Monday, September 05, 2005

How Jack Canfield's Success Principles Can Zoom You Past Billionaires

Good morning, Successful People!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so.

I am very happy and excited to be sharing some of the key lessons from Jack Canfield's book, The Success Principles. One of the many benefits of not being a billionaire is that we potentially have more motivation to succeed than those who already have so much material wealth. Through The Success Principles, you can have the chance to identify your goals and change your habits so that you will move more directly and effectively towards those goals.

If you get nothing else out of the book, be sure to take the part seriously about setting out your goals in writing and reviewing them daily. It is estimated that fewer than five percent of all people do that . . . and they vastly outperform the people who don't take this simple step.

Before capturing any more points about the book, let me share with you my review of The Success Principles. I think that overview will be helpful as we dig into a few areas of the 64 in the book.

A Landmark Resource!, March 21, 2005


Donald Mitchell "Your Dream Concierge: Live Rich on Little by reading my daily blog at" (a citizen of the world based on Boston) - See all my reviews

Most peoples' bookshelves are weighed down with self-help books. Some teach you how to lose weight. Others refocus your financial development. Still others help you with relationships. Yet others look at better habits. And others propound moral principles to guide you. What most of these books have in common is that they are usually superseded by a new and better book . . . soon after being published. How can you hope to keep up? Well, you couldn't . . . until now.

Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer have created something different in the self-help literature -- a compendium of the principles that have stood the test of time. I didn't find a single source of ideas that I like (except those that are only grounded in my religious beliefs) that wasn't included here somewhere.

The book is organized in several sections to make these references easier to follow: The Fundamental of Success (which includes principles like Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life, Be Clear Why You're Here, Decide What You Want, Believe It's Possible, Believe in Yourself, Unleash the Power of Goal-Setting, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Be Willing to Pay the Price, Reject Rejection, Use Feedback to Your Advantage, Commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement, Practice Persistence, and Exceed Expectations); Transform Yourself for Success (which includes principles like Drop Out of the "Ain't It Awful" Club . . . and Surround Yourself with Successful People, Acknowledge Your Positive Past, Face What Isn't Working, Transform Your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach, Stay Motivated with the Masters, and Fuel Your Success with Passion and Enthusiasm); Build Your Success Team; Creative Successful Relationships; Success and Money; and Success Starts Now.

The authors also provide many free tools to help you succeed.

If the strength of this approach is that you cover the waterfront of sound principles, the weakness is that the coverage is pretty thin in places. That will be the gripe of many people against this book. But unless it was to be 2,000 pages long, that weakness is unavoidable. The suggested reading and other references in the back, however, are more than adequate to lead someone to deeper resources where they are needed.

I only noticed one unmitigated weakness in the book: a preference for evolutionary change and improvement rather than encouraging readers to develop breakthrough skills as well.

To give you a sense of how valuable I found this book, I persuaded the dean of the university where I teach to let me launch a new course for self-improvement based on The Success Principles as the text. This one book will replace what many students are now acquiring through taking as many as six other courses. I see that as an important step forward for their educations . . . and yours, too, if you read and apply this book as I have been doing since I read it. I've seen immediate results . . . and believe that you will, too!

If you are a writer, you will also enjoy the many places in the book where Mr. Canfield shares lessons from his remarkable success with developing the series, Chicken Soup for the Soul.

If you have already read much of the success literature, you probably think this book isn't for you. I beg to differ. Seeing so many good ideas in one book will help you weld together good habits and actions in even more constructive ways.

Since he wrote the book with Janet Switzer, I've had a chance to listen to Jack Canfield several times. I was impressed to hear him boil down this advice into the following key points:

1. Release yourself from the old emotions that keep your focus tied in the past (The Sedona Method helps with this).

2. Persistently focus on your goals.

3. Take the simple steps every day that will lead you to your goals.

4. Surround yourself with positive people and ignore those who aren't.

5. Trust your intuition.

6. Keep pursuing these new directions until they become well-ingrained habits.

It's more complicated than that but it's helpful to have a framework to refer to. I was impressed that Jack Canfield was able to look into the spiritual side of each of us. What do we feel drawn to do? What is our special purpose in life? Coming into harmony with that special purpose makes the other steps occur fairy automatically.

When I ask my students to use The Success Principles to help them plan their lives, the assignment I give them is as follows:

1. Write down your goals.

2. Create a plan for achieving each goal.

3. Identify which of the 64 principles are most important to your achieving your goals.

4. Describe how you will use those most important principles to meet your goals.

That's it. I encourage you to follow that same advice.

Here are the principles that are most important for me to achieve my goals:

Become an Inverse Paranoid (believe that the world is plotting to do good for you)

Release the Brakes (let go of limiting beliefs and negative aspects of your self image)

Ask! Ask! Ask! (much of what you want is there for the asking . . . but not if you don't ask)

Reject Rejection (when someone says "no" you're no worse off than you were if you hadn't asked . . . so you haven't lost anything)

Practice the Rule of 5 (simply do five specific things that move you towards one of your goals daily)

Face What Isn't Working (things won't get better until you address persistent problems)

Transform Your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach (it's just what it says)

Build a Powerful Support Team and Delegate to Them (you cannot do it alone)

Mastermind Your Way to Success (this concept comes from Think and Grow Rich . . . regularly communing with a team that helps one another think through what needs to be done)

Empower Yourself by Empowering Others (you'll learn more by teaching this material to others than by simply trying to apply it for yourself)

Be sure to buy and read (and reread) The Success Principles. That discipline will help you reshape your habits. If you live somewhere where it's hard to get the book, you can buy an on-line e-book from so that you can get started now. As Nike says, "Just do it."

You'll notice that I complained about one element of The Success Principles: The focus on evolutionary change at the expense of revolutionary improvement. You can learn the skill of revolutionary improvement which will make everything else easier to do. If you are interested, I suggest that you read the book I co-authored with Carol Coles and Robert Metz, The 2,000 Percent Solution. All but two chapters are available on-line for free at www.2000percent (just click on the "excerpts" button on the left hand column on the home page to find the table of contents and click on the parts you want to read from there). Carol and I recently completed a workbook based on The 2,000 Percent Solution, and we except to publish that soon.

I also offer a course based on The 2,000 Percent Solution in which students create their own 2,000 percent solutions at
Rushmore University. If you want to take that course, go to You can take the course as a stand-alone without pursuing a degree program. The course is called Mitchell on Exponential Business Success, but you can use the course to work on a personal issue instead. I also offer a course based on The Success Principles which is called, Canfield on Success, which can also be taken as a stand-alone course.

Please feel free to let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many tens of thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!

If you like this blog, please let others know who might also enjoy it.

May God bless you!

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell