The Strangest Secret


Earl Nightingale in his book, "The Strangest Secret" explains the simple principle of how to live the life you desire. Learn what it takes to become a success in whatever it is that you want in life. In his book he shares the opportunity we have for reaching success, how we define success, setting goals, and the factors we need to put into our lives, if we are to become a success.

Great Opportunity

Our lives are what we make them. Everything we do, we do by choice. Fate has a few things to do with it but it is our choices in the face of our fate that determines our outcome--our successes and failures.

In his book, "The Strangest Secret" Earl Nightingale describes how 100 people at the age of 25 have wild ideas of what their life could be. Those 100 people have a similar enthusiasm for success, and idea of what success will look like in their lives. Each one believes they will be a huge success and simply will not fail at reaching it. He says, "'d notice that they were eager toward life, that there was a certain sparkle in their eye, and erectness to their carriage, and life seemed like a pretty interesting adventure to them."

What he described next surprised me about those 100 people. Only five percent will be successful and really achieve their idea of success. "One will be rich, four will be financially independent . . ."

What is the difference between the top 5 and the other 95?

He mentions it is the difference between Intention and accomplishment.

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary says:

"INTENTION implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about and ACCOMPLISHMENT is the act of completion."

Many of us never really accomplish the wild goals we set four ourselves in our lifetime and we end up conforming to our "regular day jobs." We never really learn how to tap into the greatest opportunities that our life has to offer. We never really progress towards our goals. By the time we realize it, it is too late. Our opportunity is lost.

A Definition of Success

Earl Nightingale defines success:

"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."

When we are working towards our goals, dreams, desires, or anything we want in life we are successful. If we are not working towards what it is we want out of life then we are "failures."

Set Goals

Goals give us a direction in life. In order for us to be successful we need to take a direction in life verses just letting things happen to us. Goals are the things we want to do. Without goals we will not know where it is we want to go. It would be like taking a trip with no destination.

Earl Nightingale writes that goals say, "I am going to become this!" Earl also writes, "You are successful when you are doing what you want to do."

Working towards our goals, is deliberate. When you follow your goals you are deliberately doing what it is that you set out to do.

Having specific goals in our lives becomes the road map to success.

We Are What We Think!

The Strangest Secret also explains that the main key to success and failure is, "We become what we think about." Deep in our subconscious our mind is constantly working on things. The things we think about daily become rooted in that subconscious.

If we are afraid of losing our job and it is weighing heavily in our minds, it also manifests itself in our unconsciousness. If we are thinking about not wanting something to happen to us, it brews in under the surface. As we think these things, an underlying force works upon those thoughts. Many times they become reality simply because we thought about these things for so long.

If you want to change your life then you have to change the things you think about. Think about the positive things you want. Think about good things that might happen instead of the bad things that might happen. Don't dwell on the negative, because your subconscious mind will dwell there as well.

"Whatever you believe to be true, will be true!"

I heard this quote when I lived in England and I don't recall who said it, but it has stuck with me for eleven years. I have come to the realization that the quote is true. If you believe you are bad at your job--you will be right. If you believe you are a failure at relationships--you will be right. On the converse, if you believe everything you touch turns to gold--you will be right!

Our mind is an incredible thing. We only use 10% of it and are barely understanding that part. It has been found, in clinical drug trials, that many of the people taking the placebo pill have the same results as those taking the actual medicine. That is because the people taking the sugar pills actually believe they are getting the medicine, and therefore are getting better.

Start thinking about the things you want in life. Write them down in goals and then concentrate on them. If you think about your goals you will reach them. Earl said it best, "The human mind does not care if you plant . . . success . . . or failure."

Laws of Physics

"All you have to do is plant that seed in your mind, care for it, work steadily toward your goal, and it will become a reality."

— Earl Nightingale

The laws of physics pertain to our thoughts. It is the same principles that allow us to fly a metal plane, the same forces that control the tide, and the same constant laws that govern gravity that allow our thoughts to come to fruition.

