I have been a massive Earl Nightingale fan for the last ten years. Recently, I felt this overwhelming pull to revisit his teachings. A former radio host, Earl wrote The Strangest Secret, and made an audio recording of it. His book was the first to sell a million copies in 1956, and became the first spoken-word recording to achieve Gold Record status. You can hear The Strangest Secret on YouTube, and I urge you to listen to his simple, yet profound advice.
In his book, Earl hammers home the universal law that we become what we think about. I believe this truth wholeheartedly. Have positive thoughts and you will experience positivity in all areas of your life. Think negative thoughts all day long and you will experience repetitive negativity. Essentially, you reap what you sow—spread negative seeds and you grow more negative plants.
That doesn’t mean it’s super easy to change your deeply ingrained thoughts, patterns, and negative self-talk overnight. I have been working on this for a very long time and I still fall victim to the hypnotic mental rhythms. Here are the top ten takeaways I learned from listening to Earl’s recording every day for the last thirty days:
Don’t compete, create
We are possessed and obsessed with what our “competitors” are doing. If we just shift the paradigm and focus on waking up every day to serve and give value—with no expectations—there is absolutely no way that we cannot have great success.
Know where you are going and have a plan
If you have no idea who you desire to be and where you want to go, you are like a ship with no crew, no captain, no goal, and no destination. What happens then? The ship ends up adrift for years, or wrecked on a deserted island. Too often, we run our lives and ourselves like a ship aimlessly sailing across the ocean. However, if your ship is fully prepared with a knowledgeable captain and crew, and has a definitive destination, there is nothing to stop you from reaching that goal in an easy and harmonious manner.
We become what we think about
A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.—Marcus Aurealius
A man is what he thinks about all day long.—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.— William James
The most prolific thinkers in the world all agree with this one truth above all others: We must be diligent about catching our untamed minds every time low-vibrational and limiting thoughts pop up. Instead of letting them take up residence in your brain, replace them with healthy and high-vibrational thoughts. Have a mantra that you speak every time those thoughts try to worm their way into your mind. Let your mantra be something positive, life-affirming, and empowering, like: I am working towards my best self now. Every day, in every way, I am becoming better and better. Whatever it takes to shift the energy from low to high will exponentially propel you toward attaining your most Ambitchious life.
Don’t be a donkey
Donkeys are cautious and stubborn. They hesitate, rather than moving forward, and dig in their heels against change. If you want change in your life, you have to act as if the thing you desire is already in your possession. “If you wish to be rich, you will be rich,” Earl Nightingale says. “If you wish to be learned, you will be learned. If you wish to be good, you will be good. Only you must really wish these things and wish them exclusively, not wish at the same time a hundred incompatible things just as strongly.” You can’t wish for wealth and education and love and cars and a million things at once. Make a decision on what you desire and stick to that one goal until it is attained. Stop spreading yourself so damned thin.
If you think in negative terms you will negative results, if you think positive thoughts you will get positive results
I’m sorry but I had to be redundant here. Get it through your thick skull. What you think is what will happen.
Make your own circumstances
So many people blame everything and everyone else for where they are in their lives. Being Ambitchious is all about taking full responsibility for who and where you are in your life. That is how you take your power back, and how you use it to empower yourself, rather than waiting on someone else to do the work. When you are standing in your power you can move mountains and have anything in the world that you desire.
Whatever you plant in your land is what will grow
Earl talks about a farmer who plants two crops, the first corn, and the other a deadly poison called nightshade. Both will grow in the fertile land, but which will be more useful to the farmer and his life? Obviously not the poison. So why are you planting poison in your mind when you could be planting life-giving corn?
The thoughts you place in your mind are very much like seeds and your mind is the fertile land. Remember the land (your mind) will return whatever you choose to plant, water, and nurture. The land, much like your mind, doesn’t care what you plant. Whatever you sow, so shall ye reap. The only difference between your mind and the land is that your mind is way more fertile and far more powerful than figurative land. Fear, anxiety, happiness, positivity, joy, gratitude, whatever—it doesn’t matter. Whatever you plant in your thoughts, good or bad, will return to you. What are you going to plant now that you know this truth?
Wherever you are in life is exactly where you want to be, believe it or not
I know, this is a hard pill to swallow and I am sure you would love to slap me on both sides of my face right now, but it is the truth. If you are living your best life, the one you dreamed of since you were a small child, then it is because it was your choice. Every decision, move, and venture you made all culminated in the beautiful life that you are currently experiencing. The same truth rings true for a downtrodden life. You also made choices that connected the dots up until the current and not-so-ideal life you chose. What will you choose now, knowing this truth?
The architect of the universe didn’t create a stairway that goes nowhere. We came from someplace and we are going someplace, so we should make our lives an exciting adventure
I hate to break it to you but there is a higher power in action here, no matter what religious beliefs you have. You have two choices currently: Wake up every day and live your dreams or wake up every day and live your nightmare. God gave us free will, so choose the road that leads someplace amazing.
The law of the Universe is immutable: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s science. Look up Sir Isaac Newton’s natural law of physics. We can achieve nothing without paying the price
Your limitations here on this earth are all self-imposed. To have an incredible life you must pay the price of making changes, taking risks, and working hard. You must find your purpose. Trust your instincts. Serve, give value, and always bring the light. Use all of your courage to think positively, to set a goal and think about it from all possible angles. Let your imagination soar and know that nothing can compete with you. Most of all, be definite with all your decisions.
Are you willing to pay the price?
Stop thinking about what you fear. Replace it with your positive and worthwhile goal. Remember, thinking negatively is way easier than thinking positively. But thinking positively reaps far better crops.
Start today and: Do more than you have to do.
Give of yourself more than you ever have before.
Most of all, Act as though it is impossible to fail.—Dorothea Brand
Persistence is faith. If you fail and suddenly find yourself overwhelmed by negative thoughts, simply start over from the beginning. Recenter yourself and your thoughts. Remember, nothing great was ever accomplished without perspiration and inspiration.
This is the price you must pay for what you want. And in turn, it’s The Strangest Secret to living the life you always imagined!