Jack Canfield is one of my favorite motivational and success gurus who constantly share and inspire people to achieve their maximum potential.
When it comes to motivation and achieving great success in life, there is no way we can skip Jack and his work. He is the co-author of the famous inspirational book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, which has more than 250 titles and 500 million copies in print according to Wikipedia.
As much as I love the Chicken Soup series, I love The Success Principles even more. In the book, Jack shared 64 essential principles that anyone can apply to their lives and achieve the success that they desire.
If there is one book to read from Jack Canfield, go for The Success Principles.
I love the book and the principles that shared by Jack. I have read the book numerous times and will definitely go back to reread the book many times more.
One of the reasons I love Jack’s teachings is that what he taught is down-to-earth. The principles he shared are easy to understand and more importantly, easy to implement.
And if you are serious about achieving all your goals and living a better life, I highly recommend you learn from Jack Canfield. Start by reading his books, and then study these powerful and life-changing sayings from him below:
1. “I worked from 10pm until 1am every night for a year to write the first ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’ book.”
Nothing beats hard work. If you have a goal and you want to achieve it, you must work on it.
There is no such thing as a free lunch in this world. Like what Jack did, if you have an idea and you want to realize it, you must work on it. Don’t just dream and think about living the life, work on it to make it come true.
Without putting in the work, there is no way any project, goal, or target you pursue will come true.
How do you write a book? You just write. How do you lose weight? You put in the effort by exercising and going through a strict diet plan. How do you build a successful blog? Through hard work.
There is no shortcut to success, my friend. If you want something, you must be willing to pay the price and work for it.
2. “Decide what you want, believe you can have it, believe you deserve it and believe it’s possible for you.”
The first thing you need to live your best life is to decide what it is that you want. And then you must relentlessly believe that you can have it, believe that you deserve to have it, and believe that what you want is possible to achieve.
There is no way you can achieve what you want if you don’t believe it.
Why do you think people gamble or buy the lottery tickets? It is because somehow they believe that they stand a chance to win. It gives them hope.
Someone who doesn’t believe that they stand a chance to win the lottery will never buy a ticket. Why bother to buy a ticket if you don’t believe that you are going to win the prize, right?
The same principle applies to every other area of your life. When you don’t believe what you want is possible or that you can achieve it, you will never put in your full-heart to do it.
Successful people believe in their vision. They believe that what they want is possible and that they can achieve it. This is why they are willing to put in all the hard work to do it.
Look at Elon Musk. He believed that interstellar travel is possible and that someday, people are going to live on Mars. He believes it 100%. And thus, he started SpaceX.
So take the advice from Jack Canfield. Choose to believe that you have the ability to achieve your goals and that your goals are possible.
3. “It’s a universal principle that you get more of what you think about, talk about, and feel strongly about.”
We become what we think about most of the time. And this is real. You are what you think, not what you say you will be.
If you are someone who always complains, give excuses, and talk about other people, that is exactly what you will get in your life.
Life is a result of your thoughts. Your thoughts influence your decisions. And your decisions create your actions. And it is your action that gets you where you are in your life today.
Therefore, if you want to change your life, change your thoughts. Change how you think.
Stop thinking about having not enough. Stop worrying that you are not making enough money or you don’t have enough to pay the bills.
Everything that happens in your life is a result of your thoughts. Many people think that they lack money. No, it is not. You don’t lack money, but you lack the correct mindset that will make you rich.
When you adopt the right thinking, you will get the right result. It all started from your thinking and your mindset.
I suggest you read the book from Harv Eker called Secrets of The Millionaire Mind. It is one of the life-changing books that inspire me to change my thinking about money. Great book. Read it.
4. “I generally find that comparison is the fast track to unhappiness.”
Yes, when you compare yourself with others, you create the reason to be unhappy.
Jack also continues to say, “No one ever compares themselves to someone else and comes out even. Nine times out of ten, we compare ourselves to people who are somehow better than us and end up feeling more inadequate.”
In fact, comparison is really a double-edged sword. Most people compare themselves with others who are doing much better than them and feel inadequate.
Only a small group of people when they compare themselves with others who are achieving much better, end up feeling more motivated.
The best solution is to not compare at all. Dale Carnegie once said:
“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”
When you compare yourself with others, you will want to impress others. And this is when the unhappiness will come because you are trying to compare and impress.
So don’t compare and try not to impress other people. Instead, compare with yourself and impress only yourself.
Compare if you are doing much better than yesterday, last week, last month, and last years. What have you done and did you do better than before?
