3 Proven Ways to Overcome Your Biggest Mental Blocks – and Take ACTION That Generates Results


Fear. Doubt. Hesitation. They’re the three biggest success blockers out there.

All too often, when presented with an exciting opportunity, we refuse to take action on it until we can see the entire pathway from start to finish. We are afraid to start because the outcome is uncertain.

And without that certainty, we succumb to doubt and question whether our efforts will deliver the results we long for.

And so we hesitate.

We spend too much time planning, thinking, researching, and analyzing – and don’t notice that the opportunity has already slipped away.

Highly successful people take a different approach.

When presented with an exciting opportunity, they lean into it. They don’t let doubt or fear stop them from taking action. They open themselves to possibility and pursue that opportunity further – without any expectations or guarantees of success.

Do you ever wish you could embrace opportunities without fear – and not let your mental blocks get in the way of creating fantastic results?

I’ve got your back!

Here are four proven ways to cultivate a success-focused mindset within yourself – so you can act on opportunities faster, get better results, and create a life you love.

1.  Focus on the “what” – the “how” will take care of itself

When we are presented with opportunities or envision big goals, one question often stops us in our tracks:

“But how will I do it?” 

Even if we are able to picture the goal and get excited about the end result, our minds quickly start doubting our ability to turn our dreams into reality.

For example, you may picture yourself as a best-selling author, but then a little voice in your head reminds you that you don’t know the first thing about writing a book, the odds are stacked against you getting a publishing contract, you’ve never marketed a book before – and dozens of other excuses that make you hesitate and provide you with the justification you need to stay right where you are and NOT go after your dreams.

I’m here to tell you right now: DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE HOW.

Just because you don’t know how every single step of your journey is going to unfold, that shouldn’t stop you from getting started!

All you need to do is get clear on what you want and then take that first step.

When you lean into opportunity, you create momentum. Each step forward, no matter how small, broadcasts your intention to the world. And the Universe will respond by sending you the opportunities, resources and people you need at just the right moment in your journey for you to receive maximum benefit from them.

By leaning into it and being willing to explore the unknown, you became a co-creator with the Universe. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and keep taking the logical next steps toward your goal – and trust that the answers and resources you seek will appear.

Your journey will take you where you want to go… or even someplace better.

2. Turn roadblocks into redirection

If you’ve read my book The Success Principles, you might remember the story of a singer named Jana Stanfield.

After several years working in Nashville in pursuit of her dream of becoming a songwriter and recording artist, she concluded that trying to get a record deal was like pounding her head against a wall. She could try forever without any guarantee of success.

It felt like she was up against an insurmountable roadblock that was preventing her from going forward.

And so, because she loved singing so much and wasn’t willing to give it up, Jana decided to go sideways – and follow a new direction.

Instead of staying in Nashville and trying to get a record deal, she started singing at churches. The people in the congregation loved her voice and asked her if she had any CDs available.

So she took a leap of faith and hired an engineer to record 10 of her songs.

And the first time she offered her new CD for sale after a church service, she made more money than she had earned that entire week in her job!

Jana quickly realized that trying to get a record contract wasn’t the only way for her to create a successful singing career. She started her own recording company and today that company produces more than 50 motivational concerts around the world every year.

Jana’s songs have been recorded by internationally renowned singers such as Reba McEntire and Andy Williams and have been featured on Oprah, 20/20, and Entertainment Tonight.

Roadblocks don’t have to be insurmountable obstacles that put an end to your journey. Often they’re just sign posts pointing you in a new direction that will help you get where you want to go faster and with greater joy and ease.

3. Experience the fear and take action anyway

So many people think that in order to take risks and move beyond their comfort zone, they have to be fearless.

But that’s not true at all.

The definition of bravery isn’t being fearless – it’s feeling the fear and doing what you know is right in spite of it.

The fact is, if you want to take your life and business to the next level – if you don’t want to stay stuck where you are – you will have to confront your fears.

And that’s okay. Fear is natural.

But some people will do anything to avoid feeling fear. It’s understandable – fear is uncomfortable. And so, in order to avoid that feeling of discomfort, they let their fear stop them from taking the necessary steps to achieve their dreams.

This is something successful people don’t do.

They feel the fear – but they don’t let it stop them. They’re willing to take a leap of faith, even if they are afraid. They know that if you don’t act, opportunity will pass you by.

As former attorney general and U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”   

I truly believe that if a goal isn’t a little bit scary, or if it doesn’t create a bit of fear within you, it’s probably not worth doing. 

So many people stop because they’re scared. Don’t let that be you! Embrace your fear. Get excited about it – because it means you’re onto something good!

Almost everything that’s truly valuable in life involves taking a risk. And the truth is, sometimes that risk means things won’t work out in the way you want them to.

But far more often than not – THEY WILL.

The opportunity WILL turn out to be something great.

The journey WILL lead you somewhere amazing.

And the risk WILL have been more than worth it.

So what should you be more afraid of…

Taking the risk and not having it pan out the way you want?

Or NOT taking the risk – and remaining stuck where you are?

A risk worth taking


Get excited about taking risks.

When you get excited, it means that you’re on to something great.

If you want to learn more tips like these to quickly improve your life and accelerate your success, I would love you to sign up for my newsletter and join our community. Click the button below to learn more.




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


7 Tips to Boost Employee Engagement and Create a Culture of Success

sales manager stacks business training blocks like a growing business7 Tips to Boost Employee Engagement and Create a Culture of Success

What’s the difference between leaders who inspire a high level of employee engagement – and ones who struggle to get people to do the bare minimum their jobs require?

The secret lies in knowing how to lead from the heart outwards.

