Below article is based on my take-aways from the motivational audio message-The Strangest Secret in the World by legendary American radio speaker and author Earl Nightingale(March 12, 1921 – March 25, 1989) . He dealt mostly with subjects of human character development, motivation, and meaningful existence.
Earl owned an insurance company and spent many hours motivating his sales force to greater accomplishments. Once he decided to go on a vacation for an extended period and in order to motivate his sales team in his absence, he put his inspirational words on record The Strangest Secret, the first spoken word message to win a Gold Record by selling over a million copies. In The Strangest Secret, Earl had found an answer to the question that had inspired him as a youth and, in turn, found a way to leave a lasting legacy for others.
The Strangest Secret was first recorded by Earl in the year 1956 and has inspired millions of people across generations for greater accomplishments. The teachings and methods shared in the message still remain very much relevant and will continue to be so, for many years to come.
Having personally listened to the powerful message numerous times over the last few months, I thought it worthwhile to share my takeaways and understanding from the same. The link to the audio message is also shared and I would strongly urge you to listen to it attentively till the very end. It definitely has the power to change lives.
The Open Secret for Super Success
(My Takeaways from The Strangest Secret of Life)
Quest for Success
We all keep looking for ways to achieve success in our lives. There is a constant search for the key to success. Well if you ask me, it’s an open secret and in this article, we are going to discover this open secret. We are living in times of abundance in wealth and knowledge. These are the times which we had dreamt of for generations but now since we are into this era, we pretty much take things for granted. The current generation is presented with so many opportunities, which were not available earlier but we are not making the best use of them.
Let’s understand this with an example when we are into our school/college life, there are so many dreams in our eyes. We all have aspirations and wishes of becoming achievers but by the time we finish our working lives how many are actually able to achieve success and become, what we wanted to become? Surprisingly out of 100 only 5 are able to realize their dreams. So, what happened to these 95 people, why is there such a wide gap between the achievers and non-achievers? What happened to their dreams and aspirations? But before understanding the reason for the failure of such a vast majority of the population it is imperative to define success.
How do you define success?
The common error is to associate success only with money and we usually call rich as successful, which is not correct. All human beings are not the same and therefore the meaning of success is also different for everyone. The dreams, aspirations, and goals vary across individuals. So, we can have someone, who would like to become a teacher and spread knowledge, others would want to become an entrepreneur or a movie star or sports person or just homemaker. Hence the meaning of success would be different for everyone.
Success can be defined as, “accomplishment of a worthy goal”. Therefore, someone who could achieve his aim by continuously following it can be termed as successful. A lady who wanted to become a housewife and take care of her family and if she is able to do it ineffective way, she is successful. A man who wanted to become a teacher and spread knowledge and if he is able to do so, he is successful. Anyone who is deliberately doing what he or she always wanted to do by consistently working towards it, can be called successful.
Why do 95% people Fail?
Now let’s get back to our question as to why so many people fail? The greatest reason is the inability to take control of their lives and going with the flow. If you ever meet a person who is not successful and ask him or her, the reason for failure they would always blame circumstances. The general belief among such people is that they don’t do things deliberately, rather things just happen to them. For such people life is shaped by external forces and not by them. They consider themselves to be on autopilot mode being guided by situations in their life and acting accordingly. These people are the product of their circumstances and there are many of them. You will always find common traits among such people, talking about fate, luck, etc. You would very rarely find them taking responsibility for their actions and ownership for their failures.
The Importance of having a GOAL
Now let me ask you a simple question,” Why do you work”? “Why do you get up every day in the morning”? What motivates you? These are fairly simple questions but I am sure you would still be thinking about the answers, isn’t it? Why so? Well, these are simple yet very powerful questions that define our very existence and 19 out of 20 people have never asked these questions to themselves. Now some of you would say, the answer to the above questions is to earn money, to go to work, or earn a livelihood or some might say that’s what everyone else is doing. Right? Actually, that’s where the exact problem lies. Just to be socially acceptable we start doing, what everyone else is doing, which is precisely, “Going with the Flow”. Once we fall into this trap of social conformity, we forget our dreams, our aspirations, and most importantly our GOAL. Since we stop chasing our goal, hence we never achieve it and therefore success alludes to us. This leads us to another question, why do we prefer going with the flow, rather than charting our own path? Well, the answer lies in the question itself—It is always easier to swim in the direction of the current, rather than going against it. We are scared to leave our comfort zone and choose our fate accordingly.
