The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
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The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

4.6 116
by Jack Canfield, Janet Switzer

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The author of the phenomenal bestselling Chicken Soup series--with over 80 million books sold and 11 #1 Bestsellers--turns to the secrets of success as the cornerstone of his next franchise.


The author of the phenomenal bestselling Chicken Soup series--with over 80 million books sold and 11 #1 Bestsellers--turns to the secrets of success as the cornerstone of his next franchise.

Editorial Reviews

Jack Canfield's success credentials are incontestable: The co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise has sold more than 80 million books. (In fact, he once had seven books on New York Times bestseller lists simultaneously.) His Success Principles set out 64 keystones ("Become an inverse paranoid," "Reject rejection") for achieving the kind of life that you've always wanted. Canfield bolsters these precepts with uplifting quotations from famous role models. A manual for the upward bound.
Publishers Weekly
When it comes to success, Canfield knows of what he speaks: he is co-creator, with Mark Victor Hansen, of the seemingly endless Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He presents 64 success principles that he claims "always work"-and draws on his own experience and that of others to illustrate them. Sixty-four principles may seem like a lot, but each receives a concise, easy-to-digest chapter that challenges readers to risk creating their lives exactly as they want them. Many of the principles are familiar-e.g., "Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life"-but Canfield has a nifty way of summarizing them ("Reject rejection"), and some are inventive: "Become an Inverse Paranoid" means see the world as out to help you instead of out to get you. He also offers specific techniques, such as positive-thinking exercises and visualizations. A section on transformation provides even more on how to overcome self-defeating beliefs, fears and habits. Further sections offer principles on building good teams and better relationships at the office. Canfield acknowledges his predecessors in the success advice field, such as Napoleon Hill, and is also clear that while he gives information, motivation, and inspiration, readers must contribute their own hard work. Canfield's energy and enthusiasm bounce off the page; many will flock to this inspiring (and very rich) teacher. And those starting off in business or in need of a refresher course may consider this title required reading. Agent, Bonnie Solow. (Jan. 1) Forecast: Harper is putting Canfield in a class with Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill. A Today show appearance, 11-city tour and 250,000-copy first printing will demonstrate whether they're right. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A prescription for achieving life goals and aspirations, this book by the coauthor of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series is destined for best-sellers lists all over the country. Canfield guarantees results if readers decide what they want, believe they deserve it, and practice his 64 principles, laid out here with evangelical zeal. Based on sound psychological, spiritual, and economic truths gathered from interviews, research, and personal experience, these principles include urging readers to take 100 percent responsibility for their own lives, continually ask for feedback, tell the truth faster, and master the spending game. Canfield has an easy style and talks directly to readers, responding to potential "what ifs" and "buts" with encouragement and sound advice. The book's layout is superb-small paragraphs are punctuated by italicized quotes, questions for self-study, and several appropriate cartoons. One could easily pick and choose principles of interest, although a thorough reading is recommended. Lest this all sound too good to be true, Canfield stresses that "Success takes times, effort, perseverance and patience." Essential for all libraries.-Deborah Bigelow, Leonia P.L., NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Success expert Jack Canfield, the co-creator of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, has collected 64 essential lessons for attaining goals in The Success Principles. These principles include the personal basics, such as "Be clear why you're here," and "Believe in yourself," as well as those aimed at creating better relationships, such as "Speak with impeccability," and "Say no to the good so that you can say yes to the great." He also presents the essential ideas that can create success with money, teams, and starting the journey. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Arielle Ford
“. . .a must-read for everyone who is looking to attain new heights in his or her life.”
Anthony Robbins
Praise for the first Edition of The Success Principles: “Canfield’s principles are simple, but the results you’ll achieve will be extraordinary!”
Harvey Mackay
“If you could read only one book this year, you have it in your hands.”
Michael E. Gerber
“Great book, great read, great gift for anyone committed to becoming a Master of Life!”
John Gray
“I have personally learned a lot from Jack Canfield and I trust you will too.”
Ken Blanchard
“. . .an illuminating and easy-to-read book. Jack’s teaching is highly effective. . . .”
Les Brown
“. . .the best success classic to come along in decades. . . .”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
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5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Success Principles

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
By Canfield, Jack


ISBN: 0060594888

Principle One

Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind,
but you can change yourself.

Jim Rohn America's foremost business philosopher

One of the most pervasive myths in the American culture today is that we are entitled to a great life -- that somehow, somewhere, someone (certainly not us) is responsible for filling our lives with continual happiness, exciting career options, nurturing family time, and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist.

But the real truth -- and the one lesson this whole book is based on -- is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live.

