7 Steps for Creating the Life YOU Want


We all aspire to do, be, and have great things. Yet most of us simply haven't created the successful life we want, yet.

We complain that we don't have enough money, romance, success or joy in our lives. We point fingers and blame outside problems that "happen" to us and make life more difficult. But what we need to understand and keep at the forefront of our minds is that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out of ourselves.

Regardless of personal circumstances, economic climates, and access to resources, it helps to maintain faith in the fact that we each are more powerful than we think. We all have the ability to create the life we want. We just need to learn how to do it.

Is there an exact "formula"? No, but there are certain common features that successful people exhibit and that anyone can practice. They are what can jumpstart your success and attract what you want in life. You'd be hard pressed to find any high achiever who doesn't live by the following 7 tips:

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1. Take No Less than 100% Responsibility for Your Life

One of the greatest myths that is pervasive in our culture today is the idea that you are entitled to a great life – and that somehow, somewhere, someone 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 is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you.

Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. That person who reflects back at you in the mirror is the chief conductor in your life. Say hello!

I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but the mind can play games, tricking plenty of people into thinking external factors are the source of failure, disappointment, and unhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that external factors don't determine how you live. You are in complete control of the quality of your life.

Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don't waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.

2. Be Clear Why You're Here

I believe each of us is born with a life purpose. Identifying, acknowledging and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take.

They take the time to understand what they're here to do, and then they pursue that purpose with passion and enthusiasm.

If you don't know what you're supposed to be doing, tune in to the signals around you. Looking toward others for help and guidance is helpful, but don't forget to stay tuned in to yourself—your behavior, attitude, likes and dislikes, and life experiences. Identify what's working and what isn't. If you need to, write it all down. You might be surprised by what you discover.

3. Decide What You Want

It sounds so simple, but here's the problem: I see plenty of people who are overly busy yet who feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They are physically tired, spiritually drained, and far from where they'd like to be—as if they've been running on a treadmill going nowhere fast.

Why? Because they haven't clearly mapped out what they want and then taken the steps to get there. Rather than identifying specific goals, milestones, and dreams (and I'm talking BIG dreams and goals here), they go through the motions day in and day out tackling unimportant tasks. They end up...you guessed it...going in circles and wasting lots of energy. In the meanwhile, they grow increasingly uninspired and out of touch with their authentic selves. This, of course, sets anyone up to living a life out of balance.

One of the main reasons why most people don't get what they want is they haven't decided what they want. They haven't defined their desires in clear and compelling detail. What does success look like to you? Not everybody's definition of success is the same, nor should it be.

Don't let your inner devil's advocate (or that incessant but unimportant To Do list) inhibit you from dreaming big. As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it happen. You'll start attracting the people, resources, and opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big dreams not only inspire you, but they also compel others to want to play big, too.

4. Believe It Is Possible

Scientists used to believe that humans responded to information flowing into the brain from the outside world. But today, they're learning that instead we respond to what the brain, based on previous experience, expects to happen next. In fact, the mind is such a powerful instrument, it can deliver literally everything you want. But you have to believe that what you want is possible.

As you commit to believing in yourself, also make a commitment to toning down the complaint department. Look at what you are complaining about:

I'm fat.
I'm tired.
I can't get out of debt.
I won't ever get a better job.
I can't stand the relationship I have with my father.
I'll never find a soul mate in life.

Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.

5. Believe in Yourself

If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence or self-assurance, it is a deep-seated belief that you have what it takes; the abilities, inner resources, talents and skills to create your desired results.

Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to believe that you create all your experiences. You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you. Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that—little hills to hop over.

6. Become an Inverse Paranoid

This one is straightforward: Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity. Successful people do just that.

7. Unleash the Power of Goal Setting

Experts on the science of success know the brain is a goal-seeking organism. Whatever goal you give to your subconscious mind, it will work day and night to achieve. To engage you subconscious mind, a goal has to be measurable. When there aren't any criteria for measurement, it is simply something you want, a wish, a preference, or a good idea.

