Earl Nightingale’s message of The Strangest Secret, written and recorded in 1956, is still true today. 

It is so simple, although very powerful, and therefore we should all read or listen to this message until we get it!



In this blog the focus is on REAL Thinking and Learning about The Strangest Secret Message.

Keep the focus question in mind while you read the blog so that you can become more aware of this message, more knowledgeable about the message, as well as use the key insights in your personal or professional life.

Strive to Be More and Help others to Become More.



Understand that the key to success and the key to failure is this: We become what we think about.



This section gives some information or evidence that inspired me and I want you to also find something that inspires you.

1. Who was Earl Nightingale?

Earl Nightingale was a Depression-Era child from California.  His parents were poor, and that is why he educated himself in the local library.  He was driven by his hunger for knowledge as well as his curiosity about what makes people turn out the way they do in terms of their wealth, as well as their career achievements, and their happiness.

Later in his life he became a very successful Network radio announcer.  A while later he also bought a small Life Insurance Company and then insured it’s success by giving encouraging, inspiring and motivational talks to his staff.

2.  Why did Earl Nightingale write and record his message of The Strangest Secret?

At some stage Earl Nightingale had to go away and he therefore decided to write and record an essay.  This essay could afterwards be played to the staff at the insurance company during his absence.

Earl Nightingale called his essay, The Strangest Secret.

As the reaction to his message was so strirring, Columbia Records made it possible for this message to be shared with the world. As a consequence, over a million copies of the record was sold in a short period of time.

The Strangest Secret message then earned a gold record!  The first spoken word record to ever win Gold!

This message, read by Earl Nightingale for the first time in 1956, is still one of the most powerful and influential messages ever recorded.

3. Why did I decide to share about the message of The Strangest Secret?

I recently did a survey titled, “How Can I serve You?” In one of the replies someone asked how you can develop a Growth Mindset in adults.  My plan was thus to focus on my top 7 guidelines on how to become more growth-oriented as an adult in the next newsletter and blog.

Whilst doing a bit more research, the Strangest Secret appeared.  What a discovery!

The draft planning for the newsletter and blog was nearly done.  To my surprise there were so many links with the Strangest Secret.

Another surprising discovery was that the Strangest Secret message was first read by Earl Nightingale in the year I was born, that is in 1956!  It was however the first time that I listened to the message of Earl Nightingale.  I then decided to share the Strangest Secret message first as I thought that many of my readers might be interested.

4. What is the message of The Strangest Secret?

Earl Nightingale said that the large disparity between what people intend to do and what they really accomplish is….The Strangest Secret.

So, let me share a few key points from this message:


  • Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Anyone who is realizing a worthy predetermined ideal deliberately, is in other words successful. If you decide deliberately what to do, you are successful.
  • Rolo May (in Man’s Search for Himself) wrote that the opposite of courage is not cowardice but conformity.  Don’t act like everyone else, without knowing why or where they are going.


  • People with goals will know where they are going. Individuals that fail, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances and that they do not have control.
  • You can be like a ship with a captain and crew that know exactly where they are going or like a ship without a captain, crew and no destination.


  • The key to success and the key to failure is: WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT.  This message is not really a secret.  It is in the Bible and many wise men said the same thing in some or other way too.  But, very few people really understand it fully and then apply it in their lives.
  • Each one of us is the sum total of our own thoughts. Hence, if you think in negative terms, you will get negative results.
  • Don’t blame your circumstances. Rather get up and look for the circumstances you want.


  • The land will return what you plant.  It doesn’t care what you plant.  In the same way your mind will return what you plant, and of course your mind is far more fertile than the land!
  • You can plant success…or failure; and have concrete, worthwhile goals…or confusion, fear, anxiety, etc.
  • Everything that is worthwhile in life come free to us – our minds, souls, bodies, dreams, hopes, intelligence,  ambitions, love for family and friends, etc. It is our choice what we are going to do with it.


  • The same rule or law that can lead to success in life can also lead to failure.
  • It is all in how you use this law.
  • Pay the price and become the person you want to be.
  • Research, read, study, invest in developing yourself …To Be MORE.
  • Decide on a goal and work towards it.
  • Know where you are going and leave the rest to God.
Real Thinking & Learning about what we Think About

5. What Next?

Firstly, listen to the full Strangest Secret message or read it (recommended: more than once and then once a month for ever!).

Secondly, if the Strangest Secret message resonates with you, take the 30 day challenge outlined in this PDF version of the Strangest Secret.

Thirdly, in my next blog I shall share My Top 7 Guidelines of How to Become More Growth-Oriented as an Adult. This blog will have direct links to The Strangest Secret message.

 REAL Thinking & Learning about ‘The Stangest Secret’ can inspire you to Be More aware of the key to success –

You Become What You Think About. 

Estelle Brettenny