What is The Strangest Secret?

“The Strangest Secret” is a recorded essay by Earl Nightingale, which was first shared in 1956. It has sold over a million copies and is the only gold record ever achieved for the spoken word. It’s message is simple – you become what you think about. Below I have broken out the four key ideas from this essay. All credit for the following goes to Mr. Earl Nightingale and his essay “The Strangest Secret.”

The Definition of Success

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. A success is the school teacher who is teaching because that’s what he or she wants to do. A success is the entrepreneur who start his own company because that was his dream — that’s what he wanted to do. A success is anyone who is realizing a worthy predetermined ideal, because that’s what he or she decided to do … deliberately.

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice… it is conformity.” ~ Rollo May

Goals

Have you ever noticed that a person who becomes successful tends to continue to become more successful? And, on the other hand, have you noticed how someone who’s a failure tends to continue to fail? The difference is goals. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances … by things that happen to them … by exterior forces.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

We Become What We Think About

A person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that’s what he’s thinking about. Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn’t know where he’s going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety, fear, and worry will thereby create a life of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing … he becomes nothing.

“A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor

As Ye Sow— So Shall Ye Reap

Our mind can do any kind of job we assign to it, but generally speaking, we use it for little jobs instead of big ones. So decide now. What is it you want? Plant your goal in your mind. It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make in your entire life.

The 30-Day Test:

1. Write on a card what it is you want more that anything else. Make sure it’s a single goal and clearly defined. You  needn’t show it to anyone, but carry it with you so that you can look at it several times a day. Think about it in a cheerful, relaxed, positive way each morning when you get up, and immediately you have something to work for — something to get out of bed for, something to live for.

2. Stop thinking about what it is you fear. Each time a fearful or negative thought comes into your mind, replace it with a mental picture of your positive and worthwhile goal. And there will come a time when you’ll feel like giving up. It’s easier for a human being to think negatively than positively. “Act as though it were impossible to fail.” ~ Dorothea Brande

3. Your success will always be measured by the quality and quantity of service you render. We’ve got to be of service first before we can expect money. Don’t concern yourself with the money. Be of service … build … work … dream … create! Do this and you’ll find there is no limit to the prosperity and abundance that will come to you.

Take this 30-day test, then repeat it … then repeat it again. Each time it will become more a part of you until you’ll wonder how you could have ever have lived any other way.

Want to learn more about “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale? Here are some links that will be of use:

Google Video
Online Article

What do you think about “The Strangest Secret”? Do you think it’s something you can put to use in your life?

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2 comments to What is The Strangest Secret?

  • Jay

    It truely can be amazing the things you can achieve when you are “obsessed” with a goal/objectives.

    I can see how your section on the “30-day test” can be so powerful. The 3rd item is something I’m going to take and run with because before reading this, I had the statement vice versa – money before quality and quantity of service.

  • Live To Inspire

    That’s interesting, eh? I think it’s John Maxwell who speaks about value vs. cost. If you are continually bringing value and great service to the table, people will pay whatever it takes for that. That and word of mouth. I’d rather people talk about what value I bring rather than how much I cost. If they are talking about my value, then I know I’m doing something right.

    I love the idea in the first point. What you said about “obsessing” about a goal. I love the idea of carrying an idea around in your pocket everywhere you go and looking at it often to help enforce where it is you want to be in 30 days (or whenever your goal is set for).

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