Does The Strangest Secret Work?

Earl Nightingale wrote about The Strangest Secret ( full audio version) and how you can become part of the top 5% through your thinking and fully realizing that the best things in life truly are free. The message about the importance of your thoughts is also made in the book As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. I think it is a valid point that thoughts are very important but I wish Earl’s message put more emphasis on the importance of adding a strong dose of action into the mix instead of just mentioning it and taking that part mostly for granted. If you think long and hard about a goal it should lead to action but without it being emphasized that crucial part could potentially be neglected. It is appealing to make it sound easy but enthusiastic effort is really essential.

I am a big believer in goal setting and acting to exert your freedom but I have come to learn that to simply exhort people to set goals can be dangerous because there is some technique and knowledge involved in setting the right goals in the right way. Money goals can be particularly troublesome because, in my opinion, the emphasis shouldn’t be on money itself but rather on it being one of many indicators of achievement and service which builds capability to do more. If goal setting is not done in the right way it can backfire and be demotivating.

More on this topic on whether certain personal development techniques like goal setting actually work well in practice was recently written about by Tim Brownson, Self Development Techniques I No Longer Believe In. It isn’t that surprising that techniques like subliminal messages, affirmations, and the law of attraction make the list but – goal setting?! After all this is from a personal development life coach. It turns out that goal setting isn’t actually on the naughty list, its just, like most things, it can be detrimental if it isn’t done properly. SMART goals need to be done SMARTER:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action oriented
  • Realistic
  • Timebound
  • Ecology (or Environment)
  • Reward

There is some debate on the benefits of goals setting or even if it is harmful. That is healthy to question so as to better understand the pros and cons. Perhaps it has to do with how people deal with change and evolving their goals as they progress. It is not necessarily the specific goals that matter as much as feeling achievement in progressing in a direction aligned with your values toward a better future. Leo Baubata has advocated recently just finding your bliss and doing more of what you enjoy for achieving without goals. It is still acting intentionally and using a process but being more open to more possible outcomes. Personal styles will influence how finely tuned the direction needs to be so a person doesn’t feel aimless and can have a sense of progress. Maybe the approach of “High intention – low attachment” applies.

Does The Strangest Secret Work? Do SMARTER goals work?

You will never know until you try. It is an experiment worth doing. Make it your goal.

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