9 Success Principles Successful People Live By
No one can give you success except for yourself.
Reading, studying, learning new skills, setting goals, and visualizing your success, all of these you are going to have to do it by yourself.
Below are some success principles from Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles”, that if you start applying them today, you’ll experience more success in your life.
Ready? Let’s get started!
- Principle 1. Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life.
- Principle 2. Be Clear Why You’re Here.
- Principle 3. Decide What You Want.
- Principle 4. Believe It’s Possible And Believe In Yourself
- Principle 5. Unleash The Power Of Goal-Setting.
- Principle 6. Release The Brakes
- Principle 7. Take Action.
- Principle 8. Ask For What You Want.
- Principle 9. Commit To Constant Personal-Growth
Principle 1. Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life.
If you want to live the life of your dreams, you must stop waiting for someone, or something to give it to you, and start working on achieving it.
You can’t change the circumstances, the people around you, but you can change yourself.
And once you change yourself, everything around you will change. You’ll find better opportunities and you’ll surround yourself with more positive people.
This is why, the first thing you need to do, in order to become successful, is to take 100% responsibility for everything you experience in your life. This includes the state of your health, the quality of your relationships, the level of your achievements, and even your own happiness.
1. Give up blaming and complaining.
Stop blaming your parents, your boss, your coworkers, your spouse, your friends, the economy, the weather… no one and nothing is to blame for the life you’re living because it’s you who is creating the quality of life you’re leading.
You are the cause of your experiences and only when you acknowledge this, that you can reclaim control of your life and change your experiences.
If something doesn’t go as you planned, ask yourself “What did I do, or not do, to create that result?”
2. Stop complaining to the wrong person.
People almost always complain to the wrong person.
They complain to their coworkers about their spouses and complain to their spouses about their coworkers, simply because it’s easier and less risky.
It takes courage to tell your spouse you’re not happy with the way things are at home, and it takes courage to ask your coworker for a behavioral change, or ask your boss for the promotions you deserve and has been promised.
When you stop complaining and start making requests and taking action, then the change you want will take place. If you aren’t satisfied with the way things are, then work to make them better, or simply leave.
3. Give up all your excuses.
If you want to create to succeed, you’ll need to give up all the reasons why you can’t and haven’t up until now.
Whatever those reasons were, they’re in the past.
You need to start choosing and acting as if you are in charge of your life. If hundreds of people have made it in spite of being broke, a high school dropout, dyslexic… then it’s not the conditions that are stopping you — it’s you!
4. Change your response.
You either create or allow something to happen to you, whether it was by your action, or by your inaction.
The results you’re living are the outcome of both an event and your response to that event.
Once you acknowledge this, you can change your outcomes by simply changing your response.
If you’re stuck in traffic, you can either complain, or you can use that time to listen to inspirational material and make the best out of that time.
5. Start making conscious choices.
The life you’re living now is the result of choices you made in the past.
If you chose to spend the money you earned on lavish vacations and designer clothes, then it’s no wonder you have little to no money saved for emergencies.
If, however, you chose to invest your money, you end up with an increase in net worth and enough money to face any emergencies. The choices you make every day, compounded over time, will determine the quality of your life.
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.
6. Pay attention to the alerts.
Nothing ever just happens to you.
You almost always receive warnings in advance, whether they were in the form of comments from others, intuition, general dissatisfaction… alerts that are telling you that something is wrong and needs to be changed in order to prevent any unwanted outcomes.
Principle 2. Be Clear Why You’re Here.
Each one of us was born with a life purpose. Living this purpose is the most rewarding thing you can experience.
By taking time to understand what you’re here to do and then pursuing it, you’ll be able to honor your purpose and live the life of your dreams. To be “on purpose”, means you’re doing what you love and what you’re good at.
You lead a fulfilling life that is in line with your values, and you become able to serve others in the best way you can.
1. Follow your inner guidance system.
You can tell when you’re living according to your purpose by how much joy you experience.
The things that are bringing you the greatest amount of joy and satisfaction are in line with your purpose.
To figure out your purpose, start making a list of the things that brought you joy the most. Then determine how you can make a living doing these things?
2. Stay on purpose.
Once you find out your purpose, make sure to write it down, or draw or paint a symbol or picture that presents it, and keep it where you’ll see it every day.
By reminding yourself of your purpose, you’ll be able to define your vision and set goals that are in line with your purpose and serve to fulfill it.
Principle 3. Decide What You Want.
Once you’ve identified your life purpose, decide what you want to be, do, and have. In order for you to live the life you want, you’ve got to first decide the kind of life you want to be leading, the kind of accomplishments you want, and the kind of person you want to become.
In other words, define what success looks like to you.
1. Don’t live someone else’s dreams.
Because of our childhood conditioning, most of us lost touch with our desires and learned how to act and behave in a way that will bring us others’ approval.
