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Why You Can’t Cook Up A Sumptuous Success by Just Following the Recipe


-My takeaway from Jack Canfield’s “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.


-My takeaway from Jack Canfield’s “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”

The book drips wisdom. Even if you are one of the common, primed by the digital culture that equates skimming to reading, you’ll still get valuable insights to help you handle some curved balls. Just reflect on the sprinkle of quotes, specially chosen by Canfield to open each chapter and as bonuses around the book.

Like this one from Mark Twain that opens Principle 8; “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” As good as the “on” switch on an appliance. Or this one by the successful Dallas Cowboy coach, Jimmy Johnson; “Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take the chance and be great?” A great “choice [either or] close.” This one by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson stops your wandering for a minute to focus on formulating the visual and sensual meaning; “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” For me, it smells of burning bacon at the breakfast lounge of an Arizona hotel. Scrumptious!

Like you, I think in feelings and pictures. To express the value of these wise words from the great intellects of the world, past and present, I see essence dripping from the salt embalmed steamed chicken that my mom used to prepare to boost the vitality needed in our youth. Energizing!

What I want to spend some time on is a quote from a great teacher who lived 2000 years ago. Maybe it’s inserted as a caveat. Or a warning not to get too carried away.

To open “How to read This Book,” Jack Canfield inserted this caveat from the Buddha; “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.”

It could be inserted for another reason. Like, “these ideas are so good, I challenge you to test them in real life.” Whatever. What I want to say is, “if it works for Canfield, doesn’t mean it will surely work for you.” 'Work' as, “you will achieve all he has achieved.” There are too many variables. For a start, you may not be living in America. You will not enjoy the opportunities their cultural, social and economic systems have to offer. You might not be brought up the American way, infused with the Pollyanna of the American dream. The chances of you knowing an IBM board member or W. Clement Stone were understandably slim if you were not in America at the right time.

But, make no mistake. The pro success principles Canfield shares will still do you a lot of good. They will create more success awareness for you. They will spur you to think, research and work towards a better deal for your life. In different ways, they will help you achieve a realistic level of success for you, where you are.

I just don’t want you to set expectations “to socialize with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; movie, television and recording stars; celebrated authors…members of Congress, professional athletes… work and laze at the best resorts around the world…” after reading this book and working the principles.

-My takeaway from Jack Canfield’s “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”
Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

I am not throwing stones. As I said in my last post, I sense a lot of push going through the book. You will certainly be prodded to work on the process. This is a win itself but it’s not going to be the surefire path to the level of success that Canfield enjoys. The external factor of opportunity and the fleeting bonus of luck are real fractions to the equation of success.

My intention is to save those who believe they have a world domination tool in their hands. From frustration. From giving up. From depression. From sinking into the sunken cost fallacy. From feeling like a total failure at the first missed milestone.

You will definitely benefit from this book. You will get a bearing for the path to success. You will be taught the tools for getting better in navigating life.

Surely, you will be moved to act. Like I confessed in the last post, I got carried away and drafted lofty goals which, on reflection, do not excite me in calmer situation.

With these off my chest, I am ready to share my notes from studying the book. (Some of the exercises are assignments to self, inspired by the ideas as I read.)

Principle 1: Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life

-It is time to stop looking outside yourself for the answers as to why you haven’t created the life and results you want, for it is you who creates the quality of life you lead and the results you produce. (The story of the man who lost a key in his house and was searching for it under the streetlamp.)

Taking 100% responsibility means you acknowledge that you create everything that happens to you. It means you understand that you are the cause of all your experience.

…take the position that you have always had the power to make it different, to get it right, to produce the desired result. For whatever reason- […] you chose not to exercise that power.

-that’s right, it’s a choice- you choose to act as if…you are responsible for everything that happens or doesn’t happen to you.

If something doesn’t turn out as planned, you will ask yourself, “How did I create that? What was I thinking? What were my beliefs? What did I say or not say? What did I do or not do to create that result?  How did I get the other person to act that way? What do I need to do differently the next time to get the result I want?”

[As they say, “It does not matter what happens to you, it’s your response to what is happening to you that is important.] The [take] 100% responsibility formula:


(Event+ Response=Outcome)

Change R to change O. E is hard to control. [Tweak the R to get the right O] If You Don’t Like Your Outcomes. Change Your Responses.

“Everything You Experience Today is the Result of the Choices You Have Made in the Past.”

-Everything you think, say and do needs to become intentional and aligned to your purpose, values and your goals.

-attitude and behavior create completely different experiences [and results.]

“If You Keep on Doing What You’ve Always Done, You’ll Keep on Getting What You’ve Always Got.” [This observation has been attributed to Einstein; it has been rephrased and credited to various CEOs.]

[The bottom-line:] if you want something different, you are going to have to do something different!

Exercise 1: Craft your (ready) responses to predictable events (or situations). Craft your (ready) responses to predictable events (or situations).

Good example for the Take 100% Responsibility formula attitude: [Southern California Lexus Dealer] “I ‘ve heard there’s going to be a recession (E). I’ve decided not to participate (O).”

[Repeat] “Everything you experience today is the result of the choices you have made in the past.”

Exercise 2: What may you have done in the past to create your current situation? How can you be better with a different response?

 Within your control: Your thoughts, actions and behavior. [and resources?]

Exercise 3: What are the specific thoughts, actions and behaviors that need changing? (Detail what and how you’re going to change them; ask, how are the changes going to improve your results?)

Don’t blame, don’t complain.

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.”

                     -Wayne Dyer Coauthor of How to Get What You Really Really Really Really Want.

If you are complaining, you know something better. (One way of finding your vision of something better?)

You complain about what you can change but choose not to [you know the “something better” to complain about. You have not done enough to get that something better?]

-My takeaway from Jack Canfield’s “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”
Photo by Étienne Godiard on Unsplash

Learn to replace complaining with making requests (asking) and taking action (doing) that will achieve (lead to) your desired outcome.

[Possibly,] you are not doing those things because they involve [some] risks (of being unemployed’ left alone, ridiculed, judged by others…etc)

Take the risks with creating the life you want.

If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, of course you’re going to take that risk [that comes with the decision.]

Yellow Alerts

…nothing just “happens to you…you almost always receive advance warnings. (in the form of telltale signs, comments from others, gut instinct or intuition…)

-external yellow alerts and internal yellow alerts…

These alerts give you time to change your response (R)…

Successful people do the Uncomfortable (confront spouse, speak up at staff meeting, tell someone you don’t trust them.)

Once you begin to respond quickly and decisively to signals and events as they occur, [granted, it takes some getting used to] life becomes much easier.

To be more successful, all you have to do is act in ways that produce more of what you want. It’s simple but not easy.


-concentrated awareness (focus)

-dedicated discipline

-willingness to experiment and take risks.

But the formula is simple-do more of what is working, do less of what isn’t and try on new behaviors to see if they produce better results.

Principle 1 (Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life) Summary

-Don’t give yourself an opportunity [the luxury] to blame anything for your condition. Regain the power to change by accepting 100% responsibility for your [quality of] life.

Key words: intention, responsibility, response

Action: review the exercises regularly. Reword, rework, reflect and refresh. It’s a living process.

-My takeaway from Jack Canfield’s “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”
Photo by Casey Chae on Unsplash

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