The Power Reading Program: The Strangest Secret




by Jack Studnicky

I want to tell you the most interesting story in the world; Why a person becomes the person he becomes. Why a little boy or little girl grows up to be the kind of person he or she becomes. Now the estimates, by the experts in this field, are that most of us are using somewhere around 5% of our real potential. Some experts say as little as 1%. It means we are only giving about 5% of ourselves to what we are doing, to our days, our work, our families, everyone we know, our entire environment. But it also means we are only experiencing about 5% of the fun. 5% of the joy. 5% of the rewards we could be knowing, or less.

All the experts are agreed that in each of us there are deep reservoirs of ability, even genius, that we habitually fail to use. Why? We know that most people desire by nature, to succeed. But what is Success? What is this word that has become so famous in the world? What does it mean? Most people do not know what success is all about, and since they do not know what it is about they really do not know where to look for it.

Success is really nothing more than the progressive realization of a worthy Ideal. This means that this person who knows what he is doing and knows where he is going is a success. Any person with a goal, toward which he is working, is a successful person. This means that the boy in high school that is working towards a diploma, or the boy in college towards a degree, is just as successful as any human being on earth. Because he knows what he is doing, why he is getting up in the morning, and where he is going.

But conversely, if a person doesnt know what he is working towards, what it is he wants, does not have a goal towards which he is working, then he must at least by this definition, be called unsuccessful. Why isnt then, with this simple definition, why isnt everyone successful? Should be easy. Yet surveys indicate that 19 out of 20, 99% at least, are not. In fact a survey one time asked thousands of working men why they got up in the morning, and went to work, and 19 out of 20 didnt know. 19 out of 20 people did not have the foggiest notion of why they got up in the morning and went to work. Under closer questioning the said, Well, because everybody works. Well that would be a good reason to quit. In Fact one little rule of thumb you might want to remember is: Whatever the good majority is doing under any given circumstance, if you will do exactly the opposite, you will probably never make another mistake, as long as you live. Just something to keep in the back of your mind.

The problem with most people is that theyre playing the worlds most unrewarding game; and the name of the game is: Follow The Follower.

There is a story about a small town in which there was a jewelry store and like all jewelry stores, or most jewelry stores at least, he had a big clock in his window. And every morning for years he had noticed a working man stop adjust his pocket watch to the same time as the clock in the window. He had been doing this for many years and one morning the jeweler was out front sweeping the sidewalk so he asked the man, Tell me, why do you adjust your watch to my big clock every morning? I have noticed you doing that for years..

The man said Well I am the foreman at the big plant., he said, I want to make sure my watch is correct because I have to blow the quitting whistle every night as 5 o clock.

The jeweler looked at him rather strangely for a minute and said, Well thats funny., he said, I have been setting that big clock in the window by that quitting whistle all these years.

A very logical thing. But they could have been off six months. It was a case of a person just going along with what he thought to be correct without, checking his references.

So I want to suggest that, from now on out there that at least we do that. That we check our references. And ask ourselves; Are the people I am following, going, where I want to go?

Let me tell you the story of what we might call an average, young man in our society. Now, at the time this boy is born, there is only one thing on Earth he can do and that is to begin to think, act and talk like by whom he is surrounded. Thats all in the world he can do. But right off the bat the odds are 95 to 5 that he is thinking, acting and talking like the wrong group. They are wonderful people, they love him, they would do anything in the world for him. They want him to succeed. But the odds are 95 to 5 they havent got the answers he needs if he is going to reach fulfillment as a human being. If he is to reach this, success, that he wants. If he is to reach into these deep reservoirs of ability and genius we know he possesses, and draw it out.

Well he, starts in school. The most important thing to a little boy in school is to be liked by the other little boys in school. So at this, tender age, he begins to follow the other little boys his same age who don not know anymore than he knows, and who do not necessarily possess any capacity for leadership. And he does this in the first grade, and in the second and the third and the fourth, and the fifth and the sixth and the seventh and the eighth and year after year after year, he forms himself into a composite average of other little boys his age. Trying to be like them, trying to do the only thing in the world that is impossible for a human being to do, which is to be like somebody else.

Now lets say he goes all the way through school, is pressed into military service, again he is caught up in the vice-like grip of conformity. Now lets say he is 25 years old, out of school, out of the service now what is he gonna do? As a rule, he will go back to his hometown, unless he is married in which case he will go back to his wifes home town. But let us say he goes back to his own home town, he is single, he doesnt know quite what to do, and he is standing on a corner one morning and his friend comes up that he knew from school and he says, Hi there, uh, Charlie, what are you doin?

He says, Nothing.

He says,Why dont you come down and work where I work? Its a good place, pays regular, we got all sorts of fringe benefits and so on.

And so he does.

The odds are about, again, 95 to 5 that his first job is taken as a result of random application. On the job, without thinking about it, the most natural thing in the world for him to do is to look around and see how the other guys are doing their jobs and to begin doing his the same way, assuming that is what is normal for them is as normal for him. No reason for this, he doesnt think about it, he just does it.

