Chicken Soup for the Soul: Unlocking the Secrets to Living Your Dreams

Overview

More than a decade ago, the publishing phenomenon that has become the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series was little more than an idea and a well-worn proposal that 140 publishers had rejected as "unsellable." Yet the aspiring authors remained undaunted and continued combining their passion with their 10 principles for "living their dream." Today, their book series includes more than 70 titles in 39 languages that have touched the hearts and minds of 90 million readers worldwide. In this ...
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Chicken Soup for the Soul Unlocking the Secrets to Living Your Dreams

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Overview

More than a decade ago, the publishing phenomenon that has become the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series was little more than an idea and a well-worn proposal that 140 publishers had rejected as "unsellable." Yet the aspiring authors remained undaunted and continued combining their passion with their 10 principles for "living their dream." Today, their book series includes more than 70 titles in 39 languages that have touched the hearts and minds of 90 million readers worldwide. In this tenth-anniversary edition, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen share time-tested strategies that will help you create the life you want for yourself, whether it's attaining financial freedom, enjoying more fulfilling relationships, spending more leisure time with your family or a living a healthier lifestyle. Sixty of the most popular stories from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series will inspire you to take action: stories of real people who had the courage and perseverance to live their dream -- people like poet and bestselling author Maya Angelou; Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind person to climb Mount Everest; two-time Olympian Marilyn King; Canadian figure-skating champions Paul Martini and Barbara Underhill; and other "ordinary" people who achieved extraordinary things. This keepsake edition is a must-read for anyone who wants to open their mind to life's infinite possibilities and open their hearts to believing they can make their dreams come true.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757301384
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/15/2003
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Edition description: 10th Anniversary Special Edition
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 423,043

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors who have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional success of others

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors who have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional success of others

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

In our dreams we all aspire to be, do and have great things. Yet most of us simply aren't creating the results we want. We don't have enough money, romance,
success or joy in our lives. What we need to understand is that greatness exists in all of us, but it is up to us to pull it out of ourselves. It is true that we all have genius. We just need to learn how to apply our genius.

This book is divided into ten sections that parallel the ten strategies that you will need to employ to successfully live your dreams. Each one is an important piece of the overall system that will take you from where you are to where you want to be. Let's get started.

Step 1. Decide What You Want

The indispensable first step

to getting things you want out of life

is this: Decide what you want.

Ben Stein, actor and author

In order to get what you want, you must first decide what you want. Most people get stuck at this crucial first step because they simply can't see how it's possible to get what they want—so they don't even let themselves want it. Don't sabotage yourself that way! What we now know about how the brain works is that you must first decide WHAT you want, before your brain can figure out HOW to get it.

Be willing to dream big dreams

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

William Faulkner

When the two of us decided to write Chicken Soup for the Soul,
we had a big dream. We wanted to create a book that would change millions of lives. Our dream was to sell 150,000 copies the first year and a million copies by the end of the following year. We were thinking number one on the bestseller lists from the very beginning. We wanted to touch as many lives as possible—to make a big difference in the world. Our corporate mission statement is to inspire and empower people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy.
Through the Chicken Soup for the Soul books we wanted to heal and change the world one story at a time. It was a big dream.

Later, after selling 50 million books, we decided to make the dream bigger. We created what we call our "2020 Vision"—to sell one billion Chicken Soup for the Soul books worldwide and raise
500 million dollars for charity by the year 2020. So far we are approaching
70 titles with almost 90 million copies sold in 39 languages, and almost 4 million dollars contributed to charity.

Two years ago, we set the goal to sell one million books in one day. The main purpose was just to stretch our thinking. We realized if we were going to sell one billion books by 2020, we were going to have to pick up the pace. Only a few weeks later we were at the Book ExpoAmerica in Chicago. Jack was riding the bus taking people back to their hotels when he learned the woman sitting next to him was the head buyer for the WH Smith Stores—the chain that sells books and magazines at airports.

When Jack shared our goal of selling one million books in one day, she quickly said, "I can help you do that!" She then helped formulate an elaborate plan of creating book signings in all of the airport bookstores across the country. It would start early in the morning in the East Coast airports—O'Hare, JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dulles, Atlanta,
Miami and Orlando—and then follow the sun first to the Midwest and eventually the West Coast. We would find an airline partner that would fly all of the Chicken Soup coauthors from airport to airport taking advantage of the peak rush times, thus reaching millions of potential buyers in one day.

