We become what we think about

By Scott Westerman
We become what we think about. Your mind is like a seed. Feed it with clean, nutritious things and its growth will be unstoppable.

There are six magic words that determine everything that happens in your life. “We become what we think about.” Our thoughts define us so learn how to model winning behaviors and every goal you can conceive you can achieve.

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” ~Earl Nightingale

The first motivational audio message I ever heard was Earl Nightingale’s “20 Minutes That Can Change Your Life”. 40 years later, it remains a valuable distillation of the recipe for achievement.

These two sentences changed my life:

We become what we think about.


Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our contribution; our service.

Here’s a Reader’s Digest version of Earl’s 20 minute message, updated a bit for today’s audiences:

The reason that people are successful is because that they -decided- to become so. They figured out the road map. They discovered the enduring rules for success. And they followed the road map and the rules through both storms and sunshine.

The key to every human being’s success lives in the mind; the goldmine between our ears.

How we think and how we leverage that gold mine is the key to adding value in whatever endeavor we set our mind to. And when we add more value, our income will increase proportionally. So exercise your mind as you would your body.

  • Fill that marvelous computer with the right fuel, avoid junk food, stretch it with exercise and give it the recovery time of a good night’s sleep.
  • Think about how what you do will be done 10 years from now, and start figuring out how to do that today!
  • Focus your thinking on your area of interest. Minimize the distractions, like binging on videos or social media. Avoid energy sucking activities and spend your time with books, podcasts and people who can enrich your goldmine.
  • Try for 5 new ideas every morning and write them down. Most will end up in the wastebasket, but the habit of thinking will eventually kick out a winner.

If you need some place to start, try pondering this:

What are you doing right now to add move value at work, at home and in your relationships?

At the center of our goldmine lies the most powerful tool we possess: Our attitude.

Our current environment is a direct reflection of our attitude of mind. If you want to change who you are, change your attitude. Begin by acting as would the person you want to become. When you behave like that individual, the things that person would have will tend to come to you. This is the law of cause and effect in action.

Add these questions to your daily exercise in thinking:

Who do you want to become? And what can you do today to begin to act as would the individual who has already achieved your objective?

Your attitude toward those with whom you come into contact will determine their attitude toward you. So be courteous and kind. Seek to understand. Deal directly with the painful challenges and setbacks that are life’s learning lessons and ultimately expect the best outcome.

Program your attitude and mind properly and you’ll get everything you want… by helping others get what they want.

It’s really that simple. You can’t avoid failure and discomfort. But you can decide how you will react to them. And that, alone, can fire the courage and resilience that will fuel your journey in the direction of your dreams.

Along the way, you will inevitably meet naysayers and excuse makers. Remember this:

We are all self made, but only the successful will admit it.

Earl’s message remains as fresh today as it was when I first heard it. His wisdom still resonates across the ages. We become what we think about. Our rewards mirror the value we add. And in the great game of life, attitude is everything.

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