Successful leaders inspire their team by communicating their vision in a way that generates excitement and motivates others to jump on board with full commitment. They recognize potential in their people, coach their team members to go above and beyond, and routinely acknowledge others’ positive contributions. And while they demand accountability from the people they lead, they also hold themselves accountable for their performance as well.

Here are some heart-centered tips on how to boost employee engagement in your company – and create a culture of success:

1. Know your own strengths and weaknesses

If you want to lead others, first you must understand yourself. When you have a clear sense of your own strengths and weaknesses – and the impact your behavior has on others – your ability to engage others will improve.

For example, let’s say you’re not a graphic designer. Why impose your ideas on the company brochure when you can delegate this responsibility to someone who will do a much better job than you?

Or maybe you’re an introvert who hates making sales calls to clients. Why not hand that task over to an extrovert who’s been blessed with the “gift of gab” and speaks in a way that makes other people want to listen to him or her?

Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses gives you the ability to discern when your skills will add value – or not – and keeps you open to delegating and listening to people with other points of view.

2. Inspire them with a clear, compelling, continuous vision

To engage your employees and motivate them to work tirelessly toward achieving a goal, you must first have a clear and compelling vision of the future. What will you and your team ultimate achieve? By when? What will everyone gain when the goal is reached? Is it honorable, beneficial, ethical, and uplifting? What’s so compelling about it? What else will also be achieved as your team is striving for this major goal?

To inspire maximum employee engagement, you’ll also need to articulate who your team will become as they learn and grow on the path to achieving your vision. They must be able to see themselves in the future as better, smarter, stronger, more valued, and more confident. Defining that outcome in a way that resonates emotionally with your team should be a key part of your vision.

Finally, your belief in your vision must be unshakable. You must believe it’s not only possible, but desirable, essential, and inevitable. And you must communicate this belief with absolute certainty. Only then will you inspire the employee engagement in you need to make your vision a reality.

3. Listen for possibility

Once your employees have bought into your vision, be sure to really LISTEN to them – not only to hear their thoughts and input but also to make sure they feel heard. People want to know they make a difference and that their insights and opinions matter.

As you listen, focus on remaining present in the moment and being curious to hear other options. That’s when you’ll be able to hear what’s REALLY being said (the unspoken and well as the spoken) – and create a true dialogue with your team, instead of simply delivering orders or explaining the game plan.

This kind of listening requires a willingness to be transformed by what you hear. It requires you to shift your focus from listening for “the right way or the wrong way” to listening for what is possible.

I call this approach “listening for possibility.” When you truly listen and are open to all input and ideas, it allows you to co-create new approaches, new outcomes and new benefits from the ideas that you hear – and gives your employees the freedom and ability to help shape your path in ways that you alone would not have foreseen.

And that kind of active participation is what will make them become even more motivated to help you make your vision a reality.

4. Coach them to take leadership roles

Coaching people into action and helping them develop their own leadership skills means you not only get to share decision making, you also build a team of smart, confident, and self-directed people who can respond quickly to changing conditions and circumstances. And this will make your own life so much easier.

The key lies in the word coaching. Through deep listening and skillful questioning, you can help others discover their own solutions to problems and opportunities. Instead of being the only person figuring out what to do next, you can help them develop their own problem-solving skills and come up with their own solutions.

Not only does this engage them more fully in the process, it creates more time and space for you to focus on what YOU need to do to accomplish your vision. Business and sales training programs are also a great way to train your team to handle greater responsibilities.

5. Encourage constant improvement

If you’ve read The Success Principles, you’ll know that I encourage people to commit to constant and never-ending improvement. This is something you should encourage in your own team to increase employee engagement and get them to take a leadership role in helping you achieve your vision.

This is especially true in today’s ever-changing world, where new technologies, manufacturing techniques, and marketing tools are announced nearly every month. Improvement is necessary not only to survive, but to thrive.

Meet with your employees regularly so you have a good idea of what their strengths, skills gaps, and interests are. Encourage them to take control of their own career development – and then help them create personalized improvement paths that will benefit them personally while increasing their value to the company. Then provide the budget and time necessary to help them achieve their goals.

Not only will this improve their ability to contribute to their vision, it will earn their gratitude and loyalty toward both you and the company as a whole.

6.  Always have their backs

When it comes right down to it, you can’t inspire employee engagement without earning their loyalty first. The best way to inspire loyalty is to make sure your employees know you are always looking out for their best interests.

If you’re inconsistent with your approach or style, allow your employees to take the brunt of a customer’s or CEO’s displeasure, take credit for their work or neglect to celebrate their successes in a public way that encourages the whole company to recognize their value — they will have a hard time trusting you.

And without trust, there is no loyalty and zero motivation to do their best.

7. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable

The key to being self-aware as a leader is a willingness to be wrong, to not know everything, to recognize that you have certain biases, and to see where your opinions may be simply getting in the way. No one has all the answers, and great leaders admit there is always plenty to learn. They encourage honest feedback – and take it to heart.

When you are willing to admit your own mistakes and genuinely listen to critical feedback – without rationalizing, justifying, or placing blame – you get to turn these moments into learning opportunities for yourself and “teachable moments” for your team. You create a more open and collaborative culture among your team members – without the pressure or fear of anyone pretending to know it all.

And that kind of authenticity and transparency is the best possible foundation on which to build a culture of success.

Exceptional leaders aren’t born that way. They become exceptional by developing a unique set of attitudes and skills that are both learnable and teachable.

To boost employee engagement, you must become a leader worth following

You can acquire these skills gradually through years of study and on-the-job experience – or you can dramatically accelerate your progress and leapfrog your way over the usual obstacles by joining my new Train the Trainer Online program.

This self-directed online program will teach you how to become a transformational trainer who has a life-changing impact on others. These are essential skills to have if you lead or manage other people, or if you want to be a more effective speaker, teacher, or coach.

