A lesson in American zen from Earl Nightingale

I’ve personally labeled 2013 my year of the hustle. So far, it’s been just that. I hate to say it, but it’s only February and I’ve recently been having a lull in energy. Ugh.

The other day, I read an old Earl Nightingale book (thanks, Neville, for the inspiration to go back to it) and have been rearing to go since. I want to share a lesson with you that I learned, so as to light the fire in your world a bit.

Nightingale talked about a story of a man who sat down in front of the stove and said to it, “Give me heat and then I’ll add the wood.”

The point is that we’ve got to put the fuel in before we can expect heat.

If you haven’t read any of his work, you really should. Some call it part of the “New Thought” movement. I like to call it “American Zen”.

He, and the writers in that genre such as Charles Haanel, Napoleon Hill, Ernest Holmes and the like wrote about how to live full, happy, successful, productive, wealthy lives in our modern society. How to do good work. How to find your purpose.

Reading this stuff is like stepping back in time, but the lessons very much apply in today’s age too. These guys are philosophers of a sort.

I love it. Being a bit of an introvert such as myself, it helps get a good kick in the pants from one of them every once in a while.

What I like so much about Earl Nightingale is that he keeps it super simple and practical. No bells and whistles. No hype. No mysticism.

He went from living with his single mother in tent city to being one of the most successful marketers and salesmen in the world. He’s seen and tasted the high and low of it. I’ll gladly take advice, no matter how old it is, from someone who’s experienced what he has any day.

So. The year of the hustle. It’s all about adding fuel to the fire. Of putting out way more than I’m getting back. Of starting those relationships and doing great work that will lead to a sustainable fire for years to come. And realizing that no matter how big the fire gets, it will go out if left unattended. This is my goal. Care to join me?



Reno, NV

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