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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Success Principles: #8- 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, until I'm finished with the book. You can access the most recent past summary here: The Success Principle #7 -Unleash the Power of Goal Setting

Chapter 8: Chunk It Down
The advice that Canfield delivers in this chapter is by far the most practical in the entire book thus far. The concept of "chunking down" that he introduces, is simply the idea of breaking large projects down into component parts and then tackling the smaller "chunks" one at a time until the entire project is complete.

He says this is a necessary strategy to avoid the feeling of overwhelm and inertia that tends to keep people in a state of inaction. It's simply easier NOT to do something when the task at hand seems so large. After you've decided what you really want and have set measurable goals with specific deadlines, the individual action steps need to be identified.
"The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." ~ Mark Twain, Author
Canfield offers an effective technique for getting started, the technique is called mind mapping. A mind map is simply a graphical representation in a single image of all the components of a project with connected dependencies. Here are two examples of a mind map.


The one above is very complex and colorful, here's a much more simple example yet just as effective.

There are a variety of formats - but the basic idea is that the goal is at the center; spokes radiate off from it; components, sub-components and tasks are the terminating point of each spoke. Additional lines can be drawn to connect events or tasks that are dependent on each other to create a web. The purpose is to visually capture all the necessary pieces of the project.

There are several mind map software programs out there, Canfield recommends Again, I found this to be the most practical chapter thus far. The mind map concept is one that I have personally adopted on several large projects. This chapter alone was worth the price of the book.

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