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310 of 329 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Resource!
Most peoples' bookshelves are weighed down with self-help books. Some teach you how to lose weight. Others refocus your financial development. Still others help you with relationships. Yet others look at better habits. And others propound moral principles to guide you. What most of these books have in common is that they are usually superseded by a new and better...
Published on March 21, 2005 by Donald Mitchell

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85 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good insights
Ok..who am I to argue with a guy who has sold a gazzilion books and is amazingly successful...while I sit in a cube with headphones on wishing I were doing something else...anyway.

I agree with this book whole heartedly. In fact, I have implemented some of the strategies from the book and have noticed significant changes in my life. I have a project that I've...
Published on March 1, 2005 by Manta


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310 of 329 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Resource!, March 21, 2005
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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Most peoples' bookshelves are weighed down with self-help books. Some teach you how to lose weight. Others refocus your financial development. Still others help you with relationships. Yet others look at better habits. And others propound moral principles to guide you. What most of these books have in common is that they are usually superseded by a new and better book . . . soon after being published. How can you hope to keep up? Well, you couldn't . . . until now.

Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer have created something different in the self-help literature -- a compendium of the principles that have stood the test of time. I didn't find a single source of ideas that I like (except those that are only grounded in my religious beliefs) that wasn't included here somewhere.

The book is organized in several sections to make these references easier to follow: The Fundamental of Success (which includes principles like Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life, Be Clear Why You're Here, Decide What You Want, Believe It's Possible, Believe in Yourself, Unleash the Power of Goal-Setting, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Be Willing to Pay the Price, Reject Rejection, Use Feedback to Your Advantage, Commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement, Practice Persistence, and Exceed Expectations); Transform Yourself for Success (which includes principles like Drop Out of the "Ain't It Awful" Club . . . and Surround Yourself with Successful People, Acknowledge Your Positive Past, Face What Isn't Working, Transform Your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach, Stay Motivated with the Masters, and Fuel Your Success with Passion and Enthusiasm); Build Your Success Team; Creative Successful Relationships; Success and Money; and Success Starts Now.

The authors also provide many free tools to help you succeed.

If the strength of this approach is that you cover the waterfront of sound principles, the weakness is that the coverage is pretty thin in places. That will be the gripe of many people against this book. But unless it was to be 2,000 pages long, that weakness is unavoidable. The suggested reading and other references in the back, however, are more than adequate to lead someone to deeper resources where they are needed.

I only noticed one unmitigated weakness in the book: a preference for evolutionary change and improvement rather than encouraging readers to develop breakthrough skills as well.

To give you a sense of how valuable I found this book, I persuaded the dean of the university where I teach to let me launch a new course for self-improvement based on The Success Principles as the text. This one book will replace what many students are now acquiring through taking as many as six other courses. I see that as an important step forward for their educations . . . and yours, too, if you read and apply this book as I have been doing since I read it. I've seen immediate results . . . and believe that you will, too!

If you are a writer, you will also enjoy the many places in the book where Mr. Canfield shares lessons from his remarkable success with developing the series, Chicken Soup for the Soul.

If you have already read much of the success literature, you probably think this book isn't for you. I beg to differ. Seeing so many good ideas in one book will help you weld together good habits and actions in even more constructive ways.
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77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new trusted guide and inspiring motivator, December 15, 2004
After getting The Success Principles home, I was totally blown away at its thorough coverage of the subject. I am so used to getting a book of 7 this or 10 that's, that now those books seem very incomplete in comparison. This book has 64 chapters each devoted to addressing success from all standpoints, and just as important, giving me the 'how' to get there from where I am. I am so inspired to try everything out! There are also personal true stories to show how these principles work in the real world. There is a chapter on "Tell the Truth Faster" and even though I feel I am a very honest person, the story about Marilyn Tam telling the truth to the CEO of Nike really impressed me. I realized that telling the truth is more than saying the truth, it is also not withholding things that might be uncomfortable, shocking, risky, or controversial. I now have a concrete example of how it worked for Marilyn and Nike and am now committed to using it more in my life.

