For many of you who will read this post and are familiar with Earl Nightingale’s message of The Strangest Secret, this should be a great review and a chance to listen again. For those of you who have never heard of Mr. Nightingale, or of The Strangest Secret, this is my gift to you…listen closely…
Goals: The Key to Success and Failure in Life
When Nobel Prize winner Albert Schweitzer was asked why do so many people not succeed, his answer was ‘they simply don’t think.’ It’s true that whether we are in a recession or expansion, we still live in the ‘golden age of mankind’ and we probably do ‘take that for granted.’
I can’t imagine that this has changed, but if 100 men starting at age 25 and retired at 65 all believed that they would be successful when they started and when reaching age 65, only one would be rich, four would be financially independent and the rest did not make the grade, what went wrong? Why do so many of us fail to achieve success (the progressive realization of a worthy ideal)?
Mr. Nightingale said it’s because we conform. We act like everybody else that fails does. We are acting like the wrong percentage group, the 95%. He continued to make his case that those of us who fail are outer-directed people. Outer-directed people allow outside forces to control the actions they take, unlike inner directed people who are the powers of their own lives.
I love this quote from George Bernard Shaw, and I believe that if we wanted to start to be part of the 5% that do succeed, we should live by this quote. He 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 them.’ I mean, can you say it any better than that?
So what is the key to success – The Strangest Secret? It’s goals. Like Mr. Nightingale said, some of us have them, and some of us don’t. The distinction to make, is that people with goals know where they are going. People without goals have no destination, no guidance and they fail.
I also thought that when he said that the American economy is slowed down to protect it’s weakest link, the 95%, is that true even for today? I would love to hear your thoughts on that, so please comment below.
I have to say that when he said ‘Making a living and raising a family takes no particular brains or talent’ – ‘how far above this plateau do you want to aim?’ I got the idea that to become more, we have to work at becoming more. It has to be a goal. We have to aim for that higher standard and not be reduced by complacent conformity.
Conceptually, it’s very clear. People with goals and who take action to achieve them usually succeed and those without goals in life usually fail.
The Strangest Secret: We Become What We Think About
The greatest philosophers of the world have disagreed on many things, but they ALL agreed on this one concept:
Marcus Aurelius – ‘a man becomes what his thoughts make of him’
Benjamin Disraeli – ‘Everything will come, if a man will only wait. I’ve brought myself to after great meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it and that nothing can withstand a will that will stake even it’s existence for it’s fulfillment.’
Negative thoughts bring negative results – this is a fact. People constantly thinking about a goal eventually achieve it. They make it happen because their focus is on the goal and how to actualize it. People with no goals usually have thoughts of confusion, fear, frustration, anxiety and worry – and this is what they think about and become. Also, if we think about nothing – we become nothing.
I think the goal is, to act like the 5% and hopefully we can get that 5% to become 6%, 10%, 25% etc…but at the least, we can start by joining the 5%. Jim Rohn in his seminars used to say that only 5% percent of people have a library card! I mean it’s free! Imagine, the wealth of knowledge available at our finger tips for free, but only 5% actually take advantage. Blows my mind!
Finally, this is why the coaching I provide focuses primarily on goal setting. We want to know where we are going. We can’t get anywhere unless we are certain. We can then commit and make progress!