The Strangest Secret

The Strangest Secret is considered the holy grail of personal development. It was
originally recorded in 1960, due to the tremendous number of requests Columbia
Records produced it and in a short period of time sales soared to over a million
copies, earning a Gold Record – the first and only spoken word record to ever reach

Here is the transcript from the Strangest Secret in the World. This will radically
shift your thinking about success…

The “Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale

Some years ago, the late Nobel prize-winning Dr. Albert Schweitzer was asked by a
reporter, “Doctor, what’s wrong with men today?” The great doctor was silent a
moment, and then he said, “Men simply don’t think!”

It’s about this that I want to talk with you. We live today in a golden age. This is
an era that humanity has looked forward to, dreamed of, and worked toward for
thousands of years. We live in the richest era that ever existed on the face of the
earth … a land of abundant opportunity for everyone.

However, if you take 100 individuals who start even at the age of 25, do you have
any idea what will happen to those men and women by the time they’re 65? These
100 people believe they’re going to be successful. They are eager toward life, there
is a certain sparkle in their eye, an erectness to their carriage, and life seems like
a pretty interesting adventure to them.

But by the time they’re 65, only one will be rich, four will be financially independent,
five will still be working, and 54 will be broke — depending on others for life’s
necessities. Only five out of 100 make the grade! Why do so many fail? What has happened
to the sparkle that was there when they were 25? What has become of the dreams, the hopes,
the plans … and why is there such a large disparity between what these people intended to
do and what they actually accomplished?

First, we have to define success and here is the best definition I’ve ever been able
to find: “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

A success is the school teacher who is teaching because that’s what he or she
wanted to do. A success is the entrepreneur who start his own company because
that was his dream -that’s what he wanted to do. A success is the salesperson who
wants to become the best salesperson in his or her company and sets forth on the
pursuit of that goal.

A success is anyone who is realizing a worthy predetermined ideal, because that’s
what he or she decided to do … deliberately. But only one out of 20 does that! The
rest are “failures.”

Rollo May, the distinguished psychiatrist, wrote a wonderful book called Man’s
Search for Himself, and in this book he says: “The opposite of courage in our
society is not cowardice … it is conformity.” And there you have the reason for so
many failures. Conformity — people acting like everyone else, without knowing why
or where they are going.

We learn to read by the time we’re seven. We learn to make a living by the time
we’re 30. Often by that time we’re not only making a living, we’re supporting a
family. And yet by the time we’re 65, we haven’t learned how to become financially
independent in the richest land that has ever been known. Why? We conform! Most
of us are acting like the wrong percentage group — the 95 who don’t succeed.

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?

The difference is goals. People with goals succeed because they know where
they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives
are shaped by circumstances … by things that happen to them … by exterior forces.

Think of a ship 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 that 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. However, the human race is fixed, not to
prevent the strong from winning, but to prevent the weak from losing. Society
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.” So, to succeed, all we must do is decide how high above this plateau we
want to aim.

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 — the key to success
and the key to failure is this: WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT.

This is The Strangest Secret! Now, why do I say it’s strange, and why do I call it a
secret? Actually, it isn’t a secret at all. It was first promulgated by some of the
earliest wise men, and it appears again and again throughout the Bible. But very
few people have learned it or understand it. That’s why it’s strange, and why for
some equally strange reason it virtually remains a secret.

Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman Emperor, said: “A man’s life is what his thoughts
make of it.”
Disraeli said this: “Everything comes if a man will only wait … a human being with a
settled purpose must accomplish it, and nothing can resist a will that will stake
even existence for its fulfillment.”
William James said: “We need only in cold blood act as if the thing in question were
real, and it will become infallibly real by growing into such a connection with our life
that it will become real. It will become so knit with habit and emotion that our
interests in it will be those which characterize belief.” He continues, ” … 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.”
My old friend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale put it this way: “If you think in negative terms,
you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms, you will achieve positive
George Bernard Shaw said: “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they
are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people
who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make

Well, it’s pretty apparent, isn’t it?

We become what we think about. A person who is thinking about a concrete and
worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that’s what he’s thinking 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
will thereby create a life of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks
about nothing … he becomes nothing.

The human mind is much like a farmer’s 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. The mind, like the land, will return what you plant,
but it doesn’t care what you plant. If the farmer plants two seeds – one a seed of corn,
the other nightshade, a deadly poison, waters and takes care of the land, what will happen?

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. As it’s
written in the Bible, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

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.

The problem is that 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. Our mind can do any kind of job
we assign to it, but generally speaking, we use it for little jobs instead of big ones.
So decide now. What is it you want? Plant your goal in your mind. It’s the most
important decision you’ll ever make in your entire life.

Do you want to excel at your particular job? Do you want to go places in your
company … in your community? Do you want to get rich? All you have got to do is
plant that seed in your mind, care for it, work steadily toward your goal, and it will
become a reality.

It not only will, there’s no way that it cannot. You see, that’s a law — like the laws
of Sir Isaac Newton, the laws of gravity. If you get on top of a building and jump
off, you’ll always go down — you’ll never go up. And it’s the same with all the other
laws of nature. They always work. They’re inflexible. Think about your goal in a relaxed,
positive way. Picture yourself in your mind’s eye as having already achieved this goal.
See yourself doing the things you will be doing when you have reached your goal.

Every one of us is the sum total of our own thoughts. We are where we are
because that’s exactly where we really want or feel we deserve to be — whether
we’ll admit that or not. Each of us must live off the fruit of our thoughts in the
future, because what you think today and tomorrow — next month and next year
— will mold your life and determine your future. You’re guided by your mind.

I remember one time I was driving through eastern Arizona and I saw one of those
giant earth-moving machines – roaring along the road with what looked like 30 tons
of dirt in it – a tremendous, incredible machine – and there was a little man perched
way up on top with the wheel in his hands, guiding it. As I drove along I was struck
by the similarity of that machine to the human mind. Just suppose you’re sitting at
the controls of such a vast source of energy. Are you going to sit back and fold
your arms and let it run itself into a ditch? Or are you going to keep both hands
firmly on the wheel and control and direct this power to a specific, worthwhile
purpose? It’s up to you. You’re in the driver’s seat.

You see, the very law that gives us success is a double-edged sword. We must
control our thinking. The same rule that can lead people to lives of success, wealth,
happiness, and all the things they ever dreamed of — that very same law can lead
them into the gutter. It’s all in how they use it … for good or for bad. That is The
Strangest Secret!

Do what the experts since the dawn of recorded history have told us to do: pay the
price, by becoming the person you want to become. It’s not nearly as difficult as
living unsuccessfully.

The moment you decide on a goal to work toward, you’re immediately a successful
person — you are then in that rare group of people who know where they’re going.
Out of every hundred people, you belong to the top five. Don’t concern yourself too
much with how you are going to achieve your goal — leave that completely to a
power greater than yourself. All you have to do is know where you’re going. The
answers will come to you of their own accord, and at the right time.
Start today. You have nothing to lose — but you have your whole life to win.

This powerful message should be read or listened to regularly. You have nothing to lose
and everything to gain! For the MP3 audio recording click the link below to listen or
right click and choose “save as” to download to your computer.

The Strangest Secret

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This entry was posted in Affirmations & Attitude, Downloads, Setting and Reaching Goals, The Self Improvements Concept and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Strangest Secret

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