You can learn more here: TRAIN THE TRAINER ONLINE.



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

“Inquire within” to achieve greater success in business

blog-innquire within-business“Inquire within” to achieve greater success in business

“Brain researchers estimate that your unconscious data base outweighs the conscious on an order exceeding ten million to one. This data base is the source of your hidden, natural genius. In other words, a part of you is much smarter than you are. The wise people regularly consult that smarter part.”

Michael J. Gelb

Author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Discover Your Genius

When it comes to achieving greater success in business, most people look beyond themselves for insight on what steps they should follow to take their business or career to the next level.

They attend conferences, consult with colleagues, watch webinars, sign up for new training, and read books written by experts.

All these are great things to do – but if you only turn to outside experts for answers on what to do next, you could be overlooking a very powerful source of wisdom: YOUR OWN INTUITION.

Successful people trust their own intuition

All of the most successful people I know inquire within and trust their own intuition first and foremost when it comes to finding answers or making any important business or career decisions.

They understand that all the ideas you need to complete any task, solve any problem, or achieve any goal are available inside you.

For example, when Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels Corporation, wanted to buy the Stevens Corporation at auction, he submitted a sealed bid for $165,000. When he awakened the next morning with the number 180,000 in his head, he swiftly changed his bid to $180,000 and successfully secured the company.

The next highest bid was $179,800 – which means Hilton bid just enough to barely edge out a competitor. And that acquisition generated an easy $2 million in profit for him!

This is an excellent reason to study the habits of successful people.

Or consider how Mark Victor Hansen and I came up with the title for our best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series…

We had almost finished writing the first book but still didn’t have a title for it. Because we both meditate, we decided to “inquire within.” Every day for a week, we asked our internal guidance for a bestselling title.

On the third morning, I suddenly saw a hand write the words “chicken soup” on a blackboard in my mind. My immediate reaction was, What does chicken soup have to do with our book?

I heard a voice in my head respond, Chicken soup is what your grandmother gave you when you were sick as a child.

But this book isn’t about sick people, I thought.

People’s spirits are sick, my inner voice replied. Millions of people are depressed and living in fear and resignation that things will never get better. This book will inspire them and uplift their spirits.

During the remaining minutes of that meditation, the title evolved from Chicken Soup for the Spirit to Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit. When I first heard Chicken Soup for the Soul, I got goose bumps. I have since learned that giving me goose bumps is one of the ways my intuition tells me I am on track.

And over the last 20 years, Chicken Soup for the Soul® has become a brand responsible for more than $2 billion in sales of books and many licensed products including pet food and greeting cards.

So, how can you tap into your own intuition to unleash your creative genius, make better decisions, solve problems faster, create winning business strategies, and make more money?

Here are my suggestions:

1. Meditate regularly

In order to be able to listen to your intuition, first you need to be able to “hear” it. This is where regular meditation comes in. It will help you clear out mental distractions and teach you to recognize subtle impulses within. This is especially important when you’re about to make a big business decision.

I recommend meditating every morning as soon as you wake up. It doesn’t have to be for long – even ten or 15 minutes each day will have a significant impact on your life.

As you learn how to meditate and become more spiritually attuned, you can better discern and recognize the sound of your higher self or the voice of God (or the universe, or however you want to describe the power that flows through all things) speaking to you through words, images, and sensations.

When I meditate, I’m able to see connections that were previously not clear to me. I’m able to understand my motivations, fears, and desires at a deeper level.

If I’m dealing with a challenge in my life, solutions come pouring into my mind – clear thoughts and images of the steps I need to take, the people I need to talk to, and what I need to do to transcend the obstacles in my way. It’s a truly magical experience.

 2. Get clear on the questions you want answered

If you’re looking for answers, first you need to get clear on what it is you’re asking.

I recommend that you take the time to figure out exactly what truth you’re trying to uncover, or decision you need to make regarding your business or career – and write it down on paper in the form of a question.

Then, before you go to bed at night, speak that question aloud at least three times, to embed it into your subconscious. Then put it out of your mind and go to sleep.

When you wake up to perform your meditation the next morning, you may find that your subconscious mind has been busy while you sleep, and ready to provide you with the answers you’ve been looking for.

3. Cultivate mindfulness so you can receive messages in whatever form they arrive

Your intuition can communicate with you in many ways. It may come to you in a vision or appear as an image while you are meditating or dreaming. It may speak to you as a hunch, a thought, or a voice actually telling you yes, no, go for it, or not yet.

In order to hear it when it speaks to you, practice mindfulness whenever possible. Mindfulness is the act of bringing your complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis in an open, accepting, nonjudgmental way. By remaining mindful in the present moment, you open your awareness of what you’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing, so that you can recognize your intuition when it communicates with you.

4. Listen to your body

Your intuition may speak to you through your physical senses.

A negative message or warning may come to you in the form as a chill, the creeps, a sense of restlessness, discomfort in your got, constriction in your chest, tightness or pain in your head, even a sour taste in your mouth.

A positive or “yes” message might come in the form of goose bumps, a dizzy feeling, warmth, a sense of opening or expansiveness in the chest, a sense of relaxation or relief, or a letting go of tension.

5. Listen to your emotions

Maybe your intuition will speak to you through your emotions.

If it’s trying to caution you or warn you against taking a particular course of action, you may feel a wave of uneasiness, concern, or confusion when you think about taking that action.

If, on the other hand, when you think about taking that action you feel a rush of joy, excitement or euphoria or profound inner peace, that could be your intuition telling you you’re on the right track.

6. Write down your answers

Whenever you access your intuition, make sure to immediately write down any impressions you receive. Intuitive impressions are often subtle and therefore “evaporate” very quickly, so make sure to capture them in writing as soon as possible.