Now he has stretching in front of him 50 years, or more, in the golden age that man has been dreaming of since the days of Ancient Greece. What is he gonna do with his 50 golden years?Well, lets take a close look at him:

We know that he works 40 hours a week, as a rule. 40 hours a week which leaves him 72 hours a week in when he is neither working or sleeping. 72 free, discretionary hours each week, to do with as he pleases. Now at this point of course, he is married, he has his little house and his little car, and this is about what he does with his 72 free hours every week; He will do what the other fellas are doing with their free 72 hours every week, which is virtually noting at all.

On a typical day he will quit right on the dot and get in his little car and go to his little house, go in his little kitchen, kiss his little wife and say, Im tired. They even figured out why he says that. The experts believe that he used to hear his father say that back when men when men used to get tired working during the day and he picked it up and he says this every night when he gets home. He bolts his little meal and then he heads for the living room where he turns on his escape box; click.

Takes 15 or 20 seconds for the screen to light up, a period of time he finds interminable, but he gets through it somehow, maybe he kicks the dog or thumbs through a magazine or something. Then the screen lights up, and he does too a little bit, and there in front of him he sees all kinds of people, with all kinds of money, in all kinds of costumes, all killing each other at a great rate. now one expert has agreed that uh, the average family can see more death and bloodshed and carnage on a television set in a week than Carasus saw when he crucified 6000 prisoners on the Southern road to Rome, but you know how those experts are, he could certainly be off by one or two. But he sits there for about five or six hours, 25% now of all free time is spent in front of the tube, according to the latest statistics. Now there is nothing wrong with this particularly except that he is watching other people who are earning excellent incomes, in the pursuit of there careers, while he does not make a nickel. And gets the only two thing you can get from watching TV on that kind of a schedule will cause red eyes and a hollow head.

Now this is not meant to be an indictment of television, Ive got a couple of television sets at home too. Ive got a couple of cars at home too but I dont go home at night and drive around the block for six hours. If there is someplace I wanna go then fine my car will take me there. If there is a great program, like a golf match or something then I want to see it. But he sits there for six and a half hours until finally his wife who is a little more practical than he is, taps him on the shoulder and she says, Charlie I think its about time you went to bed. You have got to get up in the morning and go to work.

And he says, Okay, and he shuts it off and he knows how to do that, he, just shuts it off and he goes to bed.

The next morning he gets up and he does this all over again. He does this every day for forty years.

At the end of forty years he is retired, which always catches you by surprise, no ones ever figured that our either. And he dies at 85 or 90, the way medical science is moving us along, out of sheer boredom.

But what Is the problem?

Is there a tragedy here?

Not really if that Is the way Charlie wants to spend his life. Our mythical, hypothetical young man. If he wants to spend his life that way, then thats his business. He lives in a free society he can do anything with it he wants.

But theres a terrible tragedy here if he is living that way because of the total lack of a decision. If he is living that way simply because he is still doing what he was doing the first and second grade, and thats going along with the fellas up and down the block, on the unspoken assumption that they know how to live. Then theres a real tragedy there. Because they have never known how to live. Not in all the recorded history of mankind.

He never finds out who he is.

He never reaches into the deep, depths of his abilities, his talents.

He never learns that he can have just about anything he wants in the world, that he can call his own shots, tell his own fortune, and its kind of a pity.

Well whats needed?

Well whats needed, I think, is a checklist. Like an airplane pilot uses. I think that living successfully is as important as flying an airplane. And here are some of the things that I think should be on that checklist, that could help this man live a more meaningful, more interesting, more exiting, more enjoyable life:

The first thing that he oughta have on his checklist, in my opinion, is the word A GOAL. A man without a goal is like a ship with out a rudder. He doesnt know where he is going, he then belongs to that 95%, that he is just living day by day, month after month like a starfish or an ameba. He need to know where he is going. Back in the early days of navigation sailors used to see a strange sight in the Antarctic, they would see a giant iceberg towering, high out of the sea, and would be moving against the wind would be going this way the great, iceberg would be moving right into the teeth of the wind. And this of course would frighten the sailors whose ships were powered by the wind. A fella once discovered that only a fraction of the huge berg was actually visible and that its huge, ponderous roots were caught in the great currents of the ocean and it was being borne purposely along its way regardless of the currents and the tides on the surface. Well this is what a man needs. He needs his roots deep in the great mainstream of his own choosing, and then he will move along his way regardless of the winds on the surface of his life or short term expediency, and he will get to where he is going.

The second word on our checklist might be the word, attitude. Its been called one of the most important word in any language in the world. Because its our attitude toward our our world, toward all our people in it, that will determine,, the worlds attitude and all the peoples attitude toward us. Its just a simple thing most of us know it but we tend to forget it. People will react to us, according to our attitude, and our attitude is the greatest gift we can be given.

You know the, little creatures of the world were given a wonderful gift by mother nature called protective coloring, in which they can blend into the background without, uh, being seen.

But man was not given this great gift. Because man was given an incalculably greater one. Only man has the God-like power to make his surroundings change, to fit him. Because his environment will change as he changes. A mans environment is a merciless mirror of him as a human being. And if he thinks his environment could use a little improvement, all he has to do is improve and his environment will improve to reflect the changing man.

hird would be the word think. To think, the highest function of which a human being is capable. It was put pretty well by the great pulitzer prize winning play-write Archibald MacLeash, In his great play THE SECRET OF FREEDOM in which he has one of his characters say The only thing about a man that is a man, is his mind. Everything else, you can find in a pig, or a horse.. It is true. And so if we are going to develop something, This is a good place to start.

To think deliberately and with a purpose. To spend a little time each day before a blank sheet of paper with our goal, perhaps written at the top, and come up with some fresh, new and exciting ideas.

The next point on our checklist you might call the Law of Laws, thats what Emerson called it is the great old law of Cause And Effect. That our rewards in life will always be in exact proportion, to our contribution. To our service. We all know this really, we tell our children in Sunday School that as ye sew so shall ye reap but we forget that that is true.

If a man is unhappy with his rewards, all in the world he has gotta do, is find a way of increasing, his contribution. His service.

I think the story of the preacher whos driving down a country road and all of a sudden he comes across the most magnificent farm he had ever seen before in his life, it was beautiful. As he saw the farmer approaching the road on his tractor, and so he hailed him and he said, My good man., he said,uh, God has certainly blessed you with a magnificent farm..

And the farmer thought for a moment and he said, Yes, you are right, he certainly has.....But you should have seen this place when he had it all to himself..

And the preacher had his sermon for the next Sunday. He realized that all the farmers up and down that road had been given the same land, but one man had made something great out of it.

Well all of us are given the same land, we are given a life and each of us can make something great out of it too if we wanna.

The next point might be, simply the word truth. Since everything we do has an equal and opposite reaction, unless what we are doing is based on truth, we are building on sand. It cant stand.

The next point would be RND, Research And Development. None of us would want to work for a company, or invest our money in a company that didnt have a very viable Research And Development Department. That is pumping a good percentage of its profits back into Research And Development because its future depends on it. Well so does a mans, and you might ask your self how much of your own take home pay have you spent in the past year for materials, calculated to make you smarter this year than you were a year before? Calculated to make you a little better. A little bigger as a human being? To perhaps, love a little more and hate a little less? Do a little better job than you did a year ago? How much money are you pumping back into yourself and into your future? It is worth thinking about.

And finally, The Strangest Secret. At the beginning I said, What makes a child grow up into the human being he becomes? Well this is the reason for that. Of course he is a confluence of a, of a genetic pool, that goes back thousands and thousands of years. His environment has an influence on him, of course, but what makes him become the person that he becomes, is that he becomes, what he thinks about, most of the time. It is as simple as that. We become, what we think about, most of the time, and that is The Strangest Secret.

This is why thinking is so vital. This is why our goal is so important. Because we will become that. This is why that people who set goals achieve them. The trouble with men is not achieving their goals, they do that. It is establishing them.

Well that is about it. I think its important to remember that if we just go along with the crowd we wont wind up with much more than the wish that the could do it all over again and as far as we know you cant.

If we want to amount to anything as individuals we need individual goals. Individual thinking. Individual actions. And we must never conform, to the big group. We must love them. We must help them. We must serve them because our whole success will depend on our ability to do these things. But never lose our individuality and our own identity by permitting ourselves to become submerged in what has historically proved itself to be little more than a suffocating sea of indirection and purposelessness. If we want to emulate someone well then fine, but lets be choosy in whose steps we follow. Its the only life we have got.

And remember to think. Imagination is everything, and we can become what we can imagine. If you find yourself getting depressed and down at the mouth as we all get once in a while you might want to remember this quotation by Dean Briggs, he said, Do Your Work. Not just your work and no more but a little more for the lavishings sake. That little more thats worth all the rest, and if you suffer if you must and you doubt is you must, do your work. Put your heart into it and the sky will clear. And then out of your doubt and suffering will be born the supreme joy of life..

Believe it or not in an age where we have come to nearly deify leisure time we have almost lost sight of the fact that virtually all our satisfactions, rewards will come not from our leisure, but from our work, and dont forget The Strangest Secret; We become, what we think about.

-Earl Nightengale (1950)


if you adopt this Power Reading Program for six months, you, and your family will benefit by what you are are going to achieve for generations to come.



  • Member of the Institute of Residential Marketing since 1988
    (MIRM / CMP)
  • Spokesperson for the National Association of Home Builders,
  • Testified before Congress on housing and condo conversions
  • Appeared on national TV as a housing expert
  • Speaker and Trainer at numerous national home builder
  • Published or written about in many of top newspapers and trade
  • Certified REO Specialist who has completed more than fifty
  • Consults for lenders; lawyers and developers nationally
  • On-site marketing director for well-known, internationally
    acclaimed firms