Dream Big. Start Small.

Dream big ideas, but be willing to start small, just like all the other big businesses.

dream bigSmall business opportunities offer the fastest proven way to economic growth and power. All the big businesses started small. In fact they all started with one thing in common. Each began with one idea.

This is a timely message since the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) declared May 1-7 as National Small Business Week. We are extending that to small business month, year, and century with the release of the most powerful resource of ideas proven to create more millionaires that any other system of personal development.

Every year since 1957 more people have been encouraged by Earl Nightingale, co-founder of Nightingale Conant.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. This huge economic engine of our nation is driven by six words, “We become what we think about.”

Thousands of Earl’s most powerful messages have been collected for you in the new volume, The Secret Advantage, CORE fundamentals to Get Everything You Want.

Don’t Monkey Around When Choosing a Life Coach

Learning to live by watching our elders is in the DNA of all life. All animals play life coach to their offspring.

How to Choose a Life Coach Chimpanzees teach their young to use rocks to break open nuts. Unlike the Chimps, we can choose our life coach. That requires caution.

Ancient man passed on fire starting skills, and today long lines of interns compete for a perch at Apple to show off their code writing skills and get close to the place where the goddess of mega success strikes with lightning bolts of genius. Each of us needs direction, but today finding the best life coach to get everything you want can be a challenge before you light a fire that only burns through tons of your cash.

First, let’s take a snapshot of the playing field. The term, mentor, in our books has been written about since the early 1800s and has steadily grown ever since. We all want someone to show us the way. Take the more contemporary buzz word, life coach. Experts coined that in 1960’s self help publications. Today, the use of the life coach term is off the charts. Early craftsmen that swung hammers and sloshed paint learned the ropes during long days as an apprentice. Today interns nervously hang on to whatever the elders say from board rooms to boiler rooms. It’s a good system. The system is so good everyone wants to jump on the band wagon. There are five million six hundred thousand Youtube videos based on the query, life coach. Search Amazon on the topic of life coach and over 30 thousand books pop up. As we visit meeting rooms in hotels worldwide, we experts on every topic rallying the cry to become the next best mentor with the promise to be your life coach. Could be there’s a lot of coaching and very little living happening as a result.

There are factors you can use to find the right life coach to help you get everything you want. Earl Nightingale was more than a best selling author since his works have been used as a means of personal coaching. Denis Waitley, the first major author published by Nightingale Conant, has contributed a lot to raise the bar on the skills needed to be a real life coach. Denis spoke freely of our currently dominant thoughts, which paraphrases Earl’s teaching, “We become what we think about.”

Denis shared a study by two researchers named Emily Werner and Ruth Smith. Here’s an excerpt from Denis, “This study, which followed more than 450 people from childhood through their adult lives, was an attempt to learn why some people are motivated to overcome severe disadvantages, while others from the same background seem to have been overwhelmed by their problems. This research continued for an incredible length of time: 40 years, to be exact.  According to the research, one of the most interesting qualities of these motivated individuals is their ability to recognize potential sources of support in other people, to look beyond the walls of their homes to find relatives, friends, teachers, or other role models who can provide help. This very important finding illustrates the benefits of forming mentor relationships to encourage achievement.”

Highly motivated people use a coach or mentor. However, Earl cautioned for care to be taken when choosing a life coach. It is critical to choose the various life coaches over your life wisely. The process begins with your life’s goals. Find people doing what you want to do and learn from them.

Make sure that the mentors you choose have a genuine history of success and your life coach must show the ability to achieve goals.

Research your needs for a life coach.

Life coaches base their practices on a particular subject area such as business, relationships, grief, mid-life issues, etc. Decide what you need life coaching for. The hourly fee for a life coach can run from $50 to $400 or more per 1 hour session. A life coach can help you if you feel stuck and keep you motivated.

Research your life coach.

Once you have identified a life coach explore them online. Compare the information you gather from the life coach’s online presence with other sources.

Sometimes you may find the perfect life coach is someone you will never meet. Many people find mentors in the form of self study. Authors, educators, or artists can be role models. If you discover someone with whom you feel a special affinity, make an effort to obtain everything that person has written or said. Really become a student of the person’s work and life. Earl Nightingale did this and his life’s work factually changed the world. He was a young man when he read Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon Hill built his career around the hundreds of interviews he conducted with the richest people of his day such as Andrew Carnegie. They became his mentors. Napoleon Hill went one step further to imagine a host of special mentors from historical people from the past he never met in his mastermind alliance. We’ll write more about that in another article, but for now think of any person you admire, living or dead, whether you met them or not.  Now consider the following quote that had an impact on Hill:

“Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of a man you are, for it shows me what your ideal of manhood is, and what kind of a man you long to be.” – Thomas Carlyle

That first experience of reading Hill ignited a hunger for information for Earl Nightingale. Earl was forever changed and continued his lifelong learning. Some of the most prolific writers were his personal life coaches. In many cases he discovered that some of the best advice has to do with being our own life coach. Check out these quotes he collected on the topic of role models:

“Enjoy your own life without comparing it to another,” – Condorcet

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.”  – Emerson

“Everyone undertakes what he sees another successful in, whether he has aptitude for it or not.”  – Goethe

It sounds like Earl cautioned to be careful who you choose to follow as you set the course for your own individual life. In other words, study others, but be your own life coach. Ultimately, nobody else is responsible for your life but you. Nobody else is accountable for your actions but you. Therefore, nobody’s expectations for you and opinions about you are as important as your own. So make sure your opinions take precedence in your mind over all others, and when you do need to consult with someone else, think very carefully before you choose exactly who.

Who wins the battle for your mind?

