No. 883



While I did not know it at the time, there was a stretch of several years in my life when I was much younger that would make all the difference in the world. This was back in the early 1970s when I was selling attitude motivation programs written and produced by the late Earl Nightingale. Earl was known as the Dean of Personal Motivation, and his daily radio program “Our Changing World” was carried by more than 1,000 radio stations. These programs were produced on cassette tape and, because I was calling on schools across the state and spending a lot of time in my car, I had a cassette player installed where I could listen on a repetitive basis as I traveled from school to school, and usually back home the same day.
To be honest, I was as green-as-a-gourd and had not yet learned about the importance of repetition in the learning process. Because I listened so many times to the same messages, I still recall many, including “The Magic Word,” “Greener Pastures,” “Man on the White Horse” and the all-time best seller, “The Strangest Secret.” I must have listened to each message several hundred times over the period of several years. Little did I know that I was seeding my mind with success principles that have been around for centuries, and every one can be traced back to the Bible. Later, I would read the Bible all the way through 25 times, so I had a pretty good foundation.
The truths and principles I learned would serve me well as I stood up to speak, write 1,400 daily radio programs, 900 weekly newspaper columns and four books. Please don’t misunderstand this last thought, as I can only say, “To God be The Glory.” To be sure, I have shared these things for a reason. As individuals we learn in different ways. Some people learn better and faster by listening, others by reading. But when we listen and read at the same time we have what is called a dual sensory input, or using two of our senses at the same time. Now that I am older and spend very little time in my car, I have learned the value of reading to supply me with a good mental diet.
While reading takes more effort than listening to a cassette, it has several advantages, being able to read during “scrap” time being among them. Because I am older and not as high-tech as the younger generation, I have not taken advantage of audio books, Kindle and all the other devices that aid in the transfer of information. Some say that “hard copy” books will someday be a thing of the past, but I don’t think it will be during my lifetime.
I just love the feel of having a book or a newspaper in my hands, as this is what I grew up with. I have said all this to make one valid point that I hope you will seriously consider: while it is vital in today’s times to be able to read, and read well, there is sadly another part of the equation that is missing in the lives of far too many people, and that is being selective in what we read and permit to enter our marvelous human mind.
From my perspective, putting trash and junk into our mind is the best way on earth to fail, or at least not amount to much. The government gives us a safety net if that is all we want. In my latest book I have a list of books that I recommend for anyone who is serious about achieving true success. If you would like to have the list, send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I will be happy to send it to you. As the late Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)