Recent research in neuroscience indicates that an intuitive insight – or any new idea – not captured within 37 seconds is likely never to be recalled. And in 7 minutes, it’s gone forever.

So make sure you always have your smartphone or memo pad with you so you can record any intuitive insights or ideas that emerge.

7. Take immediate action

You know the saying, “the universe rewards action?” It’s true!

When you act on the information you receive, you’ll find that you get more and more intuitive impulses. After a while you will be living in the flow, and it will all seem easy and effortless as the wisdom comes to you and you simply act on it. You will learn to trust yourself more, and receiving insight from your intuition and acting on it will become automatic.

Experts agree that your intuition works better when you trust it. The more you demonstrate faith in your intuition, the more you will see the results of it in your life. So I strongly encourage you to listen to your intuition, trust it, and follow it.

Trusting your intuition is simply another form of trusting yourself, and the more you trust yourself, the more success you will have. This is a crucial factor in personal development for those interested in learning how to be successful.

Practice and be patient – Rome wasn’t intuited in a day

If you have never meditated before or practiced “inquiring within” to receive guidance from your intuition, be patient with yourself. It can take time to learn how to quiet the mind and recognize what your higher self is telling you to do.

There are ways you can accelerate the process, however – and one I encourage you to consider is to join me for Breakthrough to Success next year – either in Newport Beach, California in February or Scottsdale, Arizona in August.

During this transformative five-day event, I will teach you how to look inside yourself to find the wisdom that’s already there – so you can get clear on what you really want in life and what you need to do to not only achieve more success and career in your business, but also create the joyous and meaningful life you desire.

To learn more, visit: Breakthrough to Success

What is your intuition telling you to do? 😉


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

FALL CHALLENGE: Redefine your time – and redesign your life


Redefine your time – and redesign your life

I don’t mean to alarm you, but did you know that there are only 12 weeks left in 2015?

(Scary, right??)

If you still have goals for the year that you haven’t achieved – or if you simply want to crank up your productivity so you can get more done this fall and set yourself up for greater success in 2016 – I have a challenge for you:

Implement the 5 simple time management techniques below – and take charge of your schedule so you can accomplish twice as much in half the time while enjoying plenty of free time and maintaining your sanity.

Are you ready? Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Start thinking in terms of Focus Days, Buffer Days, and Free Days

This idea is based on Dan Sullivan’s Entrepreneurial Time System®* It’s a unique planning system that structures time into three very different kinds of days that are prescheduled to assure the highest payoff for your effort efforts while still allowing abundant amounts of free time to pursue your personal interests.

Many of the most successful people I know use this system to create superior results while still maintaining balance between work, family, and recreation in their lives.

Here’s what the three different kinds of days look like:


A Focus Day is one in which you spend at least 80% of your time operating in your core genius or primary area of expertise.

When you focus on your core genius, it tends to give you the highest payoff for the time you invest. For example, my core areas of genius are speaking, training, conducting seminars, coaching, writing, and editing. I do these things easily and well—and when I do them in a focused way, they’re the things I get paid the most money for.

Depending on your profession and core genius, your Focus Day might be spent designing a new line of clothing, making sales calls, negotiating deals, producing a loan package to send to a mortgage lender, painting, performing, or writing a grant proposal for a nonprofit organization – whatever you most enjoy doing that will give you the greatest return on your time.


These are days spent preparing and planning for a Focus or Free Day—either by learning a new skill, locating a new resource, training your support team, delegating tasks to others, and so on.

Buffer Days are important because they ensure that your Focus Days are as productive as possible. The key is to group all your Buffer Day activities into the same day so you are not diluting your Focus Days and Free Days with tasks that distract you from your core genius or prevent you from truly enjoying your time off.

A Buffer Day for you might be spent on monthly planning, organizing your workspace, developing a new sales presentation, writing a brochure, training an assistant, or attending a professional workshop – whatever you need to do to clear your plate of distractions and get the job done better and faster.


A Free Day extends from midnight to midnight and involves no work-related activity of any kind. It’s a day completely free of business meetings, business-related phone calls, cell phone calls, emails, or reading work-related journals and documents.

On a true Free Day, you’re not available to your staff, clients, or students for any kind of contact except for true emergencies—injury, death, flood, or fire. These off days are important because they allow you to relax, enjoy yourself, and spend quality time with your family and friends, so you can come back to your work refreshed and ready to tackle it with renewed vigor, enthusiasm, and creativity.

2. Write down what your ideal Focus, Buffer, and Free Days look like

When you have a clear idea of the kind of day you want to have, you’re more likely to make it a reality.

When envisioning your ideal Focus Day, think back to days when you managed to accomplish an incredible amount of work in a short time. What conditions allowed that to happen? Did you turn off your phone? Unplug from the Internet? Delegate more responsibility to your staff? Have a pre-made lunch in the fridge that required no cooking? Work at a coffee shop instead of at home?

Take note of the factors that helped you be more productive and incorporate them into your vision of an ideal Focus Day, so you can leverage their positive impact on your productivity.

When imagining the perfect Free Day, think of the recreational activities that make you happiest and do the best job of making you feel refreshed and energized. Maybe it’s spending quality time with your kids outdoors, going fishing with your pals, reading a great book, getting a massage, or going for a hike. Whatever your favorite free-time activities are, write them down so you can make sure you spend your free time doing what you love instead of just mindlessly watching TV or surfing the Internet.

When envisioning your ideal Buffer Day, think about the planning and preparation activities that are most likely to significantly accelerate your progress. What tasks will do the best job of freeing up your time and make your focus days more productive? What gaps in your knowledge and experience need to be filled to make you even more effective at what you do?

By visualizing yourself taking these actions and acquiring these skills and knowledge, you’ll be far more likely to make it happen – and this is going to have a HUGE impact on your performance.