BATTLE FOR YOUR MINDIn the book by advertising gurus Al Reis and Jack Trout, “Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind,” demonstrate the media bombardment to get a piece of your mind as you desperately fight for just one moment of peace of mind. The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public was written back in the seventies.  The wild west of the media frontier was over the air television, as the cable companies were just beginning to lay wire across neighborhoods. The authors wrote of the tens of thousands of TV, radio, magazine, and newspaper ads that fight for the coveted top of mind awareness to sell soap, cars, and perfume.

Fast forward to today’s world of the hundreds of viewing and listening choices on cable, satellite, computer, telephone apps, and just about any device that will support a chip to catch all that data to be thrown at you. The DVR and the fast forward button on your remote are not sufficient to shield you. Somebody’s got to advertise different items in your grocery store. There are ads on shopping carts, specialty radio channels piped into chain stores, even ads over the urinal in the men’s room. There’s junk mail, spam mail, pop-ups, the little on screen TV “bugs” – those small animated ads that crawl on your screen promoting the next CSI autopsy while you’re trying to concentrate on the current NCIS autopsy. If you are trying to escape, it will take a Houdini magic act of Thoreau hiding away on some pond where you can cuddle up with Gibran. But wait, good ole Kahlil waxed on endlessly about the clutter of civilization. So, it’s not a new problem. Just bigger.

This is not a new phenomenon. Back in 1961, Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton N. Minow spoke to the National Association of Broadcasters. He gave a famous speech titled, “The Vast Wasteland.” As he advocated for programming in the public interest, here’s part of what he said:

“When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland. You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you’ll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.”

Remember, that speech was given in 1961 speech at a time when there were only three networks. So, who will you choose to win the battle for your mind?

     Earl Nightingale proved the statement, “We become what we think about.”

The challenge is to shut out the clutter described above and control our creative powers.

There’s a significant interest in Theta brainwaves as a means to your creative path and achieve any goals you choose while in this meditative state. There’s no doubt about the power of the mind and the creative use of visualization to become the person you want to be. Inducing a mental state where you can ask for your greatest wish and have it granted may not be such a new idea steeped in scientific possibility, but this concept has been around for some time. For the purpose of this article, here’s a quick primer on brainwaves:

  • BETA – 13-30 cycles per second – Awake and engaged.
  • ALPHA – 7-13 cycles per second – More relaxed as if in meditation.
  • THETA – 4-7 cycles per second – day dreaming, creativity, deep meditation, paranormal phenomena, out of body experiences, and ESP.
  • DELTA – 1.5-4 or less cycles per second – deep dreamless sleep

It is possible to be in the Theta range as you drive on a freeway. Like the time you can’t recall the last five miles. This can also occur in the shower or tub or even while shaving or brushing your hair. It is a state where tasks become so automatic that you can mentally disengage from them. Creative ideas flow faster than the landscapes along some freeway blur by.

     Here’s the big headline. You have the power to enter this state at will.

And, while in this state, it is a powerful mind exercise to ask for what you want, and visualization makes it so. New age idea? Not so fast.

Remember the verse from the Bible from Mathew 7 – 7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”  This must be important because it’s repeated in Luke. Look at chapter 11, verse 9, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

In a meditative state, theta brainwaves kick in and you become aligned with the universe. Miracles happen. In fact, miracles are to be expected.

Take the challenge to find a quiet place where you can relax, take long deep breaths, work toward a place in your mind where you are not distracted. Then mentally voice your concerns, ask for your wishes, then, be quiet and expect an answer.

There are many sources for more information on theta brainwaves. Knock yourself out learning and discovering exercises to tap this power. However, don’t wait to begin.

What Job Creates Abundance?

CAREER JOBAs the consequences of unemployment continues to spread, so does opportunity on your hunt for a job. 



A recent re-reading of one of my Earl Nightingale books makes a point about getting a job that is worth retelling.

Earl writes, “There is no such thing as a job that cannot, with time and thought, lead to greatness.”

We joke about career choices that lead to, “You want fries with that?” or “Paper or Plastic?” However, most of the CEO’s at McDonald’s started flipping burgers when they were teens. I remember calling on an ad agency that represented McDonald’s back in the 70’s and learning that McDonald’s had the statistic of being the first job experience for one fourth of the workforce in America. Wow, one out of four workers started out at the University of Mac.

In today’s job market if one were to take a job packing groceries and decide to study and learn everything they can about the food industry, how far might they go? It’s just a job to some, but an introduction to an industry to others.

In today’s unemployment economy, there are jobs to be had. It’s kinda’ up to us regarding attitude about those positions. Take the entry level sales job. Accept it even if it’s commission only. It may be the first rung in your climb up to the level of success you were created to achieve.

My son-in-law is a very impressive guy. He’s a decorated USMC Col. Imagine how tough you have to be, to be a Marine … much less earning such a high rank at a young age. When we first met I asked why he joined the corps. Without hesitation he answered, “It’s a calling.”

Wow. Not a job, or career, but a calling. How fortunate to do something you love and were meant to do. And, how fortunate for the rest of us that young men and women hear that calling and rise to the occasion.

But, what about other ways to make a living?

A friend told me of a relative passing and the fact she had worked 55 years at the same fast food restaurant. For someone like me that’s moved 22 times and lived all over the country from Virginia, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, and North Carolina, the same place for 55 years is puzzling.

Earl Nightingale considered the difference between vocation, career, and job. While on the surface these three words seem to mean the same, they are quite different. Vocation carries the biggest meaning. Translated from Latin the core meaning is to call; therefore, the calling. This is the purpose, the nagging inner desire, the big plan. There can be many careers used to support this calling. For example, a person that is called to be a healer may be a doctor, and the many specialties involved, or a nurse. And, there can be many job descriptions that work to satisfy a higher calling such as an orderly. So, the task of changing beds and bed pans may be a means to fulfill that higher purpose. That position of orderly may only look like a job, but it may be the engine that drives a vocation.