I also liked the fact that the chapters are all self contained. I'm so busy, I seldom read novels and I prefer short stories. I can open this book to any interesting topic from "Ask! Ask! Ask!" to " Transform your inner critic into an inner coach" and in no time I have new revelations. By the way, even on the subject of asking which I thought I knew something about, the contents brought a smile to my face because I know the 5 tips described there could get me powerful results. All the chapters seem well thought out, but this one might have an especially strong punch because it says that Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen wrote a whole book just on the science of asking. This includes anything from a favor to a raise, or even a large contract. The fifth tip by the way is "Ask repeatedly." Even though 5 year-old's know this, as adults we are conditioned to forget to ask again, or we take a no as a personal rejection, or we just give up. However, conditions and people change with time and a yes on the third asking can be just as sweet. Even in relationships how often has one even failed to ask the first time and then blamed the other for now fulfilling a desire? The Success Principles has really opened my eyes in the area of asking.

The only downside to this book that I can think of is wishing it had been published about 10 years ago. However, using the title of chapter 63, "Start Now!... Just Do It!" I'm taking a chapter/concept at a time, right now, and applying it in my life. This book is now my trusted guide and inspiring motivator for success.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guide to help you hit a homerun in the game of life!, January 10, 2005
As an Author, Coach, and Motivational Speaker I read a lot of books about people, their motivations, and their relationships. The Success Principles is an outstanding example of an educational, inspirational, and motivational guide to success. I love the stories of the people Jack and Janet chose to interview to model the principles. The Success Principles is an excellent book and I give it an A+.

The Success Principles is broken down into six sections that help you chart your path. Here are the sections and selected principles from each section that are making a difference for me.

The first 24 principles are labeled the Fundamentals of Success. Sample principles include:

Take 100% responsibility for your life

Decide what you want

Believe it's possible

Success leaves clues

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Ask, ask, ask

Keep score for success

Practice persistence

The next 14 principles are labeled Transform Yourself for Success and focus inward. Sample principles include:

...Surround yourself with successful people

Clean up your messes and incompletes

Change your inner critic into an inner coach

Fuel your success with passion and enthusiasm

The focus of the next nine principles is outward, Build Your Success Team. Sample principles include:

Build a powerful support team and delegate to them

Hire a personal coach

Mastermind your way to success

Section IV is Create Successful Relationships. I'm focusing on all of these eight principles since this is my core competency and I want to grow, expand, and solidify my knowledge in this area. The principles in this section are:

Be hear now

Have a heart talk

Tell the truth faster

Speak with impeccability

When in doubt, check it out

Practice uncommon appreciation

Keep your agreements

Be a class act

The next seven principles focus on Success and Money. Sample principles include:

You get what you focus on

Pay yourself first

To spend more, make more

Find a way to serve

Finally Jack and Janet wrapup with Success Starts Now.

Start Now!... Just Do It!

Empower yourself by empowering others

Jack and Janet include suggested readings and additional resources for success at the end of the book. There is a postcard inserted in each book that challenges the reader with "What could you accomplish if your were personally mentored by Jack Canfield?" It gives a number of links where you can download additional information.

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer is a homerun on the ballfield of success books. I highly recommend that you get a copy today!

Kevin Decker, Relationship Coach
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucid, Eloquent, Substantial, Entertaining...and Practical, September 5, 2005
Frankly, I began to read this volume with some apprehension because by now I have become convinced that there are no shortcuts to gaining wisdom and that the journey to obtain it is very, very difficult. Also, I agree with Oliver Wendell Holmes who once observed, "I wouldn't give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity but I'd give my life for the simplicity on the far side of complexity."

Would Canfield's The Successful Principles simply be an expanded explanation of how to achieve success by consuming a bowl of chicken soup one spoonful at a time, by eating a whale one bite at a time, etc? No, it is not. On the contrary. Invoking the metaphor of a journey, Canfield offers a variation on the familiar aphorism, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." With Jane Switzer, he provides a cohesive and comprehensive program for those who are determined to achieve ambitious objectives, not only in their careers but in all other areas of their lives. Now here's the variation: "If you don't know what you want, your efforts will have no focus...and inevitably fail." People must first decide what they want, what they REALLY want.