3. Set aside 2 hours to plan your fall schedule in detail

Once you’ve visualized what you want you want your ideal Focus, Buffer, and Free days to look like this fall, it’s time to mark them on your schedule and create a work-plan-rest rhythm that helps you to achieve everything you hope to accomplish this fall.

Depending on how ambitious your goals are, you may choose to schedule 3-5 Focus Days, 1-2 Buffer Days, and 1-2 Free Days a week. The more dedicated Focus Days you have, the more you’ll be able to accomplish.

Once you’ve determined the rhythm that will work best for you, plan the next 12 weeks accordingly. Be sure to schedule Buffer Days for doing things such as cleaning your house or office, getting ready for Halloween/Thanksgiving, doing your Christmas shopping, and so on. This way you eliminate unexpected time obligations and ensure that your Focus Days and Free Days are spent doing exactly what you want to do.

4. Use up your holiday time

If you have any vacation days that will expire if they’re not used before the end of the year, make sure you use them. This is important! A Harris Interactive survey found that 57% of Americans had unused vacation time—up to two weeks’ worth—in 2011. Why? Because they weren’t sure if their job would still be there when they returned.

But the fact is, taking time off is essential to your productivity and your effectiveness as an employee. Holidays give you valuable time to rest and reinvigorate yourself so you can come back to work more rested, more productive, and more valuable to your employer.

And if you happen to be transitioning from an office job to working as an entrepreneur or freelancer, your vacation days could give you the time and space you need to develop your business so you can become your own boss that much faster.

5. Review your schedule every week and stick to it

Once you’ve planned your schedule for the fall, put it somewhere you can review it at least once a week to ensure you’re staying on track. This will make it easier for you to plan ahead and guarantee that your Focus Days and Free Days remain sacrosanct.

Yes, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance – and still get a mountain-load of work done.

It just requires a bit of careful planning. When you intentionally structure your time to take full advantage of your talents, you will find it so much easier to maximize your results. Remember, YOU are the one who’s in charge of your life. By creating a schedule that allows you to dramatically increase your productivity, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in 12 short weeks.

Ready to take the challenge?

Visit my Facebook Page and make a public commitment to take control of your schedule this fall – and maximize your results! Bonus points for publicly stating the goals you most want to accomplish in the next 12 weeks.

You can find me on Facebook here: JACK’S FACEBOOK PAGE

I look forward to reading about your goals and commitments!

If you need any help, let me be your personal mentor…

Put the Success Principles to work in your life. It’s called the Success Principles 10-Day Transformation – and it’s completely free… Start your 10-Day Transformation here.


Are you overlooking these critical success clues?

road sign with question mark represents article theme of ignoring clues

Are you overlooking these critical success clues?

(Plus: the most powerful intention you can set to overcome roadblocks and achieve incredible results this fall)

Happy September!

If you teach in some capacity – either as a speaker, coach, consultant, or actual teacher – you’re probably gearing up to do some powerful work with your students or clients this fall.

To ensure you do the best possible job of helping your students and clients reach their full potential and achieve great results, I encourage you to set the following intention for yourself:


(NOTE: this is an important intention for EVERYONE seeking self-improvement to set – but in honor of “Back to School” season, I’d like to focus on how powerful this intention can be for teachers and other mentors and trainers whose job it is to inspire people to be their best selves.)

The clues to success are hidden in plain sight

When I say, “yellow alerts,” what I’m talking about are the advance warnings you get in the form of telltale signs, gut instinct, intuition, comments from others that alert you to impending danger and give you time to prevent the unwanted outcome.

You know when you suddenly get a “bad feeling” about something, or you become aware that people are acting differently around you, or you develop a niggling awareness that there’s something you’re ignoring or overlooking?

THOSE are yellow alerts.

For example:

  • Your students don’t pay attention when you speak
  • Your audience looks bored and disengaged
  • Nobody raises their hand to answer your questions
  • People don’t respond to your emails or participate in your online group
  • Students who typically do great work are no longer completing their assignments
  • Organizations who hired you to speak don’t ask you to return
  • People stop grumbling and whispering to each other as soon as you walk in the room
  • People aren’t looking you in the eye
  • You’re sensing a weird undertone in the way people talk to you
  • You no longer feel like you’re “killing it” onstage or in front of the class

The faster you’re able to recognize and respond to yellow alerts such as these, the easier you’ll find it to avoid obstacles, overcome challenges, and reach a higher level of success – both for yourself and your students or clients.

Avoiding the problem doesn’t make it go away

Unfortunately, many people choose to ignore yellow alerts because they don’t want to feel any soft of discomfort. Acknowledging and responding to yellow alerts usually involves doing things you would rather not do – such as have an awkward conversation with someone or admit something isn’t working.

And so you pretend not to see the yellow alerts – because it’s easier, more convenient, less uncomfortable, and protects you from having to take risks.

Successful people, on the other hand, face problems head on. They’re willing to get uncomfortable, because they know that yellow alerts often develop into problems that fester and grow into huge roadblocks that prevent you from moving forward.

The faster you respond, the easier life becomes

Once you develop the habit of responding quickly and decisively to yellow alerts as they happen, life becomes easier.

You’re able to eliminate problems before they occur and achieve greater levels of success must faster.  

However, learning how to recognize and respond to yellow alerts isn’t always easy. It requires concentrated awareness, dedicated discipline, and a willingness to experiment and take risks.

You have to be prepared to look at your own shortcomings and be willing to hear uncomfortable truths. It’s only when you face what isn’t working that you’re able to explore better options and come up with a better way of getting the results you want.

Here are 6 tips to help you do a better job of recognizing yellow alerts so you can respond to them right away and achieve better results, faster – both for yourself and your students or clients:

1.  Clear your mind and focus on being present in the moment

When you’re working onstage, in front of a classroom, or one-on-one with clients or students, you’ll be much more effective if you’re able to clear your mind of everything else that’s happening in your life and focus on being present in the moment.