Sometimes we need to make just one initial goal to get started, and that's okay. At least it comes with a few actions to achieve. A first step simply can be making an immediate change in a single area in your life. Are you unhappy about something that is happening right now? Make requests that will make it more desirable to you, or take the steps to change it yourself.

Remember that self-motivated people win at life so always push yourself to accomplish your goals and learn new skills.

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If you want a different outcome, change your behavior

Making a change might be uncomfortable and overwhelming for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it, or makes you feel bad about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice so why continue to complain? You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice and you have responsibility for your choices.

Pro tip: Use daily affirmations to focus on your goals and reprogram your subconscious mind.

Bear in mind that you have to be willing to change your behavior if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you've already taken an initial step in the right direction, now's the time to plan more steps to keep moving you forward faster. That's how people become successful!

Isn't it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn't it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else?

So, if you need just one thing to do different today than you did yesterday, make it this: Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process you'll discover it is much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!

And if you'd like my help in creating true life transformation for yourself, or for others around you, then I invite you to attend my free webcast, called "The 7 Pillars of True Life Transformation." During the webcast, you'll discover how to overcome the obstacles and fears that are holding you back from achieving your biggest goals. Reserve your spot now.

Achieve Your Goals By Training Others to Achieve Theirs

Are you good at teaching others how to do something? Or leading groups?

Would you be interested in teaching my Success Principles to others to make more money? Could you teach seminars locally? Can you offer a class at the local high school or community college? Could you lead a workgroup at the office to incorporate these principles on the job or in your department? Or could you boost your existing career as a professional trainer?

If you can envision yourself as a dynamic and powerful presenter you should apply for my Train the Trainer Live certification program. It's an advanced 10-month skill development and mentorship program for those who want to increase their impact and monetize their message. 

You don't have to be a master of implementing these principles to lead a group, since I’ll help you become a master trainer as part of this immersive professional program.
Imagine the workgroups, clubs, sales teams, women’s groups, entrepreneurs, or companies where people could be working together to support each other in actively living these principles. The results would be miraculous. And YOU can be the person that makes that happen. Click the button below to learn more.

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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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com


  • A great way to start the year Jack. Thank you!

    • Is there an exact "formula"? No, but there are certain common features that successful people exhibit and that anyone can practice. They are what can jumpstart your success and attract what you want in life. You'd be hard pressed to find any high achiever who doesn't live by the following 7 tips:

  • Mr. Canfield I followed your 90 day focusing system from your free resources and acheived most of my goals! Thank you for all the free resources on your website. "Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take." Awesome article!

  • Nathaniel Munetsi

    Its a very formidable formula and it works - thanks Jack for the article and for the book

  • This article is a great reminder of the live teachings that I have participated in with you.

    I have just been through a period of taking massive action and making changes in my life. I wrote the book Divine Divorce which will be published in February, I have moved from Canada to Belize and now I will settle down in Mexico.

    After all of this work and making big changes I notice that I have been resting and not moving forward with more massive action. I know what needs to be done and I know where I want to go. This article reminds me that I have let your #1 point slip a little, taking 100% responsibility for what I am creating. I have been taking a holiday, when what really serves me is to keep my eye on the target, set some goals and keep taking consistent action to move forward.

    Thank you for all your inspiration over the last 5 years.

    Love and Hugs,


  • Andy Arbeitman

    Thank you for your willingness to give others encouragement and hope!

    791 If you want your relationships to thrive, you must invest in them by being a giver rather than a taker!

    Giving is such a good feeling
    I will reach out and serve when I can
    Victories are not always measured in wins
    Each of us has a special treasure to share
    Remember it takes just one to make a change!

    Andy Jay

  • Borgert Kimalee

    Thank you for offering your permisson to use this wonderful article. I was wondering how I could get your permission to use it as I read.

    Also, I love the new Inner Circle site.

  • Hi Jack and Happy New Year!
    This is a great 7 step summary of your Success Principles. Thank you for all your words of wisdom and encouragment!
    Peace, LTL

  • mcpadden

    Great article and inspiring to move forward in the new year.

