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By Gavin Ryan
Jack Canfield has been affectionately labelled America’s number one success coach. As the originator of the world changing franchise, Chicken Soup for The Soul, and being the Guinness Book of Records holder for having seven titles on the New York Times Bestseller list on a single day, it’s clear that his inspiring words have had a massive impact on the world.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Jack Canfield is very open about the difficulties he faced growing up. Jack’s father was a military man and very abusive. Born in Texas, Jack was moved from base to base and lived in five states before his parents divorced when he was six years old. Jack’s mother was an alcoholic. She entered another relationship with a man who was a workaholic and together they raised Jack in what he describes as the typical dysfunctional family.
From the psychologist, Robert Resnick, early on Jack learned an important formula upon which he claims all experiences are based. The shorthand for the formula is E + R = O. What this means is that all that we experience is decided when an event (E) triggers our response ( R). Together these two factors produce (O), the outcome. It is not the events in our lives that determine our outcomes, but it is our responses to them.
While the events of Jack Canfield’s early years do not seem to be likely to lead to the incredible success he has achieved, it seems that it is the way he responded to those events that have proved the Resnick formula to be true. As he says, “your current experiences are a direct result of your responses to past events.” Jack Canfield has simply learned how to respond successfully to life. He believes you can learn it too. Jack gives the example of his friend, a luxury car dealer, who when the recession hit, realised if he didn’t figure out a way to convince people to buy luxury cars, he’d go broke pretty soon. Rather than blame the economy, his friend brought his fleet up to the wealthy areas and offered the inhabitants the chance to test drive his top of the line cars. Of course once they’d driven a brand new car, they were hooked. He sold more cars in the first year of the recession than he did in the boom.
Another example is of two men stuck in traffic. One is in a rage and stressed at being late. The other is relaxed, listening to the radio and enjoying the ride. The event is the same, but it is their responses which dictate their experiences. Once you’ve grasped this, you are ready to take 100% responsibility for your life and start achieving your goals. “Very informative, I learned a lot, different from others I’ve been to. I have been to different Coaching events and therefore don’t expect to learn much more at each event. However, at this one I was pleasantly surprised.
Find Your Life ’s Purpose
Now that you’ve taken responsibility, the next step is to decide your life’s purpose. You can do this for yourself by completing some quick exercises outlined in his bestselling book, The Success Principles. Jack Canfield explains that it is incredibly important to have a driving purpose. Without it we lack a compass to guide us and our actions, even when they are successful, may not bring us true fulfilment. You certainly don’t want to get to the top of the ladder only to find you have placed it against the wrong wall.
Life Purpose Exercise
1. Pick two positive qualities that define you (e.g.: Enthusiasm and Creativity). Write them down.
2. Name two things that you can do that helps others and brings you great joy (e.g. To explain things clearly, To make people laugh). Make a note of them.
3. In the present tense, describe what you think a perfect world would look like, how people would live and interact (e.g. People are free to be themselves, pursue their dreams and get the support they need in difficult times).
When you can put it all together, you’ve got your life’s purpose. Mine is “to use my enthusiasm and creativity to humourously explain how we can be free to be ourselves, go after our dreams and find the support we need when times get tough.” I think that it really captures what I’ve always been about in a way that I’d never quite put into words.
The Law of Attraction
Jack Canfield featured prominently in the paradigm shifting movie, The Secret, and the The Law of Attraction features heavily in Jack’s seminars. The ability to visualise one’s goals and the importance of being clear on what it is one wants in order to attain it is paramount. He wrote that “The entire universe was built for you to say your orders. Most people forget that in their lives, then they pass away and become part of that universe, waiting in their turn to serve whoever will be brave enough to command his desires of the universe. Speak up now.” It is certainly an approach that puts the onus on the individual to step up and make their life dreams happen.
One of the things I like about Jack Canfield is that he is so passionate about sharing his methods with as many people as he can. This is a vocation for him and he pursues it with zeal and enthusiasm. Once you’ve read his books or seen his videos, you know that he’s the kind of guy who gets a kick out of seeing people reach their full potential. Why not go see him when he comes to Dublin?
Jack Canfield is a keynote speaker at the Pendulum Summit, the world’s leading business and self-empowerment summit taking place on January 11th & 12th in the Convention Centre, Dublin. We have two tickets to the event for our lucky readers. See above for information on how to enter.
jackcanfield.com / pendulumsummit.com