Keys to Success

Never did I think I would be writing about success and chicken soup—but a recent article in USA Today on May 12, 2015 was about the 10th anniversary of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield, co-creator of the very popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, changed my mind.

In this book, the author has some very good advice—he says, “If I could live my ideal life, what would I be doing?” Or, he suggests you think of someone whose life and work you admire, and then think of how you might create something similar in your own life.

Think about all the career advice you’ve received—this is so simple but I think he is really on to something. In this book, he discusses 67 principles for success and in the formula he uses in all the Chicken Soup books, he tells stories of people who’ve applied these principles to their lives.

Some of the principles he discusses are:

1. Take 100% responsibility for your life. You can’t blame others for the parts of your life you don’t like.
2. Take action. He says, “When you take action, you trigger all kinds of things that will inevitably carry you to success.”
3. Develop four new success habits a year—one at a time. Consider what habits you either want to change or develop. For example, I’d like stop (or at least limit) procrastinating. He says it takes three months to change a habit—guess I will start on that tomorrow!
4. Commit to constant and never –ending improvement. He says that successful people are extremely curious and commit to learning something every single day. They are often voracious readers (and as an author, I love that!)
5. Face what isn’t working. He says, “A lot of people don’t deal with what’s not working, because it means they’d have to do something that is uncomfortable. They stay in jobs they don’t like because they think they can’t get another one, but instead they need to get out and get training to get another one. If you gave up one hour of TV a day, that would be 365 hours or 9 and ½ 40 hour weeks of additional time to exercise, read, go back to school for your master’s degree and take on-line courses.”
6. Be a class act. He says, “Class acts leave places better than they find then. They are always positive. They are always willing to help.”
7. Find a way to serve. He says that “research shows that people who volunteer live longer, recover from illness faster and report being happier.” I know this to be true—my mother volunteered until she died at age 94. She even asked us to tell people at her memorial service that volunteering was important and reminded us that when you volunteer, you get back even more than you give. Mother was a great role model for me and so many others!

These keys to success ring true for me—how about you?


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