  • Arnaud Tawuo

    Thank you Jack for your amazing work. It changed my life 18 months ago when I bought your "Success Principles" book. By applying those little steps, I have been able to take full responsibility for my life, to clearly discover what is my purpose on this earth, to develop an high sense of confidence even when all the odds are again me sometimes, most importantly to unleash the power of setting and reaching my goals.

    Your work is formidable.

  • PK Gupta

    Thanks a lot, Jack for very nice article. I attended one of your workshops in New Delhi about 10 years back on succees principle also have your signed copy with me. It has changed my life in many positive ways. I listen to many of your audios regularly. Inspiring stories. Thanks.

  • dom mari

    Hi Jack, if I can be so informal: I love your articles and inspirations. We all need that push. I stop and think, and get off the ride of the gerbal. Thanks again, it helps, Dom

  • Jacqlyn

    Thank you, Jack for a great article. A little planning goes a long way! 🙂

  • Karen

    Fantastic article. This is very motivating and inspiring. Thank you!


  • rosa vazquez

    graciias,por esta informacion tan valiosa,en verdad ayuda mucho,gracias por compartir

  • Shawmit Choudhary

    Thank you Mr Canfield for your wonderful words of inspiration. i know ill benefit greatly from them.

  • Shal

    As Always. On time. Simple, Nutritious, Good for the soul, One zip and I feel all better.
    My #1 Mentor, Jcak Canfield.

    When I need to go "Back to Basic", I find you!
    Thank You, Sir!

  • Lillian Schrader Machado

    I simply would like to say thank you for truly caring about people and sincerely wanting each individual on Earth to reach for the stars and anything in between. Thanks for your words of INSPIRATION!

  • Teresa Aker

    You changed my whole life and now mys successes are huge. I dream big, think big and I accomplish everything I put my mind to. I follow your tapes to motivate myself and my team. Thank you Jack. Teresa



  • Thank you for the 7 steps, Jack.

    This outline isn't only for the new year, but can be applied to every year for our entire lives. Now the challenge is as you say: to take the steps that you write about and implement them into a game plan for success.


  • Dinesh Rathi

    Thanks a lot Jack, it was really very inspiring.

    CA Dinesh Rathi

  • Bancy

    Thankyou jack

  • Aleu Ngor

    Thank you Jack for the grate work you have done to me. You have shown me what to do to be successful which I hope will change my life. As you said, the principle will not work unless you work the principle.

  • lawrence

    I watched the secret law of attraction last week and I must say that everything is falling in place now. My thoughts have gone from I don’t want to I want and from I cant to I can and I will. I am a child of God and I was able to align this teaching with his word so I am please to say that I have checks on the way that I’m waiting on right now an they wont stop coming in. I also am waiting on my wife that I want. I know her and shell be in my life very soon. I know that I was provided this information by god and I am very thankful. I even came across this web site because all I’ve been thinking about is the video I watched on Netflix. Lol unspeakable joy is what I have in my heart right now and its not going any where

    • Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. That person who reflects back at you in the mirror is the chief conductor in your life. Say hello!

  • Mr. Canfield, assisti seu vídeo no YouTube e li seu artigo. Eu estava precisando de uma palavra de motivação e encontrá-lo na internet foi como uma brisa num dia quente. Gostaria de compartilhar minha estória.
    Minha vida sempre foi cercada por pessoas que queriam me puxar para baixo, então sei muito bem que o que nos leva para frente somos apenas nossos próprios pensamentos. Ainda hoje me lembro de um episódio ocorrido há 20 anos atrás. Eu estava fazendo uma teste na escola e um professor ironicamente me perguntou se eu queria mesmo ser engenheira, pois ele não acreditava que eu seria capaz. Hoje tenho 2 graduações, uma em engenharia civil e outra em administração de empresas. Trabalho na construção civil desde a época em que estudava engenharia civil.
    Porém, no último ano tive uma experiência profissional desgastaste, que me deixou muito deprimida. Inclusive, essa má experiência incluiu uma empresa norte-americana, a qual estava em parceria com a empresa brasileira em que eu trabalhava, e que, graças ao esforço da equipe, ganhamos o projeto de uma nova indústria automobilística que está sendo construída aqui no Brasil. Trabalhamos arduamente neste projeto por quase 1 ano, inclusive não tenho nenhuma reclamação dos colegas norte-americanos. Mas, infelizmente, apesar de todo meu trabalho duro, não obtive o reconhecimento que esperava da empresa em que trabalhava.
    Como falado na sua palestra, tentei culpar elementos externos, mas todo o stress que eu sofri não me deixava enxergar que somente eu poderia sair daquela espiral descendente.
    Pedi demissão do meu emprego e fiquei desempregada. Consegui emprego em outra empresa, mas continuo infeliz na minha vida profissional e pessoal.
    Porém, encontrei muita inspiração nos conselhos que li em seu website. Estou traçando novas metas e pretendo me superar no ano de 2013. Muito obrigada!