This will make it so much easier for you to remain tapped into your intuition and be able to identify yellow alerts right away.

If you find it hard to remain completely present in the moment, I recommend you take up meditation or a meditative practice such as yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or another form of martial art. These practices are great for helping you sharpen your focus and concentrate on what’s happening in the here and now.

2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

The only way you can grow – as a person, teacher, parent, businessperson or whatever – is to move beyond your comfort zone into a place where you are very likely to feel awkward, uncomfortable, and vulnerable.

But that’s where the magic happens. It’s where you acquire the understanding and experience you need to start performing at a much higher level.

So instead of worrying about the potential discomfort of responding to yellow alerts, embrace the opportunity to evolve.

3. Learn how to listen to people

To become a transformational teacher, you’ve got to be able to really LISTEN to your students and clients.

Don’t just keep your ears open for the things you expect them to say. Clear your mind of preconceptions, give them your full attention, and listen for the things you AREN’T expecting – because this is the information that’s going to help you radically improve your game.

4. Learn how to read people

It’s not enough to listen to what they’re saying – you also have to be able to read your students and audience and understand what it is they’re NOT saying.

If you learn how to read their physical cues – restlessness, listlessness, flashes of anger or irritation in their expressions, a reluctance to meet you in the eye – you’ll be able to recognize when there’s something they want you to know, even when they’re reluctant to express themselves or aren’t even consciously aware of what they want or need from you.

5. Ask them straight out

The best way to understand how well you’re performing – and what you can do to operate at an even higher level – is to straight-out ask for feedback from your students, clients, audiences, and colleagues.

Be prepared to ask questions such as:

  • “Is what I’m doing working?
  • Could I be doing it better?
  • Is there something more I should be doing that I am not?
  • Is there something I am doing that I should stop doing?
  • How do you see me limiting myself?”

Don’t be afraid to ask – because the information you will receive will be invaluable. You are better off knowing the truth than not knowing it – because once you know, you can DO something about it. You cannot improve your life, your relationships, your game, or your performance without meaningful feedback from the people around you.

“You’re doing great!” might be nice to hear but it doesn’t tell you anything that will help you become a better teacher, speaker, trainer, or person.

6. Process the information and ACT on it

When you respond to a yellow alert and probe deeper to uncover valuable information about your performance – and what you can do to improve it – be sure to process that information and ACT on it!

If you find out that your audience or students aren’t captivated by your teaching style, do some research to find some resources that will help you become a more compelling, engaging teacher – and then put their advice into action.

If you find that your clients aren’t completing the assignments you give them because they’re unclear on the instructions or don’t see the value of them, reassess those assignments and how you’re presenting them to your clients. Maybe you need to make the instructions clearer, or do a better job of pointing out the benefits your clients will experience once they finish the assignment. Or maybe you should consider replacing that assignment with one that’s more effective.

If you find that organizations that have hired you to speak in the past aren’t asking you back, send them a letter asking for honest feedback on what you could have done better in your last speaking engagement – then use their feedback to improve your presentation content and style before you book your next gig.

It’s only when you act on this valuable information that you’re able to create meaningful change.

Simple isn’t always easy

Recognizing and responding to yellow alerts is relatively simple in principle – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing and the results you’re producing – and willing to adapt on the fly.

If this is something you struggle with, I can help!

My new online Success Principles training program teaches you everything you need to know to become a powerful teacher and trainer and help others create profound change in their lives.

You can learn more about it here: TRAIN THE TRAINER ONLINE

Pay attention… your results don’t lie

The easiest, fastest, and best way to find out what is or isn’t working is to pay attention to the results you are currently producing. Your audiences and students either love you or they don’t. They’re either experiencing major breakthroughs or they aren’t. You either command respect or you don’t. Organizations are either hiring you to speak for them or they aren’t.

It’s that simple. Results don’t lie!

So if you want to do the best possible job of helping your students and clients this fall, set the intention of recognizing and responding to yellow alerts. It’s the only way to ensure that you keep improving as a teacher – and are able to help your students and clients reach their full potential and achieve incredible results.

Have you been noticing any yellow alerts in your life lately? If so, share them with me on my Facebook page – and let me know how you plan to respond to them!

You can find me on Facebook here: JACK’S FACEBOOK PAGE


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 simple heart-based tool to improve productivity in the workplace


 I strongly believe that you can’t win in the marketplace unless you win first in the workplace. If you don’t have a winning culture inside, it’s hard to compete in the very tough world outside.
– Douglas Conant, Chairman of Avon Products and former
CEO and President of the Campbell soup Company

 A simple heart-based tool to improve productivity in the workplace

A healthy and positive workplace culture is key to your success as an organization. But how do you cultivate an atmosphere that transforms a random group of co-workers into a team of allies who treat each other as family and motivate each other to always show up and do their best?

The answer, of course, is COMMUNICATION.

However, encouraging co-workers to communicate in an open, positive, and truthful manner isn’t always easy. As my friend Cliff Durfee points out, “Most communication resembles a Ping-Pong game in which people are merely preparing to slam their next point across.”

So how do you stop the constant volleying and get people to actually LISTEN to each other instead of only trying to score points?

Simple: with a Heart Talk!

A Heart Talk is a powerful communication process that creates a safe environment for a deep level of communication to occur – without fear of condemnation, unsolicited advice, interruption, or of being rushed. It’s an incredibly effective way to release any unexpressed emotions that get in the way of people being totally present to deal with the business at hand.

And it’s the best way I know to develop rapport, understanding, and intimacy among individuals in a group – and turn apparent opponents into true members of the same team.