5. “I believe people should live full lives and not settle for anything less.”
Live your life to the fullest. The only way to discover your potential is to go all out. You cannot know your capabilities until you do it.
People who live life to the fullest are the people who are most satisfied and fulfilled.
Bronnie Ware works in a hospital as a nurse. For many years, she worked in the palliative care where her patients were those who had gone home to die.
And so she had the chance to ask them questions about any regret that they have had or anything they would do differently. Here is the #1 regret of the dying that she found. You can read her blog post here.
‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.’
You don’t want to live until when you are 80 only to regret that you didn’t go for the goals or dreams you once had.
Live your life to the fullest, my friend. You only live once.
Thus, if you have a dream, go for it. Don’t wait because someday may not come.
6. “You only have control over three things in your life. The thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the action you take.”
If you want to live a successful life, learn to master your thoughts, the images you see in your mind, and the kind of action you take.
You already know that our thoughts create our reality, but do you know that we think in pictures? This is why visualization is such a powerful tool.
If you are having hard times visualizing and seeing yourself achieving the success you want, use a vision board to help you do so.
And not to forget that it is what you do right now that will determine the future that you are going to get.
Many people wait for things to come to them. They choose to do something that is convenient like watching TV or spending most of their time on social media.
The truth is that those actions are not going to help them achieve what they want in life.
If your goal is to lose weight, sitting down on the couch watching TV is not going to help. You need to take action.
Thus, don’t just think and dream about what you want, you must act too.
7. “To achieve major success in life, you must accept 100% responsibility for your life and results. Nothing less will do.”
This is one of the most important success principles anyone can learn from Jack Canfield.
If you want to change your life, you must take full responsibility for it. If you don’t, you can’t change.
Think about it. If you blame the economy that your business is not performing, what can you change? Nothing.
However, if you take 100% responsibility and believe that you are the one who is creating the result, guess what, it gives you control.
And because you are the one who creates the result, you can make a change. Taking full responsibility for your life is about becoming the captain of your life.
Another great lesson I learned from The Success Principles is this:
Event + Response = Outcome
You cannot control the event and whatever that has happened to you, but you can definitely control your response to get the outcome you want. Read more about the E + R = O formula here.
Everything that you experienced in life right now is the result of your response to a previous event. Here’s a great example given by Jack in his book:
Event = get a bonus of $1,000
Response = spend it on shopping
Outcome = you’re broke
Event = get a bonus of $1,000
Response = invest to mutual fund
Outcome = you have an increased net worth
Everything is about how you respond and the choices you make will impact your life. So take full responsibility for your life and start making the right choices that will get you what you want.
8. “Taking the first step is the difference between actually pursuing your passion and just dreaming about it.”
Do you know what is the thing that separates the successful and the unsuccessful? You should know by now, it is action.
The successful take the necessary action to get what they want in life. When the rest of the world is sleeping, enjoying, and partying, they are working for their dreams.
The unsuccessful choose to do otherwise. They procrastinate on their dreams and they choose to do something easy rather than working on their dreams.
There is a saying, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Success is the same. You have to do what most people are not willing to do. You have to do the “extra” to become extraordinary.
The key question is whether you are willing to do more? Are you willing to take the necessary action to produce the results that you desire?
9. “There’s a four letter word you must use when you get rejected… next.”
Your ability to bounce back from rejection is one of the most important factors that will determine your success.
Many people choose to accept their defeat when they were rejected, but not successful people.
When Jack Canfield presented his book to publishers, he got rejected, many times, but he did not give up.
When Sylvester Stallone came up with his “Rocky” script and he wanted to act as the lead actor, the movie producer rejected him. However, he was relentless and determined. Eventually, the producer gave in and let him act. The rest became history.
You have to understand that when you get rejected, it doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your goal or dream or project. Instead, just say “next” and go ahead with others who will give you a yes.
Colonel Harland Sanders of KFC was rejected over a thousand times before he received a yes for his idea for selling fried chicken according to his secret recipe.
So don’t be afraid of being rejected. It is a numbers’ game. The more you try, the more likely you are going to hit a home run.
10. “If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have first had to believe what you want is possible and you are capable of making it happen.”
Do you sincerely believe that you can be successful?
First, you have to believe in yourself that you have the capability and the potential to achieve the goals that you desire. Next, you have to believe that the things that you want are possible.
Like what I have mentioned above, when you truly believe that you can do it, you will put in full effort and make it possible.
People give up because they don’t see hope. And the reason they don’t see the hope because they don’t believe in it anymore.
