20 Powerful Earl Nightingale Quotes on Time, Courage and Success

Earl Nightingale was known as the “Dean of Personal Development”. He was a fiery motivational speaker who believed that the key to success lies in the simple realization that “we become what we think about”.

Here are the 21 top Earl Nightingale quotes to empower you to success.

1. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.

Earl Nightingale said, “the success is the man who runs the corner gas station because that was his dream”. You have to know what you want in life and you become successful by achieving it.

Earl Nightingale quotes

2. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.

If you don’t know where to go, your thoughts will be of worry and anxiety and as a result, you’ll attract unfortunate circumstances. This is one of the greatest Earl Nightingale quotes because it shows us how goals are important to feel motivated.

3. Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.

To achieve success, you need to think success. Your thoughts should reflect a positive attitude towards life and they should affirm the belief that you will be successful.

4. All you need is the plan, the roadmap, and the courage to press on to your destination.

The first step is to know where you have to go. The second step is to chart out a plan and have the courage to act. Many people never act on their goals because they fear failure. You need to have the courage to face failure.

5. The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.

When you’re unsure of your success, you’ll most likely create average results. You need to feel deep down that you can achieve your goals. The conviction inside creates results outside.

6. Picture yourself in your mind’s eye as having already achieved this goal. See yourself doing the things you’ll be doing when you’ve reached your goal.

You need to have a vision of your success. How will things change? What will your routine be like? What kind of people will you meet? How would you have fun? This is one of the greatest Earl Nightingale quotes because it teaches us about the power of visualization.

7. There is a time when one must decide either to risk everything to fulfill one’s dreams or sit for the rest of one’s life in the backyard.

There are two ways to live in life. Either play it safe by earning just enough to pay your bills. Or take the risk to live the life of your dreams. Which one is it going to be? Once you realize that the true wealth in this world is the time you have here, you’ll never sacrifice your dreams for security.

8. People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be–whether they will admit that or not.

Many people don’t like their circumstances – their job, their spouse, their health and so on. But the truth is that, deep down they’re satisfied with those circumstances and raise their standards. Otherwise they’d have made an effort to change them.

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9. We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.

Everyone faces darkness, everyone has to deal with problems. The successful one just applies his mind to those problems to improve the quality of his life. We need to use our own light.

10. The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice… it is conformity.

Courage is the ability to follow your heart even if people around you don’t approve of your actions. People may tell you to live in a routine 365 days a year and never take any chances. But that’s no way to live.

11. Don’t concern yourself with the money. Be of service … build … work … dream … create! Do this and you’ll find there is no limit to the prosperity and abundance that will come to you.

Most people are obsessed with money. But if you focus on being more valuable to others, money will come naturally. Do your work better than everyone else and you’ll be the richest person in your field.

12. Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now.

The biggest pleasures in life often lie in the smallest of things. A heartfelt conversation with your friend, the taste of coffee in the morning – be grateful for the little things.

13. Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.

What we are on the inside is reflected in our reality. If you are depressed, don’t work hard, and complain all the time, your life will remain miserable. But if you make a change inside, you work hard, become a happy person, you’ll attract all the good in life.

14. Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.

Chasing your goals may take five, ten or twenty years. It took Kevin Hart nineteen years to become a global phenomenon. But if you really love your dreams, the time won’t matter. Because the best adventure in this world is to live the life of your dreams.

15. Get into a line that you will find to be a deep personal interest, something you really enjoy spending twelve to fifteen hours a day working at, and the rest of the time thinking about.

You really got to love what you do. Sure every work has some chores, that are dull and boring. But if you don’t love your work, you’ll never be able to work long hours on it. You can only punish yourself for so long. After that, you hit a plateau and making progress becomes impossible.

16. The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else.

Even if you’re doing a 9 to 5 job, you’re working for yourself. Because nobody is forcing you to do that job, you took it by your own choice. It’s up to you to work on your skills and reach the next level. This is one of the greatest Earl Nightingale quotes because it shifts our perspective towards work.

17. A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.

Attitude changes everything. A mentally tough person can lose his house and his job and can still keep laughing all day. On the other hand, a mentally weak person can get all the wealth but still stay miserable. This is one of the most powerful Earl Nightingale Quotes ever. 

18. Work never killed anyone. It’s worry that does the damage. And the worry would disappear if we’d just settle down and do the work.

Many people are scared of working hard. They are scared that their dreams may never get fulfilled because of the hard work that it requires. But what kills people is worrying, not work.

19. Whenever we’re afraid, it’s because we don’t know enough. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid.

Fear is an emotion that everyone feels – from the poorest person in the world to a billionaire. What matters is how we deal with it. Do we understand it and take the right action? Or we run away from it and accept failure? This is one of the best Earl Nightingale quotes as it teaches us how to deal with fear.

20. We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.

Many people think that life is hard because of their circumstances. But what they don’t know is that these circumstances were created by them at some point in their lives by their own intentions. You need to set powerful intentions to create powerful results.

3 Responses

    • jeffrey Paul Few

      I have lived by his words all my thinking life. the quotes have push me from poverty in the UK. Now a citizen and a millionaire at 75 with over 49 patents and still creating and still working 50 hours a week. “why Compete, Create.”
      Thanks to his words I believe many have prospered.

  1. Bill Akins

    I have been listening to Earl Nightinggale’s tapes and lectures for over 40 years. I currently have the audible “The Essence of Success” and listen to it when I walk in the evenings. His mentoring is timeless and is worth living by his words.


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