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306 - The Strangest Secret

306 - The Strangest Secret

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Episode Recap:

My cliffnotes from Earl Nightengale’s speech, The Strangest Secret.

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Best Quote:

He talked about how if you take a boat with the crew and captain and they say, this is where we’re going, 99.99% of the time, they get there. If you took a boat, took the crew off and the captain and just set it on the harbor and pushed it out, 0% of the time, would it ever get there. Yet, that’s how most people function their life.


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Hey everyone, this is Russell. Welcome to Marketing Behind Your Desk. My commute from my house to my office is like 10 seconds now so I don’t know how to keep Marketing In Your Car, we may have to change the title or something. But I’m here and I’ve got something cool for you guys.

So when we moved from the office, we moved our books all onto one really cool bookshelf. As I was putting up all the books I was like, “I want to read this book and this book.” So as I’ve been coming in I’ve been grabbing different books. So today I grabbed, The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. And I don’t know if you guys have ever heard of this book but it’s the beginning, the foundation of the personal development industry. I’m pretty sure he wrote this book, I think it was a record back in the day, and then that’s what sprouted out all personal development. So it’s kind of like the beginning.

I just heard a beep in the office, do you think it’s the fire alarm. Oh crap, good thing Steven is packing heat, my body guards here packing heat. He’s literally on his elbows crawling out to go kill somebody and protect us from imminent danger and doom.

Anyway, while he’s trying to kill these people I’m going to give you guys a message about the Strangest Secret. First off, if you haven’t read this, the book is like 15 pages, so you can read it in a very short period of time or you can try to find the record. I wonder if I can find the record on Ebay, that’d be cool.

Anyway, in this book he’s talking about the fact that….well he’s talking about, and this is written way back in the day, this is a long time ago. But he’s talking about how if you look at people that are over 65 that at the time, there were 14 million people. Of that 14 million, 13 million were broke and relying on other people. He said it’s amazing that by the time that you’re seven you learn how to read, you can make a living by the time you’re 25, but the majority of people by the age of 65 had not learned to be financially independent.

That’s crazy, how is that not happening? And then he talked about what’s the definition of success? And he said the definition of success is not that you achieve something, but the definition is the pursuit of that. So the pursuit of something is success. So it says the only man who succeeds is the man who is progressing, realizing a worthy ideal. So if you’re pursuing something, that’s the definition of success. It’s not so much that you have it, it’s that you’re going forward.

I should almost just read you guys the whole book, it’d only take 15 minutes. Probably less than that actually. But I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I want you guys to go and find it on Ebay or Amazon or whatever and get it. It’ll be worth it.

Anyway, he’s talking about, the next chapter is all about goals. He says, the key here is goals, setting goals and moving towards those goals. He talked about how if you take a boat with the crew and captain and they say, this is where we’re going, 99.99% of the time, they get there. If you took a boat, took the crew off and the captain and just set it on the harbor and pushed it out, 0% of the time, would it ever get there. Yet, that’s how most people function their life.

They wake up and they’re walking and stumbling and things like that. One thing, I don’t know if I can find it real quick in here. He said, it was super cool….This is what he said, that society was not set up to keep people from winning. Society was set up to keep people from losing. It’s like, if you look at the American society it doesn’t really care if people are winning or whatever, it’s trying to set it up so people don’t lose. So it becomes super simple. It’s easy to get a job. It’s easy to make enough money to survive.

And he says why do people not succeed? The reason why people don’t succeed is because they conform. The conforming is the opposite of success, which is so interesting. So it’s not, I wonder if I can find the quote right here where he said it? “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, a lot of people think that the opposite of being encouraging and going forward is being a coward. No, it’s not. The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, its conformity.”

So it’s conforming to the world around us. Conforming to that and then, he said, the government, the world way it’s structured is to protect people from failing, that’s why everything is so easy. Because of that we have to conform to do that. So then 99% of the population conforms. People get jobs so they cannot fail, so they can get a steady paycheck or whatever that means. It’s not just for money, but for anything in life.

I think about wrestling, let’s say you’re doing sports. It’s way easier to kind of go through the motions than it is to try and win. So there’s conforming and doing the normal whatever anyone is doing is the lowest thing. Anyway, it’s hard to tell a book that you just barely read.

Anyway, it kind of goes on from there. Success and goals and he said this is the key to success. The key to success, we become what we think about. Let me say that again, we become what we think about. And then he goes through and starts talking about all these different quotes from different people. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” William James “A great discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their life by altering the attitudes of their mind.”

He’s got quote after quote after quote all these people. Shakespeare, “Our doubts are traitors that make us lose the good we oft win by fearing to attempt.” On and on. All these things come down to, we are what we think about all day long. And that is the Strangest Secret. That’s kind of the key.

So at the very end it says, “We become what we think about. That is the strangest secret in the world. Now why do I say it’s strange and why do I say it’s a secret? Actually it isn’t a secret at all, it the first..” there’s a big word that not in our vocabulary now a days, “ the first ‘something’ by some of the earliest wise men and it appears again and again throughout the bible, but every few people who have learned it, understand it and that’s why it’s a secret and for some equally strange reason, it virtually remains a secret.”