Back to our fast food lady, the person who worked for over five decades everyday at the same counter handing out trays of soft drinks, fries, and sandwiches, was she just doing a job? Or, was she motivated by a higher calling to serve others, or maybe something greater, to send her kids to college, pay off a mortgage, enjoy the American dream. We don’t know her higher calling. People may not know your calling by seeing the uniform of your job. Whether you wear a coat and tie, or shorts driving a brown truck, no one knows your vocation. But, you do.

Is your daily routine one of the many gears turning to answer your calling? Or, is it really just a job.

How much money do you need to be successful?

The biggest advantage you have requires no money.

One IdeaIdeas are free and one idea is all you need to be the next big thing.  Just one idea.

Earl Nightingale said over and over, “We become what we think about.

William James

William James in his Principles of Psychology defined genius as, “Little more than the faculty of perceiving in an un-habitual way.”

It is all too common to see things through the veil of our habits. Our day-to-day activities cloud our higher selves. If we look at our surroundings in our homes and businesses and all the things we take for granted the mundane with a newer imagination. These that are called genius among us are those that see beyond the ordinary. Routine actions present problems. Instead of taking these things for granted, they see an answer. The answer may be something as usual as a round stone that becomes a wheel. Answers that cure disease and take us to the moon and beyond were all just ideas that common ordinary individuals were able to see. We all can see beyond the ordinary. We have to resist seeing things as they are, and start seeing them as they can be. The small step from the way the world is to the way it can be is just one small, simple idea that may carry the seed of a revolution.

Looking at things in our lives differently sparks creativity. Let’s agree to put to rest the way many feel they are not endowed with creative genius. We are born of genius. Humans are all creative beings. There are fundamentals you can develop to elevate your creativity. Earl Nightingale wrote the following short list:

  • A creative person has a clearly defined set of goals.
  • Creative people keep notepad ready at all times to capture ideas.
  • People that create answers to problems are good listeners with a keen sense of observation.
  • Winners expand their circle of friends and acquaintances to feed the idea bank.
  • The real genius understands the value of sharing ideas as one idea will produce many others.
  • Once the idea comes, the genius has a series of steps to improve them.
  • Time is used wisely just as any investment is.

All ideas are free. They come to us all the time. Our problem comes from allowing the old mundane habits filter those bursts of genius. Earl Nightingale wrote and recorded thousands of ideas that have been condensed into over 21 hours of life changing fundamentals in The Secret Advantage.

To excel, think it. Be it.

You were born to excel. Permission granted.

Mind Power to ExcelWow, what a statement! That’s from the official website of the Navy SEAL scout website.

The Navy SEALS the unsung heroes of the seal, air, and land combat have received media credit in recent years as a Navy SEAL took out Osama Bin Laden.

We get a glimpse into their remarkable lives in movies, but very few of us could ever walk a day in their shoes in the real world. That’s okay. Even though we may not make it through the physical training, we can learn from the mental toughness training used to perfect their skills.

It is the mental toughness training a SEAL goes through that makes them survive basic training and excel. Sure they can do more one armed pushups, run marathons, and hold their breath underwater longer, but what does it take to think through the pain and fear they face?

An interesting story on the History Channel provided the answers. Brain training is as much a part of their regimen to excel as is swimming in freezing water, being pushed into a pool with hands and feet tied, and being shot at.

According to the story, there are four phases to the mental training used by the Navy.

1.) Goal setting. One of the SEALS said he uses goal setting everyday in small chunks. When he wakes up, the first goal is to make it through breakfast, then lunch, then the afternoon run.

2.) Visualization or mental readiness. Rehearsing over and over each step of what to do in any given situation. Denis Waitley used this training with the Navy’s elite flight team The Blue Angels. He taught them to visualize each move. Over and over. In the safety of the classroom imagining how to break free from restraints under 20 feet of water, or flying 600 miles an hour with wing tips just inches away from another jet. Allowing the mind’s eye to go there first prepares the student for the real experience and makes the execution something that seems to be effortless.

3.) Self Talk. Each one of us are in a constant state of self talk. The average person thinks 300 to 1,000 words every minute. Our brains are clicking away thoughts involuntarily at an alarming rate. As a speaker, spitting our 120 words a minute is a fast paced 60 second commercial. And our brains are cranking at 1,000 words a minute. What words are you using? Are the words coming from guilt over past experiences? Why not force think positive outcomes, positive feelings, positive results for your life?

4.) Arousal control. This is a big deal if you’re looking down the barrel of a gun pointed at you the way the SEALS are asked to do. Control the arousal of fear.  The SEALS are taught deep breathing exercises; especially long slow exhales that keep more oxygen supplied to the brain longer. That sharpens awareness, heightens the senses, and prepares them to perform as required.

It makes sense that our understanding of these four principles of brain training can assist us in every life function. It’s easy to relate this to sales or business skills. Set goals, Visualize the presentation, Self Talk positive outcomes, and Arousal Control to aid in fear of cold calling or speaking to a group of buyers. It can work in relationship building, raising children and all areas of your life where you want to win.

Skills necessary to control your thinking and excel that you can use immediately to gain an advantage will give you the life you deserve. Earl Nightingale spent his life researching these skills to produce the most effective core fundamentals to focus these energies that have proven time after time to energize powerful lives. Earl himself was a drill sergeant in the Marine Corp and was one of only fifteen Maries to survive on board the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Earl mastered mental toughness and his messages are loaded with hundreds of examples how we can use these principles every day. These core fundamentals work at any age. You do not have to be a twenty year old buffed Navy SEAL or Marine. You can do it. Whatever you want, your permission to excel has been granted.

Are your goals shifting just as the earth’s true north is moving?