  • Hello Jack, what a powerful, uplifting article,and it is so true! One thing I have done is take full responsibility for my life; I remember your saying that W.Clement Stone was the person who asked you if you took full responsibility for your life/actions.
    I, like you, taught in the Chicago public high schools (English) for many years,and I have finally left to pursue my dream of becoming a published author and inspirational speaker. I will need your help, Jack to make my dream a reality.
    Barbara J Henry

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    Your means of telling everything in this piece of writing is actually pleasant,
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  • Hi Jack

    Some great information in here that is timeless. I was at one of your Success Principles seminars in Dallas and it was a great day. The entire room was so energized with the information you shared with us.

    Our Website Design company has become much more productive simply by implementing the idea from that day and expanding them by reading the entire book. It is now required reading for all new staff members!

    Thanks for the great share.

    Richard Whyte
    WebYabber Marketing Inc.

  • Melba

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!
    ! Finally I've found something that helped me. Cheers!

  • Nitesh Mehra

    Hi Jack, This a life changing experience nd I now I believe that it's only me who can change my own life with self confidence and positive attitude, I have gained lots of experience in my life nd after reading nd listening to you thoughts, I know that I can use those experiences for my growth. These studies are really very helpfull nd important for every individuals, Thanks for your support nd inspirations.

  • Lance GK Frizell

    Love every one of those steps, number six "become an Inverse Paranoid" is a main key to success on a major level because you have to expect and envision good things happening before they can take place. Thanks for the good words Jack

  • Maria Silvia M Pompeu

    Hi, Jack. I´ve got to know you through Hale Dwoskin´s seminars. Great tips for life. Thank you. Greetings from sunny Brazil.

  • Kwaku Annor

    I like that Jack,'THE MIND IS A GOAL GRABBING MACHINE'. I'll run for life with it. Thank you Jack

  • rose nicole

    je suis infiniment reconnaissant pour pourpour cette puissante inspiration.que le Seigneur vous bénisse et vous comble d'avantages de toutes sortes de bénédictions.

  • Samara Renee

    Reading The Success Principles has completely changed my life. My life was stagnant for many years, but since reading the book and participating in the 10 day Transformation Workshop, I know that all of my dreams and goals can be accomplished!

  • Alleta Baltes

    Dreaming big and attracting new adventures. Owning my life and my dreams. Praying for success in all endeavors and new challenges. The "to do" list is not my dreams.

  • This is a very good article to start ones year with. I am highly excited in having the grace to go through this article and as such would also like to share it amongst my team and those that subscribed to my blogs. I am looking forward to attending one of your seminars this year. Thanks a bunch for the master piece @www.skobempire.com

  • Kim Cooper

    This will ba apart of my vision wall.thank you Jack Canfield

  • Jack,

    Thank you for reminding us of these important aspects of a successful life.

    The last point reminds me of your other comment that when we set goals and commit to them, the magic happen: we grow, we become more, and we can add value to others.

    Oh, and before I forget, thank you for your contribution to January's Success magazine CD. It is so great listening to you and Darren while driving. The great Great job.

    Have a great 2015!

