The one invaluable lesson you should teach your kids this summer

Happy family having fun on the beach

The one invaluable lesson you should teach your kids this summer

Wow, can you believe we’re almost at the end of June?

If you’re a parent with school-aged kids, this means they’re home for the holidays. What are you going to do with them this summer?

I have an idea – why not teach them one of the most important lessons they’ll ever learn:


If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m a huge advocate for taking 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life. It’s the first thing I teach people in my book, The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, and it’s the single most important lesson to learn if you want to live a successful, personally fulfilling life.

And the good news is, you can learn it at any age.

It doesn’t matter how old your kids are – whether they’re still in diapers or attending university – they’re never too young to start learning that THEY have control over what happens in their life, and that they have the power to create whatever kind of experience they want.

What does it mean to take 100% responsibility?

Taking 100% responsibility for your life means acknowledging that YOU create everything that happens to you. YOU are the cause of all of your experiences.

Your children must understand that THEY are the reason they are feeling happy or sad, cowardly or brave, strong or weak, lonely or comforted, like a high achiever or low achiever.

THEY are they only ones who control their destiny and have the power to create the future they want. And the only way they can do this is to give up whining and blaming and complaining and take total responsibility for everything that happens in their life.

The one equation your kids should know (even if they really hate math)

The power of taking 100% responsibility can be summed up in this simple equation:


Event + Response = Outcome

In other words, every outcome you experience in life is the result of how you responded to an earlier event or events.

For example, maybe your kids are tired and grumpy and not having any fun because they didn’t listen to you and go to bed at a decent time.

Maybe your son fell off his skateboard and scraped his knee because he didn’t put on his kneepads like you asked.

Or maybe your daughter doesn’t have enough money to buy the video game she wants because she didn’t do her chores.

Whatever pain or unhappiness they’re feeling isn’t because they live in a cruel or hurtful world, but because their response to a certain event has led to the outcome they’re now dealing with.

EVENT: It’s bedtime

RESPONSE: They decided to stay up late

RESULT: They’re tired, grumpy, and not having fun

EVENT: Skateboarding time

RESPONSE: I’m too cool to wear kneepads

OUTCOME: Skinned knees

EVENT: Chore time

RESPONSE: She ignores her responsibilities

OUTCOME: No new game for her!

Would these kids have achieved a different outcome if they had responded to the event in a different way? Absolutely!

So if your children don’t like the outcomes they’re getting in their lives – whether it’s in the classroom, in sports, in their relationships with their siblings or friends – there are two basic choices they can make:

  1. They can blame the events (E) for whatever anger, frustration, or unhappiness they’re feeling (O).
  2. They can change their responses (R) to the events (E)—the way things are—until they get the outcomes (O) you want.

Your children need to know that they have control over only three things in their life—the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. How they use these three things determines everything they experience.

How do you teach them this invaluable lesson?

If you’re a parent, you know how effective it is to constantly be nagging your kids. (Hint: not at all.)

So how do you teach them to take 100% responsibility – in a way that gets them to listen?

Simple: with love and compassion and a whole lot of patience.

Not by lecturing them or focusing on what they did wrong, but encouraging them to evaluate the situation for themselves and consider what they might have done to get a more favourable outcome.

Here are a couple scenarios to illustrate what I mean:


Your youngest son comes into the room, crying. “Michael hit me!”

Instead of yelling for your older son to come into the room, you calmly say: “Why did he hit you?”

“For no reason at all!”

“Really? He just hit you out of the blue? You did nothing at all to make him angry?”  

He shuffles his feet. “We-ell, I was playing with his water gun.”

“Did he tell you not to play with his water gun?”

“Yes. But he didn’t have to hit me!”

“No, he didn’t, and I’m going to talk to him about that. But you need to recognize the role that YOUR actions played in this situation. Why were you playing with his water gun when he told you not to?”

He shrugs. “I wanted to.”

“Was it worth getting hit?”


“So the next time your brother asks you not to do something, are you going listen to him?”


“All right, lesson learned. Remember, when you keep on doing something that someone has asked you not to do, people are going to get angry. And angry people sometimes lash out by yelling or hitting. Now come over here so I can give you a hug.”


Your older son walks into the room.

“I hear you hit your brother,” you say.

He scowls. “I didn’t hit him that hard! It was just a tap.”

“It was hard enough to make him cry.”