The fact that the earth is shifting is not just some wild end of times science fiction. The earth is shifting.

true northTrue north and Magnetic north are moving each year to change the map of the world by degrees that require changes. The airport traffic controllers are renaming runways that take their name from latitudinal co-ordinances. Imagine that as you fiddle with your GPS and stare at your compass. True north is moving closer to the equator as continents float around on the earth’s core.

Charting your goals to set a new course and discovering your true north, or purpose in life, in today’s volatile market comes with as many moving targets just as the universe moves and reshapes all the time. To think that we can do what we did years ago, or even months ago, is as deceptive as thinking the earth is flat.  When Earl Nightingale first coined the title and began his widely syndicated radio program, “Our Changing World,” he looked into the future and led the way for positive thinkers to embrace change and make the most of it. I first heard his daily program back in 1970 as a young disc jockey in Miami driving around checking out the competition listening to other stations. When Earl’s big booming voice caught my attention, he stated how great our world can be. It didn’t take long and I was addicted to the five minute show everyday just as millions across the country were. Earl is long gone, missed by his friends, co-workers, associates, and millions of fans. However, his words live on to change lives and embrace change. His legacy, the Nightingale Conant Corporation, continues to be the world leader in personal development. Fifty years have gone by since Earl first found the words, “We become what we think about.”

Our latest program, The Secret Advantage will carry on the ease of learning success skills with a series of 20 minutes episodes. And as that planet spins, reshapes, moves with the tide of success and failure, we can hang on to the guidance of one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the subject of your success. When you hear an author that grabs your attention, the way Earl did for me so many years ago, you don’t have to wait until tomorrow, or next week’s episode. Sign up to receive free videos and learn how you can get the entire complete un-edited author program at discounts by clicking here.

Get what you want. Enjoy what you need.

There is a way to look into the future to get everything you want.

Our last post presented Earl Nightingale’s seven brain triggers as special exercises to get what we want.

FUTURE POSSIBILITIESTo get what we want in all areas of our life, the exercises are fundamental to clearing away the clutter of our information overload lives. In this issue, there is one more powerful technique that Earl Nightingale taught. Many other experts, motivational speakers, authors, and even ministers have referred to this powerful skill. This core principle of thinking moves us faster to get what we want by acting in a manner that tricks the mind to think we are already in possession of what we want. This mind bending phenomenon is visualization.

And the writer wrote, “When the old no longer have their dreams and the young no longer have their visions, the people perish.”

That’s how important your dreams and vision of your future really are. Visualization is important once you know your purpose. Once you decide who you want to be, act as if you are that person right now. If you want to lose weight, stand up straight and walk like a person that weighs twenty pounds less. If you want to manage a company, act like you manage it right now, if you want to own a business, act as if you own it right now.  If you want to be really good looking, act handsome and beautiful – even if, like me, that means staying away from the mirror for a few days. Visualization is a powerful tool to use to help you build on your ability to achieve your goals and see your dreams come true.

Visualization is so powerful, as is the law of attraction, that visualization will produce the very thing you visualize. If you visualize defeat, you get defeat. If you visualize winning, you will eventually win. You too can be an overnight success that wins after many years of trying. Earl Nightingale summed up this fact with just six words, “You become what you think about.”

Think about the things you want, and stop thinking about the things you do not want. Sounds simple. It is. However, there are brain centers that physiologically determine habits and produce predictable outcomes. Research has discovered Hedonic Hotspots in our brains that correspond to over eating. These hotspots react to our liking a certain taste, let’s say sugar, salt, and fat. The basic food groups of fast food and tasty treats. That liking creates a wanting, and once imprinted on these sensors in the brain, they can’t be erased. No wonder the weight loss and diet of the week business is so big.

Desires differ in the degree of brain activation. Just as sensors in the brain become addictive to behavior, thoughts that are positive or negative wire the brain to produce the outcome triggered by those thoughts.

Think desperate fearful thoughts of losing, and your brain physically produces your actions that will produce that result.

Instead, know that you are a winner, destined for greatness, and let the transmitters in your brain go to work to direct your actions toward the fulfillment of the purpose you were born to achieve. Earl presented hundreds of ideas to prove how the statement, “We become what we think about” is true. The latest program The Secret Advantage is based on hundreds of hours from his best selling programs and radio broadcast. The most relevant messages updated for competition in the 21st Century are laid out in 64 life changing episodes.

How does your brain respond to new messages?

SEVEN BRAIN TRIGGERSWith so much more for our brain to process today, how can we master the fact that we become what we think about.

Daily stuff we can’t avoid, such as advertisements give our conscious and subconscious mind a workout. There seems no escape from the fight for your mind. It has been said that Henry David Thoreau took the back streets of Concord to avoid the small signs hanging from the shops. In today’s pop-up text me now world, it would take more than Walden Pond to escape. However, we can use the same mechanism market manipulators to advantage. Taking a cue from the people who spend Billions to sell fast food, fast cars, and fast modems, it makes sense the same rules of brain activity go to work when hearing new information, like a motivational message. One of the many best selling authors published by Nightingale Conant was Jim Rohn. Jim had a lot to say about the power of our brain and the ways to direct our thoughts. If what we feed our mind is important to you, think of what Jim Rohn said, “Pity the man who has a favorite restaurant, but not a favorite author. He’s picked out a favorite place to feed his body, but he doesn’t have a favorite place to feed his mind!”

The advertising masters turned to the science of Neuropsychology to figure out what buttons to push to trigger sales. Studies show certain brain waves correlate with heightened attention become more active. Brain waves that signal less-focused attention, meanwhile, tend to subside. Tests indicate the brain expends about 2 percent of its energy on conscious activity, with more on unconscious processing. Therefore, we need to reach the subconscious level of the brain to affect major life change.