“Great things never came from comfort zones”
Each one of us wants success and is always looking for the secret formula, a secret recipe, the key to success, and that is why probably you are also here. Well, there is one and I have found it. Have you ever wondered, why so many people work hard and are still not successful, while others seem to have a magic touch and it appears that success follows them rather than they chasing it. Why is it so that someone who is successful in one venture keeps repeating it, while a failure continues to struggle throughout? What is the difference between the two and we are not talking about luck or fate? Well, it’s because of GOALS. People who have goals and work towards them succeed while others don’t.
A Goal is a destination, where we aim to reach. If the goal is not decided then we can’t chalk out our path, decide in which direction we need to go, and therefore end up being nowhere. We understand this important fact while engaging in small activities of our life-like going on a vacation, constructing a house, purchasing a car, etc. For a second, imagine yourself buying an air ticket, you exactly know, where you want to go and purchase the ticket accordingly. Can you buy a ticket to nowhere? Let’s consider another example, when we want to construct a house we first decide on its location, its elevation and then prepare a blueprint of the same with the number of rooms required, layout, color scheme, and whatnot. Can you make a house without preparing a blueprint, well yes you can but we don’t know how it is going to look like, and in most probability, we won’t be getting a good one, which we will be proud of, the same holds true for our lives.
It’s a real irony that we do planning and goal setting for such small aspects but forget to do so for our life and then we spend, 20,30,40,50,60 years of our lifetime or sometimes the entire life without actually knowing where are we headed for. The way having a goal or definite destination is important before embarking on a journey, same holds true for our professional and personal life.
The Power of human Mind
Now a question arises, why do people with Goals succeed and others don’t? The answer to this question is actually KEY TO SUCCESS and in the next few seconds, your life is going to change and if you really want to attract good fortune, you must be very attentive from hereon.
The answer is,
“We become, what we think about”.
We can shape our life by thinking about what we want to achieve, all day long. The human race is fortunate enough to have this ability to alter our lives just by thinking aloud in our mind, what we want to become? Now, this is not a hidden secret and most of us have known this all through, hence I call it an OPEN SECRET. It can help you to achieve almost everything, if you want to be rich, you will be rich, if you want to be learned, you will be learned and if you don’t want anything, you will be nothing. The key to success has always been there in all our religious books, reiterated by great individuals of our civilizations and referred in numerous books but somehow, we either fail to find it or misplace it time and again.
So why does this happen, why do we become what we think about? How does this work? Let’s explain this with an analogy of fertile land. The crop which grows on a farmer’s field or land is an outcome of the seeds sown by the farmer? If the seeds have been sown for rice or wheat then we can’t expect anything else to grow. Conversely, if you plant cactus seeds, you will get cactus in its full glory. The human mind is much more fertile and incredible than a farmer’s field, our thoughts are like the seeds which we plant in our brain. These thoughts take their time to germinate and grow in our minds before becoming plants and trees in full bloom, at which point they translate into results. Just like we need to water plants or trees and take care of favorable produce, similarly, utmost care is required for our thoughts to ensure favorable outcomes. If you plant positive thoughts, you will get positive results and if you plant negative thoughts, you can’t expect positive results. Can you? As the saying goes,
“What you sow, shall you reap”.
We have many examples from our daily life to confirm this everlasting truth. You eat healthily, exercise regularly, you become fit. Can you become healthy by having unhealthy eating habits and lazing around the whole day? Can you become learned without educating yourself?
So, if that’s the power of our mind, why don’t we use it? Well along with our other sensory organs, we got our brain for free and whatever is free, it is not valued for. We value a car, a watch, a laptop, a mobile phone, and other such material possessions which can be bought for money but the human mind which is invaluable and irreplaceable is not valued for, since we get it by default when we are born. However, the truth remains, that the things which can be bought for money are replaceable if you lose your money you can earn it again, if your car is stolen you can buy a new one if your house is burnt it can be built again. The things which we get for free are the ones that are priceless, invaluable, and once gone, can’t be replenished. We just can’t replace our body, our mind, our soul, our intelligence which we got for free. The human mind isn’t used because we take it for granted. It can do any job which we can assign but we simply don’t. By not defining the goal, we do a great injustice to our minds.
Time and again researchers have proven that we don’t use more than 10% of our minds. So decide what you want, whether you want to be rich, famous, write a book, be an entrepreneur, or anything else. Whatever it is, plant that seed in your mind and it will happen, there is no way it won’t. This is constant, it is bound to happen just like other fundamental laws of nature like gravity, if you throw something it will fall down towards the earth only. Find your goal, imagine yourself having already achieved it, and do things, you would do, having accomplished your goal. Each one of us and our personalities is the reflections of our thoughts. Whether we accept it or not, our accomplishments are an outcome of our thought process and we have achieved whatever we had thought of. We are guided by our mind; our thoughts today will mold our future tomorrow.
