One of the best investments I’ve EVER made in my life was a small book called:
This is Earl Nightingale.
by Earl Nightingale.
It was published in 1969, and I have an original copy I bought on Amazon for maybe $15.
I’ve obsessively read books since I was younger, and so many of them are phenomenal….but this is THE ONE BOOK I would grab out of my house if it was on fire.
I’m not a very religious person, and I consider this book, the closest thing I have to a Bible.
BUT NEVILLEEEEE….WHY IS THIS BOOK SO GOOD??
The book is just transcripts of a 5-minute radio spot Earl Nightingale used to do in the 1960’s.
He did over 5,000 of these small radio shows about various topics (he was like a blogger back in the day, but his medium was radio).
The book contains about 80 of these transcripts. Each being an average of 3 pages each.
Theoretically I can read each chapter in about 30 seconds. However every damn time I pick up this book, I read one or two chapters, and it literally takes me 10+ minutes or more.
The reason is each chapter is so incredibly thought-provoking, and mind-shifting, and new-idea-giving that they make me sit there and THINK.
THE WAY I USE THE BOOK:
It’s pretty damn simple:
If I’m confused, pissed off, sad, or lazy (or in some similar state that is not desirable)….I pick up this book and open a random chapter.
Within a few minutes of reading, I generally have a paper/pen out and am jotting out the quickest solution to my problems.
It’s almost like a sure-fire way to make me feel better since it gets me thinking RATIONALLY about an issue I may have, rather than just “oh poor me complain complain complain” shitty circular thinking that gets you no where.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY!
I have no affiliation with Earl Nightingale. Or am trying to get anyone to buy the book for any reason whatsoever.
Just thought I’d share what I consider to be one of the greatest investments in myself I’ve ever made.
Reading the book over tea in Kerala, India.
I refer to this book when I have a problem. It’s like a Bible, except without all the fiction.
I love this book. Such a tiny investment has yielded huge results.
A sampling of some of the chapters. I randomly open the book and start reading. Never fails.
**This is a re-post of an email I sent out. However it was long and marked-up with words like “make money” so my email client didn’t like it. Posting here so people could see it:
I don’t know how to explain this easily, so I’m going to start with a very personal example…..maybe you can relate:
Sometimes whenever I’m seeing a girl, and start “liking” her more and more…..and she likes me back…..I’ll occasionally start thinking of all these horrible situations in my head like:
–“the last text message she sent didn’t have a smiley face or exclamation mark…..is she pissed? I bet she’s playing games or being weird…”
–“what if we go to this party together and she starts making out with another guy?? I bet I would walk out and tell her I never wanna see her again…..”
I’m not an insecure guy….but these kind of weiiiirrrddd ass thought scenarios play out in my head from time to time. And don’t lie and say you’ve never done it either!
The craziest damn thing is:
Soon after thinking this stuff and getting all worked up…..the girl will call or text something sweet and I’ll feel all excited and giddy.
I know none of those scenarios are very likely if things are good…..so why does the brain torture itself with this shit?
AND THAT’S JUST RELATIONSHIP DRAMA.
When it comes to practical things like growing a business, being better at your job, or getting out of a horrible living situation…..this same kind of negative thinking happens.
You might be in the shower, and start thinking negatively like:
–“I can’t compete with those other guys….they’re so much better than me…”
–“I’m pretty sure I might get laid off soon….then what? What will I do? Where will I get money? What will I tell friends?”
–“I hate living here….but I don’t have enough money to move….and I don’t even know where to move…..and I don’t even know what the financial criteria to live somewhere else is.”
……and you’ll ask yourself these negative-based questions in the shower, or laying in bed at night, or while driving. And it depresses the hell out of you and give you ZERO solutions.
SO WHY THE HELL WOULD SOMEONE DO THIS TO THEMSELVES??
FIRST.) It’s normal to occasionally have weird thoughts like this….but only temporarily.
SECOND.) You’re asking yourself shitty negative questions in your head that go nowhere.
But don’t fret….I’m not gonna tell you the solution is to “think positive and be grateful!!!”
LEAVE IT FOR THE HIPPIES.
I’ve never been a fan of this “Just be grateful” crap. I’ve tried being “grateful” for every damn thing I have…..but in the end simply “being grateful” doesn’t get you real solutions.
Lemme give you a real solution…..
The way to stop this is to:
Ask constructive questions that poke your brain into thinking differently.
Apparently the trick is not finding the right ANSWER…….but finding the right QUESTIONS that will get you to the answer. (read that one more time and let it sink in).
There’s too many problems in life to know the answers to everything, but we can construct sets of thoughtful questions that will nudge us towards the best answer.
(my mind was blown when I came to this realization)…..
SO LET’S JUMP ON SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT:
Instead of asking your brain:
“How can I make more money?”
(this question will just spin your wheels on wacky biz ideas).
You can instead flip the question into:
“What can I do for other people, so they WANT to give me money?”
(this question will instead identify real ways of providing value & service to others…..which in turn will equal money).
Instead of asking your brain:
“I wonder why he’s mad at me?”
(this question will make you start thinking about all sorts of crazy scenarios and just work you up & make the problem worse).
You can instead flip the question into:
“If he did to me…..what I just did to him…..how would I feel??”
(this question will reverse the roles, and make you think more empathetically than selfishly. It might also help you understand that you WERE in fact wrong, and owe someone an apology….not the other way around).
SO UNDERSTAND THIS MY YOUNG & DUMB FRIEND:
When you flip the question around, you will get totally different answers.
But this is just ONE of many (about 10) brain hacks I’ve found that get me out of “Shitty Thinking Mode” and into constructive thoughts that give me real answers.
I originally made a document on my desktop that outlines each of these methods….and every time I have a problem, I’ll open it and scroll through the questions to.
I’ll apply my problem to just one or two of the brain-poking questions…..and within seconds it’ll spark thoughts and solutions in my head, and get me on the right track to solving the problem. JUST FROM A SIMPLE DOCUMENT ON MY DESKTOP.
But since I’m a greedy capitalist I decided to put out a small product that can be used anytime to solve problems.
OH WAIT….let me re-word that last sentence to be more constructive!
I’ve absorbed toonnss of advice over the years that I’ve distilled down into 10 brain-hacking questions…..which “poke” my brain into finding the answer to nearly every question I have. Now I want to share these with the world.
I do have a document I use like this, but it’s kind of useless for most people (since it was originally meant just for me).
SO I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE IT.
I’m currently working with my assistant to make it all nice-looking and helpful, and want to know what questions you have all the time you need might want assistance with.
It can be business stuff, personal stuff, relationship stuff….whatever.
Can you take a quick moment to write even just ONE tough question you’ve asked yourself lately? Just fill out the one-question form (2nd question is just there in case you wanna add comments):
Everyone wants ANSWERS, but the right QUESTIONS are what you need to be asking…..in order to find the best answers.
Lemme know what’s troubling you….and I’m gonna do my best to make a quick doc you can leave on your computer desktop that will help you solve it.
Thank you :-)
Neville – A kopywriting problem solver
P.S. Make sure to send me question(s) you often ask your brain. Enter them on this form.
P.P.S. Hope the above examples already jogged your brain into thinking A LITTLE differently already. Just ONE tweak of a question can launch you down a whole new path…..so don’t underestimate the power of this stuff.