It’s not brand new science, as more than 50 years ago, Vance Packard wrote “The Hidden Persuaders. ” The book described how advertisers played on people’s unconscious desires, and was the first book to expose “motivation research,” the psychological technique that advertisers use to probe our minds in order to control our actions as consumers. He analyzed products, political campaigns and television programs of the 1950s. Vance Packard lived from 1914 to 1996, so he missed most of the wireless transformation that is now common place to steal away our thoughts. Some of his other books are real eye openers such as, The Status Seekers, which described American social stratification and behavior, The Waste Makers, which criticizes planned obsolescence, and The Naked Society, about the threats to privacy posed by new technologies.

Earl Nightingale researched extensively to find new a better ways for us to control our brains to think about what we really want and to shut out distractions that stand in the way of success. Here are a few techniques he used to increase his creativity.

Association: Thinking association is to associate names with familiar objects by using key words to link to a series of ideas or actions. That key word allows us to recall an entire series of ideas that will shut out the interruptions and focus our actions on what we need to do.

Combination: Think of combinations like ham and eggs, pie and ice cream, radio and television, and begin thinking of new combinations. Rely on your senses to combine colors, scenes, smells, even tastes and touch. Imagine your focus if you change your wallpaper on your devices to show a goal, motto, or quote to keep you focused you have created a combination to direct your thoughts. Every time your cell rings or you get a text message, you first have to see your focused goal. Combinations may lead somewhere. Someone once thought of music, then comedy, and the musical comedy was born. Instead of surrendering to all the noise, choose the things that get your attention.

Adaptation: Today, we take our seatbelts for granted, until the beep goes off if we happen to forget to buckle up. The thing itself was first granted a patent in 1885 way before cars were invented,  the belts were used as a safety belt for firemen, painters, and other laborers that had to dangle from high places. Next, it was adapted to strap pilots into cockpits during World War Two. In 1946 a neurosurgeon in California saw so many head injuries from car crashes, he came up with a retractable seat belt for cars. In the fifties, the standard for safety belts came about in Swedish cars when Volvo introduced it in 1959 as standard equipment. Since then, millions of lives have been saved all because someone used adaptation to create a revolutionary new product.

Substitution: When an idea for a new product generates a new industry it could be something as simple as substituting a new material. As in the movie, The Graduate, Mr. McGuire said to Dustin Hoffman, “One word; plastics.” Of course, plastic is now in everything all from the idea to substitute plastic for metal and wood as a basic material.

Then, Earl goes on to explain how magnification to build things bigger, like skyscrapers. And minification like Terabytes in your cell phone.

All these exercises help us to rearrange our thinking to a useful purpose to effect change in a positive way. Earl said on this topic, “If at first you force your mind to think in these seven ways, you will be amazed with the ideas you develop.”

 The seven tools to free your mind to better and higher purposes:

Combination, Association, Adaptation, Substitution, Magnification, Minification, and Rearrangement

Earl Nightingale’s new program, The Secret Advantage, CORE Fundamentals to Get Anything You Want offers over 21 hours of mind blowing ideas that you can take advantage of immediately.

An Adaptive Thinking Idea Brought Them Safely Home from War

Vesta Stoudt folded the letter from her son to fit in her purse as she readied for work.  She would have an idea that day that would save thousands of lives.Idea from Mother's Love

Most women in her neighborhood worked at the Green River Ordnance plant in Dixon, IL. The letter would comfort her during breaks and lunch as she and her friends shared stories of husbands, brothers, and sons serving thousands of miles away during World War Two. Her two sons served in the Navy. She served in her job inspecting and wrapping cartridges used to fire rifle grenades and pack the ammunition in small boxes.  Each ammo box was taped to protect the shells against moisture. The paper tape was designed for a soldier to jerk open the box quickly.

That presented a problem.Arsenal Women

The paper tab on the tape was weak and would fail leaving soldiers un-protected while under fire from the enemy. The paper tab tore away from the tape which was supposed to come off with it forcing a soldier to waste time digging to open a box of cartridges. Seconds are precious when an enemy is luring.

Vesta used what Earl Nightingale calls ‘Adaptive Thinking’ to come up with a better idea. We’ll have more on adaptive thinking in another article on Earl’s Seven Thought Triggers.

Her big idea was simple enough. What if the tab were made of strong cloth?

Here’s where adaptive thinking comes in. In 1927,  Johnson and Johnson made medical tape from cloth.

Rather than paper tape, Stoudt suggested to her supervisors that the plant use a strong, waterproof, cloth-backed tape. When they told her to mind her own business, she wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt, “I have two sons out there somewhere, one in the Pacific, the other one with the Atlantic fleet. You have sons in the service also. We can’t let them down by giving them a box of cartridges that takes a minute or two to open, enabling the enemy to take lives that might be saved had the box been taped with strong tape that can be opened in a split second. Please, Mr. President, do something about this at once; not tomorrow or soon, but now. We packed nearly 10,000 today on my shift and all wrong.”

She included a diagram of her idea.

Letter from Vesta Stoudt to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, February 10, 1943

On March 26, 1943, Howard Coonley, director of the board’s conservation division, mailed a letter to Stoudt, who lived at 1401 E. Fourth St. in Sterling.

“The Ordnance Department has not only pressed this idea,” Coonley wrote, “but has now informed us that the change you have recommended has been approved with the comment that the idea is of exceptional merit.”

The War Production Board forwarded Stoudt’s letter to Johnson & Johnson, which developed a thin, cotton tape that is believed to have resembled Stoudt’s idea

Their new unnamed product was made of thin cotton tape coated in waterproof plastic with a layer of rubber-based gray adhesive. It was easy to apply and remove, and was soon adapted to repair military equipment quickly, including vehicles and weapons. Various theories have circulated about the name. Some say it’s the waterproof characteristics of a duck. gmc_dukw_353_4Others have stated the 1942 amphibious military vehicle DUKW which was pronounced “duck.”




