Believe in yourself:  you are your greatest asset. Don’t confuse this with “fake it until you make it”.  Most of the time I think that’s terrible advice.  Turrible turrible. 

You’re capable of far more than you can imagine.  Maybe it can’t all happen today, but it can happen.

I was listening to an audio of Earl Nightengale the other day.  It’s called The Strangest Secret.  There’s a lot of inspiration you can find there.  Here are 11 modernized take-aways from that talk:

1. We live today in a golden age with abundant opportunities.  There will be more opportunities this year and next than there has been for a while. A down economy is a breeding ground for new businesses and opportunities for people to reinvent themselves if they need to. It’s time to work on that idea you’ve kept hidden in a notebook for the last few years.

2. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.  Success is not necessarily about making a lot of money. If you find your passion and love what you do, then you have found success. If following your passion leads to the creation of something valuable, making a steady income should never be a problem.

3. 95% of people forfeit success for conformity.  In an age of social media where everyone needs to be online, this could not be more true. Part of the problem is that smartphones and social media have been designed to attract people and eat up all our time. That’s why you should consider doing a digital detox in order to clear your head and find a path to success.

4. Instead of competing, all we have to do is create.  We have more resources now for flexing our creativity. Open-source software, free YouTube tutorials, and low-cost methods of prototyping have made it very inexpensive to try inventing a new product or service. If you don’t like the idea of a 15-to-20-year race to hit C-level, focus on creating a solution to a problem instead. There’s definitely still sacrifice and long hours involved, but the rewards can be significantly greater.

5. People who set goals succeed because they know where they’re going.  Nightingale makes a great analogy for setting goals in The Strangest Secret. He compares people who do or don’t set goals with ships. The ship that has its voyage mapped out with a captain and crew will arrive at its destination the majority of the time. It has a definite goal. The other ship doesn’t have its voyage mapped out, no crew, and does not know where it’s going. They send it out from a harbor and where does it go? Nowhere.

6. They both work hard.  The best part of this analogy is pointing out how hard work isn’t enough. We can work really hard, but without setting the right goals, that hard work may not take us anywhere. I’ve definitely been in situations like this before. During high school, college or my professional life, it has always felt more fulfilling to be working toward a specific goal instead of going through the motions.

7. We become what we think about.  This one needs some clarification. No matter how hard you think about becoming an 18-wheeler semi-truck, it probably won’t happen. What you can think about and weave deep into your brain is your goal. I know this works from personal experience. If you deliberately think about a goal right when you wake up in the morning and go to bed at night, it will start to affect your day-to-day decisions more and more. Gradually, you will end up on a clear path toward meeting that goal.

8. Believe and succeed.  You can believe you’re a success and become one. There are plenty of people who have a lot of money that still don’t believe they are successful, or they feel unfulfilled. It’s because a lot of the time, money follows success, not the other way around. Nightingale wasn’t the first person to say this, and he hasn’t been the last. Our mindset dictates our happiness and success, so it’s crucial that we take care of it.

9. Everything worthwhile in life came to us for free.  Even if you were given a smartphone for free as a kid, that’s not what this means. Our friends, family, and our minds are all given to us for free. Things that cost money are very cheap and can be replaced pretty quickly. The paradox is that many people take things for granted that can’t be replaced. Whether it’s excessive drinking, drugs, neglect, or whatever – many people make worthless things a priority instead of focusing on what truly matters for finding success.

10. We must be willing to pay the price.  Success will never come for free. Whether that’s having good relationships, good health, or a good financial situation. It always comes with a cost. Trying to avoid paying the price will only lead to more hardship. Once you understand this, it will make the journey infinitely easier than if you tried avoiding the hard work and discipline.

11. Ideas are worthless unless we act on them.  Good ideas are a dime a dozen. I’ve had plenty and I’m sure you have, too. But ideas themselves don’t do anything. We need to take action instead of sitting around talking about how this or that would be a million-dollar idea. It seems like some people also tend to think that if they thought of something first, it belongs to them. History shows that even if you go out and file for a patent, competition can easily spring up. The only option is meeting your market with action as soon as you can, then building on that success with more.

By the way, I stole these 11 principles from

Oh, if you’re narcissist please ignore this post.

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