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11 Principles About Success From The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale

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Over 60 years ago, an insurance agency owner named Earl Nightingale decided to record a motivational speech for his sales team. Although he didn’t know it at the time, this speech about success would grow so much in popularity that he would need to dedicate a significant amount of time to managing the demand. “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale sold over a million copies and earned the first Gold Record for Spoken Word.

The following principles about success from it still apply as much today as they did back then.

1. We live today in a golden age with abundant opportunities

There will be more opportunity this year and next than there has been for a while. A down economy is a breeding ground for new businesses and opportunities for people to reinvent themselves if they need to. It’s time to work on that idea you’ve kept hidden in a notebook for the last few years.

2. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal

Success is not necessarily about making a lot of money. If you find your passion and love what you do, then you found success. If following your passion leads to the creation of something valuable, making a steady income should never be a problem.

3. 95% of people forfeit success for conformity

In an age of social media where everyone needs to be online, this could not be more true. Part of the problem is that smartphones and social media have been designed to attract people and eat up all our time. That’s why you should consider doing a digital detox in order to clear your head and find a path to success.

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” – Earl Nightingale

4. Instead of competing, all we have to do is create

We have more resources now for flexing our creativity. Open-source software, free YouTube tutorials, and low-cost methods of prototyping have made it very inexpensive to try inventing a new product or service. If you don’t like the idea of a 15 or 20 year race to hit C-level, focus on creating a solution to a problem instead. There’s definitely still sacrifice and long hours involved, but the rewards can be significantly greater.

5. People who set goals succeed because they know where they’re going

Nightingale makes a great analogy for setting goals in The Strangest Secret. He compares people who do or don’t set goals with ships. The ship that has its voyage mapped out with a captain and crew will arrive at its destination the majority of the time. It has a definite goal. The other ship doesn’t have its voyage mapped out, no crew, and does not know where it’s going. They send it out from a harbor and where does it go? Nowhere.

6. They both work hard

The best part of this analogy is pointing out how hard work isn’t enough. We can work really hard, but without setting the right goals, that hard work may not take us anywhere. I’ve definitely been in situations like this before. During high school, college or my professional life, it has always felt more fulfilling to be working toward a specific goal instead of going through the motions.

7. We become what we think about

This one needs some clarification. No matter how hard you think about becoming an 18-wheeler semi-truck, it probably won’t happen. What you can think about and weave deep into your brain is your goal. I know this works from personal experience. If you deliberately think about a goal right when you wake up in the morning and go to bed at night, it will start to affect your day-to-day decisions more and more. Gradually, you will end up on a clear path toward meeting that goal.

8. Believe and succeed

You can believe you’re a success and become one. There are plenty of people who have a lot of money that still don’t believe they are successful or feel unfulfilled. It’s because a lot of the time, money follows success, not the other way around. Nightingale wasn’t the first person to say this and he hasn’t been the last, either. Our mindset dictates our happiness and success, so it’s crucial that we take care of it.

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale

9. Everything worthwhile in life came to us free

Even if you were given a smartphone for free as a kid, that’s not what this means. Our friends, family, and our minds are all given to us for free. Things that cost money are very cheap and can be replaced pretty quickly. The paradox is that many people take things for granted that can’t be replaced. Whether it’s excessive drinking, drugs, neglect, or whatever – many people make worthless things a priority instead of focusing on what truly matters for finding success.

10. We must be willing to pay the price

Success will never come for free. Whether that’s having good relationships, good health, or a good financial situation. It always comes with a cost. Trying to avoid paying the price will only lead to more hardship. Once you understand this, it will make the journey infinitely easier than if you tried avoiding the hard work and discipline.

11. Ideas are worthless unless we act on them

Good ideas are a dime a dozen. I’ve had plenty and I’m sure you have, too. But ideas themselves don’t do anything. We need to take action instead of sitting around talking about how this or that would be a million-dollar idea. It seems like some people also tend to think that if they thought of something first, it belongs to them. History shows that even if you go out and file for a patent, competition can easily spring up. The only option is meeting your market with action as soon as you can, then building on that success with more.

When The Strangest Secret came out, it not only helped grow an industry of personal development but millions of individuals as well. If you take what Earl Nightingale said to heart and remain creative, set goals, think positive, and stay action-oriented, your road to success will be a lot simpler. Simple still doesn’t mean easy, but no worthwhile adventure should be.

Bob Buckley writes about how to make money online and frugal entrepreneurship on his blog This College Life. In his spare time, he works on inventing things with his 3D printer and learning the basics of Arduino. He can also be found walking the dog around his neighborhood.

Success Advice

5 Smart Goals to Make This Year Your Most Successful Ever

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Setting goals at the start of the year means you will know exactly what you need to do throughout the year to be successful. By setting goals, it forces you to build a plan about how you intend to achieve those goals. By having a plan in place, you will wake up every morning with a clear idea of what it is you need to do each day. Just by writing down your goals, there is a 42% greater chance you will achieve those goals than if they just stayed in your head. It may seem like a small thing but actually creating goals every year and then writing them down significantly improves your chances of success. (more…)

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7 Ways to Face Adversity Using the Power of Extreme Ownership

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Adversity is an inevitable part of our lives, and it is an important and defining factor of our personal story. The stories we build for ourselves in the face of adversity will either empower or discourage us emotionally, help us move forward or remain stuck in the past, allow us to grow or to decline. (more…)

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Why Your Confidence Needs to Match Your Competence

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Even if you produce amazing results at your job or in other areas of your life, others may still not see you as being competent if you lack the confidence to back it up. If you are good at your job, exuding confidence will ensure others also recognize your competence in your area of expertise. And research backs this up. (more…)

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5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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