How do you define Success? As personal comfort? Career advancement? Wealth? Power? Happiness?

Discovering my purpose and defining my goals has required patience and determination—and a much longer search than I would have liked. It started with writing a novel and has evolved into a broader vision, which includes writing the novel plus several other books and courses. The process has challenged my confidence and perseverance. The first step—starting the novel—came easily; telling the world about it took a leap of faith; actually exerting the consistent effort to continue to quietly work on it with no end in sight has proven most difficult. Have I succeeded?

In 1959, after seventeen years of intensive research, Earl Nightingale, one of the men credited with founding the self-help movement, arrived at the below definition of success. He continued to use it unchanged for forty years after that. He said:

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.
Earl Nightingale

book-the-strangest-secret-earl-nightingaleThis definition says so much in so few words:


  1. Happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.
    Continuous progress! Success does not begin after you complete your goal. Success begins when you start the journey to completion and continue to progress toward it despite obstacles and detours.
  2. Favouring or implementing new, liberal ideas.
    Forward thinking! Success involves stepping out of accepted norms, as well as your comfort zone, and embracing new ideas and opportunities.


  1. An act of becoming fully aware of something as a fact.
    Awareness! To succeed, we must become aware of a general desire to aspire to a worthy ideal. Then, we must imagine a specific worthy ideal unique to us and become aware of our desire to manifest it.
  2. The fulfillment or achievement of something desired or anticipated.
    Fulfillment! Next, we must take action fulfill our worthy ideal—to make it a reality.


  1. Deserving of a specified thing.
    Your goal must be worthy of your time! Your goal must be worth your time—after all, in pursuing it, you are effectively trading your life for it.
  2. Suitable or fit for a specified thing.
    You must be worthy of your goal! Success requires perseverance and action. To be successful, you must work on your goal, persevering to overcome any obstacles that come your way.


  1. Satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable.
    Suited to you! Your goal must suit you and your unique desires and abilities perfectly.
  2. Existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality.
    A magnificent obsession! You must desire it deeply and profoundly.

Are you successful? Are you pursuing the progressive realization of a worthy ideal? What is it?

My mind is clear. I choose my path. All obstacles are illusions.
The Universe is conspiring with me in my Success.

The universe is conspiring with you for your success!


About Earl Nightingale

Earl Nightingale (March 12, 1921 – March 28, 1989) was an American Radio personality, Writer, respected Speaker and Author, dealing mostly on the subjects of Human Character Development, Motivation, Excellence and Meaningful Existence; so named as the “Dean of Personal Development.” He was the voice in the early 1950s of Sky King, the hero of a radio adventure series, and was a WGN radio show host from 1950 to 1956. Nightingale was the author of The Strangest Secret, which economist Terry Savage has called “…One of the great motivational books of all time“.

Learn more about Earl Nightingale on Wikipedia.

Interested in reading or listening to “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale?

You will find many versions of this book available online, including free in PDF format and reading by Earl himself on YouTube. Google “the strangest secret earl nightingale” and choose the best format for you.

I personally really benefit from listening to books from my iPhone using my Kindle App. You can find out How to Listen to Kindle Books on Your iPhone on my business website.