Jack Canfield’s story of success as one of the most respected motivational speakers and authors started when he was working as a teacher in an inner city high school. Seeing the low motivation that his students, mostly black students and gang members, had for learning, Jack Canfield looked for ways to increase their motivation which led him to attend a speaking engagement lead by a well seasoned motivational speaker. To Jack’s surprise, he found that the success and motivational principles worked. His students started to get better grades and he was becoming a motivated teacher himself.
This was the beginning of Jack Canfield’s teachings of personal success and professional development.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
His idea for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series started in 1990. He shared the idea with co-writer Mark Victor Hansen and by 1993, the two had complied over 60 stories.
Getting the book published was another matter, however. He was rejected by more than 130 publishers before the book finally went to print. And even the title of the book, which Canfield attributes to spiritual inspiration, was initially rebuffed by publishers. However, his persistence paid off and today Chicken Soup is a virtual institution in the self help genre, selling more than 112 million copies since its first publication, producing more than 200 spinoffs.
Jack Canfield’s 10 Keys to Success
1. You are responsible for your happiness
Most people think that the path to finding happiness and success is influenced by the external world and that you are never fully in control of how your future turns out. Canfield breaks this notion down by saying that you are 100% responsible for your failure or success.
People who tend to blame everyone around them for their failings are often those who find it hard to find real success in life.
2. Know your purpose
Everyone has a purpose. The secret is finding that purpose, knowing it with clarity, and pursuing it with gusto.
According to Canfield, the true measure of success is knowing your purpose and spending your life achieving that purpose. It is true that we can excel in different areas in life but if these areas are not where the purpose lies, then true happiness will be elusive because this is not the meaning of true success.
3. Decide on what you want
Finding your purpose is one step, but deciding to steer your life in that direction can be a major step for most people. People tend to prefer the place where they are comfortable. The decision to leap and make that drastic career change can be scary. However, wasting your life on careers that do not make you happy will only leave you drained and disillusioned and nowhere near to accomplishing your life’s purpose.
4. Believe that anything is possible
The mind can be a very powerful tool for drawing positive energy into your direction. Let go of doubts and start believing that you can do whatever it is you set out to do.
Keep a positive attitude and the universe will listen.
5. Believe that the world is a good place
A crippling fear of failure, strong competitors, and ridicule in the event of failure can turn even the most confident entrepreneur into a paranoid wreck. Start believing that the world is good, that not everyone is just dying to see you fail.
Turn paranoia on its head and you will see that you become more kind, more open to help and more open to positive energy coming your way as well.
6. Be flexible
Problems will clutter the road to success. The most successful people today faced problems head on and were flexible enough to bend and change when this was needed.
7. Be persistent
Jack Canfield persisted despite the hundred publishers who thought that his book was no good. Rejections may number in the hundreds but it only takes one positive step to take a new idea or a passion to greater heights.
According to Jack, the longer you hang in there, the greater the chances of something positive happening for you.
8. Create and focus on a goal
Creating a goal for yourself creates a measuring stick which you can use to judge your actions and progress.
This helps you turn your dreams into reality.
9. Take the first step
A first step is all that it takes to get started. Many people have lofty dreams and passions but these will remain ideas without action. Taking the first step is the difference between actually pursuing your passion and just dreaming about it.
10. Take risks
Every effort to pursue something new and novel comes with risks. It will be uncomfortable especially if it’s a complete turn-around from the life you are used to. But if you truly believe that this is where your passion lies and you are willing to work towards it, the risks and uncertainty will eventually be worth it.