19 Minutes That Can Change Your Life by Earl Nightingale (Full Transcript)

I once had occasion to visit Charleston, South Carolina, I had never been there before, so I hired a taxi to drive me around the historical town. I particularly wanted to see the battery where that famous shot was fired on Fort Sumter. Along this beautiful drive over Charleston’s oldest and finest homes look out over the bay. I commented to my cab driver on what lovely homes they were and he said, yes, some of those homes have 40 rooms and then he thought a moment, he said, and every one of them is owned by a crook. This is how the have nots justify themselves and their lot in life. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t feel I was entitled to advise him or try to straighten out his thinking. This is a free country where as long as he doesn’t hurt others, everyone has the unalienable right to be just as wrong as he wants to be.

As Thomas Lounsbury, the American scholar and educator put it, “We must view with profound respect the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the inroads of useful knowledge”. My taxi driver, and men and women like him all over the world have been kidding themselves and holding themselves down and refusing the bounty and abundance of the world for centuries.

Knowledge is available to everyone. We can either listen to those qualified to teach us or we can go along with those ancient stumbling blocks we get from people who don’t know any more than we do. The truth incidentally about those homes along that beautiful drive is that they were built by the men and women who made the largest contribution to the city of Charleston.

In just a moment, I’m going to give you the formula for getting rich. But before I do, I want to remind you of something.

Before a jet pilot begins his takeoff from an airport, he carefully goes over a checklist item by item. He does this not only because it’s required by law but because he cannot afford to trust so important the job to his memory alone. He has another checklist that he goes over just as carefully before he begins his ride down of his destination. He does this without fail every time he takes off and every time he lands. Well I think living successfully is as important as buying an airplane and because of this, I think each of us needs a checklist too. And that’s why there’s one included with this cassette.

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We need a checklist to go over item by item before we take off in the morning and before we drop off to sleep every night. So I want to recommend that you affix the checklist to your bathroom mirror. Stare at it as you brush your teeth in the morning and stare at it again as you prepare for bed at night. Go over each item and as you do, think of what each item represents.

Here’s number one. It’s the formula for getting rich. It also explains why you are in your present position whether you’re earning $6000 a year or $16,000 or $60,000 or $600,000. It applies to every adult whether he’s employed or unemployed. It applies to the richest man and to the poorest and every person in between. And here it is: Our rewards in my life will always be in exact proportion to our contribution, our service. That’s what the formula means as the first item on your checklist. Memorize it. Our rewards in life will always be in exact proportion to our contribution, our service. Listen to it. Think about it until you know it emotionally as well as intellectually. It might give you some slight feeling of superiority to realize that there’s probably not another man within a mile of where you live and knows it. You can add it as a question on your survey if you want a proof of that.

If you want it in another form, here it is as it applies to a man’s job. It’s the same thing really, the same thing applies but you can express it differently. The money you’re paid by the company you work for will always be in direct ratio to the need for what you do, your ability to do it and the degree of difficulty involved in replacing you.

Maybe you want to write the formula down in both of those forms and think about it until it’s as much a part of as your name. The reason that it’s spelled out on your checklist is because you might not want everyone to know what you’re up to. The checklist is valuable only to a person who knows what the words really indicate.

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All right. You’ve got the formula. As you think about it, its meaning will become clearer to you. With the formula, there are two rules which must be applied to properly use it. This formula together with the two rules is your recipe or your roadmap to earning all the money you really want.

Now let’s take a look at item number two on your checklist, and I’m serious about your putting this checklist on your mirror. You will notice it’s pressure sensitive. I remember too, The Gold Mine. The Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Archibald MacLeish’s play, The Secret of Freedom Road, “The only thing about a man that is a man is his mind. Everything else you can find in a pig or a horse”. Strong words; aren’t they? But as long as you live, you’ll never hear a truer statement.

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