Unformatted text preview: DEDICATION This book is dedicated to Patty Aubery, my business partner,
president of my companies, and—for 25 years— my
sounding board, confidante, and closest friend.
From those early days typing the first Chicken Soup for the Soul® stories to
building a hugely successful company that has expanded my impact
worldwide, Patty has helped guide my career, advanced these teachings,
and held a vision of my work that is bigger and bolder than anything I
could have dreamed myself.
Words cannot express my gratitude for your endless energy, selfless focus,
and lifelong dedication to this work. You are a treasure. Life is like a combination lock; your job is
to find the right numbers, in the right
order, so you can have anything you want.
BRIAN TRACY If we did all the things we are capable of
doing, we would literally astound
THOMAS A. EDISON CONTENTS Dedication
Introduction I. The Fundamentals of Success
15. Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life
Be Clear Why You’re Here
Decide What You Want
Believe It’s Possible
Believe in Yourself
Use the Law of Attraction
Unleash the Power of Goal-Setting
Chunk It Down
Success Leaves Clues
Release the Brakes
See What You Want, Get What You See
Act As If
Just Lean Into It
Experience Your Fear and Take Action Anyway 16.
24. Be Willing to Pay the Price
Ask! Ask! Ask!
Use Feedback to Your Advantage
Commit to Constant and Never-Ending
Keep Score for Success
Practice the Rule of 5
Exceed Expectations II. Transform Yourself for Success
25. Drop Out of the “Ain’t It Awful” Club . . . and
Surround Yourself with Successful People
26. Acknowledge Your Positive Past
27. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
28. Clean Up Your Messes and Your Incompletes
29. Complete the Past to Embrace the Future
30. Face What Isn’t Working
31. Embrace Change
32. Transform Your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach
33. Transcend Your Limiting Beliefs
34. Develop Four New Success Habits a Year
35. 99% Is a Bitch; 100% Is a Breeze
36. Learn More to Earn More 37. Stay Motivated with the Masters
38. Fuel Your Success with Passion and Enthusiasm
III. Build Your Success Team
39. Stay Focused on Your Core Genius
40. Redefine Time
41. Build a Powerful Support Team and Delegate to
42. Just Say No!
43. Become a Leader Worth Following
44. Create a Network of Mentors and Others Who
Will Up-Level You
45. Hire a Personal Coach
46. Mastermind Your Way to Success
47. Inquire Within
IV. Create Successful Relationships
54. Be Hear Now
Have a Heart Talk
Tell the Truth Faster
Speak with Impeccability
When in Doubt, Check It Out
Practice Uncommon Appreciation
Keep Your Agreements 55. Be a Class Act
V. Success and Money
62. Develop a Positive Money Consciousness
You Get What You Focus On
Pay Yourself First
Master the Spending Game
To Spend More, First Make More
Give More to Get More
Find a Way to Serve VI. Success in the Digital Age
63. Master the Technology You Need
64. Brand Yourself with an Online Persona
65. Use Social Media in a Way That Enhances Your
66. Use the Exponential Power of Crowdfunding
67. Connect with People Who Can Expand Your
Afterword: Empower Yourself by Empowering Others
The Success Principles Free Success Tools
Bring the Power of Change to Your Organization: The Success
Principles Keynote, Workshop, and Training
Suggested Reading and Additional Resources for Success Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Praise for The Success Principles™
About the Publisher FOREWORD A decade ago, Janet Switzer and I envisioned a time when The Success
Principles would be read in dozens of languages and followed in more than
100 countries—a time when individuals from every walk of life and groups
of every kind would use it as a guidebook for dreaming bigger dreams,
planning bigger outcomes, taking action in a bigger way, and enjoying the
kind of expanded, abundant lifestyle that, for them, never seemed possible
We envisioned a time when educators, corporate managers, and smallgroup leaders would take up our challenge to advance the message of The
Success Principles by training others in these human-potential basics—a
time when we could look back, with pride, at the millions of lives that had
been touched by the universal message and proven principles in this book.
I’m happy to say that time is now.