    ¬jOsh lugEmbe is the author of the upcoming e-book 'Stand Tall. Life is Short. The Ultimate Guide to Continuous Personal Improvement (CPI) in 7 Ways'. He runs the personal development blog, theRichThoughs.com.¬

  • Colin Sansom

    A great reminder! All the above points are outlined in your very informative book.."The Success Principle. A life changing book and a must read.:)

  • Gabrielle Bogan

    loved this article, thank you!

  • Great article Jack! I find people to be lacking in Number 5 believe in yourself. I too lacked belief in myself a few years ago but since then I have changed my life for the better. I have become debt free, begun to build wealth and am on track to retire early. Its amazing what positive thought and belief can do for your life!

  • Excellent article on what it takes! This mirrors what Napoleon Hill says in "Outwitting the Devil"!

  • Candice Bradley

    Jack, just want you to know I think you're the cat's pajama's. I'm a skeptic, a college prof, and an editor. I'm not into magical thinking, and there is very little of that in "The Success Principles." Yes, I know some folks lump it in with "The Secret" et al.--but there's a lot of woowoo in "The Secret," and you're not pushing woowoo. There's nothing flaky about, "Take 100% responsibility for . . ." your life, your work, and just about everything else. That there says "I'm responsible." Not magical thinking. But me. My actions. My thinking. My planning. But you also don't dump on me that which is not mine, and you don't make me the center of the universe by implying that I can change things that are really not within my control. This is grownup philosophy--complete with boundaries.

    So as I said, Jack. Thanks for the book. I've had it for years and I love it. And thanks for being one of the places we rational folk can turn to for inspiration.

    Sincerely, Prof. Candice

  • Mihaela Necula

    Documentarul ''Secretul'',a fost pentru mine revelatia.

  • djinn123

    There's no god-dependent step. How refreshingly real.

  • earnestaddae

    A lesson learnt, if it ought to be, its up to me. Thanks so much Jack

  • Mjaka Flani amekasirika

    greatnesss is go for it...PASSION!

  • Kylan Jahnel

    I really loved this article. I always felt like I was doing the right thing, that I had a grip on my life, until recently I've been starting to feel like I'm unhappy in my current situation. Time to get my pen and journal to reflect with these helpful tips!

  • vee

    Hi Mr Canfield. I read the secret a few years ago and try and live by it in my daily life. Sometimes, though, we tend to lose sight of the goal because it seems so far. I am grateful for this post and it's ability to renew my faith that all good things are coming to me. Thank You Thank You and thank You.


  • Inspiring Potentials

    One of the things that helped me in starting to create the life that I want to live is realizing that I was given a dream that only I can breathe life into. If I don't work towards what I want, I will never have it. Same goes with the principle #1, take 100% responsibility of your life. You can read more on how realizing I was given a dream helped me in designing what I want:


    I hope this could be of help to you. Keep living an inspired life. 🙂

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  • Zambrine Dheniel

    Believe that everything is possible because we are chosen by GOD and guided to have good life. God continously imparting his presence with us to hear the small little voices in our mind and heart that we are loved by him and he will always prosper our good deeds. In Jeremiah 29:11 For I know all the plans I have for you; plans to proseper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future. This is it, Jack was used by GOD to be his mouthpiece to remind us that we are worthy of all the good things in Life. Encouraging and Enlightened our soul and mind to discipline ourselve, with acceptance and humility to change things for the best. Because in GOD nothing is impossible.

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  • How do I find a good accountability buddy? I have been let down by most, if not all, accountability partners in the past. I usually end up carrying the ball, initiating all the contact, etc. I don't have a close friend who is on a path similar to mine. My husband is great support, but I don't know if having him as my accountability partner is a good idea. I'm open to suggestions here! Thanks.
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  • Zabin Dee

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/41f5881e5c4a032f937c1dd234790adf89057d4c16f7b4a3b9d4599d796bb742.jpg Thank you Jack for the inspiring and helpful article. I am in the process of making a BIG change in my life towards living the life of my dreams. Your advice has lifted me up. Thank you.

    • Great to hear, Zabin! Sending positive vibes your way!

  • Cybil Marie Merritt

    I'm sharing the complete article on my Facebook feed for my friends, family to read ...and as a reminder for myself even! Thank you for your inspiring wisdom!

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