Our mind is like a giant earthmover machine that is very powerful and can perform huge tasks. It is controlled by a man in the driving seat, if he leaves the control, the machine is bound to fall in a ditch instead of performing the required task. The human mind has immense potential and it can perform unsurmountable tasks but for that, you need to take control, else it will wander aimlessly and make you fall. The powerful mind is like a double-edged sword, if not controlled properly it can be destructive, it can create irreparable losses. Your mind can make life good or bad, depending upon how you want it to be.
“As you believe, so shall it be done, unto you”
We all are creations of almighty and there is a purpose behind our creation. It’s our job to find that purpose and fulfill it. We should be excited to get up in the morning and pursue our purpose in a cheerful manner with a happy mind and soul. The purpose can be our job, our business, our hobby, our passion, or anything else. We all are coming from somewhere and going somewhere, so we should enjoy this journey instead of just being grumpy and sad.
The 30 Day Test
Having understood The Open Secret for Super Success, I would recommend putting yourself through a practical 30-day test in 4 steps. On completion of this 30 day period, be ready to meet a better version of yourself.
Step 1.Define your Goal—It should be a single goal so that your mind can focus unilaterally on it. Define it precisely with minute details and clear-cut timelines. Write it somewhere in your notebook. You don’t need to show it to anyone but look at it every day in the morning, before going to bed, or several times during the day. This will give you a purpose to wake up for and look forward to every single day.
“A Goal is a dream with deadline”
Step 2.Remove the clutter of your mind and let it imagine—Get rid of unnecessary thoughts which include fear, anxiety, stress, and other negative thoughts. Don’t think about how you are going to achieve your goal, this will distract your mind. Believe that there is a greater power to take care of this stuff. There will be days when you would feel like giving up and think negatively. It is easy for the human mind to be guided by negative thoughts and emotions. It is therefore necessary to control your mind and thoughts. It should only think, what you allow it to.
“If you feel like quitting, think why you started”.
Take a card and on one side-right your goal and on the other just right the following words,
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.
Just hold the Goal in front of you every day and let your mind do its work. Imagine yourself achieving your goal and reaping the fruits of your success.
3.Be brave and work hard during these 30 days—Whatever work you do, put some extra effort during these 30 days. You can be in a job, a homemaker, or having your business. Whatever you do, do it in a way that you have not done before. This doesn’t mean to stress yourself. What we are implying is doing your work in the best possible manner while being calm and happy so that you are surrounded with positive energy. In case you get overwhelmed by negative emotions and give up, start the 30 days test again, do it every time until you get used to it.
Some of you might think, if it is so difficult why should I even attempt it? The answer lies in another question- what is the other option available? Do you want to spend the rest of your life in mediocrity? Do you want to be part of the bottom 95% of the population or the top 5% which is successful? Life is all about the choices we make. There are no free lunches in this world and everything comes with a price, so consider it as the price to be paid for success.
“Success doesn’t come to You, You go to it”
4.Action -Ideas are worthless unless you act on them. Hence having decided, what needs to be done you need to start acting on it diligently and consistently.
“Do it NOW, sometimes LATER becomes NEVER”
I know that following this 30-day process is not going to be easy but if you do it, you have practically nothing to lose but everything to gain. You need to decide if you want to take control of life and be successful or let it be. As with any change, it takes time to adjust and we need to put in extra efforts initially but gradually it becomes a habit and an integral part of our routine.
There are people who want to make money via shortcuts. Let’s be clear on one thing the only mint can make money, the rest of us earn it. The people looking for shortcuts are just not willing to understand the basic principle that there is a price to be paid for everything.
One must remember that
- We earn money only once we are successful and not the other way around.
- We can be successful only once we accomplish our Goal, so once we achieve our goal and become successful, we earn money.
Money can be earned by creating value in your work. Value creation can be done in form of a product or service, so focus on creating value, and money will follow. Expecting money first before rendering value is just like putting cart before the horse and we know that it doesn’t work that way. You can’t get rich without making others rich.
Therefore the path to earning money is straight and simple
Adding value to others leads to Success and Success leads to Money.
It’s crystal clear now, value creation is the input that is in our control and needs to be focused upon, money which is the output will certainly follow. The quantity of output(money) is directly linked to the quality of input(value).
Do this 4 steps 30-day test and you will see loads of abundance coming to you. The money you will make a lot of it but more importantly, you will be at peace with yourself. You will be among the 5% of the population who are able to live life on their own terms.
Thanks for reading till the end.I sincerely expect that time spent reading was worth it. Before leaving the page, pls remember to Like and Comment. Knowledge needs to be shared, therefore do share the link of this article with others, who may benefit from it.