I recently had the honor of interviewing Jack Canfield, author of “The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You are to Where You Want to Be,” and the originator of the immensely popular series “Chicken Soup For the Soul”. Jack describes his purpose in life as “inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision in the context of love and joy.” I want to offer you, my readers, not only his inspiration and empowerment, but the wealth of knowledge and experience he has amassed.
Over the past thirty years, Canfield has interviewed over five hundred “super” successful individuals, in an attempt to identify what separates successful people from those who aren’t. Individuals he has interviewed include Olympic athletes, military generals, and inventors.
“I’ve learned that these people, the things they do, the ways they think, the habits they have, all differ from normal people. I compare being successful to knowing the combination to a lock. You may have five numbers, but if you need six, the lock won’t open. And it’s from this principle that I composed the idea of ‘success principles’. Although I’ve yet to meet one person who has mastered all 64, they’ve each discovered the combination to that lock, regardless of race, gender, age, etc,” Canfield explains.
What are some basic success principles?
“Successful people take 100% responsibility for their lives. They don’t blame culture, they don’t blame the Chinese, they don’t blame the banks for the mortgage crisis. They simply identify a situation as is and examine their own role, asking themselves, ‘What do I need to do differently?’”
And this, Canfield asserts, is the reason why there are always people who succeed in times of crisis or uncertainty.
“I’ve created a formula. E R = O. Events plus responses equal outcomes. We can’t control the events that occur – they’re a constant. Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, economic crisis, another inventor steals your idea… So in order to create more outcomes that we desire, we must change our response. And that’s really what I tried to focus on. What are effective responses?”