Home PageFree eCourseCornerstone Book ClubAffiliate ProgramSpecial OffersHow To OrderShopping Cart

Excerpts from

  The Essence of Success
163 Life Lessons from the
Dean of Self-Development
by Earl Nightingale

Order in Adobe PDF eBook or printed form for $17.95 (+ printing charge)

Book Description
Take an unprecedented journey into the world of achievement and personal development with Nightingale-Conant's co-founder Earl Nightingale. Earl spent nearly his whole life researching what is known as - "Essence of Success". He is known as one of the greatest success philosophers and storytellers that has ever lived. The Essence of Success is a compendium of his very best work.

This 400 page ebook is divided into 25 chapters that have myriad benefits. It will teach you how to develop an excellent attitude, enhance your self-esteem, foster your creative genius, set and achieve goals, harness your mind's power. This
veritable bible of personal growth deals with critical success factors such as writing skills, public speaking skills, being a better communicator, and fostering excellent relationships. This book will teach you in no uncertain terms how to achieve success and happiness in all areas of your life.

by W. Clement Stone

I first met Earl Nightingale more than four decades ago. Napoleon Hill and I had just begun an association which was to last ten years and carry us around the globe spreading the message that every individual could achieve lasting success by following a set of established principles that Hill had first written about in his all-time best seller Think and Grow Rich. Nightingale, at the time, had his own radio program on WGN in Chicago.

Dr. Hill and I had been discussing ways to promote his new book, How to Raise Your Own Salary, when Nightingale paid us a visit. “Your book, Think and Grow Rich, completely changed my life,” he said. “I believe I knew all the principles before I read the book. But in Think and Grow Rich, they were in crystallized form. I could see them clearly. I decided to employ them: specifically, to double my earnings within a period of two weeks. I wrote my definite objective on a piece of paper and my earnings doubled in two weeks.

“I felt this might have been a coincidence. So I again decided to double my earnings and set a specific date. When I achieved this objective before the date set, I said to myself, “This is no coincidence. Here I have a formula for success.”

He looked at Napoleon Hill and continued: “I want to show my gratitude to you for Think and Grow Rich. I am here to help you all I can in any way.”

Nightingale amazed me with the offer that followed. He would publicize How to Raise Your Own Salary at no cost to us. We decided to try him out to see if he was sincere. He was, and he did a magnificent job of publicizing the book. Sales were coming in volume.

Before the week was over, I called Nightingale, complimented him and said, “I don’t want something for nothing. We will pay you your regular rate beginning with your second week of broadcasting for us.” Through Nightingale’s efforts, we sold more copies of How to Raise Your Own Salary than through all other advertising and promotional media combined.

Nightingale and I and Napoleon Hill became great friends and we met often to discuss our common love of helping others learn to apply the principles of success in their own lives. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life to work with these outstanding individuals who were dedicated to the achievement of such noble objectives and to helping each other reach our own personal goals. It was at one of those meetings that I suggested to Nightingale that he reach out to hundreds of thousands more people than he was already reaching by multiplying himself.

Nightingale did multiply himself with the same intensity that he applied to reaching every goal he set for himself. He formed a partnership with Lloyd Conant to establish Nightingale-Conant to produce motivational recordings and special courses for listeners around the world. Their company literally pioneered the development, production, design and marketing of motivation-al programs.

Nightingale-Conant was itself built upon fundamental principles of success. Their partnership was what I call a Master Mind Alliance in which they worked together in a spirit of perfect harmony, toward a common purpose. Each had skills that complimented the others. Conant was the business and marketing brain, and Nightingale was the company’s spokesperson. Conant ran the operation and Nightingale chaired the board of directors. Together they made the company highly successful.

They had one goal: to publish the best recorded self-help material available anywhere. Though they have both passed away, the Nightingale-Conant legacy is a company built upon principles, values, and ethics so strong that it survives them, and the organization that bears their names has set the standard for and become synonymous with quality in motivational recordings.

Earl Nightingale was in many ways a “river person,” a term he often used to describe other great men. River people, he believed, recognize their life’s purpose early on. “They are born to spend their lives in great rivers of the most absorbing interest, and they throw themselves into those rivers wholly,” he said. He used Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Leonardo da Vinci as examples of river people.

Nightingale’s destiny, the river that swept him to great heights, was to convey the principles of success to millions of listeners in a style that was uniquely his own. No one who ever heard his distinctive gravelly voice as he recounted his own brand of insightful inspiration or read the wise words that flowed from his pen will ever forget Earl Nightingale. His profound thoughts touched and changed the lives of millions.

One of my favorite Earl Nightingale recordings is his account of Carl Sandburg’s story about the Kansas farmer (Earl called him a sodbuster) who, as he contemplated the great mysteries of life, was asked by a passing stranger in a covered wagon, “What kind of people live around here?” To which the farmer replied, “Well, stranger, what kind of folks were there in the country you come from?” “Well, there was a mostly low-down, lying, thieving, gossiping, backbiting lot of people,” said the stranger. And the farmer replied, “Well, stranger, I guess that’s about the kind of folks you’ll find around here.”

The first wagon was hardly out of sight when another newcomer interrupted the farmer’s reverie with the same question: “What kind of folks was there in the country you came from?” the farmer asked again. “Well,” said the stranger, “there was mostly a decent, hardworking, law-abiding, friendly lot of people.” And again the farmer replied, “Well, I guess stranger, that’s about the kind of folks you’ll find around here.”

In Nightingale’s own inimitable way, he tells us that the reality we experience will be that of our own creation. “Our individual worlds,” he said, “will respond to us in the way in which we see them. They will become for us that which we expect of them. We are the creators of our own surroundings.”

