"The Strangest Secret" and "We become what we think about", are two phrases that have memorialized one of the greatest thinkers, and inspirational men of our time - - Earl Nightingale.
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1921. By 1933 Earl's father had left his mother with three small boys, and in order to provide them with the bare-essentials, worked at the WPA seweing factory. They lived in a tent in Tent City with poverty all around them.
Even as a small boy, Earl wondered why they lived as they did while others lived so much better than they, and not finding answers to his questioning mind, he went to the Public library to search for the answers - - this search would continue for many years as he studied the world’s great religions, philosophy and psychology.
When Earl was seventeen, a Marine recruiter enticed Earl to sign up, promising an opportunity to explore new and exciting horizons. He was sent to Hawaii, and stationed aboard the USS Arizona. He was in his station, the morning of the attack on Pearl Harbor and was one of twelve surviving Marines on board that day.
Before being mustered out of the Marines after the war, Earl returned to the states and became an instructor at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While there he noticed a new radio station under construction, and applied for a job. He was hired by WJNC, and began his radio career.
Once out of the Marine Corps, Earl went to work for KTAR in Phoenix, Arizona. Radio was in it’s “hay day”, and with Earl’s talent, it wasn’t long before he moved to where the heart of the action was - - Chicago, Illinois. Offered jobs at both NBC, and CBS, he went to work for CBS, where he quickly became a legendary icon to kids across the nation, as the voice radio hero, Sky King . When he wasn’t flying through the sky in his airplane, The Songbird, or riding off on his horse to round up the bad guys, Earl was busy writing and broadcasting his daily radio, and later, television show, from the broadcast stations in the Windy City.
Later, expanding his horizon, Earl bought a small Franklin Life Insurance agency, where each Saturday morning, he would give little pep talks to the salesmen, hoping to inspire and motivate them to be the best salesmen they could be.
One day, Earl told his office manager that he planned to take a fishing vacation and would be away for a few weeks. Because the salesmen relied so heavily on their weekly pep talks from Earl, the manager expressed concern that sales would drop during Earl’s absence. Earl came up with the idea of recording something that could be played while he was gone.
Earl thought about what he might write, and then, in the middle-of one night he woke knowing exactly what he wanted to say. He got up, went to his typewriter and wrote a short message. The next morning, he went to Columbia Records where his friend, Dick Hutter worked, and recorded the message which was pressed on one record. The message contained what Earl believed to be the most valuable information he had ever learned. It contained the answer to the question he had searched for, for so many years - why people live the way they do.
When he was 29, Earl's enlightenment had come to him as a bolt out of the blue while reading, "Think and Grow Rich". It came when he realized that the six words he read were the answer to the question he had been looking for! That, “we become what we think about”. He he realized that he had been reading the same truth over and over
again, from the New Testament, in the sayings of Buddha, in the writings of Lao
Tse, to the works of Emerson. “We become what we think about.” “As ye sow, so
shall ye reap.”"As the horse goes, so follows the cart."
So, it was from this enlightenment that Earl wrote his, Strangest Secret, message. He called it that, because of the irony of it all - that this truth of why we become, whatever it is we become, is no “secret” at all, and therefore, it’s “strange” that we don’t all know about it!
Earl gave the recording to his manager and left on his fishing trip. When he returned, he was amazed to learn that everyone who had heard the record, wanted one for themselves. Earl pressed more records for the salesmen. The salesmen played it, not only for themselves, but for their families and friends, and when the others heard it, wanted one, too. Over the next years, without marketing or advertising, more than a million records were sold of, "The Strangest Secret", earning for Earl, a Gold Record. The only recording of it’s kind to ever go Gold.
The demand became so great over the next thirteen years, that Earl accepted an offer of help to fulfill orders from an acquaintance, Lloyd Conant, who had a small mail order company. Together, they formed the Nightingale-Conant Corporation of Chicago and became the founding pioneers and world leaders in the personal development industry.
In 1987, Earl retired from the Nightingale-Conant Corporation, and then together with his wife, Diana, formed Keys Publishing, and set about writing and recording programs to take to present and future generations. After Earl's passing, Diana kept her promise to her late husband to continue the work they began.
At the time of his death, and to this date, Earl Nightingale’s multitude
of recorded messages have been listened to by countless people around the world,
inspiring people from all cultures, nationalities and races, to live their
lives to their fullest.
During his lifetime, Earl Nightingale wrote and recorded over 7,000 radio programs, 250 audio programs as well as numerous television programs and videos.
In the mid-eighties, Earl wrote his first book,
"Earl NIghtingale's Greatest Discovery", for which he received the "Napoleon Hill
Gold Medal for Literary Excellence".
In 1985, after more than 40-years in radio, Earl was inducted into, The Association of National Broadcasters, Radio Hall of Fame.
Just prior to his passing in 1989, Earl,
created a new format for a book that included his text, his illustrations, and
incorporated space for a private journal. He called it, "The Winner's Notebook".
Today, Earl Nightingale is remembered as the greatest philosopher of his time, and his best selling programs and books continue to sell daily, inspiring people around the world to reach their highest potential.
For more than 20-years, Diana Nightingale has taken the works began by her husband and has continued to make his messages available through this website, seminars, speeches, and radio. While most often recognized as the widow of Earl Nightingale, Diana is a nationally recognized coach, mentor, teacher and author and her own works, through the years, have shown that she does not live in her husband's shadow, but shines brightly on her own.
Visit, Coaching and Retreats at this site to learn more about Diana Nightingale Retreats.
Diana Nightingale may be heard at www.nightingaleradio.com