No. 1036



It has been said that brains are what people who don’t have college degrees are forced to use. I plead guilty to that, not having a college degree. However, I am so grateful that God, in his wisdom, has given each of us the power to think and to use the vast mental potential that lies below the surface of what it takes to keep our lives between the ditches, in a very special area that we call the subconscious mind.
Since I became hooked on reading several years ago, I have been fascinated with the vast mental potential we each possess. Back in the days when I represented the Nightingale-Conant Corp., a leading producer of human resources materials, I recall hearing the results of a study on learning conducted by Princeton University. The researchers found that a message read or heard only one time was 66 percent forgotten within 24 hours, and was practically out of the mind within 30 days. However, a message that was read or heard several times a day for eight days was practically memorized and the memory retained 90 percent of the message 30 days later. Now, that is heady stuff and confirms what I have reported countless times over the years -- repetition is the key to learning.
It is with this backdrop that I would like to share some thoughts with you about the power of recycled thoughts. A good example to confirm this is what has happened over the years to my daily radio program titled “How to Plan Your Life.” This program was started back in 1980, and for the first few years I personally did the narration. However, tragedy struck and I developed a rare vocal condition called Spasmodic Dysphonia. This condition happens quite often to singers and speakers and is evidenced when the vocal chords actually lock up when force is applied to speak or sing. After several months I had surgery to correct the problem, but my voice was never the same. In essence, I was out of business.
Then along came Dave McCree, a friend and professional broadcaster, who did the narration (or talking) for me, like Aaron did for Moses in the Bible. Dave is very good and actually helped my radio program succeed, as we added more and more stations. At one time we had more than 300 stations coast to coast, and it was commercially sponsored. After I started my weekly newspaper column we stopped recording and I stopped marketing the show. At this point we had about 1,000 programs recorded, enough to last five days a week, for about 3 ½ years. When a station ran out of programs, we just started over.
Here is the interesting part. We have some stations recycle the pre-recorded radio shows three or four times, and the sponsors tell me that they get a better response the second, third and fourth time through than the first time it aired. We don’t have many stations and sponsors left, but there are a couple that have been with us for more than 25 years. Yes, there is power in recycled thoughts. The message I hope you will take away is that we all have countless books in our library that have been read only once, but many contain tremendous ideas that would be helpful if we would take them down and read them again.
For me, and hopefully for you as well, the real power we have is the knowledge that we should never stop learning. Life is truly exciting when we are constantly learning new and helpful things. Another reason recycled thoughts is so powerful is that, while the information on the printed or recorded format, remains the same, we change. We are not the same person we were a month ago, a year ago and certainly a decade or more ago. We should be very careful to never get in a rut, as that is just a grave with both ends kicked out.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)