This example is one of more than a hundred of Nightingale’s original audio scripts that Nightingale-Conant has made available in The Essence of Success. It is a collection of some of his best works. They have been extracted from the firm’s archives and gathered from the private collections of many individuals who have contributed rare tapes and transcriptions to this tribute to one of the great motivational speakers and writers of this century.

Nightingale’s radio colleague, Stephen D. King, whom Nightingale-Conant selected to narrate the audio version of The Essence of Success recalls that the project began as a simple, heartfelt memorial to a broadcasting great whose career spanned more than four decades. “Earl’s friends and colleagues began assembling a cross-section of his 40-year output. They took snippets of his tapes, found transcriptions of his early broadcasts and delved into several hours of never-before-heard tapes of interviews he gave.

“Soon the project took on a life of its own,” King recalled. “The more they collected, the more they wanted to collect. Radio old-timers, hearing about the project, contributed rare tapes and transcriptions.” What they assembled has gone on to become far more than a memorial. The Essence of Success is a thorough, effective, exciting success book that you will want to read again and again.

The book is organized in an easy-to-use format that offers several lessons on twenty-five topics, each with a success message that you can adopt and apply in your own life. Each is a combination of the most profound thoughts of some of the world’s greatest thinkers, plain old common sense, and unique insight into what motivates us to great achievement. It is singularly Earl Nightingale.

Nightingale believed that we are not all born river people. It takes some of us longer to find our river—our own specific, individual purpose in life. We must somehow set about discovering what it is within ourselves, Nightingale wrote, “with the patience and assiduity of a paleontologist on an important dig.”

The stories included in this book may hold the key to helping you better understand yourself as you attempt to find your own river. You will know you have found it when your purpose in life demands fulfillment just as Nightingale’s mission to carry his inspirational message of success to others led him to multiply himself a thousandfold through writing and recording and through his partnership with Lloyd Conant. Your river will become your burning desire in life and it will fill you with energy and enthusiasm.

Though Earl Nightingale’s brief candle flickered and was forever extinguished on March 25, 1989, it continues to light the candles of others. His works stand as a beacon of hope. His writings and recordings shine as brightly today as they did when they were first created. They are yours to read and enjoy, and to help light the way in your own life.

—W. Clement Stone

The Strangest Secret

By Earl Nightingale

When we say "nearly five percent of men and women achieve success" then we have to define success. The following is the best definition we've found: "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."

If a person is working toward a predetermined goal and knows where to go, then that person is successful. If a person does not know which direction they want to go in life, then that person is a failure.

"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal."

Therefore, who succeeds?

The only person who succeeds is the person who is progressively realizing a worthy ideal. The person who says, "I'm going to become this"… and then begins to work toward becoming it.

Have you ever wondered why so many men and women work so hard and honestly without ever achieving anything in particular? Why others do not seem to work hard at all and yet get everything? We sometimes think it is the magic touch or pure luck. We often say, "Everything they touch turns to gold." Have you ever noticed that a person who becomes successful tends to continue this pattern of success? Or on the other hand, how a person who fails seems to continually fail?

Well, the answer is simple -- those who succeed have established personal goals.

Success is not the result of making money; making money is the result of success and success is in direct proportion to our service.

Here are five steps that will help you realize success:

  1. Establish a definite goal.
  2. Stop running yourself down.
  3. Do not think of all the reasons why you cannot be successful -- instead think of all the reasons why you can achieve success.
  4. Trace your emotions back to childhood -- discover where you first got the negative idea you would not be successful -- face your fears.
  5. Renew your self-image by writing a description of the person you want to become -- Act the part -- You are that person!

George Bernard Shaw said:

"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

Well, that is pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed – for a while – that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.

Now, it stands to reason that a person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that's what he's thinking about. And we become what we think about.

Conversely, the man who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion and anxiety and fear and worry, becomes what he thinks about. His life becomes one of frustration and fear and anxiety and worry.

And if he thinks about nothing…he becomes nothing.

So decide now. What is it you want? Plant your goal in your mind. It's the most important decision you'll ever make in your entire life. All you've got to do is plant that seed in your mind, care for it, and work steadily toward your goal, and it will become a reality.

How do you begin?

First: It is understanding emotionally as well as intellectually that we literally become what we think about; that we must control our thoughts if we're to control our lives. It's understanding fully that…"as ye sow, so shall ye reap."

Second: It's cutting away all fetters from the mind and permitting it to soar as it was divinely designed to do. It's the realization that your limitations are self-imposed and that the opportunities for you today are enormous beyond belief. It's rising above narrow-minded pettiness and prejudice.

Third: It's using all your courage to force yourself to think positively on your own problems, to set a definite and clearly defined goal for yourself. To let your marvelous mind think about your goal from all possible angles; to let your imagination speculate freely upon many different possible solutions. To refuse to believe that there are any circumstances sufficiently strong to defeat you in the accomplishment of your purpose. To act promptly and decisively when your course is clear. And to keep constantly aware of the fact that you are, at this moment, standing in the middle of your own "acres of diamonds."

And fourth: Save at least 10 percent of every dollar you earn.

It's also remembering that, no matter what your present job, it has enormous possibilities – if, you're willing to pay the price by keeping these four points in mind:

  1. You will become what you think about.
  2. Remember the word "imagination" and let your mind begin to soar.
  3. Courageously concentrate on your goal every day.
  4. Save 10 percent of what you earn.

Finally, take action – ideas are worthless unless we act on them.

Order complete book in Adobe PDF eBook or printed form for $17.95 (+ printing charge)