If you truly and 100% believe that you are going to be successful in your business, will you take action? Of course, after all, you know you can’t fail and you are a guaranteed success. So you’ll just do it, right?
What if you have doubts and you don’t truly believe that you can do it? Will you put in $100,000 of your hard earned money into your business?
No, not at all. You will think twice. This is why your beliefs are important.
When you truly believe that something is possible, it leads you to take action.
Like what Will Smith says, “The first step is you have to say that you can.” Trust yourself that you can do it. And believe that what you want is within your reach.
11. “Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”
Do you dare to ask for what you want? Do you dare to go for it?
Many people don’t. And that is why they are living a mediocre life. They have dreams and goals that they want to achieve, but they don’t dare to pursue them.
If you want to achieve what you want, you must take the advice from Jack Canfield, go for it. Have the courage to ask for what you want. Truly believe in yourself that you can do it, and then you just do whatever it takes to get there.
12. “Know your priorities and identify the five powerful action steps that you intend to take to move your initiatives forward each day. If you go to a tree with an ax and take five whacks at the tree every day, it doesn’t matter if it’s an oak or a redwood; eventually, the tree has to fall down.”
One of the best lessons I learn from The Success Principles is the Rule of Five.
According to Jack, you can achieve anything you want if you are willing to do just 5 things that will move you forward each day.
It is the strategy Jack and his co-author, Mark Victor Hansen used to sell their Chicken Soup books and became a best-seller.
Every day, Jack and Mark will both do five little things to sell their books. Here’s what the Rule of Five leads both into doing:
They can send 5 review copies to editors who are keen; they can call 5 network marketing companies and ask them to buy their books as a motivational tool for their salespeople; they can give a seminar to at least 5 people and sell the book; and on someday, they can just send 5 copies of the book to celebrities like Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, and Sidney Poitier; and they did all of that.
They made phone calls to people who could review the book; they wrote press releases; they called talk shows and give away their books for free, some of the shows were at 3am; they gave talks using stories from the book in churches; they even got gas stations, restaurants, and bakeries to sell the book; all in all, they did a lot of things and put in a lot of consistent effort.
Eventually, the book went on to sell millions of copies. However, it did not happen overnight. The book hit the best-seller list after a year.
Therefore, you too, can follow the Rule of Five and make your goals a reality.
13. “Remember, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your energy. Give up blaming, complaining and excuse making, and keep taking action in the direction of your goals – however mundane or lofty they may be.”
You are the one who is responsible for what you get in your life. Thus, make sure you maintain your energy so that you can consistently work on your goals.
Many people choose to complain and blame, and they give up when things become tough. Only those who are willing to continue to work on what they desire are the ones who truly did in the end.
Like what Jack said, you must be willing to keep taking action in the direction of your goals, no matter how mundane or lofty they may be.
If you think that your goal is unrealistic, think about Elon Musk. Musk has the dream of bringing people to Mars. He’s shooting not the moon, but Mars!
Of course, the bigger your dream, the more resilient and relentless you need to do.
14. “The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will happen in your favor. No matter how hard it seems, the longer you persist, the more likely your success.”
Press on no matter how hard it is. The only reason people fail to reach their goal is that they choose to quit and give up.
Always keep in your mind that if you quit, you will never win because a winner will never quit and a quitter will never win.
Thomas Edison once said these wise words:
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Failures are common in life. Everyone makes mistakes and fail at some point in their lives, but only those who continue to move on and keep hustling to move forward are the ones who did it in the end.
By the way, don’t treat failure as a failure. In fact, failure is on the same side of success. Your failure will lead you to the success you want. You just need to treat it as a lesson.
15. “For the first ten years after I got out of graduate school, I studied success. I read every book I could get my hands on and took every training I could find, and that allowed me to become an expert in this area. I learned how to create high self-esteem and success in my own life and in the lives of others.”
If you want success, you must be willing to work hard for it, to study it, to learn it, and to do whatever you can to achieve it.
The problem with most people is that they have no idea how to turn their dreams into reality. And that’s not the worst. The worst is that most people have no idea what they want out of their lives.
John Assaraf is another great success guru that I learned from beside Jack Canfield. I love them both.
The point is that if you want to get to greater heights in life and achieve extraordinary results, you need someone to guide you there. You don’t have to spend years to figure out how to get there.
Like what Jack did, he studied, he learned from other gurus, and he reads a lot of books.
If you have no idea how to turn your goals into reality, watch this presentation from John Assaraf. He shares with you the main reason why people fail in life.
Plus, you can also download the Exceptional Life Blueprint from there and make your life a stellar success.