As a result, many people are doing a lot of things that are meant to please other people. They became doctors and lawyers like their fathers wanted, they married the spouse that pleased their mothers, they got a “real job” instead of perusing their dream career in the arts…
In order to start living your dreams, you need to reclaim your true desires. You can do this by starting with your smallest preferences in every situation.
By practicing to act according to what you desire, you become more able to honor your much greater desires.
2. Stop settling for less than what you want.
If you want to live the life of your dreams, you need to stop making other people’s needs and desires more important than yours.
It isn’t selfish to fulfill your needs and act according to your preferences and desires.
3. Make an “I want” list.
To truly live a life of your dreams, write make a list of the things you want to be, do, and have.
You might find that your first desires aren’t so profound like owning a new car or going on a vacation, but as you start jotting down every desire you can think of, the real you begins to speak as you rediscover your deepest desires.
4. Figure out a way to make a living doing what you love.
Often people refrain from pursuing their dream because they don’t believe they can make a living doing what they love.
Make a list of things you love to do and figure out ways you can work in that field. If you love cooking, you can work in a restaurant, or own one. You can even have a Youtube channel or a food blog and make money out of it.
You can even publish your own book of recipes or have a cooking show on TV.
5. Clarify your vision of your ideal life.
By clarifying your vision and describing in detail what it looks like and what it feels like, you’ll be able to reach your destination faster.
This vision should include all areas of your life: career, finances, free time, health, relationships, personal goals, and contribution to the larger community.
You don’t have to figure out how you’re going to get there.
You just need to define where you want to go and start moving in the right direction, and you’ll figure out the rest as you move forward.
6. Dream big.
It takes as much energy to dream a big dream as it takes to dream a little one.
The difference between superachievers and the mass is that superachievers dream bigger.
7. Act as if.
Acting as if you are already where you want to send powerful commands to your subconscious mind to find creative ways to achieve your goals.
This means you need to start thinking, dressing, acting, and feeling like the person who has already achieved a goal like yours.
The outer experience of acting as if you have already achieved your goals can create an inner experience that will help you reach your goal faster than anything else. You’ll be able to create a success mindset.
Successful people believe that anything is possible, they take risks, ask for what they want, and celebrate their achievements. You can start thinking like a successful person now.
Principle 4. Believe It’s Possible And Believe In Yourself
Whatever you can believe, you can achieve.
Your mind is a powerful tool that can deliver to you anything you want as long as you believe that it’s possible.
In fact, studies have shown that we respond to what our mind expects to happen next. And because the mind expects something will happen, we often achieve that very thing we anticipated.
Replace your limiting beliefs with positive ones. Believe that you’re capable of making it happen and that you have what it takes to pull it off.
Once you believe that you have what it takes, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind on.
1. Believing yourself is a choice.
Believing yourself is an attitude that you develop over time. Whether you were conditioned as a child to believe in yourself or not, it’s now your responsibility to take charge of your beliefs.
You might not be the most talented or gifted in your field, but with enough positive self-talk, visualization, and hard practice, you can learn to do almost anything.
2. Give up “I can’t”.
Words have a significant effect on what we can and cannot do.
When you keep repeating to yourself disempowering phrases such as “I can’t”, “I’m not able to”… you not only weaken your will power but also your body.
You need to replace these phrases with more empowering ones.
3. What others think about you is none of your business.
Having others believe in you and your dream was never a requirement for success.
If anything, most of those who achieved astounding success did so despite others not believing in them. Dr. Daniel Amen teaches a rule called 18/40/60 Rule that states: When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.
You don’t have to wait until you’re 60 to realize that nobody is thinking about you.
4. Look for opportunities in everything.
Instead of believing that the world is plotting to do you harm, choose to believe that the world is plotting to do you good.
Instead of seeing every challenge as a negative event, choose to see it for what it could be—something that is meant to empower you and help you grow.
Successful people are constantly expecting the world to support them and bring them opportunities, and they get just that.
Whenever faced with a challenge, ask yourself “What’s the opportunity that this is?”
Principle 5. Unleash The Power Of Goal-Setting.
Once you figured out your life purpose and clarified your vision, you need to convert your desires into specific, measurable goals and start acting on them.
Your brain is a goal-seeking organism, once you give it your goal, it’ll work day and night to achieve it.
1. Set specific, measurable goals.
To achieve any goal, you need to make sure that the goal satisfies two criteria.
It must be measurable by stating how many pages, pounds, dollars, points…, and it must be specified by setting a specific deadline for that goal, like “I want to lose 10 pounds by 6 PM on May 31”.
A goal that isn’t specific and that can’t be measured like saying “I want to lose weight”, is simply a good idea and not a goal.
