Lessons Earl Nightingale Taught Me

He was an author, radio personality, speaker and authority in the field of motivation, inspiration and reaching greater heights of achievement. He was also known as the 'Dean of Personal Development.' His messages 'The Strangest Secret' is considered one of the best motivational books and audios of all time. There are lessons that we in business, consulting and in life can learn from 1976 Toastmasters Golden Gavel winner and National Speakers association hall of Famer. He is Earl Nightingale and here are some lessons he taught me.


The Strangest Secret

"We become what we think about most of the time, and that's the strangest secret in the world"

In his message The Strangest Secret, Nightingale shared a concept that changed mine and millions of others lives. That concept is that you become what you think about. If you chronically think about a subject, you become an authority on that subject. If you think about tragedy and despair then you become a person who is prone to tragedy or despair. The mind is like a fertile garden that will produce exactly what you plant. You can plant weeds or roses, it doesn't matter as the soil will produce exactly what you planted. When you establish a company or a business, you set a vision, purpose and goals which plant seed (thoughts) into the minds of you and the people in the organisation - they will act and produce in line with the thoughts propagated. You cannot expect a result you do not consciously work to think about and act on. Be careful about what you think about as you become what you think about.


You Are a Creator

"All of us are self-made but only the successful will admit it"

Responsibility is very important. Responsibility means that you acknowledge and take accountability for where you are in life, the consequences of the decisions you make and actions you can take. Once you accept responsibility you will stop blaming other people or circumstances, start taking control and start creating what you want. The successful corporate and social leaders understand and admit that they are self-made; those who do not complain and blame others for their situation, which is why they have what they have in life. Take responsibility and understand that you are self-made is what Nightingale's message promotes and it is good advice for everyone.


Formula for increase

"The amount of money we receive is in direct ratio to the demand for what we do, our ability to do it, and the difficulty of replacing it."

The definition of value is the worth of an asset or services rendered, which leads to how much you actual earn. The more valuable you are (the larger the scale of you contribution), then the more you earn. In corporate, more compensation is given to people who contribute the most i.e principle consultants, executive managers, and CEO. Make this personal to you and conduct the following exercise, look at your industry and find the most paid person, and you will be able to correlate the amount of their service and their compensation. Businesses that contribute the most to the marketplace are more valuable.


Nightingale provides how you can increase your value:

  • Demand for what you do: if your vocation or skill set is in high demand, then you are more valuable (this is the basics of economic theory). You can develop, work on or enter a market that has a high demand for a particular skill set, service or product.

  • Your Ability to do it: the more competent and skilled you are in your vocation, the more you can contribute and the higher your value improves. You can take extra classes and purposefully practice to hone a certain skill set to be more valuable.

  • The difficulty of replacing you: by working in an area that is high in demand and scarce in supply and being very skillful in that area you will become the SME, key person and authority in that field and by default extremely valuable.

The Magic Word

"Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us."

John Maxwell wrote 'all things being equal, the most like-able person wins.' This relates to the attitude that the person has. It is better and easier to work with and relate to a person who has an upbeat and controlled attitude versus someone who does not. Your attitude to someone or something determines how well you interact with them. Attitude is the number one word in all the world's languages and it will determine how far you will go. Those who are above average, have an above average attitude and they seem to just win. If you have a negative and beat down attitude towards life, then life will be negative. If you have a positive outlook on life, then life will be positive to you. Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us.


Success is unique to you *Personal favourite*

"Success if the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal"

This lesson is perhaps my favourite. In his message The Strangest Secret, Nightingale defined success as "the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal." This means the person who has a goal that they inherently want to achieve, and they are taking steps to achieve that goal is a success, if not they are a failure. A mother who has always wanted to raise children of world leaders, and is putting steps in place to do so is successful; a person who is working towards a goal that they do not want for themselves are by definition not a success. This means that success is unique to every individual which eliminates the need to compare and compete. If you are living to attain your worthy ideal then you are a success. Now in order to be a success, you need to have a goal that you are progressively working towards, without it, you have no direction and can be influenced by others to live their ideals. Success is unique to you as it is the 'progressive realisation of a worthy ideal"


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The Strangest Secret In The World


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