Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret”

Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret in the World
Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret in the World


A recent review of Earl Nightingale’s seminal YouTube video, “The Strangest Secret,” revealed profound wisdom on the power of positive thinking. As a professional engineer interested in life coaching, motivation, and inspiration, I see numerous valuable insights for my students, which I’d love to share with you.

Revealing the Strangest Secret

Nightingale’s key message was straightforward yet potent – we become what we think about. This principle, dating back to ancient philosophers and spiritual teachers, has been scientifically supported by several studies, like a research study conducted by Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina showing positive thoughts broadening our awareness, opening our minds to more possibilities.

The Power of Definite Goals

In his speech, Nightingale highlighted the importance of setting concrete goals. A study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology corroborates this, showing that people with specific and challenging goals perform 90% better than those with easy, non-specific goals (Locke & Latham, 2002). Having a defined goal steers your focus, ensuring your thoughts align with your aspirations.

30-Day Test: An Exercise in Self-Transformation

Nightingale proposed a 30-day test to foster positivity, suggesting we:

  1. Spend one month focusing entirely on positive thoughts.
  2. Limit our fears by replacing worry with trust in the process.
  3. Engage with motivational literature, enriching our minds with positive content.
  4. Provide service to others, understanding success is a byproduct of service.

These simple steps can lead to meaningful changes in our lives, as suggested by a study from the University College London, which shows it takes approximately 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.

Service to Others: The Path to Success

Nightingale affirmed that service to others leads to success and prosperity. This idea finds support in a study by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, that found performing acts of kindness boosts satisfaction and happiness.

Positivity in Practice

After digesting Nightingale’s profound words, here are my key recommendations:

  • Begin by understanding that your thoughts shape your reality.
  • Establish concrete goals to guide your thinking and actions.
  • Practice positive thinking and service to others as part of your daily routine.
  • Review Nightingale’s script and take the 30-day positivity challenge.

Remember, transformation takes time, and adopting a positive mindset is not an overnight feat. However, by following the insights from Earl Nightingale’s “The Strangest Secret,” we can all cultivate positivity and strive towards a more successful and fulfilling life.


Lastly, I encourage everyone to view the video to gain a richer understanding of Nightingale’s inspiring message. As Nightingale himself said, “You have nothing to lose, but you have a life to win.”


YouTube Video: The Mindset for Success: Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret in the World

The Mindset for Success: Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret in the World

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