your life.  If you want to be amazing, seek wisdom!



wisdom photo


“So long as there is breath in me,
that long will I persist

For now I know one of the greatest
principles of success;

if I persist long enough I will win…
I will persist. I will win.”

–Og Mandino




Homework Points

  1. What garbage do you need to do a better job of filtering?
  2. Spend 30 days tackling GIGO in your life?
  3. What Og Mandino book will you read? What Fantastic Lesson will you reread?