I’d like to tell you the strangest secret in the world… by Earl Nightingale
The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale – Part 2
Have you ever wondered why so many people work so hard and honestly without ever achieving anything in particular, and why others don’t seem to work hard, yet seem to get everything? They seem to have the “magic touch.” You’ve heard people say, “Everything he touches turns to gold.” 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?
NOTE: Today’s video is a little longer than 6 minutes. The text below is a transcript of the audio… I made some very minor changes to accommodate today’s readers by removing the masculine gender (where possible) to represent all people.
It’s because of goals. Some of us have goals and some don’t. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Think of a ship leaving the harbor. And think of it with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take – it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there.
Now let’s take another ship – just like the first – only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree with me if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach – a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it has no destination and no guidance.
It’s the same with a human being. Take the salesperson for example. There’s no other person in the world today with a future of a good salesperson. Selling is the world’s highest paid profession… If we’re good at it and know where we’re going. Every company needs top notch salespeople. And they reward these people… the sky is the limit for them. But how many can you find?
However, the human race is fixed, not to prevent the strong from winning, but to prevent the weak from losing. The American economy today can be likened to a convoy in time of war. The entire society is slowed down to protect its weakest link, just as the naval convoy has to go at the speed that will permit its slowest vessel to remain in formation.
That’s why it’s so easy to make a living today. It takes no particular brains or talent to make a living and support a family today. We have a plateau of so-called “security” if that’s what a person is look for. But do have to decide how high above this plateau we want to aim.
Now let’s get back to the strangest secret in the world. The story I wanted to tell you today.
Why do people with goals succeed in life and people without them fail? Let me tell you something which if you really understand it, will alter your life immediately. If you understand completely what I’m going to tell you from this moment on you’re life will never be the same again. You’ll suddenly find that good luck will be attracted to you. The things you want just seem to fall in line. And from now you won’t have the problems, the worries, that gnawing lump of anxiety that perhaps you’ve experienced before… doubt… fear… will be things of the past.
WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT
Here is the key to success and the key to failure… We become what we think about.
Now let me say that again… We become what we think about.
Throughout history, the great wise men and teachers, philosophers, and prophets have disagreed with one another on many different things. It is only on this one point that they are in complete and unanimous agreement.
He continues, “If you only care enough for a result will almost certainly attain it. If you wish to be rich, you’ll be rich. If you wish to be learned, you’ll be learned. If you wish to be good, you’ll be good. Only you must, then, really wish these things, and wish them exclusively, and not wish at the same time a hundred other incompatible things just as strongly.”
In the Bible, you’ll read Mark 9:23: “If thou can believe all things are possible to him that believes.”
My old friend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale put it this way: “This is one of the greatest laws of the universe. Fervently I wish I had discovered it as a very young man. It dawned upon me much later in life and I found it be one of the greatest if not my greatest discovery outside my relationship to God. The great law briefly and simply stated is that ‘If you think in negative terms, you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms, you will achieve positive results.’ That is the simple fact” he would go on to say which is at the basis of an astonishing law of prosperity and success. In three words: Believe and Succeed.
Well, it’s pretty apparent, isn’t it? Every person who discovered this for awhile believed they were the first to work it out. We become what we think about. Now it stands to reason a person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that’s what he’s thinking about. And we become what we think 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 becomes what he thinks about. His life will become a life of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing … he becomes nothing.
Now how does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well I’ll tell you how it works as far as we know. Now to do this I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.
AS YE SOW — SO SHALL YE REAP
Suppose a farmer has some land and its good fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice. He may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn’t care what is planted. It’s up to the farmer to make the decision. Now remember we are comparing the human mind to the land. Because the mind, like the land, doesn’t care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn’t care what you plant.
Now let’s say the farmer plants two seeds in his hand – one a seed of corn, the other nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two holes in the earth and plants both seeds: one corn and the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land and what will happen?
Invariably, the land will return what’s planted. As it’s written in the Bible -“As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Remember, the land doesn’t care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants – one corn, one poison.
The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn’t care what we plant … success … or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal … or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety, and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.
You see the human mind is the last unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant. Now you might say if that’s true, why don’t people use their minds more? Well I think they figured out an answer to that one too.
Our mind comes as standard equipment at birth. It’s free. And things that are given to us for nothing, we place little value on. Things that we pay money for, we value.
The paradox is that exactly the reverse is true. Everything that’s really worthwhile in life came to us free – our minds, our souls, our bodies, our hopes, our dreams, our ambitions, our intelligence, our love of family and children and friends and country. All these priceless possessions are free.
But the things that cost us money are actually very cheap and can be replaced at any time. A good man can be completely wiped out and make another fortune. He can do that several times. Even if our home burns down, we can rebuild it. But the things we got for nothing, we can never replace.
Inspired Action Steps:
If you didn’t define what success is for you, do this today before you start setting your goals. Remember you need to know where you’re going first. Invest some time today and begin to write out what success is for you. What will make you happy? What do you desire?
End Part Two -Earl Nightingales The Strangest Secret