I Am Enthusiastic About Life

My Friends,

I don’t know how many of you give a quack – or have taken the time – to become acquainted with Og Mandino (one of my ancient ‘trainers’ and ‘counselors’ and author of The Greatest Salesman in the World, both Volumes I and II).  In my semi-retirement mode, waiting for Carolyn to finish the book she is writing, I have become reacquainted with a few of his legendary teachings. I’m not recommending you slow down on your study of  Nephi or Capt. Moroni, but I am suggesting that after you have raised the Title of Liberty every day you might do yourself a favor by pondering one or more of The Ten Scrolls or The Ten Vows of Success found in Og’s famous pieces of work.



What a great one!  All my life I have been intrigued by this incredible resource and weapon of the successful.  “Being Quick to Observe” (the secret of Mormon’s rapid rise to Leadership)  I have  been quick to observe that those people whom I have encountered in my life, who possess this powerful asset, are usually at the top of their class, no matter the course of study. I’m not suggesting that one can conquer the world with that attitude alone but it sure goes a long way to cover a multitude of other weaknesses.

I remember John Tolson, a great friend from Simi Valley who served with us on our High Council.  He, for his assigned Spiritual Thought, had us all stand in the High Council room and instead of quoting the Pledge of Allegiance or The Standard of Truth or Section 4 or The Gettysburg Address had us repeat ten times:  ‘I AM A HAPPY CHEERFUL PERSON’…I AM A HAPPY CHEERFUL PERSON…I AM A HAPPY CHEERFUL PERSON…repeated ten times and he counseled us to do that in front of a bathroom mirror every morning for the rest of our lives (at the same time you are scratching all the itches of the night).  I admit I have not done it with regularity but I have never forgotten his secret of success and have repeated it more times than I ever thought I would…I discovered that it WORKS.

When we approach each day with a HAPPY CHEERFUL COUNTENANCE and ENTHUSIASM we most often WIN no matter our tough agenda or the challenges we are going to face as we charge out the door.  When the world sees us coming with a smile on our face, a zip in our step, an enthusiastic greeting, a vibrant handshake…they automatically prepare for our visit and expect something positive to happen.

I’m going to resist sharing Og’s full 3rd Vow of Success and just give you a taste of his powerful and motivating words of wisdom…but having said that, I would strongly encourage each of you to get a copy of both of his books (cheap On line) and do the full program as he counsels…I promise you it will make a difference in your attitude and success…even if you are already an optimist and achiever.

From Og Mandino and the Third Vow of Success:

Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world.  It’s potential value far surpasses money and power and influence. Single-handed, the enthusiast convinces and dominates…tramples over prejudice and opposition, spurns inaction, storms the citadel of its object and, like an avalanche, overwhelms and engulfs all obstacles…I have learned a great lesson – enthusiasm is my faith in action. With faith I cannot fail.

Isn’t that powerful?  But there’s more.

Enthusiasm, the love for whatever it is I am doing at the moment…Enthusiasm in all I do will become, with hard work, a habit. WE first must make our habits and then, good or bad, they make us. Enthusiasm will be my chariot to a better life…Already I am smiling in anticipation of the good to come…it is the genius of sincerity, and truth is rarely victorious without it…like so many others, I have conducted my life with false ideas of true rewards, believing that comfort and luxury should be my goals when all that any of us need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about….there is no person, no occupation, no trouble that cannot be affected for the good by my attitude.

What a great exhilaration I feel, knowing that I possess this great power to alter my days and my entire life with my attitude…ALWAYS WILL I BATHE MY DAYS IN THE GOLDEN GLOW OF ENTHUSIASM.

That’s enough…hope you are converted to both Og’s  Formula of Success and today to his belief that ENTHUSIASM is the key to unleashing your potential and winning both at home and in the market place.


With Love from a valley of which I am an ENTHUSIASTIC advocate that it has been patterned after the Celestial Kingdom.


In life we come across inspired teachings that represent moments of brilliance that simply make us better.  From The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino, we learn a great secret to success which represents one of those brilliant teachings.


I was born to succeed, not to fail

I was born to triumph, not to bow my head in defeat.

I was born to toast victories, not to whimper and whine.

What happened to me? When did my dreams all fade into a grey mediocrity where average people applaud each other as excellent?

No person is ever so much deceived by another, as by himself. The coward is convinced that he is only being cautious and the miser always thinks he is practicing frugality. Nothing is so easy as to deceive one’s self since what we wish is always easy to believe. No one, in my life has deceived me as much as I have.

Why do I always try to cover my small accomplishments under blankets of words that make light of my work or excuses for my lack of ability? Worst of all, I have come to believe my excuses so that I willingly sell my days for pennies while consoling myself with thoughts that things could always be worse.

No more!

It is time to study the reflection in my looking glass until I recognize that the most harmful enemy I have…is me. At last, in this magic moment with my first scroll, the veil of self-deceit is beginning to lift from my eyes.


I am not a fool. Henceforth I will stand on my own feet and my terrible crutches of self-pity and self-contempt have been cast aside forever.


How foolish I was when I stood in despair, by the side of the road, and envied the successful and the wealthy as they paraded by. Are they blessed with unique skills, rare intelligence, heroic courage, enduring ambition, and other outstanding qualities that I possess not? Have hey been allotted more hours, each day, in which to perform their mighty tasks? Do they have hearts full of compassion and sols overflowing with love that are different from mine? No! God plays no favorites. We were all fashioned from the same clay.

Now I also know that the sadness and setbacks of my life are not unique to me. Even the wisest and most successful of our world suffer chapters of heartbreak and failure but they, unlike me, have learned that there is no peace without trouble, no rest without strain, no laughter without sorrow, no victory without struggle and that is the price we all pay for living. There was a time when I paid the price willingly and easily but constant disappointments and defeats first eroded my confidence and then my courage even as drops of water will, in time, destroy the strongest granite. All that is now behind me. No longer am I one of the living dead, remaining always in the shadows of others and hiding behind my sorry apologies and alibis while the years waste away.


Success, when it comes overnight, often departs with the dawn. I am prepared, now, for a lifetime of happiness because I have finally recognized a powerful secret hidden in the years that treated me so harshly. FAILURE IS, IN A SENSE, THE HIGHWAY TO SUCCESS, INASMUCH AS EVERY DISCOVERY WE MAKE OF WHAT IS FALSE LEADS US TO SEEK EARNESTLY AFTER WHAT IS TRUE AND EVERY FRESH EXPERIENCE POINTS OUT SOME FORM OF ERROR WHICH WE SHALL AFTERWARD CAREFULLY AVOID. THE PATH I WALKED, OFTEN DAMPENED BY MY OWN TEARS, HAS NOT BEEN A WASTED JOURNEY.


Thank you God, for playing your game with me, today, and placing in my hands these precious scrolls. I was at the lowest ebb of my life but I should have known it is at that moment that the tide always turns.

No longer will I look mournfully to the past. It will never return. Instead, with these scrolls, I will shape the present because it is mine and I will go forth to meet the mysterious future without fear, without doubt, without despair.

I was formed in the image of God. There is nothing I cannot achieve if I try.


A Fable of Preparedness


Thomas Clemente taught us a great lesson with this three minute read…(would three minutes be too much to invest if you discovered by so reading it might save you and your family?)

The Prophet Thadeous

Many years ago there lived a man by the name of Thadeous. He lived with his family in a fairly large and prosperous city. Being a trader, Thadeous enjoyed much of the wealth associated with property of the city. By some means Thadeous had been taught the principles of the Lord by his father and had been a good man in keeping the commandments.

As Thadeous was returning from a trading voyage, the Lord called him to be a prophet. The Lord told him that he must warn the people and call them to repentance. He told Thadeous of the great wickedness and sin that had come over the people. He was to teach his family first. As it was late when Thadeous returned home and his wife had retired, he decided to tell her about his vision in the morning. As dawn came he arose early and started to prepare the goods he had brought for distribution to the various shops throughout the town. He forgot, for a time, the vision.

Several days later a voice came to him and said, “Thadeous, tell your family about your calling and warn them of their sins, that they will be able to repent.” So Thadeous reported his vision to his family and explained to them his calling to warn the people of the city. His family thought this was exciting, but his wife explained that it would probably be better to wait until after the big celebration next week. The people would be more receptive to changing their ways after the festivities. As he arose the next morning, the thoughts of his business soon occupied his mind and hie forgot his calling. Later in the evening one of his children reminded him of his vision and he said, “Yes, I must go now.” He went to one of the local gathering places. The people had begun to liven their spirits in anticipation of the celebration. He agreed with his wife, it would be better to wait until after the holiday was over.

One more trading trip was planned which again took precedence over his calling. As Thadeous visited a trading area not too far from his town, he heard much talk about a man called Noah who was stirring up trouble by telling the people of their sins. Here Thadeous renewed his determination to call his city to repentance as Noah was doing. He wondered if they would be as angry with him as the people in Noah’s area seemed to be with Noah. As he was preparing to leave to return home, another trader came in with a report that Noah was now building a boat. Everyone laughed long and hard at this.

The next morning Thadeous recounted to his family the story about Noah. Thadeous said to himself that as soon as he was able to sell the goods he had bought he would do as the Lord had commanded.

Several days later as Thadeous had finished distributing the last of his goods and was preparing to go home, the Lord called again and said, “Thadeous, you have not warned these people as I have commanded, but tomorrow you must go to the neighboring town and there find the prophet Noah and do exactly what he tells you. Take your family and possessions.” “Yes, I will Lord,” said Thadeous, as he had several times before. When Thadeous returned home he told his family they must leave the next day and take all they had with them and visit the prophet Noah.

The next day it was raining and they all decided to leave as soon as it stopped.

LIFE LESSON: I GOT IT, DID YOU? TOMORROW I’m going to get my act together…

Nothing can STOP a “Lion Heart” with a CAUSE

During our four years in Africa we had the opportunity of going on many Safari adventures. The Lion was always exciting to ‘get up close and personal’ – and exciting to observe them in their ‘homes’.

I was reminded of our Lion engagements as I was reviewing the story and lessons attached to King Richard of 12th Century England who was nicknamed the “Lion Heart”. That’s a Cool nickname. The immediate reflection of King Richard was that he was not a wimp. He must have been strong, courageous, powerful, fearless and someone you would avoid ‘angering’ at all costs. Some other heroes of mine who have earned special nicknames would include: Lehi = Visionary, Nephi = Obedient, Ammon= Missionary, Abinadi= Courageous (“Touch Me Not”), Jonathan=Friend, Captain Moroni=”like Unto Moroni”, President Hinckley=Temples, President Benson=Book of Mormon, President Kimball=Miracle of Forgiveness, just to name a few who had ‘Lion Hearts’ in some special way.

But, back to King Richard. He earned the right to his nickname and Leadership reputation due to the opportunity history provided him and taking advantage of the opportunities.

Richard organized a crusade to the Holy Land to beat up on the Turks. The mission failed and King Richard found himself in prison. While he was cooling his heels, traitors at home took over the government. When King Richard finally escaped from prison he was forced to reenter England, for security reasons,  incognito while he quietly gathered a few of his faithful followers to help him put England back into the hands of her rightful rulers.

His first real battle was at the Castle where Ivanhoe, a loyal friend, had been imprisoned following a battle where Ivanhoe had been wounded quite severely. When the battle to free Ivanhoe began, Ivanhoe was unable to get to the window due to his wounds and loss of blood so he asked his nurse to describe the battle and the Leader. Rebecca, his nurse, described the leader as being one without insignia or other marks of identification which Ivanhoe had hoped would give away who this rescue party was being led by. Ivanhoe then asked, “Then describe how he fights and I shall know who the Leader is.” She shared how he swung his axe with thunderous blows, assaulting the castle almost single handed. She said, “Stones and beams are hurled down from the castle walls upon him, but he regards them no more than if they were feathers. He fights as if there were twenty men’s strength in his single arm” and again she said, “It is fearful, yet magnificent, to behold how the arm and HEART of one man can triumph over hundreds.” Ivanhoe could only think of one man he had ever known who could fight like that, but believed his friend to be imprisoned in a foreign land so was confused but said to Rebecca, “I thought there was but one man in England who might do such deeds.”

Then he paid this tribute to an unknown leader. He didn’t know who this man was but he knew the qualities that always characterized great accomplishment and said to Rebecca, “I swear by the honor of my house, I would endure ten years of captivity to fight a single day by that great man’s side in such a quarrel as this.”

Great Leaders are inspiring and fun to follow, but sometimes hard to find. King Richard had the heart of a Lion and people followed him. Capt. Moroni had the heart of a Lion and people followed him. Abinadi had the same heart and Alma rose up and rebuked his ‘brothers’ and ‘followed’ Abinadi. Peter had the heart of a Lion and on the day of Pentecost 3,000 people stood up and followed him. Nephi had the heart of a Lion on his famous door approach to Ismael and Ismael found his pup tent and followed him to the Promised Land. Ammon stood at the waters of sebus and with the heart of a Lion withstood the enemies of the king. Elder Wilson of Virginia fame stood up to two rule breakers in his zone and courageously, with the heart of a Lion, changed the direction of an entire mission.

Every great CAUSE is almost always led by a Lion Hearted Leader. And nearly every Lion Hearted Leader will be found at the head of some GREAT CAUSE. The House of Israel has been identified from before this world was as Lion Hearts, people who had the pre-exisent instincts and desires to team up with GREAT CAUSES and make a major difference: Family, Marriage, Church, Community, Profession, Calling and Neighbors are all Causes that Lion Hearts tackle and usually WIN BIG.

King Richard is a GREAT story but it will remain only a story until we DECIDE to put the LION HEART piece of the story into our log book and make something happen. Storm a Castle. Change a community. Create a successful Business. Double the performance numbers. Celestialize a Marriage. Exalt a Family.

With love from Heber while loving the story and Life Lessons of Richard, the Lion Hearted King.