When you introduce Heart Talks into your workplace culture…

1.  People are more mindful of each other’s feelings

Most people are so focused on what they’re doing and what’s happening to them, they often don’t stop to think how their words or actions might impact others.

Heart Talks encourage open sharing of feelings, giving team members deeper insight into what’s happening in their co-workers’ lives and how their words and actions are coming across. This encourages greater empathy, more mindful communication, and a deeper level of mutual respect in the workplace.

2. People don’t take things personally

When you cultivate an environment of open and honest communication, people are less likely to read implied negative meaning into other people’s words and actions. If someone is having a particularly stressful day and they say or do something that’s thoughtless or impatient, other coworkers will be able to understand that it’s not about THEM and won’t feel hurt or resentful about it.

3. People aren’t afraid to say what they really think about a project

Too often, employees will remain silent about problems they see in a project because they don’t want to rock the boat or be seen as being critical of management’s decisions. This often means that those who are closest to the ground and better able to anticipate problems don’t speak up. By encouraging open and honest communication, you make it safe for employees to say what they really think – instead of what they believe their managers want them to say.

This results in less time wasted on bad ideas and more time devoted to bringing successes to market faster.

4. You foster an atmosphere of collaboration over competition

When people open their hearts to each other, they bond at an extremely deep level. That kind of experience motivates you to care for the other person and wish the best for them.

A team whose members feel that way about each other can accomplish anything they set their minds to. They understand that a victory for the organization is a victory for all and leads to even better opportunities for everyone involved. And so they inspire each other to aim higher and achieve even better results.

5. You dramatically reduce turnover

People who work in an environment they love, with people they respect and whose company they truly enjoy, know they’ve hit the jackpot. They are very reluctant to leave their awesome job to pursue other opportunities. This allows you to grow a team whose long history together ensures they work like a well-oiled machine, and relieves you of the need to invest precious time, money, and resources into training new employees.

How to conduct a heart talk

A Heart Talk can be conducted with any size group of between 2 and 10 people. Start by asking people to sit in a circle or around a table. Introduce the basic agreements, which include these:

  • Only the person holding “the heart” is allowed to talk.
  • You don’t judge or criticize what anyone else has said.
  • You pass the heart/object to the left after your turn, or say “I pass” if you have nothing to say.
  • You talk only about how you feel.
  • You keep the information that is shared confidential.
  • You don’t leave the Heart Talk until it’s declared complete. 
Keep passing the heart/object around the circle—multiple times if necessary—to ensure participants have more than one opportunity to share. If you have plenty of time, a Heart Talk completes naturally when the heart makes a complete circle without anyone having something to say. 

  • Ask the group to agree to the guidelines, which are very important to make sure that the talk does not deteriorate and lose its value. Because no one is supposed to talk except for the person holding the object, it is often best to wait until the completion of the talk to remind people about certain agreements that need more attention. Another option is to have the agreements written down on paper or a whiteboard and to merely point to them if someone is getting too far off-track.
  • Go around the group at least once—with everybody getting one turn—or set a time frame (say 15 minutes to 30 minutes; longer for more emotionally intense issues) and keep going around the group until the time runs out or nobody has anything more to say. 

  • You can use any object to pass around—a ball, a paperweight, a book, anything that can be seen by the other participants. I have seen everything from a stuffed animal (a hospital staff), a baseball (a college baseball team), and a football helmet (a state championship football team) to a Native American talking stick (on a corporate river rafting trip).

What kind of results can you expect?

After you conduct a Heart Talk, you can expect the following results:

  • Enhanced listening skills
  • Constructive expression of feelings
  • Improved conflict resolution skills
  • Improved abilities to let go of resentments and old issues
  • Development of mutual respect and understanding
  • Greater sense of connection, unity, and bonding

The structure of a Heart Talk creates a safe, nonjudgmental space that supports the constructive—rather than the destructive—expression of feelings that, if left unexpressed, can block teamwork, synergy, creativity, innovation, and intuition, which are vital to the productivity and success of any venture.

Interested in learning more valuable team training skills?

If you are responsible for managing, training, and/or teaching others, I encourage you to check out my new Train the Trainer Online program.

I am currently looking for 50 leaders to join me to gain the skills, resources, and methodologies I teach in my Train the Trainer live program – at just a fraction of the cost. You can work at your own pace, on your own schedule, and put my training into practice right away.

If you’ve been looking for opportunities to grow your talents as a leader and inspire your team – or your students, or future clients – to be their best selves, this is the solution you’ve been searching for.

You can learn more at: Train the Trainer Online.

And if you’ve ever used a Heart Talk in your workplace environment, leave a comment below to share your experience with us!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

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.

transform your life and career with free webcast by jack canfield

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.

create your extraordinary life plan with roadmap by jack canfield

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Success Hack: 3 Tips to Liberate Yourself from Toxic People

asian young Couple not talking after  fight  in living room

Success Hack: 3 Tips to Liberate Yourself from Toxic People

When I was a first-year history teacher in a Chicago high school, I quickly stopped going into the teachers’ lounge, which I dubbed the “Ain’t It Awful” Club.

Worse than the haze of cigarette smoke that constantly hung over the room was the cloud of emotional negativity:

“Can you believe what they want us to do now?”

“I got that Simmons kid again this year in math. He’s a holy terror.”

“There is no way you can teach these kids. They are totally out of control!”

… It was a constant stream of negative judgments, criticisms, blaming, and complaining.

I didn’t want to be around that kind of negativity. I knew it would make it so much harder for me to be the positive, life-changing teacher I wanted to be.

Fortunately, I soon discovered a group of dedicated teachers who hung out in the library and ate together in the teachers’ lunchroom. They were passionate about their jobs and believed they could overcome and handle anything that was thrown at them.

