The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be; 10th Anniversary Edition (2015); by Jack Canfield, with Janet Switzer.
Jack Canfield is one of my favorite motivational speakers. I regularly watch his seminars and his informative shorts on YouTube. I decided to read The Success Principles after seeing it on a list among the “Most Inspirational Books”. Having a familiarity with Jack Canfield’s seminars and ideas, I thought it would be a review of the information I had already gathered, so as to solidify the concepts in my mind. However, I soon found that this book was so much more than I expected.
In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield, along with several co-authors and contributors, describes 67 principles to change your life. These 67 principles are broken up into six sections. The first section is “The Fundamentals of Success”. This outlines the basics of what it takes to get started on a life-changing journey. It gives information to change your thinking and to get you to take initiative. Also, there are “assignments” meant to raise your awareness and establish standards for yourself, such as setting goals, developing habits, and learning to take action.
The second section is “Transform Yourself for Success”. This section is all about using these fundamentals to develop your mindset to change your day to day habits toward success. This information is invaluable, as it helps you to reflect on yourself and see where your errors in judgment are. Your current lifestyle and habits say a lot about where you currently are in life. If you’re not where you want to be, it is only your own fault, and more importantly, it is your responsibility to correct the deficiencies.
Section three is “Build Your Success Team”. Focusing on who you are, will identify who you will attract. This applies not only to your personal life, but also to your professional life. You want to spend time around people who share your values. You want to be around people who are likewise driven to succeed. This section also discusses the importance of being a leader and learning to network. Even if you feel anti-social, like me, you must focus on developing leadership and communication skills. Because nobody accomplishes anything great alone. Find people who uplift you and challenge you. Those are the relationships worth having.
Which brings us into section four: Create Successful Relationships. This means having the proper moral purpose toward people. This means actively listening. This means being honest and direct as often as you possibly can. I have applied some of the communication skills outlined here, to much success. There are people I work with who I felt didn’t think much of me. After applying some better interpersonal skills, I came to found out that they were just waiting for me to take an interest in them. I let the people I work with know that they were appreciated, and my presence became something worthwhile to them. Not that one should place their self-worth in others perspective of them, but it is essential that you are held in esteem by others in order to introspectively have esteem for yourself.
Section five branches out into finances. “Success and Money” is the heading. This was impacting for me, especially considering how I was raised and my family’s financial situation. We were not destitute poor by any means, but there were plenty of times that our finances were made clear. We didn’t take vacations. We didn’t have fancy things. One side of my family is hard-working laborers. Salt of the Earth individuals with enough knowledge and skills to match a Bachelor’s or higher in their relative field. My Father can do anything, I’m sure of it. He has the knowledge and skill of ten men. But he has worked hard to make ends meet all of his life. I figured that was my fate as well.
However, I had to learn from this book that I had negative perspectives toward money and wealth. I had several financial self-limiting beliefs that I have to work on correcting. Then, the author continues to describe not just why, but how to improve your financial situation. How to invest in your self and your future. Very helpful information for improving your financial IQ.
The final section is a newly added section: “Success in the Digital Age”. The internet has brought a great wealth of readily available information and knowledge into the world. Unfortunately, it has also brought a lot of excess, distraction, and frankly, meaningless, time-wasting garbage along with it. The effective use of technology is essential to success in the modern era. From representing yourself effectively on social media, to mastering the technology that can advance your goals. These are very important concepts that few people give thought to.
In addition to the book itself, it is accompanied by a wealth of online resources and footnote references to other authors and works.
Overall, if you have any interest in self-improvement and personal development, not only would I say this book is great, but I would say it is an essential addition to your personal library. Jack Canfield is an extraordinary individual. I would also recommend his seminars on YouTube. If you want to take it even further, I would recommend attending his seminars and conferences in person.