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, until I'm finished with the book. You can access the most recent past summary here: The Success Principle #5 - Believe in Yourself
Chapter 6: Become an Inverse Paranoid
This chapter has to deal with issues surrounding our perceptions of the people and circumstances around us. Canfield cites his mentor, W. Clement Stone, as introducing to him the concept of becoming an "inverse paranoid." Stone told Canfield that instead of believing that the world was plotting to do him harm, Stone chose to believe that the world was actually plotting to do him good.
Rather than viewing every difficult situation as a negative circumstance, Stone consciously decided to see it for what it could be - something that might potentially empower him, advance his cause or enrich him.
While the idea might seem far fetched at first - especially to someone in the midst of a difficulty - the reader is asked to think about a time in life when something that happened was initially viewed as "terrible" but ultimately became a blessing in disguise.
This is a common experience for most people and is embodied in the following quote by famous author, Napoleon Hill:
"Every negative event contains within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit."
Canfield punctuates this point with the homespun wisdom that the more you look for the good in life, the greater the likelihood that you'll find it. According to the author, this is the exact trait that is common amongst all super-successful individuals that he has ever interacted with.
A good action step he recommends to take toward adopting this habit yourself is to right a small note on a 3" x 5" card or Post-It that reads, "What's the opportunity that this really is??" and then prominently place it by your computer or on your desk as a continual reminder to look for the good.
Question: What challenging situation are you facing that might contain a hidden opportunity?