That person is you.

If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life. This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings -- everything!

This is not easy.

In fact, most of us have been conditioned to blame something outside of ourselves for the parts of our life we don't like. We blame our parents,our bosses, our friends, the media, our coworkers, our clients, our spouse, the weather, the economy, our astrological chart, our lack of money -- anyone or anything we can pin the blame on. We never want to look at where the real problem is -- ourselves.

There is a wonderful story told about a man who is out walking one night and comes upon another man down on his knees looking for something under a streetlamp. The passerby inquires as to what the other man is looking for. He answers that he is looking for his lost key. The passerby offers to help and gets down on his knees and helps him search for the key. After an hour of fruitless searching, he says, "We've looked everywhere for it and we haven't found it. Are you sure that you lost it here?"

The other man replies, "No, I lost it in my house, but there is more light out here under the streetlamp."

It is time to stop looking outside yourself for the answers to why you haven't created the life and results you want, for it is you who creates the quality of the life you lead and the results you produce.

You -- no one else!

To achieve major success in life -- to achieve those things that are most important to you -- you must assume 100% responsibility for your life. Nothing less will do.

One Hundred Percent Responsibility For Everything

As I mentioned in the introduction, back in 1969 -- only 1 year out of graduate school -- I had the good fortune to work for W. Clement Stone. He was a self-made multimillionaire worth $600 million at the time -- and that was long before all the dot-com millionaires came along in the '90s. Stone was also America's premier success guru. He was the publisher of Success Magazine, author of The Success System That Never Fails, and coauthor with Napoleon Hill of Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.

When I was completing my first week's orientation, Mr. Stone asked me if I took 100% responsibility for my life.

"I think so," I responded.

"This is a yes or no question, young man. You either do or you don't."

"Well, I guess I'm not sure."

"Have you ever blamed anyone for any circumstance in your life? Have you ever complained about anything?"

"Uh ... yeah ... I guess I have."

"Don't guess. Think."

"Yes, I have."

"Okay, then. That means you don't take one hundred percent responsibility for your life. Taking one hundred percent responsibility means you acknowledge that you create everything that happens to you. It means you understand that you are the cause of all of your experience. If you want to be really successful, and I know you do, then you will have to give up blaming and complaining and take total responsibility for your life -- that means all your results, both your successes and your failures. That is the prerequisite for creating a life of success. It is only by acknowledging that you have created everything up until now that you can take charge of creating the future you want.

"You see, Jack, if you realize that you have created your current conditions, then you can uncreate them and re-create them at will. Do you understand that?"

"Yes, sir, I do."

"Are you willing to take one hundred percent responsibility for your life?"

"Yes, sir, I am!"

And I did.

You Have to Give Up All Your Excuses

Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.

George Washington Carver Chemist who discovered over 325 uses for the peanut

If you want to create the life of your dreams, then you are going to have to take 100% responsibility for your life as well. That means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reasons why you can't and why you haven't up until now, and all your blaming of outside circumstances. You have to give them all up forever.

You have to take the position that you have always had the power to make it different, to get it right, to produce the desired result. For whatever reason -- ignorance, lack of awareness, fear, needing to be right, the need to feel safe -- you chose not to exercise that power. Who knows why? It doesn't matter. The past is the past. All that matters now is that from this point forward you choose -- that's right, it's a choice -- you choose to act as if (that's all that's required -- to act as if ) you are 100% responsible for everything that does or doesn't happen to you ... Continues...

Excerpted from The Success Principles by Canfield, Jack Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are saying about this

Harvey Mackay
“If you could read only one book this year, you have it in your hands.”
John Gray
“I have personally learned a lot from Jack Canfield and I trust you will too”
Michael E. Gerber
“Great book, great read, great gift for anyone committed to becoming a Master of Life!”
Les Brown
“. . .the best success classic to come along in decades. . . .”
Anthony Robbins
“Canfield’s principles are simple, but the results you’ll achieve will be extraordinary!:
Ken Blanchard
“. . .an illuminating and easy-to-read book. Jack’s teaching is highly effective. . . .”