“Well, he shouldn’t have taken my water gun! I told him not to do it – but he never listens!”

“I know, and I’ve talked to him about that. But right now I’m talking to you and the fact that you lost your temper and actually HIT him. Do you think that was the right thing to do?”

“No,” he mumbles.

“What would have been a better way to handle it?”

He thinks for a moment. “I could have just told him to give it to me. And if he didn’t listen, I could have come and got you to tell him.”

You nod. “Yep, those are better ideas. So what can you do right now that will help you to remember not to lose your temper in the future? After all, you did hit him hard enough to make him cry. If you had an older brother who did that to you, how would that make you feel?”

“Not very good,” he admits. “Maybe I could tell him I was sorry and read him a book to make up for it.”

“That would be nice,” you agree. “Why don’t you go do that?”

He walks out of the room to find his little brother.


Your teenaged daughter comes home from school clearly upset.

“What’s wrong?” you ask her.

“Nothing,” she says.

“Really? Because you look unhappy about something.”

She doesn’t say anything for a moment, then bursts out: “Winnie Taylor told everyone not to hang out with me anymore because she thinks I kissed Aidan Smith. But I didn’t! I was just talking to him because he’s a friend. And even if I did kiss him, who cares? Winnie and him broke up last month!”

Hoo boy, you think. “So what are you going to do?”

She shrugs miserably. “I don’t know.”

“Well – what outcome do you want? Remember, you’re the only one who’s responsible for what you experience in life.”

She sighs. “I just want everything to go back to normal. I want everyone to stop talking about me and acting stupid.”

You nod. “So what can YOU do to make that happen? The only things you have control over are the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”

She thinks for a moment. “I guess I could change my thoughts by telling myself not to worry about it too much. Maybe if I treat it as no big deal, it won’t become a big deal. Winnie does this kind of stuff all the time. Last month she told everyone to stop hanging out with Simone – and that blew over in a couple of weeks.”

“That’s a good idea,” you agree. “So what could you visualize?”

“Me having fun with my friends,” she says, brightening. “Especially Amber and Leah. They’re my best friends, anyway – and they know Winnie is full of it. Who cares what anyone else thinks?”

“Good point! So what action can you take?”

“I’m going to text Amber and Leah and see if they want to hang out tomorrow. And I’ll just ignore everyone who’s acting weird. It’s their problem, not mine. And if anyone asks me about Aidan, I’ll laugh it off and say we’re just friends. It IS the truth, after all.”

She gives you a hug then runs upstairs to text her friends.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day

Learning how to take 100% responsibility for your life is difficult for most ADULTS to do. So don’t expect your kids to become experts at it overnight!

Be patient as you teach them this invaluable life lesson – and with every conflict, crisis, or opportunity that comes their way – encourage them to remember the E+R=O formula and apply it to the situation in a way that will ensure they get the best possible outcome.

It takes time for this way of approaching life to become second nature – which is why the sooner you encourage your kids to start thinking this way, the better. If you’re persistent, they WILL pick it up – and you will have helped them master a powerful lesson that will place them firmly on the path to creating a successful, fulfilling life for themselves.

If you have any ideas on how to teach the 100% Responsibility principle to kids, please share them with us on my Facebook page! I think all of us parents have to work together to create future generations that will make the world a better place.

Share your ideas here:


I look forward to reading them!


You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

An Inside Look at my Private Retreats – New Video!

My team recently put together a video which gives an “inside look” into the world of my private retreats!

Often times, words cannot describe the full experience of  attending one my retreats . It’s so much more than what you learned, who you met, and what you got out of it. It’s how you FELT while you were there… how you were never the same again.

So, with my annual luxury retreat coming up in Italy this summer, I wanted to share a highlight video from our last luxury retreat in California. It’s the closest I can get to sharing the feeling with you of what it’s like to be with me at one of my private retreats.

In this video, you’ll see parts of the curriculum of the retreat, including:

  • Mastermind Sessions
  • Guided Meditation
  • One-on-One Strategy Sessions with me personally
  • ….And some fun activity time which we always include

The greatest joy in my life is to work directly with people one-on-one or in small groups and witness their transformations firsthand. We have been doing these private retreats since 2010 and each one is more powerful than the last. 

I would be honored to work with you at this year’s upcoming retreat in Tuscany, Italy!
For more information or to apply click here.