Over the past 10 years, not only has The Success Principles spread to
108 countries in 30 languages, but the feedback and success stories we’ve
received in return have been gratifying—and humbling. Men, women,
teens, students, athletes, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home parents, rising
corporate stars, and other achievers have become dedicated to creating lives
of abundance, joy, professional fulfillment, and personal accomplishment.
They are proof positive that these principles work—if you work the
Through countless stories and heartwarming reports, I’ve watched this
phenomenon unfold, as readers moved beyond today’s culture of
resignation and mediocrity to create the exciting, compelling life of their
dreams. They have overcome their own limitations—whether physical
challenges, economic hardship, past failures, or simply their own limiting
beliefs—to achieve astounding success.
At one time, perhaps just like you, they wondered how a single book
could change their lives.
Doug Wittal, a builder from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada,
doubled his income within a year of applying what he learned, then doubled
it again 12 months later. He began enjoying substantially more free time
and built four magnificent homes so he and his family could spend
summers and winters in temperate climates.
Days before talking to Doug, we heard from Miriam Laundry—a mom
who dreamed of bringing self-esteem concepts to more than 100,000
children, changing lives and communities around the globe. Not only did
she surpass her goal in less than a year, she attained a Guinness World
Records® title for her accomplishment.
Sean Gallagher, a successful Irish entrepreneur, appeared for three
seasons on the hit television show Dragon’s Den (Shark Tank in the U.S.),
and later fulfilled his most audacious goal when he stood for election to
become the President of Ireland. He’s now a highly sought after speaker and
writer helping to inform and inspire the next generation of Irish business
Justin Bendel—an aspiring orchestral musician—used The Success
Principles to visualize playing at a world-class concert hall whose picture
he’d had for years. Though he didn’t know the name of the concert hall in
the photo, he pasted it to his vision board anyway. Soon after, he received a
fully paid scholarship to pursue graduate studies in music and, within his
first year of grad school, was chosen to play with the university orchestra at
Carnegie Hall in New York—the concert hall in the photograph he had
pasted on his vision board.
Using Principle 24: Exceed Expectations, 25-year-old Canadian
franchisee Natalie Peace built one of her juice-bar locations to record
revenues, then sold it for the highest amount ever received for that
franchise. She’s since earned her MBA and now (among other things) teaches business administration classes to fourth-year university students—
recommending The Success Principles as a powerful textbook for future
After one of my readers—a successful Malaysian businessman—was
incarcerated under extremely harsh conditions in China, his wife convinced
the guards to pass along his tattered, dog-eared, and marked-up copy of The
Success Principles so he could stay motivated during his 20-month ordeal.
He not only reread it hundreds of times but also used it to transform himself
into an even more motivated, excited, and fearless person who—since his
release—has launched a successful information technology business, started
two restaurants, and acquired a portfolio of international properties with a
group of real-estate investors.
Pavel Popiolek—Czech Republic’s leading importer of computer
equipment with a $600 million business to manage—used what he learned
in The Success Principles to balance his life and work, making time for his
true passion—competitive cycling. So far, he’s won the Val d’Aran UCI
World Cycling Tour race in the Pyrenees, qualified for the World Master’s
Cycling Championship, and been profiled in Men’s Health magazine.
Of course, beyond business success and professional accomplishment
are those readers whose entire lives have changed because they
implemented the principles in this book.
Heather O’Brien Walker, who sustained a devastating brain injury in a
warehouse accident at work, first heard The Success Principles from her
hospital bed as her fiancé read them aloud during Heather’s 30 days of
rehabilitation. Though she couldn’t walk or talk—or even function normally
—she began to visualize her wedding day and made walking down the aisle
her breakthrough goal. The process of learning to walk again was grueling.
But today, Heather has not only recovered but she also shares her message
of overcoming adversity through speaking engagements and her book,
Don’t Give Up, Get Up.
Akshay Nanavati, an ex-Marine who was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder upon his return from Iraq, is using the principles to
beat the condition. His dream? To run across every country in the world, border to border, over the next 25 years—not only as a way to inspire
others, but also to give himself the inspiration to get up and take action
And Lewis Pugh of Great Britain is the only person to have completed
a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world. Over a period of 27 years
he has pioneered swims in the most hostile waters on Earth including the
Antarctic, the North Pole, and the Himalayas and developed an
understanding of the beauty and fragility of life and its many ecosystems.
Millions have viewed his talks at TEDGlobal and he campaigns tirelessly
for the creation of Marine Protected Areas and changes to the legal
framework governing oceans. In 2013, the United Nations appointed the
maritime lawyer as Patron of the Oceans. And yes, he’s a Success
Principles reader, too.
With stories like these—and thousands more that have poured in—
when it came time to prepare the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Success
Principles, I quickly realized that I could produce an entire companion
book filled with just the inspiring and fascinating stories we’ve received
from readers over the last decade. Countless others have used what they
learned to become bestselling authors, start businesses, purchase investment
properties, get married, lose weight, achieve professional honors, get job
promotions, travel the world, get out of debt, raise amazing kids, and so
But while many of these readers knew exactly what they wanted to
achieve when they picked up their copy of The Success Principles, many
more didn’t. For some readers, achievement seemed so far away that their
only “want” was for life to simply get better.
Forrest Willett was one of those readers.
At 31 years old, Forrest’s life was right on track. He owned three
homes and seven businesses. He’d been married for seven years to a
beautiful woman and had a 2-year-old son. He was on top of the world.
That is, until his world turned upside down. Literally. He was in an
automobile accident that threw his car end-over-end three times, leaving
him with a catastrophic brain injury. Suddenly, Forrest found himself incapable of doing even the simplest
tasks—with his beautiful wife now teaching him to brush his teeth and
comb his hair. Although he knew he was lucky to be alive, he began to
spiral faster and faster into a deep pit of depression, anger, and despair.
In the beginning, like a stroke survivor, he had difficulty conversing on
even the most basic level. His humiliation rendered him housebound, and
soon, fatigue and apathy dominated his existence. For hours, Forrest lay on
the sofa, sleeping or watching television. The doctors, his speech therapist,
his occupational therapist, his physical therapist—essentially all of the
experts—told him that returning to a productive life with the promise of
success wasn’t possible. So Forrest gave up all hope of ever having a
normal existence—let alone a life that fulfilled his dreams.
Then one day, as he lay in bed, numbly surfing the TV channels, the
words, “If you want to get from where you are, to where you want to
be . . .” caught his attention. Forrest sat up enough to focus on what the
news anchor was saying. “Jack Canfield was coming up next” to discuss his
book The Success Principles. With the smallest spark of hope ignited,
Forrest bought the book they were talking about—the first edition of The
Success Principles, which was over 400 pages. At the time, Forrest was just
learning to read his son’s books—a 35-year-old man reading books for a
kindergartener. His speech therapist thought a 400-page book was being
overly ambitious. But Forrest was more than ready to get from where he
was to where he wanted to be.
And so, he began his journey.
In the beginning, reading even a single page was slow and laborious.
Though he was motivated, Forrest began to wonder if his therapist had been
right. Maybe he was being overly ambitious.
Then, several months after starting to work his way through The
Success Principles—and a full five years after the accident—he got his
biggest wake-up call. At his son Hunter’s seventh birthday party, Forrest
was out in the yard with the boy and a group of his friends as Hunter
opened his presents. Picking a round-shaped package from the pile, Hunter
ripped the wrapping paper off to reveal a baseball. Smiling with delight, he immediately threw it at the ground. Naturally, the ball landed with a thud
and rolled a couple of feet into the dirt. Hunter picked it up and hurled it at
the ground again, where it once more rolled away from him. Before he
could try again, the friend who had given him the baseball, shouted,
“Hunter, baseballs don’t bounce!”
In that moment, Forrest was thunderstruck as the impact of his absence
hit him like a ton of bricks. How could his son know about such things?
They had never thrown a baseball together.
Forrest realized he had spent more time with his negative thoughts
than with his own son—essentially abandoning him, as well as his wife. He
knew that if he didn’t take charge of his life, it would end up in pieces. He’d
find himself divorced, homeless, or worse.
The spark inside him turned into a blaze. He went back to the first of
the Success Principles, Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life, and tackled
it in earnest.
In his case, taking 100% responsibility for his life meant he had to stop
the negative self-talk: no more “Poor Forrest “ and “Why did this happen to
me?” Without that constant negative soundtrack to distract him, Forrest
could see that he hadn’t been an active participant in his own rehabilitation.
He had been letting his physical therapist stretch him—then wondered why
he wasn’t getting stronger. He’d sat there passively listening while his
speech therapist read to him—then complained that his reading skills
weren’t getting any better.
Now Forrest started to believe that his life could be different, that he
could make it different. And that’s when things really started to change.
Almost immediately, his self-awareness began to grow. Things that
had gone over his head for so long finally registered. Where were all his
friends? The answer was as painful as it was clear: He’d abandoned them,
in the same way he’d abandoned his family. Everyone had stopped calling
long ago, pushed away by Forrest’s negativity—and he’d been too selfabsorbed to care. Just noticing these things was a success in itself, Forrest
reminded himself. He was making progress. Next, he decided to give up blaming and complaining—not an easy
task. It had become so habitual that Forrest didn’t even realize he was doing
it. So he asked the people around him to help him become aware when he
slipped back into his old ways. In fact, his wife and therapists had a sign: If
Forrest began to blame or complain, they let him know by pulling on their
ear. When he saw that, he’d stop whatever he was saying in midsentence,
take a deep breath, and consider his next words more carefully.
Not that speaking—positively or negatively—was easy for him.
Forrest still hadn’t fully regained his speech faculties, and sometimes he
was unable to find the words he needed, or he stuttered. Because of this, he
didn’t want to go to the grocery store or post office in case he ran into
someone he knew. To counter this, he focused on Principle 22: “Practice
Persistence.” Each day he read The Success Principles for twenty minutes
and practiced stepping out of his comfort zone. Day after day, he practiced a
little more and went a little further.
One of his steps out of his comfort zone took him to a local coffee
shop. For years, Forrest had put his head down and walked past the coffee
shop, keeping his eyes glued to the cement. But this day he walked in—
reminding himself of Principle 15: “Experience Your Fear and Take Action
Anyway.” Unfortunately, he was met right away by his worst fear. An old
acquaintance recognized him and called out.
Although he was cringing with embarrassment inside, Forrest stayed
calm and walked over and sat down. He explained as best he could what
had been happening. He was amazed to find it actually felt good to stand up
for himself. In the coming days, Forrest tried this with others, and with time
talking got easier. He discovered there were people around him who were
willing to support him—especially now that Forrest was willing to support
He also saw that he wasn’t alone in dealing with life’s fears and
challenges. Everyone he talked to seemed to have struggles and pain of
their own. This insight helped him to overcome the shame he’d been
carrying for so long. As time passed, he could hardly believe the new successes he was
having. Within a year of applying the principles, Forrest was doing all of
the things his doctors had said he’d never do again. He returned to school.
He got off all medications, both for pain and depression. He started
volunteering. He started turning every negative into a positive.
And he’s been doing that ever since.
Today, it’s hard to believe there was a time, not that long ago, that
Forrest couldn’t speak fluently—nor read or write very well. But he turned
that around so completely that he wrote a book about his experiences! As a
result, he gets almost daily requests to share his story in front of audiences.
And while he never would have believed it possible during the dark days,
today he loves public speaking and believes he’s found the work he was
meant to do. He’s thrilled to travel and speak to groups around the world.
Reading The Success Principles also shifted Forrest’s thinking about
success in general. Before the accident, “success” to him meant more
money and more things—a bigger house, a bigger boat, opening more
businesses, owning more stuff. After the accident, he’d given up on ever
attaining any success, however you define it.
Today, thanks to The Success Principles, he’s learned the profound
truth that having all the stuff in the world doesn’t mean anything if you’re
not truly living—which Forrest now knows means giving and receiving
love. If currency were counted in friends and love, Forrest would be the
richest man in the world.
While Forrest Willett used The Success Principles to define and
achieve success for himself, how you define success is solely in your power.
For you, “success” might be a substantial income, effortless financial
reward, and the luxuries of a high-net-worth lifestyle. It may be
professional recognition or achievement in your hobby or philanthropic
endeavors. It may be healthy, hap...
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