After the war, duck tape was used in construction to wrap air ducts. That led to the name “duct tape” in the 1950s.

Vesta Stoudt
Duct tape: the result of a mom trying to help her sons — and everyone else’s sons — during World War II.

In summary, ideas come to us all the time. Sometimes a problem like the life threatening one that kept Mrs. Stoudt awake at night. Vesta Stoudt, the mom of two sons in the Navy had the idea to use cloth tape to seal boxes of ammo, so it could be opened in mere seconds while keeping the ammo dry, saving lives of soldiers worldwide. When her bosses rejected her idea, she went straight to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A few weeks later, she received a response that the Navy was going to “fast track” her idea. Duct tape was born. And who could imagine our lives without it now?

 What problems are keeping you up at night?

All the money you will ever make is currently in the hands of someone else.


What will you do to get the money from them?

Cash in Hand

This is just one idea of the thousands Earl Nightingale wrote during his career publishing best selling personal development programs. Now in the early years of the 21st century, some may wonder if the wisdom he shared is relevant today. He was even asked this at the height of his career and he responded, “In the 17th century Sir Isaac Newton gave us the law of gravity. That is still relevant.”

Earl went on to explain that there are undisputable laws of success just as permanent as the law of gravity.

This law above, “All the money you will ever make is currently in the hands of someone else,” is a fact that will be as formidable thousands of years from now, just as the law of gravity. This problem is, this law is never taught in schools, it is missed in corporate meetings, and most people in sales have never grasped the deep meaning behind it.

Tell this law to some and they think about the top one percent that has all the money, and we better get our share.

In every career, job, position, from the janitor to the CEO this is true. All the money is in someone else’s hands, and there’s only one reputable way to get it; service.

The service we give others parts them from their money more efficiently than any other. Sure, the bank robber may grab the money and run, but the risk of life in an eight by ten cell with a three hundred pound room mate is a serious risk. Better serve the public with a good product or service to build your wealth.

How does this relate? Here are some ideas:

The minimum wage clerk at the fast food place needs to be better than the competition when selling fries. The server that adds lifetime value to regular customers drives profits and profits drive promotion.

R. David Thomas, Chairman Founder Wendys


CEOs at the major fast food chains, such as R. David Thomas, started as kids flipping burgers. Dave Thomas was motivated to his success from the same book discovered by Earl Nightingale.



Other examples include: The actress that fights the temptation to be a drama diva when she remembers the fans that buy the tickets that drive box office sales, and gets wealthier.

The CEO that trains all levels of personnel the value of customer retention retires wealthy on a yacht.

For those who question gravity, they treat customers like interruptions and are doomed to never get their share of the wealth that is abundant.

Earl Nightingale taught thousands of core fundamentals throughout his career. These fundamentals are universal laws, like gravity.

We become what we think about

Earl Nightingale’s famous line, “We become what we think about” heard throughout The Secret Advantage rings true; with caution. Each one of us is born with a unique gift.

MIND BODYThe gift is your inheritance to enjoy all the riches you can think about. Imagination is the starting point of your self esteem. You are in charge of your dreams and your destiny. It doesn’t matter what well meaning people who want to protect you from disappointment say about how tough it is to do what you want.

You can join the long list of naysayers and probably find lots of scientific facts that can create a plausible argument against the fact that you were born with a gift, and that gift is your inheritance, your right, and your destiny.

Do you have doubts about the power of your thinking? Here’s a somewhat scientific experiment to argue the point of your mental powers. According to authors Robert Scaglione and William Cummins, in ” Karate of Okinawa: Building Warrior Spirit”, is one of the most well-known studies on Creative Visualization in sports. Russian scientists compared four groups of Olympic athletes in terms of their training schedules:

  • Group 1 = 100% physical training;
  • Group 2 – 75% physical training with 25% mental training;
  • Group 3 – 50% physical training with 50% mental training;
  • Group 4 – 25% physical training with 75% mental training.

The results; Group 4, with 75% of their time devoted to mental training, performed the best. “The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses.”

Does this mean you can think up anything and it will come true? Here’s the profound truth:

As Earl Nightingale has stated, “We become what we think about.”

However, this is critical, if your thought is not in alignment with your purpose, it will not materialize. Earl teaches this as well in The Secret Advantage.

Once you discover your purpose, there is very little that can stand in your way of success. The other truth is, you will be bombarded by doubters. Every garden that produces magnificent produce does so with great distraction. Weeds grow in every garden. They just do. There’s no answer to why bad things happen. That doesn’t prevent us from weeding the garden, or eliminating the negatives.

Doubters are major weeds. They need to be eliminated. They need to be ignored.

Ignore the skeptics and disbelievers when they shout out, “Where’s the scientific proof.”

Scientific proof stated the Space Shuttle could not possibly fly while the project was only an idea. The Space Shuttle has the aerodynamics of a rock. When it lands, it’s a glider. There’s no engine.

Scientific proof stated the earth was flat, the planets and stars floated through the universe around earth, Thomas Edison could never learn his school studies, and Beethoven’s deafness would end his career as a composer.

This is not brand new untested stuff. You’ve probably heard the famous quote, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

Although it has a contemporary ring, like something from the sixties, it’s been around a while.   Émile Coué, who lived from 1857 to1926, was the guy that dreamed that idea up. He came up with a method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion. Coué believed that curing our troubles requires a change in our unconscious thought. Coué relied on the principle that any idea exclusively occupying the mind turns into reality, although only to the extent that the idea is within the realms of possibility. He led the line of thought that calls on positive affirmations such as, “I am healthy,” instead of negativity such as, “I am not well.”