The material is carefully organized and developed within six separate but interdependent sections. Canfield recommends 64 "commitments" and I wholly agree that the first is absolutely essential: Take 100% responsibility for your life. Those unwilling and/or unable to make and then sustain that commitment really cannot achieve their ambitious objectives, whatever they may be. In the first section, "The Fundamentals of Success," Canfield offers 24 of what he calls "building blocks." He then proceeds to examine what must be done to "transform" one's self to achieve success while building a support system which consists of mutually beneficial relationships with others. In Section V, "Success and Money," he offers specific suggestions with regard to the prudent but productive process by which to obtain and then increase net worth. (There are no head-snapping revelations in this section. Its greatest value lies in the clarity and simplicity with which Canfield discusses various strategies and tactics.) He concludes with what is really a game plan which each reader must formulate to apply the success principles already explained in the previous five sections. I especially appreciate the provision of all manner of free resources which are readily available to each reader. (Please see pages 437-440.) There is also a "Suggested Reading and Additional Resources for Success" section.

While offering so much food for thought and (especially) for positive action, Canfield enhances its appeal with some "seasoning" provided by hundreds of quotations throughout the narrative. For example:

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and the starting on the first one." (Mark Twain)

"Every negative event contains within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." (Napoleon Hill)

"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes." (Andrew Carnegie)

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." (Albert Einstein)

"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail." (Charles F. Kettering)

"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." (Abraham Lincoln)

"It is not the will to win that matters -- everyone has that. It is the will to prepare to win that matters." (Paul "Bear" Bryant)

"It's never crowded along the extra mile." (Wayne Dyer)

"You can get anything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want." (Zig Ziglar)

However, all of the material in this book (including Canfield's) is essentially worthless unless and until a reader makes and then sustains a full commitment to assume 100% responsibility for her or his life...and then decides precisely what she or he REALLY wants to achieve.

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out Michael Ray's The Highest Goal, Jim O'Toole's Creating the Good Life, David Whyte's The Heart Aroused, and The Oz Principle co-authored by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman.
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85 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good insights, March 1, 2005
By 
Manta (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
Ok..who am I to argue with a guy who has sold a gazzilion books and is amazingly successful...while I sit in a cube with headphones on wishing I were doing something else...anyway.

I agree with this book whole heartedly. In fact, I have implemented some of the strategies from the book and have noticed significant changes in my life. I have a project that I've been working on for three years. It could potential help steer me in the direction I want my life to go as well as make a few extra dollars. By reading just the first few chapters, the wheels are in motions and this project may actually happen!

So why did I give it only three stars? It is too much and he gives no strategy regarding how to use all of them. For instance, I want to start my own business. OK, Take 100% responsibility. Check. Now what? Are these steps sequential? Parallel? Do I use certain principles in certain situations but not in others?

I realize that these principles must be adopted and lived out, not just used to get what I want. But, for someone just starting to use these principles, a plan of action would be great.

One last warning. I agree with Stephen Covey. Before implementing these tips, one must know oneself and have a firm grasp of their values and principles. They must understand what matters most in their life. Once that is figured out then these success principles will come in handy.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Response to Criticisms of This Book, February 13, 2005
On religious criticism: There have been some negative reviews here on the basis that Canfield's book endorses selfishness and consumerism. I find this to be unfounded considering that Canfield never tells you WHAT you should want. He simply asks you to list YOUR goals and desires, whatever they may be. Sure, some people will want Porsches and million dollar bathrooms, but that reflects those readers--not Canfield's book. In fact, several of the principles in the book are specifically about serving others. Principle 61 is "Give More to Get More," 62 is "Find a Way to Serve," and 64 is "Empower Yourself by Empowering Others." It's also important to note that Canfield's audience is an international one with a huge diversity of cultures and traditions. The principles are therefore best explained in ways that don't require adherence to any specific religion and which allow readers to incorporate their spiritual beliefs as they see fit.

On the criticism that this book simply summarizes other people's ideas: there is some truth to this remark, but (1) that only increases the credibility of the principles, since other reputable authors obviously agree with them; (2) the reader greatly benefits from the way Canfield has organized all that material into a set of principles which work sequentially, so that each principle builds upon the last; and (3) you save money by having to buy only one book which has them all instead of having to buy several individually. And Canfield not only clearly acknowledges the work of others when he references it, but openly recommends that his readers investigate those other works further.

So unless someone points out some more valid drawbacks to the book, I would happily recommend "The Success Principles" to anyone interested in achieving a more fulfilling life--however they define it.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the most complete self help book, April 9, 2006
This is the thickest self help book I ever read. 435 pages of content. However, it's a real page turner that I had finished it within three days, and learned a lot. I must praise the detailed breakdown (64 prinicples/chapters), the good pick of stories and quotes supporting each prinicple, and the excellent writing skill of the author. It's no exaggeration to describe this as the shortcut/summary/spirit of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. I had read over 50 self help books. I seldom rate one five star. But this book deserves it.

Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.

You cant hire someone else to do your push-ups for you. pg xxx

Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. Buddha pg xxxi

You cant cross the sea by merely staring into the water. pg 109

If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wont seem wonderful at all. - Michelangelo pg 130

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. - Stephen King pg 136

When a NASA rocket takes off from Canaveral, it uses up a large portion of its total fuel just to overcome the gravitational pull of the Earth. Once it has achieved that, it can virtually coast through space for the rest of its journey. pg 136

Whenever you ask anyone for anything, remember the following, SWSWSWSW, which stands for "some will, some wont, so what, someone's waiting." pg 147

The secret to success is to not give up. When someone say no, you say "Next!" Keep on asking. (Founder of KFC had been rejected over 300 times) pg 148

Go the extra mile. If you are willing to do more than you are paid to, eventually you will be paid more than you do. pg 182

You become like the people you spend the most time with. Pay any price to stay in the presence of extraordinary people. pg 190

Failing to complete robs you of valuable attention units. pg 209

Often, denial is based on the notion that something even worse will happen once we stop denying and take action...but you have to face what isnt working first. pg 224

Good or bad, habits always deliver results. Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success. pg 248

When you are interested in something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. - Ken Blanchard pg 251

Consider a committment to just 99% quality would mean:-

-16,000 lost pieces of mail per hour

-20,000 incorrectly filled drug prescription per year

-500 incorrect surgical operations performed each week

-500 new born babies dropped at birth by doctors every day

-Your heart failing to beat 32000 times a year pg 254

The word "enthusiam" comes from the Greek word entheos, which means "to be filled with God". pg 269

Listen a hundred times. Ponder a thousand times. Speak once. pg 325

The first 15% of any project is the most important. This is where you need to get clear, gather data, check things out. - Edward Deming pg 350

No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and application of wise thought which counts. pg 423
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will move you to action, October 23, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book lit a fire under me. I'm only halfway through it, but I'm taking a look at what I really want in my life, making bi-weekly lists of goals, and finding I'm actually meeting them. Basically, this book is helping me to mentally settle down and take a good hard look at my life and where I want to be. It's helping me see that anything is possible if I'm willing to believe and work for it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's feeling lost right now -- not sure where to go in life but not being happy where you are now.
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87 of 105 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Pocketful of Platitudes, April 11, 2005
Although immense, this book contains nothing new. This is not surprising as the author made his Chicken Soup fortune by taking the (uncompensated) stories of others and marketing them brillantly.

The aggravation generated by the continuous name-dropping and self-promotion was only surpassed by the endless plugs of products by friends and family.

The advice is frequently contradictory and hypocritical. For instance, it is suggested that one contact a successful person to be a mentor. That successful person, it is proposed, would be flattered and delighted to help the novice/wannabee. That is, of course,unless the novice/wannabee wants to work with the author. Don't bother, because one of his "rules" is that he never works with inexperienced writers, the learning curve is too high, etc, etc. Similarly, be sure to get a prenupt--not only will you protect your riches and not have to share, your partner will no doubt to be happy to demonstrate that forgoing your assets is a sign of their deep and abiding love of you.

I do not doubt that some people will find the suggestions in the book helpful and most of them are valid. However, this same material has been covered in greater detail by others. This book is superficial, a mere outline, the bones without the meat.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energy flows where attention goes......., March 7, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (Paperback)
I have read many self help books, and opening this book, and reading the 6 pages of testimonials and quotes, many from renowned authors or business people forms the impression that this book is out of the ordinary.

This book is a great reference and an excellent teaching manual for either a relentless self improver, or aspiring life coach. In the first 20 pages alone is major information about discovering your life purpose. Everything else flows from having a major definite purpose.

Taking 100% responsibility for what happens in your life, as opposed to blaming is also a very powerful concept.

I am also really liking the formula E + R =O. Event + response = Outcome. Your life is not defined by the events that happen in it, but by how you respond to them. So, if you don't like the outcome, change the response, or you will keep getting similar outcomes.

All these concepts are in the early part of the book, so you can probably imagine how much benefit can be derived from the remainder of this amazing book. More recently, I acquired the audio version of this book, which is narrated by Jack Canfield. If you like the book, you'll like this too.
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The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
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