We have learned that as soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, not only will your creative mind come up with big ideas to make it happen, you will also start attracting the people you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams inspire you and others to want to play all out. So let your dreams be as big as you want them to be.

Set Goals That Will Stretch You

Another value in giving yourself permission to go after the big dreams is that big dreams require you to grow in order to achieve them. In fact,
in the long run, that is the greatest benefit you will receive from pursuing your dreams: mastery over your life. It is not just about the material benefits you receive (the car, the house, the money), but who you become in the process.
As we all have seen many times over, the outer symbols of success can be easily lost. Houses burn down, companies go bankrupt, relationships end in divorce,
cars get old, clothes go out of style, bodies age and fame wanes, but who you are, what you have learned and the new skills you have developed never go away.
These are the true prizes of achieving success. Our friend Jim Rohn advises:
You want to set a big enough goal so that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.

In the process of building what has become the Chicken Soup
phenomenon, we had to stretch and expand in many areas. We had to learn about publishing, marketing, PR, radio and television. As our staff grew from four to sixteen people, we had to learn new business and management skills.
As our opportunities and projects grew, we had to learn how to better balance our work life and family lives. We had to hire consultants, take courses, attend conventions, read books, listen to tapes and ask for advice from many quarters.
Through all of that, we gained valuable skills, learned many lessons and gained a lot of wisdom. We are better and stronger for it.


¬2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Soul Living Your Dreams by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher.
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach,
FL 33442.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xv
Share with Us xix
1 How to Live Your Dream
How to Live Your Dream 2
2 Dare to Dream and Set Goals
Together, Achieving Our Olympic Dream 58
Follow Your Dream 64
A Chicken Soup Contributor Responds 66
New Directions 68
Finding My Wings 71
Glenna's Goal Book 75
The Little Girl Who Dared to Wish 79
One Person Can Make a Difference 83
Standing Tall on a Surfboard in Midlife 88
3 Believe in Yourself
You Can't Afford to Doubt Yourself 92
Discouraged? 97
A Salesman's First Sale 99
Batgirl 103
There Are No Vans 108
"If I Were Really Important ..." 112
The Professor and Me 114
The Interview 120
A Chicken Soup Reader Responds 124
Tommy's Bumper Sticker 127
A Chicken Soup Reader Responds 132
Trash Bags Are for Trash 134
A Chicken Soup Contributor Responds 141
4 It's Never Too Late
Never Too Old to Live Your Dream 144
Teacher at Last 147
Is Fire Goddess Spelled with Two Ds? 153
Never Too Late 157
How I Got into the Movies 161
Grandma Moses and Me 165
5 The Power of Support: You Can't Do It Alone
The Drive of a Champion 171
Riding Tandem 178
Hall of Fame 184
A Chicken Soup Contributor Responds 188
A Hundred and One Atlantic Nights 189
The Kindness of Strangers 197
6 Be Willing to Pay the Price
Willing to Pay the Price 204
A Little Courage Goes a Long Way 208
The Price of a Dream 212
A Perfect Skate 214
Dreams Have a Price 218
7 Take Action
One at a Time 222
When Dreams Won't Die 226
Look Out Baby, I'm Your Love Man! 230
Ask, Affirm, Take Action 234
Ask, Ask, Ask 238
Ask, Ask, Ask ... The Story Continues 241
How Prayer Made Me a Father Again 242
Why Wait? ... Just Do It! 247
The First Step 251
A Chicken Soup Contributor Responds 253
8 The Power of Determination
Ryan's Well of Life 256
Unstoppable 262
The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer 266
Dare to Imagine 271
18 Holes in His Mind 274
Against All Odds 276
The Cowboy's Story 289
Baby-Lift 295
A Cowboy's Last Chance 301
The Day Mother Cried 308
The Power of Determination 315
9 Never Give Up
Consider This 320
Begin at the Beginning 325
Embassy of Hope 329
Opportunity 332
The Magic Skates 337
A Little Girl's Dream 344
How to Be New and Different 348
More Chicken Soup? 355
Supporting Kids Living Their Dreams 356
Who Is Jack Canfield? 357
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 358
Resources to Help You Live Your Dreams 359
Contributors 360
Permissions (continued) 369
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