Notes & Quotes: The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

The following are my favorite quotes from Jack Canfield's The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
  1. The principles only work if you work the principles.
  2. There is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you.
  3. You only have control over three things in your life -- the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take (your behavior).
  4. Learn to replace complaining with making requests and taking action that will achieve your desired outcomes. That is what successful people do. That is what works.
  5. When you act in alignment with your true life purpose, all of your actions automatically serve others.
  6. Decide upon your major definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it.
  7. If you are going to reown your power and get what you really want out of life, you will have to stop saying, "I don't know; I don't care; it doesn't matter to me" -- or the current favorite of teenagers, "Whatever." When you are confronted with a choice, no matter how small or insignificant, act as if you have a preference.
  8. Many years ago, I took a workshop with self-esteem and motivational expert Cherie Carter-Scott, author of If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules. As the 24 of us entered the training room on the first morning, we were directed to take a seat in one of the chairs facing the front of the room. There was a spiral-bound notebook on every chair. Some were blue, some were yellow, some were red. The one on my chair was yellow. I remember thinking, I hate yellow. I wish I had a blue one. Then Cherie said something that changed my life forever: "If you don't like the color of the notebook you have, trade with someone else and get the one you want. You deserve to have everything in your life exactly the way you want it." Wow, what a radical concept! For 20-some years, I had not operated from that premise. I had settled, thinking I couldn't have everything I wanted.
  9. Most people, deep down in their hearts, want the very same thing you want. Everyone wants financial abundance, a comfortable home, meaningful work they enjoy, good health, time to do the things they love, nurturing relationships with their family and friends, and an opportunity to make a difference in the world. But too few of us readily admit it.
  10. When you replace your old negative expectations with more positive ones -- when you begin to believe that what you want is possible -- your brain will actually take over the job of accomplishing that possibility for you. Better than that, your brain will actually expect to achieve that outcome.
  11. Believing in yourself is a choice. It is an attitude you develop over time.
  12. Your brain is designed to solve any problem and reach any goal that you give it. The words you think and say actually affect your body.
  13. You must take responsibility for removing I can't from your vocabulary.
  14. Belief in yourself is more important than knowledge, training, or schooling: 20% of America's millionaires never set foot in college, and 21 of the 222 Americans listed as billionaires in 2003 never got their college diplomas; 2 never even finished high school!
  15. What others think about you is none of your business.
  16. I like Dr. Daniel Amen's 18/40/60 Rule: When you're 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you're 40, you don't give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you're 60, you realize nobody's been thinking about you at all.
  17. Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity. Successful people do just that.
  18. The supersuccessful approach every experience as an opportunity. They enter every conversation with the idea that something good will come from it. And they know that what they seek and expect, they will find.
  19. Vague goals produce vague results.
  20. Make sure to review your goals at least twice a day -- in the morning upon wakening, and again at night before going to bed. I write each of mine on a 3" x 5" index card. I keep the pack of cards next to my bed and then I go through the cards one at a time in the morning and again at night. When I travel, I take them with me.
  21. "If you are bored with life, if you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things -- you don't have enough goals." - Lou Holtz
  22. Life is simply a connect-the-dots game, and all the dots have already been identified and organized by somebody else. All you have to do is follow the blueprint, use the system, or work the program that they provide.
  23. As long as you keep complaining about your present circumstances, your mind will focus on it. By continually talking about, thinking about, and writing about the way things are, you are continually reinforcing those very same neural pathways in your brain that got you to where you are today. And you are continually sending out the same vibrations that will keep attracting the same people and circumstances that you have already created.
  24. The Nine Guidelines for Creating Effective Affirmations:
    1. Start with the words I am.
    2. Use the present tense.
    3. State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don't want.
    4. Keep it brief.
    5. Make it specific.
    6. Include an action word ending with -ing.
    7. Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word.
    8. Make affirmations for yourself, not others.
    9. Add or something better.
  25. Visualization -- or the act of creating compelling and vivid pictures in your mind -- may be the most underutilized success tool you possess because it greatly accelerates the achievement of any success in three powerful ways.
    1. Visualization activates the creative powers of your subconscious mind.
    2. Visualization focuses your brain by programming its reticular activating system (RAS) to notice available resources that were always there but were previously unnoticed. 
    3. Visualization magnetizes and attracts to you the people, resources, and opportunities you need to achieve your goal.
  26. Your brain sees no difference whatsoever between visualizing something and actually doing it.
  27. The process of visualizing for success is really quite simple. All you have to do is close your eyes and see your goals as already complete. If one of your objectives is to own a nice house on the lake, then close your eyes and see yourself walking through the exact house you would like to own. Fill in all of the details. What does the exterior look like? How is it landscaped? What kind of view does it have? What do the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, dining room, family room, and den look like? How is it furnished? Go from room to room and fill in all of the details. Make the images as clear and bright as possible.
  28. Write down each of your goals and objectives, then review them, affirm them, and visualize them every day.
  29. Set aside time each day and every day to visualize every one of your goals as already complete. This is one of the most vital things you can do to make your dreams come true.
  30. Azim Jamal, a prominent speaker in Canada, recommends what he calls the "the Hour of Power" -- 20 minutes of visualization and meditation, 20 minutes of exercise, and 20 minutes of reading inspirational or informational books. Imagine what would happen to your life if you did this every day.
  31. One of the great strategies for success is to act as if you are already where you want to be. This means thinking like, talking like, dressing like, acting like, and feeling like the person who has already achieved your goal. Acting as if sends powerful commands to your subconscious mind to find creative ways to achieve your goals.
  32. There's an enduring axiom of success that says, "The universe rewards action." Yet as simple and as true as this principle is, it's surprising how many people get bogged down in analyzing, planning, and organizing when what they really need to do is take action.
  33. "Authority is 20% given and 80% take it!" - Peter Ueberroth
  34. Instead of getting upset when things don't unfold as you anticipated, always ask yourself the question "What's the possibility that this is?"
  35. How to ask for what you want:
    1. Ask as if you expect to get it.
    2. Assume you can.
    3. Ask someone who can give it to you.
    4. Be clear and specific.
    5. Ask repeatedly.
  36. To be successful, you have to take risks, and one of the risks is the willingness to risk rejection.
  37. To get over rejection, you have to realize that rejection is really a myth. It doesn't really exist. It is simply a concept that you hold in your head. Think about it. If you ask Patty to have dinner with you and she says no, you didn't have anyone to eat dinner with before you asked her, and you don't have anyone to eat dinner with after you asked her. The situation didn't get worse; it stayed the same.
  38. If you're committed to a cause that evokes your passion and commitment, you keep learning from your experiences, and you stay the course to the end, you will eventually create your desired outcome.
  39. Feedback is simply information. Think of it as correctional guidance instead of criticism.
  40. Decide where you need to keep score in order to manifest your vision and achieve your goals. Make sure to keep score in all the areas of your life: financial, professional, school, recreation and fun time, health and fitness, family and other relationships, personal projects, and contribution to others. Post your scores where you and any others playing the game can easily see them.
  41. Whenever you confront an obstacle or run into a roadblock, you need to stop and brainstorm three ways to get around, over, or through the block.
  42. Almost by force of habit, successful people simply do more.
  43. Are there circumstances in your life right now where you could do more, provide better value, overdeliver, or improve on what is asked of you? Do you have the opportunity -- but also the personal initiative -- to go the extra mile?
  44. Instead of focusing on how you can get more, you focus on how you can give more.
  45. You're better off spending time alone than spending time with people who will hold you back with their victim mentality and their mediocre standards.
  46. A big part of creating more success in your life is rewarding yourself when you succeed.
  47. Whatever you read, see, listen to, talk about, and experience during the last 45 minutes of your day has a huge influence on your sleep and your next day.
  48. Get into the habit now of visualizing your ideal next day the night before. It will make a huge difference in your life.
  49. Anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge can waste valuable energy that could be directed toward positive goal-directed action.
  50. The following steps are all integral to forgiving:
    1. Acknowledge your anger and resentment.
    2. Acknowledge the hurt and pain it created.
    3. Acknowledge the fears and self-doubts that it created.
    4. Own any part you may have played in letting it occur or letting it continue.
    5. Acknowledge what you were wanting that you didn't get, and then put yourself in the other person's shoes and attempt to understand where he or she was coming from at the time, and what needs the person was trying to meet -- however inelegantly -- by his or her behavior.
    6. Let go and forgive the person.
  51. One final technique for helping your forgive is to recite this affirmation several times each day: I release myself from all the demands and judgments that have kept me limited. I allow myself to go free -- to live in joy and love and peace. I allow myself to create fulfilling relationships, to have success in my life, to experience pleasure, to know that I am worthy and deserve to have what I want. I now go free. In that process I release all others from any demands and expectations I have placed on them. I choose to be free. I allow others to be free. I forgive myself and I forgive them. And so it is.
  52. When change happens, you can either cooperate with it and learn how to benefit from it or you can resist it and eventually get run over by it. It's your choice.
  53. Take 7 minutes every morning to write down all the things you appreciate in your life. I recommend this as a daily ritual for the rest of your life.
  54. Once you switch the conversation to a nonemotional discussion of improvement opportunities, the experience changes from a negative to a positive one.
  55. All the energy I expend on internal conflict is unavailable to use for creating outer achievement.
  56. Whether your discipline is to read for an hour, practice the piano 5 days a week, make two sales calls every day, learn a new language, practice typing, hit 200 golf balls, do 50 sit-ups, run 6 miles, meditate, pray, read the Bible, spend 60 quality minutes with your kids -- or whatever else you need to do to achieve your goals -- commit 100% to those daily disciplines that will get you there.
  57. You have to set clear boundaries, stop rescuing people, and trust that they can handle things by themselves.
  58. To be successful in achieving your goals and creating your desired lifestyle, you will have to get good at saying no to all of the people and distractions that would otherwise devour you. Successful people know how to say no without feeling guilty.
  59. A coach can help you:
    1. Determine your values, mission, purpose, and goals.
    2. Determine specific action steps to help you achieve those goals.
    3. Help you sort through opportunities.
    4. Keep you focused on your top priorities.
    5. Achieve balance in your life while still accomplishing your business or career goals.
  60. It's not what you think of; it's what you write down and take action on that counts.
  61. "Listen a hundred times. Ponder a thousand times. Speak once." - Source Unknown
  62. It is one of the most effective ways to establish rapport and create a feeling of connection with another person. I have used it in both my business and personal life. It is a series of four questions:
    1. If we were meeting in three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
    2. What are the biggest dangers you'll have to face and deal with in order to achieve your progress?
    3. What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to reach those things?
    4. What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don't currently have in order to capture those opportunities?
  63. Hiding the truth always backfires. The longer you withhold it, the more disservice you do to yourself and to the others involved.
  64. Successful people speak words of inclusion rather than words of separation, words of acceptance rather than words of rejection, and words of tolerance rather than words of prejudice.
  65. Always ask yourself: Is what I am about to say going to advance the cause of my vision, mission, and goals? Will it uplift the hearer? Will it inspire, motivate, and create forward momentum? Will it dissolve fear and create safety and trust? Will build self-esteem, self-confidence, and a willingness to risk and take action?
  66. Lying is the product of low self-esteem -- the belief that you and your abilities are somehow not enough to get what you want.
  67. How do you know when you have been impeccable with your word? When you feel good, happy, joyful, calm, and at peace. If you're not feeling these things, check your thoughts, your self-talk, and your verbal and written communication with others.
  68. Most of the conflicts that arise later in relationships are because people made erroneous assumptions without checking them out. They failed to get clear up front. They failed to get clear on their agreements.
  69. Let's say that you tell your spouse you're going to get up at 6:30 in the morning and do some exercise before going to work. But after 3 days of hitting the snooze alarm, your brain knows better than to trust you. Of course, you may think sleeping late is no big deal, but to your unconscious it is a very big deal. When you don't do what you say you will, you create confusion and self-doubt. You undermine your sense of personal power. It's not worth it. 
  70. Everything that you want to accomplish requires relationships.
  71. Dan [Sullivan] has identified the following characteristics of a class act to serve as your guide:
    1. Live by your own highest standards.
    2. Maintain dignity and grace under pressure.
    3. Focus and improve the behavior of others.
    4. Operate from a larger, inclusive perspective.
    5. Increase the quality of every experience.
    6. Counteract meanness, pettiness, and vulgarity.
    7. Take responsibility for actions and results.
    8. Strengthen the integrity of all situations.
    9. Expand the meaning of being human.
    10. Increase the confidence and capabilities of others.
  72. Simply choose to live by a higher set of standards, and watch people respond enthusiastically toward you.
  73. If a head of state, the pope, or the Dalai Lama were coming to visit your home, wouldn't you have the house-cleaners in there for a week? Wouldn't you buy the best food? Well, why don't you do that for yourself? You're just as important!
  74. If you want wealth you must decide now from the deepest place in your heart to have wealth in your life -- without worrying yet if it's possible or not.
  75. Ask yourself, what product, service, or additional value can I deliver to generate that money? What does the world, your employer, your community, fellow businesspeople, fellow students, or your customers need that you can provide? Finally, the third step is simply to develop and deliver that product, service, or extra value.
  76. Tithing -- that is, giving 10% of your earnings to the work of God -- is one of the best guarantees of prosperity ever known.
  77. "Money is like manure. If you spread it around it does a lot of good. But if you pile it up in place it stinks like hell." - Junior Murchison
  78. The greatest levels of contentment and self-satisfaction are experienced by those who have found a way to serve others.
  79. Teach people the skills of self-sufficiency so that they can support themselves.
  80. Quit waiting until you are perfectly ready. You never will be.
  81. You and you alone are responsible for taking the actions to create the life of your dreams. Nobody else can do it for you.