Before his death in 1989, Earl Nightingale was a widely popular motivational author and speaker.
Some of his most famous titles include The Strangest Secret, The Essence of Success and Lead the Field. Stemming from his childhood curiosities, Nightingale devoted his life to answering questions regarding success.
He wanted to know what defined success and how to reach it starting from ground zero.
As a young boy, Nightingale would frequent his local California library in his quest for answers.
At the age of seventeen, Nightingale joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Amongst few others, Nightingale survived the Pearl Harbor attack on the USS Arizona.
The bombing wasn’t enough to scare him off. Nightingale went on to serve five more years as an American Marine!
Fueling his passions for public speaking, Nightingale volunteered at a local radio broadcaster while stationed in North Carolina.
This sparked his next career move into network radio programming. Alongside his wife, Nightingale then moved to Phoenix and Chicago where he began his own radio program.
At the young age of 35, Nightingale’s radio program proved so fruitful that he was able to retire.
Just with most 35-year-olds, retirement seemed far too boring. Nightingale decided to purchase an insurance company of his own. He often found himself giving motivational talks to his workers to pursue higher career goals.
After a brief push from one of his employees, Nightingale went on to publish The Strangest Secret, his most successful record to date.
This audio record was so successful that it helped in the establishment of audio publishing and the motivational business genre. One million copies have already been sold.
So what exactly does success entail, according to Nightingale?
Nightingale gives a twenty-minute speech discussing its answer. He believes that we, as humans, fail to use our abilities to their strongest potential.
If you have a goal and are continually working toward it, you are what he considers, a success.
Nightingale urges listeners to ask themselves, are the people you’re following going where you want to go?
We all spend a lot of time trying to be liked and fit into the norm. He explains that someone who works a traditional 40-hour workweek will have 72 free hours per week – spent doing almost nothing. Nightingale explains that if you simply want to do nothing, that’s fine.
If you do nothing because you never truly decided how you want to live, then it’s tragic.
This thought alone sparked a national movement into self-purpose and motivation.
If you improve yourself, you can improve your environment.
Our greatest distinction from other animals is our minds. Nightingale explains that men have the gift to alter their environment to their wants and desires.
You need to create new and exciting goals to move out of the complacency.
Nightingale poses the question: how much money and time do you give back to your own progression?
Nightingale states that you need to invest in your goals, happiness, and loving those around you. The key is to invest in your own growth.
So what exactly is this “strangest secret?”
Nightingale stresses that it’s important to be an individual, constantly loving others and striving for growth while maintaining individuality. Adolescents are constantly striving to be better and reach the next goal, but as adults, we often become complacent in our normal routine.
The secret: you become what you spend most of your time thinking about.
Therefore, “Imagination becomes everything.”
To view Nightingale’s full analysis of The Strangest Secret and all his wisdom, be sure to check out the video below!
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