Wisdom from Earl Nightingal

When a boy is born he usually talks, thinks, and acts like his surroundings, copying his surroundings. He then starts in school and usually in school he wants to be liked by the other boys and so he follows these boys. Which as we all know are not leaders. He does this maybe from 1st grade to maybe 8th or even more. He then graduates and goes maybe to the military following the crowd, then he returns home at age 25 and one day he meets a friend from school that works at a coffee shop, the friend asks him if he wants to work with him at the coffee shop and so he does, he again follows. Assuming that what is normal for them is normal for him. He doesn’t really think about it, he just does it. He then reaches 50 years old working 40 hours a week like most people, he then has about 72 hours where he isn’t working or sleeping. What does he do with it? Just like everyone else he does what they are doing, he comes home to his wife and says he’s tired like most people do, experts say he used to hear his father say that and he then started doing it too. Then he sits in front of the TV for hours watching people achieve their career and succeed in their life. Then he sleeps and gets up and does this all over again. He has done it everyday for 40 years. He then retires and dies at maybe 85-90. Where is the problem here? Did he live this way because he lived the same way he lived when he was in first grade? Did he live that way because of a lack of decision? Or did he live that way because everyone else lives that way? In fact these “everyone” never knew how to live. Did he waste these years never knowing what he is capable of and who he really was and what was his true potential? 

The other day when I was on youtube I clicked on a video that was suggested to me, and the cover of the video said “If only I learned this earlier.”. So I clicked on it and it was a video of a man named Earl Nightingale. He was the one who said this story about the boy above. I’ve heard of him when I was in school, however we didn’t learn enough about him. Lately I’ve been listening to his book “Lead the Fields”. I haven’t finished it yet, but I think when I finish it I will confidently be able to see that it is now my favorite book. 

In the video he talks about why a person becomes who they become. Explaining that surroundings, environment, and people, usually are the ones that shape us. However because of these circumstances the estimate from professionals is that most of the people grow up using 5% of their potential or maybe even 1%. So it’s between 1 and 5. Just that was huge information for me. “I am only using 5%? Or maybe even 1%?” He says that there is so much in us, even a genius in us that we never used or don’t even know of. That there is so much more we can do and that the human mind is infinite. 

Why do you get up in the morning and go to work? Nightingale said that 19 out of 20 people aren’t successful according to studies, and the study showed also that 19 out of 20 people didn’t know why they got up in the morning to go to work. 

Some said, well everybody works. And that right there is a good reason to quit. Nightingale advice is that whatever the majority is doing, do the opposite and you probably won’t make a mistake

How could this man have lived a more meaningful life? Here is where Nightingale gives his advice. 

A checklist is the first advice. In the checklist the first word he needs to have is “goal”. “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rider.” Doesn’t know where it’s headed. What makes a person successful is that he knows where he is going and what he is doing. He knows why he is getting up in the morning. That doesn’t mean that getting up to go to work to pay bills means you are successful just because you know that.  Nightingale says it needs to be a worthy ideal. “A man with a goal is successful as a man without a goal is unsuccessful.”

Second is attitude. Attitude is what decides most things that happen to us. A good attitude will make good things happen to us while a poor attitude will make poor things happen to us. He says attitude is the greatest gift given to mankind. How people treat us tells us a lot about our attitude, the energy we give out we get. I think i’ve talked a lot about this but it’s a gift that can open many doors for you, and if not used well will not bring you good things. 

Third is Think. “The only thing about a man that makes a man is his mind, everything else you can find in a pig or a horse.” Spend time during the day to think, to write down goals, and new ideas.

 Another thing is the rule of cause and effect. It applies to everything we do, the amount of work we put in decides the rewards we get. Don’t like the rewards? Put in more work. Here I’m not talking about labor but about everything in your life, relationships, health, work, religion, money, etc. 

Fourth is Truth. Make everything you do based on truth. 

Fifth is Research and Development. Invest in yourself, look at how much you’re investing in yourself and how you are developing. Are you doing enough or do you need to invest more?

The last one is The Strangest Secret. What makes a person become who she and he become is what he or she thinks about most of the time. We become what we think about most of the time. This is why goals are important because we become what we think. His last words were if we follow the crowd we will wind up wishing that we can do it all over again and sadly we won’t ever be able to do it all over again. 

So today’s blog was mostly Earl Nightingale’s work, however I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you guys and I think I will be summarizing more of his work because I think it’s pretty helpful. Thank you so much for reading Adyans Blog! Have a beautiful day and see you next time!:)


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