I started hanging out with them and implemented every new idea they shared with me – as well as a few more that I picked up from my weekend classes at the University of Chicago.

As a result, the students voted me Teacher of the Year in only my first year of teaching. That never would have happened if I had allowed myself to get sucked into the “Ain’t It Awful” Club!

Don’t let toxic people infect you with their negativity

All of us have to deal with at least a few toxic people in our lifetime.

You know the kind of people I’m talking about…

They’re the ones who are always complaining and blaming others for their circumstances. They judge others, spread negative gossip, and always talk about how bad it is.

They tell you your dreams are impossible and try to dissuade you from believing in and pursuing your goals. They’re constantly trying to bring you back down to their level.

A simple phone conversation or email exchange with them will bring tension, stress, and disorder to the rest of your day.

Sound familiar?

Maybe these toxic people are your coworkers, or your old group of friends from high school. Or maybe they’re your family members.

No matter who they are, they have the power to drain you of the energy, faith, motivation, and self-confidence you need to achieve your goals and create the life of your dreams.

IF you let them, that is.

Here are my three most valuable tips on how to liberate yourself from their negative influence.

Tip 1: Get clear on who the toxic people are – and how they’re holding you back

Make a list of everyone you spend time with on a regular basis— your family members, coworkers, neighbors, friends, people in your civic organization, fellow members of your religious group, and so on.

When you’ve completed your list, go back and put a minus sign (–) next to those people who are always negative, critical, and complaining, and a plus sign (+) next to those who are positive and nurturing.

As you make a decision about each person, you might find that a pattern will begin to form.

Maybe your entire workplace is filled with toxic personalities. Perhaps it’s your friends who nay-say everything you do. Or maybe it’s your family members who constantly put you down and undermine your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Once you identify them, you’ll begin to see how they’ve been influencing your outlook on your life and career – and holding you back from creating the life of your dreams.

Tip 2: Stop spending time with them

You’re better off spending time alone than spending time with people who will hold you back with their victim mentality and their mediocre standards.

I know, it might be easier said than done… especially if those toxic people are your co-workers or family members.

Maybe you don’t feel like you can remove them from your life right now. At the very least, I encourage you to severely decrease the amount of time you spend with them.

And remember, nothing is impossible – it’s always a choice.

If you work in a toxic environment, apply for a different job. Tough market? Upgrade your skills to be a more attractive job candidate.

If your family’s negativity is slowly poisoning you, have an honest talk with them and tell them how their negative words and actions affect you. If they don’t listen to you or honor how you feel, stop spending time with them. It really can be that simple.

You have the power – and the right – to remove people from your life if they constantly attack your sense of self worth and are preventing you from becoming the best possible person you can be.

Tip 3: Surround yourself with positive people

Here is the easiest way to insulate yourself from toxic people: fill your life with positive people instead.

Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories.

Seek out successful people who have already accomplished amazing things in their life. This is one of the most powerful ways to bring more success and happiness into your life – by hanging out with people who inspire you and can give you the support and advice you need to achieve your own success.

Where do you find successful people?

Join a professional association. Attend your professional conferences. Join the Chamber of Commerce or your local country club.

If you’re a young person, join the Young Presidents’ Organization or the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

Volunteer for leadership positions. Join civic groups like Kiwanis, Optimists International, and Rotary International.

Volunteer to serve with other leaders in your church, temple, or mosque. Attend lectures, symposia, courses, seminars, clinics, camps, and retreats taught by those who have already achieved what you want to achieve.

Your life will be so rich you won’t have any time to spend with toxic people!

And who knows? Maybe your success will inspire those negative people in your life to aim higher in their own lives as well.

A great place to find a tribe of supportive, encouraging people

One surefire way to meet more positive, inspiring, and motivated people is to attend a personal development event such as Breakthrough to Success – a five-day event I hold at a luxury oasis in the Arizona desert every August.

So many participants say they found their “tribe” at Breakthrough to Success – life-long friends who encourage, support, and motivate each other as they continue on the path to creating their ideal life.

Click here to learn more about this life-changing event:


[NOTE: If you register before May 29th at midnight PST, you’ll save $500!]

And if you’ve had to deal with toxic people in your life, please share your story in the comments!


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

What makes YOU happy?


It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy. – Lucille Ball

What makes YOU happy?

It’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it…

No matter how successful you are, if you’re not doing work that feeds your soul and inspires you to show up as your best possible self, you’ll never feel 100 percent alive.

There will always be a gap between where you are – and where you truly want to be.

The good news is, it’s never too late to hit the pause button and re-design your life.

… You can take your career or business to the next level – or change the script completely and set off on a new path that’s better aligned with your passion and purpose.

… You can revitalize your relationships with your friends, family, and colleagues, and achieve more balance and harmony in your life.

… You can embark on the adventure of a lifetime or finally set off to achieve that lifelong dream you’ve always been afraid to pursue.

Everything you want is within your grasp…

You just have to reach out and embrace it.

I can help you achieve this kind of life-changing transformation in one of the most inspiring locations in the world:

ITALY, birthplace of the original Renaissance!

Join me and a group of 25 other private clients in a gorgeous 17th-century villa in Tuscany – and launch yourself toward a life that makes you happier than you ever dreamed possible.

During this exclusive four-day private retreat, you will:

  • Get the inspiration and clarity you need to redefine your vision for your ideal life
  • Create a road map that will launch you to a higher level of personal brilliance
  • Rejuvenate your soul and revitalize your sense of purpose so you keep moving forward toward your goals

I am so excited to be offering this powerful retreat at such an inspiring location.

Won’t you join us?

Click here to learn more and reserve your spot

Please note that we have only 26 spots available for this retreat – and half are already taken.

So if you’re interested in joining me in Italy, book your spot ASAP.

Hope to see you there!