What you think about, so you shall become! The only thing we can control is our thoughts. By controlling our thoughts we control our actions, behaviors and responses to those thoughts, which in turn give us what we want; right or wrong, good or bad.

Learn to control our mind and we learn to control our success.

What is the Secret of Success?

If you ask people what success is, you will get many different answers. Some will say money, a big house, power, influence, friends, cars, fabulous vacations, and more. Most of the time, those are all results of success.

Success is figuring out what it is you want to do and actually doing it! You just can't hope for a big fancy boat. You have to do something and get something in return to buy that big fancy boat. Something had to happen in order for you to have the money to buy it, or have someone give it to you.

You had to have a worthwhile goal, take action toward that goal, and then get the financial means to buy that boat.

You see, for a lot of us, we strive for a goal and then give up. It is easier for negativity to take hold of our thoughts and influence ourselves to throw in the towel. We give up completely or settle for something less. We end up with a row boat instead of that shiny speed boat. Those few of us that are successful, we fight through the pain and discomfort as we hold steady to our thoughts and work towards our goals.

I learned this lesson as a swimmer in High School. My swim coach used to tell us that, "If our goals didn't hurt, then they wouldn't be worth achieving." He really believed in the no pain, no gain philosophy. There were several kids that quit the team. They could not work through the pain of the intense workouts and training.

We have to do that with our goals. Sometimes there will be times that we just want to give up. The mental or physical fatigue we endure may become too much and you will want to pack it in--throw in the towel, so to say.

Where does that want to quit come from?

It comes from worry, anxiety, frustration, and anger. It turns to doubt and then changes to fear. Our fear becomes unbearable and it then becomes crippling. We give up.

Focus on What You Want

The easiest way to overcome our crippling fear is to get rid of worry, anxiety, frustration, anger, and doubt.

"Yeah right," you say. "It’s not that is easy!"

Correct. It is very difficult. We can train our minds. We can form good habits with out thoughts and actions.

In the book, "The Strangest Secret" you learn how to form good habits. Earl Nightingale gives you a formula for instilling positive thoughts and the ability to focus clearly on your goal.

Take a note card and, "On one side write your goal, whatever it may be. On the other side write these words, you become what you think about."

Earl tells you to look at this several times a day, for 30 days. When the seeds of doubt appear, look at your card. Change your thinking. When the grip of fear takes hold, look at your card. Focus on what you want. When the pains of worry wash over you, look at your card again. Realize you become what you think about.

He also tells us, "If you should fail during your first 30 days--by that I mean suddenly find yourself overwhelmed by negative thoughts-you've got to start over again from that point and go 30 more days. Gradually, your new habit will form, until you find yourself one of that wonderful minority to who virtually nothing is impossible."

Give and Take

The road to success is full of give and take. Many think it is all take. If you give to others you will receive in return. In 1998 I set place a philosophy into my life. It is so simple that anyone can put this five word phrase into their lives.

"You get as you give!"

To get what you want in life you have to give something. Give time, wisdom, help, encouragement--something and you will get the things you desire.

Earl said it perfectly, "No man can get rich himself unless he enriches others."

There are two problems I see, when it comes to working towards success. One, we are not always willing to give. Two, we want it YESTERDAY!

Many people feel entitled to the things they want out of life. They go through the world with that self entitlement. Really that turns out to be a success repellent. Maybe that person sees success, but is usually just a quick flash and they lose it.

Others expect it, "RIGHT NOW." In a world of instant coffee, fast food, and microwave ready meals we expect things to happen immediately. Success is not immediate. It will show up on its own time. We may not see it overnight, or the next day, but it will come if we keep working at it. However, many are not willing to take the time to see the rewards of their effort.

In Conclusion

The Strangest Secret is knowing, what it is you want, setting goals, taking action to get what you want, giving yourself to others and believing wholeheartedly that you can do it!

 Grow to great success with "The Strangest Secret!"

You can do it--Don't give up!