I found these notes I put together about thirty five years ago, from the writings of Earl Nightengale. Every few years I would find the notes and read them again, and marvel at how simple the formula is. Read it over and see what you think.
The SECRET OF SUCCESS, of everyone who is successful, is the fact that they have formed the habit of doing the things that failures don’t like to do.
What are the things that failures don’t like to do? They are the things that none of us like to do. It is because of this fact that success is limited to the minority, and is therefore unnatural. In other words we cannot follow our natural likes and dislikes.
Successful people do not like to do the things that they don’t want to do, but they realize that by doing them they will accomplish the things they want to accomplish. Unsuccessful people have learned to be satisfied by the results obtained by doing only the things they like to do.
Why then are successful people able to do the things they don’t like to do. Because they have a strong PURPOSE. Their purpose is strong enough to make them FORM the HABIT of doing the things they don’t want to do.
It is easier to adjust ourselves to the hardships of a poor living than it is to adjust ourselves to the hardships of making a better one. Think about all the things you are willing to go without rather than do the things you don’t want to do.
The STRENGTH which holds you to your purpose is not your own strength, but the strength of the PURPOSE itself. We are all creatures of habit and habit is nothing more than momentum translated from the concrete to the abstract. Every single qualification for success is acquired through habit. People form habits and habits form futures.
Any resolution or decision you make is simply a PROMISE to yourself, which isn’t worth a damn, until you form the habit of making and keeping it. And you will not form the habit of making and keeping it until you link it with a definite purpose that can be accomplished by keeping it.
Every resolution you make today MUST be made tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Not only does the resolution have to be made each day, it has to be kept each day. If one day is missed you have to go back and begin again.
Your future depends on your purpose in life, and no matter how successful you are you will never succeed beyond the purpose to which you’re willing to surrender.
Strong words, but over the years I’ve come to accept them. It doesn’t mean I always followed them, but I know who to blame when something I want seems beyond my reach.