Earl Nightingale
The Strangest Secret

The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale

Pro: The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale is a quick 20 minute read that can be used when you need a jolt of motivation.

Con: The book does not provide success stories or technical proof of why “We become what we think about.”


The Strangest Secret is known by some as the original start to the now world famous: The Secret.

It is a short, quick read at 87 large print pages. Due to its length, it is straightforward and to the point. “We become what we think about.” That is the message Earl Nightingale teaches. He starts by telling the reader that only 5% of men will become successful by the age of 65. This statistic, in his mind, is due to conformity. People are outer-directed instead of inner-directed. He stresses the use of goal setting to know where we are pointing our energy. Getting to your goal is being successful.

Nightingale uses metaphors to make his concepts easy to understand. I commend him for giving the reader an action plan to change the way they think: 30-Day Action Ideas for Putting The Strangest Secret to Work for You. The best way to convince yourself that you can change your life with your thoughts is to try it. Thirty days is a great starting point. His 30-day action plan includes:

  • Write down your goal on a card

  • Focus on it each morning and several times each day

  • Do your very best at everything you do during the 30 days

  • Do not worry about how to reach your goal

  • Read inspirational material

  • Focus on the Bible verse: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek; and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

  • If you become overwhelmed with negative thoughts at any point during the 30 days, start over
  • I often find that I read a book, become enthralled and then quickly forget the message. I recall that the book had value, but the specific ideas become fuzzy. When I think about rereading the book, its length seems prohibitive. I would rather read something new than reread. The Strangest Secret is a quick 20-minute read, so it is a book that can be reread to reinforce positive thinking when you need a quick boost. It’s perfect for getting yourself in an empowered mood before a visualization session.

    The Strangest Secret is a good introduction. It does not have much theory or tell ‘success through positive thinking’ stories. It is not over-thought, and there is beauty in that. Nightingale just gives the concept and tells you to try it. I agree. Go try it.

    Return from Earl Nightingale: The Strangest Secret to Inspirational Books

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