OR, call my Program Director, Alice Refauvelet, at 805-881-5181 and she can answer any questions you may have about the program.

I hope to meet you in Italy soon!

5 Reasons Why Self-Motivated Learners Win at Life

Self motivated student looking toward future with binoculars

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
– Mahatma Ghandi

5 Reasons Why Self-Motivated Learners Win at Life

In Japan, the word for constant and never-ending improvement is kaizen. Not only is kaizen an operating philosophy for modern Japanese businesses, it’s also the age-old philosophy of the warrior class—and it has become the personal mantra of millions of successful people all over the world.

All the world-class achievers I’ve ever met – whether in business, sports, or the arts – are committed to continual improvement and self motivation. They understand that in order to succeed in an ever-changing world, they must always be learning and evolving.

They don’t wait until external influences – such as a teacher, manager or boss, or new developments within an industry – force them to gain new skills or knowledge. They are self-motivated learners who are constantly looking for new ways to improve their performance and deepen their understanding of the world around them.

Are you a self-motivated learner?

Here are 5 ways to tell if you’re a self-motivated learner who has what it takes to achieve incredible success in life…

1. You learn because you WANT to, not because you think you “have” to

Are you a naturally curious person? A motivated person tends to ask more questions and devote more time to discovering the answers. If you are the kind of person who actively pursues your personal interests, you’ll find it easier to naturally acquire the skills and knowledge you need to design a life that’s more in alignment with your goals and dreams.

2. You’re willing to admit you don’t know everything

Do you have a greater sense of self-awareness? Self-motivated learners tend to have a deeper understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. If you view gaps in your knowledge as growth opportunities, you’ll be able to upgrade your skill set to achieve even higher levels of success.

3. You’re willing to take bigger risks – and get bigger results

Are you driven by a strong sense of personal achievement? Self-motivated learners thrive on accomplishment and have more confidence in their abilities because they are able to achieve so much on their own initiative. If you’re not afraid to leave your comfort zone and take big risks, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

4. You’re more likely to finish what you start

Do you refuse to give up in the face of setbacks? When self-motivated learners experience challenges, their drive to succeed increases! If you have a strong sense of personal accountability, you will naturally be better at managing your time and avoiding distraction – and will see your projects through to completion faster.

5. You’re always two steps ahead of the pack

Are you a naturally pro-active person? Self-achievers refuse to wait for changing circumstances to force them to adapt. If you are continually learning, you will be able to anticipate new developments long before they happen and thrive in an ever-changing world no matter what life throws your way.

How many times did you answer “Yes”?

If you answered “Yes!” to four or more of the questions above, congratulations! You are a self-motivated learner.

If you didn’t answer yes to most of the questions, the good news is that these habits can be developed over time.

All you need to do is make the commitment to become a self-motivated learner. Set aside a specific amount of time each week to expand your knowledge and upgrade your skill set – and stick to it!

The more you learn, the more you will naturally want to KEEP learning because of the huge positive impact it will have on your life and career.

If you ARE a self-motivated learner – or want to become one – here’s an exciting opportunity just for you.

I am in the process of launching a brand-new Train the Trainer Online Certification Program that has been specifically designed for self-motivated learners like you.

This self-directed online course allows you to learn the exact same content I teach during my popular Train the Trainer Live certification program – but you’ll be able to complete the entire course (and become certified) from the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price.

And best of all, you can master these skills at your own pace, on your own schedule – so you’ll be able to put my proven Success Principles training methodology to work in your own life and career right away!

Click here to learn more about Train the Trainer online.

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When Goals are Forgotten: 4 Steps to Regain Self Motivation and Get Back on Track

Most people start pursuing their goals with great passion. But over time, they lose momentum, burn out and put their dreams aside.

If this happens to you, it’s a clear-cut sign that your goals are not sustainable. In the next few minutes you’ll discover how to get back on track toward your goals – and accelerate your momentum.

1. Evaluate Your Motivation

If you’ve lost momentum toward your goals, the first thing to do is verify your commitment. A lot of our goals tend to be “should’s” rather than deep “want to’s.” But I’ve discovered that without a burning desire to achieve a goal, your motivation wanes quickly, and your subconscious mind turns its attention to more exciting desires.

For example, many people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight – a goal that often falls into the “should” category. We feel like should lose weight because it will make us healthier, reduce stress on our joints, and make us feel more confident and attractive. Unfortunately, these benefits are typically not compelling enough to motivate us to keep our commitment to lose the extra pounds.

However, if you find out that a new baby will soon join your family, your “why” suddenly becomes bigger. Now you’re motivated to lose weight because doing so will increase the odds that you’ll be around to watch that baby grow into adulthood.

Pull out your list of goals, and for each one, ask, “What is my why? Why do I want to achieve this? And am I committed enough to my why to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal?” By identifying or even upgrading your “why,” you can tap into greater motivation and commitment to achieve your goal.

2. Create an Action Plan

Once you’ve confirmed that your goals are things you truly want to achieve, the next thing to do is to create an action plan. 

One by one, break each of your goals down. Get clear on what would really be required to achieve each goal. Realistically assess how many hours it would take each week or day to achieve the goal.

Next, start scheduling all of the activities that are required to achieve your various goals. (Note: If you don’t know all of the steps to achieve them, just list the ones that you are aware of for the purposes of this exercise; the rest of the steps will unfold once you begin taking action.)

Once you start scheduling key activities into your calendars, many of us begin to realize that there’s not enough time in our schedules to accomplish everything we want to do. If this is the case for you, go back and prioritize your goals. Which goals matter the most to you? Do any of your goals need to achieved before you can start working on another goal?

3. Declare Your Intentions

When you’re clear about which goals you’ll work on, you can increase your commitment by publicly declaring your intentions. Share your goals with the people in your life – the more, the better. You’ll be more likely to take action toward achieving your goals when the alternative is losing face with people about whom you care.

If the threat of public humiliation isn’t enough, you also can incorporate a negative consequence. Find something that will be painful for you to do, and publicly commit to enduring the consequence if you don’t achieve your goal.

Some people are more motivated by rewards than punishments. If this describes you, figure out how to find a reward that you’ll receive upon completion of your goal. This could be anything from a vacation to buying the car you want or something more simple, such as treating yourself to a new outfit, Louis Vuitton bag or a massage. Rewards are powerful for motivating your inner child.

Evaluating your progress AND level of motivation frequently will help maintain your momentum. By declaring your intentions, you can drill down on the specific area that needs more inspiration.

Imagine your goal is to write a bestseller but you struggle to stay focused.

What should you do?

In this case, you can look to experienced authors to provide tips to keep your writing motivation levels revved up.

4. Creating Accountability

Most of us find it easy to let ourselves off the hook. We can quickly justify why we haven’t followed through on our commitment to take action on any particular day, just as we can easily make excuses about why we miss our targets completely.

If you find yourself frequently slipping into these habits, an accountability partner will be a huge benefit to you. In fact, I believe so strongly in accountability partners that  participants at my annual Breakthrough to Success training  pair up with another attendee as their accountability partner before they leave.

Accountability partnerships work as follows: Each morning, you hold a 5-minute phone call during which you each share what you’re committing to do that day. For example, you could share your “Rule of 5,” in which you commit to doing 5 things to move you toward your biggest goal. (Tip: Use my Top 5 Priority Action Post-It notes to keep your commitment front and center.)

The next morning, you report on your progress from the previous day and share what you’ll accomplish in the coming 24-hour period. Knowing that your partner will be asking you whether you upheld your commitments the day before can be a powerful motivator for getting tasks completed.

A proven twist on accountability partnerships is working toward your goal with another person. For example, I meditate with my wife every morning. We hold each other accountable. If I sleep in too late, I can count on Inga to wake me up and say, “Come on, we’re meditating now.”

If you find that having a friend or colleague serve as your accountability partner is not enough, consider hiring a professional, such as a coach or trainer. These individuals may be better equipped to recognize self-sabotaging behaviors and beliefs – as well as to hold you accountable for taking action. And if you’re someone who hates to waste money, knowing that you’re paying someone to hold you accountable might be the added motivation you need to keep your commitments.

Get Back on Track – Starting TODAY!

It’s normal to veer off course when pursuing goals. Sometimes this happens because we’re not truly committed to our goals. Other times, it’s because we struggle to hold ourselves accountable for doing the necessary work. Use the tips in this article to get yourself back on track in making steady progress in turning your dreams into a reality.

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You May Also Enjoy:

Visualization Techniques to Affirm Your Desired Outcomes: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Meditate for Clarity, Intuition & Guidance

How to Create an Empowering Vision Board

You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE tips for success and strategies from Jack Canfield now at: