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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Success Principles: #3 - chapter review

The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
I'm reading the latest book from best-selling author Jack Canfield, titled The Success Principles, which comprise 64 different lessons that Canfield has learned during the past three decades as as a highly-successful entrepreneur, instructor, best-selling author and keynote speaker.

My goal is to write a summary review for each chapter, every day until I'm finished with the book. You can access yesterday's summary here: Chapter 2 - Be Clear Why You're Here

Here's Chapter 3 - Decide What You Want
The previous chapter helped establish the reader's intended purpose in life. In this chapter, Canfield reiterates that the purpose of the book is to help the reader get from where they currently are in life, to the "place" they really want to be.  That place is a multi-faceted existence that encompasses the following areas:
  • Work and Career
  • Finances
  • Recreation and Free Time
  • Health and Fitness
  • Relationships
  • Personal Goals
  • Contributions to the Larger Community
All of us desire abundance and fulfillment in the aforementioned areas that make up our lives, but those areas are vague and unattainable in their nebulous definitions. To help solidify the vision of what you truly want in life, the author offers the following exercise to help you focus.

Simply write down 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have and 30 things you want to be before you die. This is a great way to start giving momentum to your vision. Another tactic is to have a trusted friend verbally ask you for 10-15 minutes "What do you want?" After you answer that question have them ask it again, repeating this cycle for 15 minutes.

After the basic financial and survival needs are expressed, you'll invariably start expressing needs that exist at the core of your being. It's useful to audio record this conversation for transcription later. These exercises are useful to help enlarge your personal capacity to dream bigger and remove limits from the vision of yourself, according to Canfield. Consider the following quote:
"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but it is too low and we reach it." ~ Michelangelo
Canfield offers one final tactic before closing out this chapter. It's a visualization exercise - similar to what professional athletes do before a game - but in this instance you'll be visualizing your ideal future state. The author recommends that you set aside 20 minutes to be alone for maximum results. Have a pen and paper handy, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and envision your "perfect life" in each area asking yourself:
1. What would financial abundance look like in my life - after a few minutes of imaging, write it down.
2. What would my ideal career look like if money wasn't a factor - write down the imagery you visualize.
3. What would unlimited free time look like - repeat the writing process.
4. What is the ideal vision I have for my physical health and body - write down what you visualize.
5. What would ideal relationships with family and friends look like - write them down.
6. What personal goals would I want to dream toward - capture these images on paper.
7. What profound contribution could I make on my community, what would that look like - again, write it down.

After you've gone through these steps, Canfield suggests sharing your various visions of your life with a supportive friend - this will help validate your destination and solidify it within your own heart.

While some of these steps seem very squishy and "New Age-like" to me - I do believe that being a good steward of your own thoughts is critical to success. In fact, there is a proverb that states "As someone thinks - so they are." Success starts in your mind before it can come to pass anywhere else.

What negative thoughts are holding you back?  If there aren't any, how have you overcome them?

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