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"The Strangest Secret" and How it Can Help You Find Success for Your Rehab Facility and Life
“The Strangest Secret,” by Earl Nightingale, was one of the first audiobooks ever made and has become one of the most well known and influential self-help books available. It premises that “You are now, and you do become, what you think about.”
The secret to success is realizing and internalizing your goals. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. People who fail to meet their goals believe external forces shape their lives, such as their circumstances and the things that happen to them.
About Earl Nightingale
Earl Nightingale was born in Long Beach in 1921 and is known as one of the greatest modern philosophers. Although finding success later in life, during his childhood Nightingale had lived in a tent city with his mother after his father abandoned them.
The discrepancy between the finances of his family and the rich lead him to extensively research how to start from nothing and how to get out of a situation of hopelessness.
In his late teens, Nightingale joined the US Marine Corps. He was on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor and was one of twelve surviving Marines aboard.
After the war, Nightingale began his career as a motivational speaker and in the radio industry, where he worked for over 40 years. He found inspiration for “The Strangest Secret” when reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. He realized that the message of the book was repeated in other works, from the New Testament to the writings of Emerson: “We become what we think about.” “As ye sow, so shall ye reap...”
During 1956, he produced the spoken word record, “The Strangest Secret,” which sold more than a million copies, making it the first spoken-word recording to achieve Gold Record status. “The Strangest Secret” is considered by many as one of the greatest motivational books of all time.
Main lessons from “The Strangest Secret”
Here is a list of the main lessons from “The Strangest Secret:”
Definition of success
Before we can achieve success, we must first define it. According to Nightingale, there are three definitions of success:
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.”
“Success is someone doing what he or she loves 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 greatest impediment to achieving success is conformity. Based on the quote by Rollo May, “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice… it is conformity.” Nightingale claims it is conformity that is the cause of failure and that there are too many people “acting like everyone else, without knowing why or where they are going.”
Success is not the result of making money; earning money is the result of success — and success is in direct proportion to our service. Nobody can ever get rich without enriching others.
Goals are crucial for success, since they help you know exactly where you are going. When we set a goal, it helps us to focus and navigate our life to reach it. Those who do not set goals wander around aimlessly. Those who do not find success typically believe that they have no control over their life.
Nightingale likens not having a goal to a ship without a captain or crew. It has no destination or guidance and there is virtually zero chance it will have a successful conclusion.
We become what we think about
The idea that we become what we think about is the cause for both success and failure. Nightingale claims, “A person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that is what he is thinking about.”
However, he also stated that the opposite is also true: “Conversely, the person who has no real 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.”
As ye sow — so shall you reap
The human mind is like a fertile farmer’s field; what you plant is what will grow. It is therefore important to be positive and create a worthwhile goal for yourself. Once the goal is planted, take action towards realizing it, picture yourself achieving it, and imagine yourself doing the things you will be doing when you have realized your goal.
It is important to recognize that you become successful the moment you select a goal to work towards. This simple act puts you in the top 5% of people in terms of success.
Key quotes from “The Strangest Secret”
“If the average person realized the power he wields over his life and destiny, he would live in a perpetual state of wonder and thanksgiving.”
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it.”
“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember, jobs are owned by the company; you own your career!”
“All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord.”
“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”
“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”
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