2. Choose goals that are going to stretch you.
When you create your goals, make sure you choose goals that will require you to grow in order to achieve them.
Goals that will require you to learn new skills, building new relationships, challenging more deep-rooted beliefs, and overcoming your fears and roadblocks.
In addition to achieving these goals, you grow as a persona and become mentally stronger.
These goals could be writing a book, winning a gold medal at the Olympics, getting your doctoral degree, opening your own business,…
3. Write it down in detail and reread it three times a day.
Writing down your goals in detail will give you more clarity on your goal and will help you achieve it faster.
Once written down, you need to review your list two or three times a day in order to unleash the creative powers of your subconscious mind.
This will increase your motivation and heighten your awareness of the resources around you that can help you achieve your goal.
4. Chunk it down.
Our goals can seem so overwhelming without a series of small, achievable tasks. In order for you to achieve your goal, you need to break your large goal into smaller tasks and focus on accomplishing them one at a time.
One of the ways to figure out the steps you need to take, is to ask people who have already done what you set as a goal. You can also purchase a book or manual that explains the process.
You can also figure your path on your own by starting from the end and thinking backward.
You imagine you’ve achieved your goal and then you look back and see the last thing you had to do to get there and then the thing before and so until you arrive at where you are now.
Principle 6. Release The Brakes
Most people are held back from reaching their potential by their negative self-images and negative self-talk. This acts exactly like emergency brakes.
Unless you release these brakes you won’t be able to live the life of your dreams no matter how much will power you have.
1. Stop re-creating the same experience over and over.
Often people get stuck in a constant downward spiral. Our limiting beliefs create a negative self-image that governs our behavior which in turn reinforces our limiting beliefs.
When you’re about to give a presentation and you keep telling yourself that you’re going to forget your lines, you’re most likely going to forget them which in turn reinforces your belief that you can’t speak in front of public and that you’ll always forget your lines.
To break this cycle, you need to focus instead on thinking, talking, and writing about the reality you want to create.
2. Get out of your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone is your large collection of “can’ts” and “must nots” and other deep-rooted beliefs formed as a result of lifetime negative thinking.
By affirming to yourself that you are already having what you want, doing what you want, and being who you want, you can replace your negative beliefs with positive ones.
3. Change your self-talk with affirmations.
To effectively change your self-talk, affirmations should be constructed in a way that describes a goal in its already completed state.
To do this your affirmations need to satisfy these criteria:
- They start with the words “I am”.
- They are in the present tense.
- They are stated positively meaning they’re affirming what you want, and not what you don’t want.
- They are brief but specific.
- They include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word.
- They are personal, made for yourself, and not others.
An example of positive affirmation would be the following “I am celebrating feeling light and alive at my perfect body weight of one thirty-five.”
You can also add the phrase “Or something better” to your affirmations when it is appropriate.
Review these affirmations one to three times a day and read them out loud for yourself if possible. Close your eyes and feel the feelings that you’ll feel when you achieve that goal.
Principle 7. Take Action.
The world rewards action. It doesn’t pay you for what you know, it pays you for what you do.
However, many people would spend most of their time analyzing, planning, and organizing when what they really need is taking action.
By taking action, you begin to learn from your experiences things that you wouldn’t have learned from listening to others or reading books. You draw to you other people with similar goals.
You get feedback and make the necessary corrections. You build momentum and start seeing the steps ahead of you more clearly.
1. Quit waiting for the perfect moment.
Many people spend a long time waiting for the perfect moment or to be ready, to do something.
The truth is, there’s no perfect time and we’re never ready enough to do anything. Most successful people have a low tolerance for excessive planning and are always eager to get started.
So get on the playing field, and figure out the next step from there. Start getting feedback and make the necessary corrections.
2. Fail Forward.
Many people are afraid to take action because they’re afraid of failure.
What they don’t realize is that failure is an important part of the learning process.
You need to be willing to fail because only by making mistakes that you can learn and move forward.
3. Lean into it.
Success happens when you make yourself open to opportunities and willing to do what it takes to go after your goal without expectations.
When you see what it feels like, you’ll find out if you want to keep going.
4. Be willing to start without seeing the whole path.
You don’t have to see the whole pathway for you to take action on it. You need to be willing to start and to commit yourself, and then figure things out as you move forward.
Eventually, you’ll get where you want to go, or even someplace better.
5. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Experiencing fear, when you put yourself out there, is normal. It shouldn’t stop you from doing what it takes to reach your goals. This is what successful people come to understand.
They realized that fear is something to be acknowledged, felt, and taken along for the journey.
Keep in mind that every time you face a fear and do it anyway, you build up more confidence in yourself and your abilities that allows you to take bigger risks each time.
6. Be willing to pay the price.
Behind every success, a long journey of education, practicing, discipline, consistency, and sacrifice.