So kind of the message of this book and hopefully this podcast for today, is a couple of things. First off, it’s what are you thinking about? What’s the goal? What’s the thing you’re driving towards every single day? And if you don’t have that you’re just like the boat that’s wandering and going to crash.

And the second part of this is understanding that just conforming to the standard is the reason why the majority of the population by the time they’re 65 have not learned financial independence. 65 years is not how long, it shouldn’t take that long to learn and master financial independence. You should learn that earlier in life, but because it’s easier just to conform and just to slip back to doing the status quo. And just doing what it takes to not lose, which is what our whole society is built upon. Most people go that way.

So for you guys here listening to this podcast, I know that’s not what any of you guys want. So it comes back down to setting a goal. What do you want? Where are you going? Having a very clear path and thinking about it, visualizing and figuring out how to get there. If you, man, low and behold you get there.

Like I said, it’s weird that 99.99% of the boats that set a destination get there, same with airplanes. There’s a tiny fraction that crash and burn, but mostly if they’ve got a direction and a destination they’re going, they get there. And I think it’s the same thing for you guys, if you’ve got that.

What’s your destination? Where are you going? If you’ve got that and you’re thinking about it and it becomes the thing you’re looking for, you’ll get there. And it’s not that hard, you just gotta think about it and then work to make that thing become a reality. So that’s what I got for today you guys.

The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale, I think they said that this where the secret, the movie The Secret, came from. Which, that movie is a little cheesy, not going to lie. Conceptually it’s pretty cool. But then it’s like, I just remember the one scene when the guys like, “Yeah, I thought about, I wanted a coffee and someone brought me some coffee.” That’s not what this is talking about, that’s stupid.

This is talking about what do I want in my life? And I want to be able to see it visually and then I go and chase it. For me, I remember when I got started in this business, 13, 14 years ago now, I saw people ahead of me. For me, my first mentors were like, Armand Morin and John Reese, Marlon Sanders, Jonathon Mizel. These are the guys that I saw initially and I saw what they were doing and I was like, that’s what I want. I need that. I gotta figure that out.

And it wasn’t easy. Conformity is easy. And it’s not what they say. I mean it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. That’s definitely the thing. Same thing, that was my goal. So I started looking what Armand was doing. I was modeling him. If you look at my first 3 or 4 sites, they were identical to Armand’s. I funnel hacked him as close as humanly possible. My sites, Armand always had a picture of his head on the header, so I always had a picture of my head on the header. I just modeled him identical because it was Armand. That’s who I wanted to be like.

I had a vision and that’s where I was going. And then at my very first big seminar, that’s the first time I saw people speak and sell from stage and I was like, “holy crap.” I remember seeing this dude get on stage and he does his pitch and people run to the back of the room and I was doing the math, he made 50 thousand dollars in 90 minutes. I saw the next guy and the next guy. They did 130 thousand dollars in sales. Thing after thing after thing. I was like, “I don’t know how to speak. I’m scared to death of people and getting on stage. But that thing, that skill, I gotta learn that.” So that became the destination. For the next three years of my life I learned how to speak and sell from stage.

It was hard. It was not easy. It was embarrassing. The first ten or fifteen times I got on stage I did my pitch and nobody would move. That’s humiliating. It sucked, it was so embarrassing. But I knew where I was going, so I’m like, “I gotta get there because that skill, if I can get that skill, holy crap that’d be cool.” So I stood up in front of 100 people, 500 people, 600 people and I did the thing. And then I crashed and burned. I was so embarrassed.

I remember, I think I told you this before. The first time I was so embarrassed because usually when you speak all the other speakers that are selling from the stage will be like, “Hey, how did you do? What were your numbers? How many did you close?” So I did my pitch and nobody bought. It was like the walk of shame to the back of the room. Everyone was waiting, just not running to the back and buying. I was so embarrassed and I didn’t want to talk to the other speakers, the promoter, the other attendees, I was humiliated.

So I went to my room and I still remember, I had never before rented a movie on TV in a hotel room before, so I went to the movie section and I started movies. And I watched movies for 3 days. Every movie that was there that I felt comfortable watching, I watched. I remember ordering coconut shrimp and Haagan Dazs ice cream every hour on the hour. I was like, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m not leaving this place. I want to eat.” Because it was so humiliating. But I knew where I wanted to go. I knew the destiny. I gotta figure this thing out because people are doing it and they can’t be that much smarter than me. I’m sure they’re more talented than me, but they can’t be that much smarter than me. I just gotta figure it out. So I kept doing it and doing it and eventually I got to that destination.

So for you guys, find the destination, set the goals, think about it all the time, go read the Strangest Secret. It’s literally a 5 minute read. It’ll take you less time to read than it was to listen to this podcast. That’s all I got you guys. With that said, I appreciate you all, have a great day and we’ll talk soon.


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