Where do you choose to place your belief? With the long list of loser doubters, or the winners that overcome the weeds in their garden.

Your mind is your master, and at the same time you have control over your master. Your mind is the sun and rain to grow your garden. That same sun and rain will feed the weeds as easily as the fruits of your labor. Your mind directs the sun and rain to focus on the good and not the bad.

Your mind gives you absolute control over what you allow to influence it. You cannot control the weather, the sun, the rain, the economy, the wars, the inevitable bad things that appear. You can control your reaction to those actions. When the rain doesn’t come and the garden begins to wilt, you can water the plants. When disease or famine wipes out the garden, you can start over.

As you walk through the mine field of your life, you can be directed past the detractors. Your steps can be directed around the triggers that ignite the bombs. You can believe in your future, or you can deceive yourself into failure. Your self esteem is up to you.

Choice. The Past. The Future.

Choice requires change.

Janus, Two faced God

That fact is, choice causes a lot of heartburn for most until we take a close look at changing course.  Man’s first flight to the moon was off course most of the way. So how did we get there to take man’s first small step? The scientists back on earth changed course over and over – a little to the right -now a little to the left. You do the same thing driving a car. Then why do we get so uptight over changing course during our journey through our careers?

You have to have the ability to do what you want with the power of free choice and the ability to learn how it is done. Ability must be in alignment with your purpose. If, for example, you want to be the next professional superstar basketball player, it helps to have the physical attributes and athletic ability. If you are shorter than five feet, can’t jump, and hate to run, you are not in alignment. You have to be honest with your reasons as well. Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss says, “Anybody who picks up a guitar and tells you that there’s some inner message that they’re trying to convey . . . it’s nonsense. They’re not being honest. The reason they’re doing this is they wanna’ get lots of chicks and they don’t want to work for a living.”

You may in fact have a higher calling. We all have inner messages. The challenge is to be in alignment and dream about something that you can do. To be the best, you may have to un-learn some things before taking on the tasks of learning how to be all you can be. The past has a haunting, hypnotic, and habitual grasp on us and must be dealt with. Dr. Tony Campolo, professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University said, “As important as your past is, and it is important because it brought you to where you are, it is not as important as your vision of what your future is.”

Your degrees, your successes, your failures, your dreams, and your disappointments all pale in comparison to your vision of your future.

Why is it, then, the past weighs so heavy? Ancient civilizations knew the dilemma. Their God, Janus, on the ancient coin had two faces; one to the past, the other to the future. Could it be that hindsight is twenty-twenty and we can clearly see our actions? The present is a challenge since the consequences of our actions are only a guess until we look back.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass wrote, “We have to deal with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.”

While that makes perfect sense, it’s easier said than done. As we look toward the promise the future may hold, the past tries to hold control over us. That becomes obvious with age, since there’s so much past to go around. Many of us have decades of past events to deal with. It’s true you can’t go back as Thomas Fuller wrote, “Time and words can’t be recalled.” He wrote that in the seventeen-hundreds; proof that we have all struggled with the past for centuries.

My office walls once adorned my trophies like many offices. Finally, it occurred to me that constant physical reminders only aided and abetted the memories that steal away productivity. Now my photos, news articles, plaques and things are either tucked away in boxes, or on walls out of sight. Instead, I spend my time doing what I excelled at in school -staring out the window and day dreaming. The clouds floating across Florida are puffs of the future, a reminder that present actions charge life into dreams, and memories are the masters of mediocrity. No longer will I be slave to past misfortunes.

No longer will the shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’ club be a place for my thoughts. Instead, choose to follow Frederick Douglass’ advice and only use what’s useful from your past. Remember those useful experiences that lay the foundation for your present and future actions. No longer sing the, “Somebody done me wrong” song.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

if you build itThose magical words from the movie, Field of Dreams, make us shiver with delight . If your field of dreams is to build a better website, will they come? Will the great mass of humanity click their way to your ISP and make you rich, famous, and fill your PayPal account with unlimited resources to live the life we want? The truth is, the nine dollar domain name for the website we build and pennies per month do-it-yourself website kit is not the field of dreams for the weak at heart.

The internet is appealing as the one place in business where butts can be pasted to seats with no need to get up, get out, and get to pressing hands. Just close the bedroom door and open up multiple browser windows to social network and tweet your way to stardom. Hey, if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it, right?

Actually, just about everyone is. I cruise my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts each day to keep up with others that may find it interesting. In an earlier article, I mentioned the importance of one of Earl Nightingale’s core principles to become more creative. That point is to reach out to friends to fill the idea bank. Social media is great for this.

So, I mentioned our program, The Secret Advantage and how the core fundamentals for you to build success are available for the small investment of just listening. Hey, get a better life and all you have to do is listen, learn, and live the principles revealed by the one of the best minds on the planet. Great elevator pitch. Then I get an email from the moderator of one of the many social groups warning that ‘pitching’ other members may be offensive, and just imagine what it would cost to reach 58,000 members. I can tell you with some experience that the average cost per thousand in media won’t make anyone rich at a multiple of 58. So, before getting all huffy and high and mighty, just reel it back in a bit and consider the fact that real work has to be done in each and every business. We all have to seize every moment we can to spread the word in any means possible to drive those clicks home. Like the old saying, “One person’s junk is another’s treasure.” Many opportunities are offered in sales pitches. We all get daily doses of ads and commercials to the tune of thousands, and yet we find our way through the myriad filtering out the stuff we have no interest in. Then, there’s the one nugget revealed in a flash of light that answers some need we have.

