The Strangest Secret

The Strangest Secret is a well-known motivation message that has been heard by more than a million people similarly to Law of Attraction.


The origins of this brief but powerful message can be traced back to a night in 1956. Then the owner of an insurance agency, Earl Nightingale was in the habit of giving his sales staff a weekly “pep talk” over the office’s intercom system. The staff came to count on these talks, so when they learned that Nightingale would be leaving on a week’s vacation, and would therefore be unable to deliver his talk, they became upset. Earl’s solution was to record his message on audio tape, so that it could be played in his absence.


The inspiration for the message itself pulled Nightingale out of a deep sleep in the early hours of the morning. He immediately woke up, went to his desk, and typed it out, then recorded it that very day. When it was played for his staff, they were astounded by what they heard. Word of the remarkable message quickly spread, and soon the office was flooded with requests for a copy. It seemed that everyone who heard it was amazed by its simplicity and power, and wanted to pass it along to someone else.

The Secret

The secret in question is the fact that "You become what you think about." This phrase means that an individual's daily thoughts have a strong impact on their actions, which has a strong impact on their lives. This belief that a person's persistent thoughts have a strong impact has since been taken up by any number of personal development experts including Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins and others.

Originally The Strangest Secret was intended to be a recording of inspirational messages delivered to the sales staff of a Chicago insurance company owned by Mr. Nightingale.

Business Utilization of the Message

One such person was Chicago entrepreneur Lloyd Conant. When Conant heard the recording, he decided to contact Earl Nightingale with a business proposition. The two went on to form the Nightingale-Conant Corporation, which would become one of the world’s largest producers and publishers of personal development and self-help audio programs. "The Strangest Secret" was the first recording published by the company, and it eventually sold more than one million copies, making it the first spoken-word recording to achieve Gold Record status.

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