The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

This is a review of the excellent book called Success Principles and with the subheading, “How to Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be”. This was written by Jack Canfield (co-author of of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series), and Janet Switzer .

To be honest I find this book difficult to categorise. When Jack Canfield’s “Success Principles” are learnt, absorbed and implemented, you will certainly find them a help, yet this is not just a ‘self-help’ book. If you take to heart the advice and life examples presented, your own life will certainly improve, but it is not just a ‘personal improvement’ manual. If you study it and diligently apply the exercises and develop the good habits that are outlined, you will be without doubt a better person, but it is not just about self betterment.
There are so many books that have been written on self-help, motivation, goal-setting and personal improvement, all dealing with various aspects of self-improvement and aiming to better yourself.
Jack Canfield has managed to compress these many books of knowledge and wisdom into one volume. As he says right in the introduction, this is not a book of; ‘good ideas, this is a book of timeless principles used by successful men and women throughout history’. He goes on to say that he has, over the last 30 years studied these principles and the people that put them into practice , and even more importantly he has actually applied the majority of these principles to his own life. If you check on his biography you’ll discover that he has made a very successful career out of applying these principles that he lists in this particular book.

Whether or not you have read many of these self-improvement books you may approach yet another one with a degree of scepticism. Unfortunately many of the books that are at present on the market appear to be fairly ‘fluffy’, full of idealistic platitudes and theory.

This book is undoubtedly different. However you approach it, you will find that when you start reading it, it will be very difficult to put it down and even more difficult to ignore the sensible ideas and the practical application of those ideas as they are presented, not just as information, but also as a series of exercises, periods of self-examination, and practical suggestions as to the definite steps to take, to improve yourself. If you read through this book without taking any action, you have done yourself a great disservice.

So how does it actually help you to improve your lifestyle, your personality, even your principles and morals. There are six sections in this manual. (I feel this is the fairest way to describe this work as a description of ‘manual’ is: “A book that contains information and instructions about how to do something”).
Just take a look at the list of contents or chapter headings or the actual principles described and you’ll find how thorough and structured this is.
Jack Canfield describes how you need to take responsibility for your own life, quoting the late Jim Rohn with “You can’t hire someone else to do your push-ups for you”.

Having clarified your life purpose you can not only set goals, but those goals can be broken down to a viable series of steps. You can then use these principles to take those steps, to change your vision (or dream) into goals and an action plan to achieve them.

The second section is all about “Transforming Yourself for Success. I saw it as a form of mental detox, getting rid of harmful toxins in the mind and preparing it for a host of beneficial changes.

Section three builds on this change and provides ways to strengthen your new mindset by using your own hitherto hidden strengths and involving others as support while you focus on your objective.

Section four is all about relationship building, no not the emotional urgings of an agony aunt but sound methods of building friendships, business relationships and masterminds.

Section five homes in on money, how to view it, attract it, gain it, and use it.

Section six succinctly guides you into taking action and benefiting from the life changes that will result and empowering others to follow your example. It almost seems that this encouragement is superfluous, because if you haven’t already started taking action long before you reach this last section you must have either reached total fulfilment in your life or at the other extreme be completely oblivious to the opportunities presented.

One of the secrets of the success of this book is that it manages to keep you motivated and actually encourages you to take the steps that are outlined here as the success principles. Before reading this book you may feel that a book of this type will be perhaps dry and maybe even a little uncomfortable to read if it highlights your failures, however the reverse is true, it is in fact an exciting read. Once started it is very difficult to put down and it is written in such a way that you have to be a very lazy or self-satisfied person not to implement at least some of the ideas presented.

I have to admit that at the time of writing I have not quite finished reading this book but even studying and implementing some of the principles outlined in the first half of this book have already found me a changed person.

If you want to change your life you have to start with yourself. This book will give you one of the best series of principles to help you do just that.

If you already have self-improvement or self-help books on your shelves don’t think that this is just another one. It would be unfair to say that this would take the place of all those that you have already read, on the other hand from what I have seen so far, if I had a choice of books to read “Success Principles”  would be high on my priority list. If you have never bought a self-improvement book, then buying this one, reading it and applying it yourself may mean you never need to buy another one. “The Principles Always Work”

Tony J James, Basic Author



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