It’s the price you need to pay in order to reach the success you want.
You need to find out the price you’ll have to pay to reach your goal and be willing to pay it. It can be putting your social life on hold, investing all your savings, walking away from your comfort zone… most important, you need to be willing to do whatever it’s going to take to get the job done.
Principle 8. Ask For What You Want.
Asking, one of the most powerful success principles is a challenge for most people that holds them back from getting what they want.
People are holding themselves back by not asking for the information, assistance, money, and time that they need to reach their goals.
They’re afraid they might look needy, or stupid, but mostly they’re afraid of rejection. Ironically, they’re rejecting themselves by not asking.
1. Be willing o take the risk.
Take the risk to ask for what you need and want. If you want a raise, ask for it. If your boss says no, then you’re no worse off than when you started, but if he says yes, you’re definitely a lot better off.
2. Practice asking.
A good way to let go of your fear of rejection is by starting to ask for what you want every day.
Start asking for a discount, free sample, a date, better assignment, more convenient delivery date, time off, help with the house chores.
3. Reject rejection.
Rejection is a natural part of success and life in general. Successful people realize that when they get rejected, their situation doesn’t worse, it stays the same.
If you apply to Harvard and don’t get in, you weren’t at Harvard before you applied, so your situation didn’t get worse. Just say “next!” and keep on asking.
Don’t give in for your fear or resentment. Someone is waiting to say yes.
4. Ask for feedback and use it to your advantage.
Feedback can provide you with the information you need to make any necessary corrections or any possible improvements.
You need to ask for feedback, but you also need to be willing to respond to it. When the feedback is telling you that you failed, acknowledge that you did the best you could with the knowledge and skills you had at that time.
Thank your source of feedback and write down everything you learned from the experience.
Then refocus your vision by incorporating the lessons learned and make the necessary adjustment to your original plan.
Principle 9. Commit To Constant Personal-Growth
Successful people are committed to continual improvement.
In fact, the world is advancing at a rapid pace. New technologies are being invented.
New discoveries about our health and human capacities are being made.
Therefore keeping up with the changes and constantly improving is necessary to succeed.
1. Decide what to improve on.
You might want to improve your work by improving the quality of your product or service, your computer skills, your negotiation skills… your life at home by improving your parenting skills, your communication skills… or your health and fitness.
Decide what areas of your life needs improvement and figure out small steps to take to achieve that improvement.
2. Improve in small increments.
Whatever change or improvement you want to make, do in small, manageable steps.
These small, seemingly insignificant steps, completed consistently over time will create a radical difference.
3. Be consistent.
Nothing happens overnight. Whatever you want to accomplish, keep in mind that it’s going to take consistent effort.
However, you need to keep in mind that every step you take will get you close to the life of your dreams.
Every class you take, every book you read, every workout you fit in your day, every kind word you say to your spouse matter and are getting you closer to the life of your dreams.
4. Keep score for success.
We’re naturally inclined to improve our score.
Therefore, when you keep track of your goals, you become more motivated to improve your numbers.
5. Practice persistence.
The longer you persist, the more likely you’ll succeed.
Successful people simply refuse to give up.
So, whenever you run into an obstacle, stop and figure out ways to get around, over, or through the obstacle. Sometimes, you’ll run into roadblocks that no amount of planning or forethought could have predicted.
That’s why you need to always be solution-oriented in your thinking.
6. Practice the rule of 5.
Every day do five specific things that will move you toward your goal.
“What might you accomplish if you were to do a little bit—five things—every day for the next 40 years toward the accomplishment of your goal. If you wrote 5 pages a day, that would be 73,000 pages of text—the equivalent of 243 books of 300 pages each. If you saved $5 a day, that would be $73,000, enough for four round-the-world trips! If you invested $5 a day, with compound interest at only 6% a year, at the end of 40 years, you’d have amassed a small fortune of around $305,000.” Jack Canfield – The Success Principles(TM)
7. Exceed expectations.
Be someone who consistently goes the extra mile and over-delivers on his promises. It’s the hallmark of high achievers.
They realize that it’s what makes someone stand above the crowd.
History is filled with successful people who reached their success because they were willing to go the extra mile. They were willing to work for free and to give more than is expected.
When you exceed expectations, you are more likely to receive promotions, raises, and extra rewards.
Did I miss anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Which techniques from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite techniques.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now!
You Might Also Enjoy Reading:
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- How To Use The Compound Effect To Succeed In Life
- How to Make Good Habits Stick: 9 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Build Good Habits
- How To Avoid Burnout And Increase Your Productivity
- 10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity: How to Accomplish More & Have More Time
- Top 15 Productivity Tips to Achieve More and Create Peace of Mind
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Portions of this article were adapted from the book “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. All rights reserved.