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is the cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor with Gay Hendricks of You've GOT to Read This Book! An internationally renowned corporate trainer, keynote speaker, and popular radio and TV talk show guest, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Brief Biography

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

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Success Principles 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 116 reviews.
AveAV More than 1 year ago
This book is by far the best, most effective personal development book I have read so far. I have taken a serious interest in personal development not only for me but to help my childrean prepare for life as adults. I also hope to someday be a personal development leader. I have read many good books from many inspirational people. Jack Canfield's Success Principles is by far the best. The book is easy to read. The principles are simple to follow and they are life changing. The third party stories are truly inspiring. I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to improve any area of their lives.
undercovermillionaire More than 1 year ago
I've read several different reviews of this book that complained about Mr. Canfield's tendency to name drop, or to bombard the reader with reading recommendations and website links - I found this to be the case in Success Principles, but I believe Mr. Canfield's intention was to provide his readers with the resources they would need to continue their journey to success on their own. I thoroughly enjoyed Success Principles, but I believe that the book's greatest strength is not its readability, but rather its ability to motivate. If ever a book could lead a horse to water, this is the one. Imagine The Secret, but with fewer esoteric musings and more real-world examples. I strongly recommend this book to those who find themselves frustrated, burnt out, or simply in need of a compass to guide them to the light at the end of the tunnel. ~KV
TonyReview More than 1 year ago
I've probably bought around 20 or so copies of this book for friends and family because it is THAT GOOD. It's Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, showing you how the steps on how to become successful. When I first bought this book, I had a small business that was losing around $2000 a month. I figured that within 3 months I would no longer be in business. After reading the book and applying it's principles, my business produced a $6000 profit within one month. The techniques and advice in here work! All you have to do is learn and apply them.
swsmomma More than 1 year ago
So thankful I decided to buy this one! Not only very inspiring, it gives really practical advice on taking action! Being able to use this book has helped me to get passed the mental blockades I have used for self-sabotage in the past! This book can be easily used by anyone that has the gnawing feeling in their gut saying, "there is more out there for you." It helps you narrow down what that 'more out there' is for you and how to get it! Realizing that obtaining what one wants in life truly begins and ends with self-thought intertwined with self-action AND how to put it all into action has been nothing less than liberating!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read many similiar books to 'The Success Principles', most only cover 7-12 points depending on the target audience. However, Canfield's book covers everyone's 7-12 points creating a fabulous composite of many other great success works and the concepts presented by other authors. If you buy one book this year, this should be the one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you could only read one self-help book, make it this one. Funny, motivational, inspirational. It will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think and make you realize that you CAN get to where you want to go. It is over 400 pages, but it is so well written that you simply fly through the pages. I am not recommending it to my friends - I am buying it and giving them a copy. The price - $24.95 (before BN discount). The value - PRICELESS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was ready to move my business forward and found this book at my local library. It is so good and has so much information that I am now purchasing it to keep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've ever wanted Jack Canfield to personally mentor you in achieving your highest vision, this book is the next best thing to having him as your personal guide. It's packed with information, inspiration, and-most importantly-understanding. Along with his proven strategies, Jack's support, compassion, and integrity shine through.
NLacey More than 1 year ago
This book is inspiring and life changing. The advice and additional resources available with the book provide concrete methods to truly change your life. Buy it, read it, buy it for your friends and work together to move your life towards your ultimate vision.
GSQ_Rider More than 1 year ago
Although there's nothing "new" (vis a vis other self help books), the book is a very good summary of the necessary principles to be successful. I like how real life examples are included and how each chapter is short and to the point. Most of the exercises are good. The one thing that I did not like about this book is how success is defined in terms of money or material goods. However, I do think the principles are sound e.g. define what your goals are, be positive, learn from mistakes, visualization, networking -- these principles certainly can be applied for non-material goals as well.
Bob33 More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable reading, Jack Canfield's book reads easy and I always feel motivated after reading a chapter. I would highly recommend The Success Principles to all as one of the better self improvement books I have read. Bob
jewelrydesigner More than 1 year ago
As with anything you read, you take the advice given and apply it to your own life. I think this book was laid out very nicely and the information very informative and useful. I have read another book by this author and if you are looking for a book to just lay it out there and inspire you, this is the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to make some changes in their life. Wonderful and easy reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the BEST book I have ever read on how to succeed. It has helped me so much. This is the first book I have ever read by Jack Canfield, and it won't be my last. You will have to read and study it more than once, because it has so much info. Jack knows what he is talking about. Truly a FIVE star book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely wonderful book.  Small bits of brilliant advice that will change your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The name says it all. This book is packed full of must do principles to help you get to the next level. I am already seeing results just using a few of the ideas presented here. Even if you have read many success books, I highly recommend this one for new ideas and to remind you of some of the ideas you know but aren't using.
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Wounderful topics. It suits all types of people.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, I own in hardback and ebook. I would call this the bible to success and motivation. I think anyone who is willing to work hard to fulfill their dreams can use his blue print. Mr. Canfield also suggests vital websites and other personal motivational books. My only issue that caused me not to give it stars is the E-book didn't come with all the illustrations as it did in the hardback.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago