One of my favorite resources, and one that I often use in workshops or with private coaching clients is the fantastic book “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. He gives over sixty different principles which can be especially helpful to anyone who is interested in improving their life, relationships, finances, health, and a number of other items.
While I don’t have space to go over all of his principles, I’ve picked out a few that I think will make a huge impact, in the least of amount of time, with the least amount of effort on your part. Here’s my “Top Five” Canfield Success Principles:
Jack explains that this is the first principle of success. If you want to be successful in life, you must first take total responsibility for where things currently are—all of the successes and failures, health, relationships, finances, etc. This means no blaming others for your problems and failures. Jack bases this idea on his rule that E+R=O (Event + Response = Outcome). Every outcome you experience, both good or bad, is the result of how you responded to the triggering event. So then, your current situation (outcome) is the result of your responses to thousands of events over the course of time. Jack points out that you only have control over the “response” part of the equation. If you keep responding in negative and less than resourceful ways, you’ll keep getting less than great outcomes. Change your response by changing your thinking, and you’ll get new and different outcomes.
2) Believe it’s Possible
We’ve all heard the old line, “If you can conceive it, and believe it, you can achieve it.” Jack points out that people often don’t reach their goals, not because they lack training or knowledge, but because they don’t believe they can reach them. So, then, you must believe in yourself, that you can achieve whatever you set your mind on. The truth is that your subconscious mind will go about finding a way to turn your thoughts into reality. If you’re convinced you can’t do something, your subconscious will begin providing your with explanations, rationalizations, and “proof” that you’re absolutely right in declaring that you “can’t.” Likewise, the subconscious will take the ball and run toward to the positive endzone just as well. This is why affirmations, visualization, and hypnotheraphy are such powerful technologies for effecting positive change by reprogramming to subconscious mind to work ”for” you rather than “against” you!
3) Take Action
“Paralysis by analysis” is a term that describes how lots of people spend loads of time analyzing, planning and organizing but somehow never get around to taking action. That’s not to say that you should jump into something without giving it due diligence. Successful people do their homework and know what they are getting into. The key point of difference is that successful people always take action. Once you take that first action step, things begin to get a little clearer. Somehow, the next steps become obvious and you go for it. That leads the cycle to repeat again and again. Over time, the compound effect of these many small actions are reflected in the grander success that you set out to accomplish in the first place. (Or that you didn’t achieve, which brings us back to principle #1, in which case you can learn from the outcome how to better respond and continue to move toward your goal). One thing is certain: if you don’t take action, you won’t reach your goals.
4) Practice Persistence
Jack points out that persistence is one of the most important attributes of highly successful people. Everyone encounters obstacles and impediments along the way, but people often quit just before reaching their goals, because they lack persistence. Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich tells the story of what happened to one such person during the California gold rush in the mid-1880’s. He writes:
“An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the “gold fever” in the gold-rush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite. After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.
The first car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado! A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts. Then would come the big killing in profits. Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared! They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there! They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again-all to no avail.
Finally, they decided to QUIT. They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. Some “junk” men are dumb, but not this one! He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST THREE FEET FROM WHERE THE DARBYS HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found!”
5) Start Now!
According to this principle, “There is no perfect time to start” so “just do it!” Get up and get going right now. Canfield says, “Once you start moving and producing results, all manner of things begin to happen that will take you further and faster than you ever imagined.” If you’re having trouble getting started, refer back to #3, read my previous article on overcoming procrastination, and take that first action step toward your amazing, extraordinary life. (BTW, read the rest of Jack’s book—it’s loaded with great suggestions and principles to get you from where you are to where you want to be!)
You may also find it helpful to find someone to partner with you as begin to explore the success principles. As a transformational life coach, helping recognize their thinking patterns and make changes that allow them to do things they thought were impossible is something that I do on a daily basis.
A great way to get started on moving into the life you really want to have would be for you to contact me for a 45 minute FREE life transformation strategy session.
In this session we will:
- Uncover hidden challenges that may be the cause of chaos, stress and discord in your life.
- Create a crystal clear vision for your “ultimate life” of tremendous success on your terms with ample quality time and energy for all your priorities.
- Leave the session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to transform your life and accomplish all of the things that are really important to you.
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Dr. Steve Stutz, CC is a Life Success Coach, specializing in helping clergy and professional church workers not only survive but to thrive during periods of crisis, transition, and renewal. To receive periodic personal development tips and success mindset articles, please join his e-list by visiting www.forwardpathcoaching.com