If we are to survive this thick underbrush of massive clutter, we have to become more and more unique. Years ago the big time advertising gurus proclaimed USP, Unique Selling Position. The battle for your mind way back then was only three TV networks, newspapers, a few billboards, and a handful of  AM radio stations that sputtered out tobacco commercials through the static for the Rolling Stones to sing about, “Can’t be a man cause he doesn’t smoke, same cigarettes as me, I can’t get no satisfaction.”

There’s more clutter today, but we have evolved, we can stand the noise, we are capable of finding our satisfaction. The thought of starting your very own online business is a great field of dreams. The masses may come if you can navigate the data storm and exercise your very own USP for your ISP with precision. It can be done. Build a better website and build a bright future.

Minimum wage for a salary is for chumps.

The maximum salary determines wealth.

I WANT IT ALL We spend time working hard for the money, while politicians kick this minimum wage football around as if it is the answer to raising the standards of living for middle class families. Truth is, the minimum wage never has nor will it be the generator of a better life for anyone. The minimum is a great place to start. Staying there is not a wise choice, so we have to increase our core fundamentals to become more valuable to the market and the companies that allow us to work.

That is a key point. Companies allow us to work for them when they hire us and enter into a contract that states we will show up on time, deliver more than expected, and get raises.

To understand why the minimum wage will never fix our finances, let’s look at the history. In 1961 the wage was increased to $1.15 an hour effective September 1961 and to $1.25 an hour in September 1963. That means the annual minimum salary was $2,373 at $1.15 and hour and way up to $2,580 in 1963.

To put that in perspective, in 1961 the Average Cost of new house was $12,500.00, a new car $2,850.00, a gallon of gas 27 cents, and to bring home the bacon cost 67 cents per pound. Old car.    

Next, consider the Average Income per year $5,315.00; more than twice the minimum wage. Again, this is not the answer to raising the lifestyle for families across America.

In more recent times, 2007 minimum wage of $5.85 has been raised to $7.25 per hour just two years later in 2009. In no way will this pull families up.

So, what’s the answer?

The minimum wage is a starter salary to create opportunities to get a job, perfect a skill, and become valuable. The only way to do that is to master the core fundamentals required by all successful businesses. Minimum wage is great for interns where the major pay is in experience to increase your core values.

Research conducted with top CEO’s and Business Owners revealed the top concerns of the leaders include developing dynamic core competences, focusing on and building human capital, effectively using new technology, engaging in valuable strategies and building new organization structures and culture. That research gave direction and shape to the new program to be based on four core fundamentals. The Secret Advantage, CORE fundamentals for success; Competency, Opportunity, Results, and Effectiveness.

The result is over 21 hours of edited best principles. From there, the program is produced in 64 episodes of approximately 20 minutes each for easy listening and reference. In addition to the audio library, the program includes a half hour video documentary on the lives of Earl Nightingale and Lloyd Conant is included, along with six unedited Earl Nightingale Classic Videos.

If you have to choose between a job or a career, your college education has not worked.

More people today are looking for work instead of pursuing a meaningful purpose.

DECISIONSThe rising cost of college measured by a resulting career has been delivering a failing grade for return on investment leading to mass disappointment. These are not new challenges. It doesn’t matter when the graduation date fell on the calendar. Many that graduated in the summer of love in 1967 are still searching for purpose. Millions today are looking toward the upcoming days of the 21st century with the same question, “What’s the purpose of my life?”

Tough times have always defined people in two ways. There are those who simply give up and settle for whatever wages they can get, and that amount defines their lifestyle. Then there is the other group who see tough times as a time to get motivated to find a career, make changes, and take advantage of ideas that emerge in times of dissatisfaction.

Earl Nightingale lived in a tent city in Los Angeles as a boy. Everything around him pointed to a life where he would be forced to settle for less. He chose a different path. As a young man he found the secret to riches in a book. Inspired with just six words, he grew up to revolutionize the personal development industry with his recording of, The Strangest Secret. The message he taped became the world’s first spoken word recording to sell over a million copies. That was in 1960 when there were no self-help sections in books stores, and no Oprah on TV.  It was this success, and Earl’s national following on over a thousand radio stations, that Lloyd Conant shaped into a new business model. Nightingale Conant has published hundreds of best selling authors and created more millionaires than all personal development experts combined over the company’s fifty-plus years as the world leader in personal development.LLOYD EARL TABLE

Vic Conant took over the company as President and Chairman and led the publishing giant into new media formats to change with the times, but remain true to the concepts that change lives, “I have always believed that thoughts and ideas are our most powerful possessions. An idea can change the way we look at the world and the way we think. Ideas improve every area of our life – career, relationships, personal wealth, and self-confidence.”

Today, Vic has taken on the challenge to find the most relevant messages for today’s growing population that can take advantage of the life work of Earl Nightingale. There are thousands of recordings from his best sellers and radio broadcasts. Over the past year, Earl’s extensive library has been researched and edited into a new release called, The Secret Advantage. In a discussion with Joe Nuckols to create a formula for the program, Joe mentioned, “Today businesses are looking for core fundamentals in the people they hire and promote.”

One idle comment started the engine of the creative process. Research conducted with top CEO’s and Business Owners revealed something in what Joe said. The top concerns of the leaders included developing dynamic core competences, focusing on and building human capital, effectively using new technology, engaging in valuable strategies and building new organization structures and culture. That research gave direction and shape to the new program to be based on four core fundamentals. Joe developed the concept around the acronym, CORE for Competency, Opportunity, Results, and Effectiveness. With this concept in mind, Joe took on the task of becoming a contributing author and producer to find Earl’s best messages to address each of the four core fundamentals.

The result is over 21 hours of edited best principles. From there, the program is produced in 64 episodes of approximately 20 minutes each for easy listening and reference. In addition to the audio library, the program includes a half hour video documentary on the lives of Earl Nightingale and Lloyd Conant is included along with six unedited Earl Nightingale Classic Videos.