The Success Principles


The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be is the book in which Jack Canfield shares the strategies he assembled over the past 30 years, along with Janet Switzer who has co-authored it. The book was first published in 2005.


Canfield presents 64 principles used by successful men and women throughout history:

It doesn’t matter if your goals are to be the top salesperson in your company, become a leading architect, score straight A’s in school, lose weight, buy your dream home or make millions of dollars—the principles and strategies are the same.

The author collected these principles, and practiced them himself. We’ll present several of them, starting with the most important one:

Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life. As there’s only one person 100% responsible for your life – you, you have to take total responsibility of it if you want to achieve success. All of our successes and failures, health, relationships, financial situation, our feelings and everything else – we’responsible for it. We must stop blaming others for our failures – as we have created our life the way it is by the means of our thoughts, there’s no reason to blame anyone, not even ourselves, because it’s useless, it’s already happened and it’s now in the past. We now have the chance to do things differently and to get the results that we want. The formula that enables that is: Event + Response = Outcome: every outcome we experience in life (good or bad) is the result of how we responded to the previous events in our lives. We can’t control the events in our life, but we can control our responses to them, and by responding in a different way, we’ll get different results.

Believe it’s Possible. Canfield explains how the Law of attraction works: we can achieve whatever our mind can conceive and believe. People often fail to reach their goals simply because they don’t believe that they can reach them, not because they lack a certain skill or knowledge. That’s why we must replace all our negative expectations with positive ones, and then our minds will start working to accomplish the outcome we want.

Believe in Yourself. This principle is connected with the previous one: if you believe that it’s possible, then you should also believe that you can do it. This has a lot to do with motivation and willingness to take action: if you believe that you can achieve something, you will do everything it takes to make it happen; if you don’t believe, you’ll miss the opportunities because you’ll believe that there’s no point in pursuing them. Your mind is able to do whatever you want, but you have to get rid of the negative talk and thoughts.

Release the Brakes. The authors believe that most people drive through life with their “psychological brakes” on: negative images about themselves, inaccurate beliefs about reality, guilt and self-doubt. And these are like prison: they won’t allow us go out and reach our goals. That’s why we need to get out of our self-imposed prisons, and the authors propose three ways to do that: by using affirmations and positive self-talk, by creating powerful and compelling new internal images of having, doing and creating what we want (visualization), and by changing our behavior.

Take Action. Many people do all the planning, analyzing and organizing, but they fail to take action – but successful people, who also do these things, are eager to take action. There’s no point in being too cautious, in being afraid of making a mistake – even if you make some, you will learn something new and valuable, and you can still achieve your goals. If you don’t take action, you will never reach your goals.

Learn More to Earn More. The more knowledge you acquire, the more successful you can be. The authors recommend reducing the time you spend in front of TV and using this time for reading inspirational books, books on psychology, finance, sales, health, biographies of great people etc. Another way to learn is to attend success rallies and conferences, but in order to learn, you have to be teachable, meaning that you should listen what people who know more than you have to say instead of wanting to impress them with your “knowledge”.

Focus on your core genius. Think about what you love to do and what you do well, and when you determine that – delegate everything else. You don’t have to hire staff, you can outsource the work that you don’t need to do yourself, or hire occasional part-timers. That way you will free your time, end enjoy life more.


Since Jack Canfield has a coaching program based on the book, we’ll just list the chapter titles here:

Section 1: The Fundamentals of Success

  • 1 Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life
  • 2 Be Clear Why You’re Here
  • 3 Decide What You Want
  • 4 Believe It’s Possible
  • 5 Believe in Yourself
  • 6 Become an Inverse Paranoid
  • 7 Unleash the Power of Goal Setting
  • 8 Chunk It Down
  • 9 Success Leaves Clues
  • 10 Release the Brakes
  • 11 See What You Want, Get What You See
  • 12 Act As If
  • 13 Take Action
  • 14 Just Lean Into It
  • 15 Act in Spite of Fear
  • 16 Be Willing to Pay the Price
  • 17 Ask! Ask! Ask!
  • 18 Reject Rejection!
  • 19 Use Feedback to Your Advantage
  • 20 Commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement
  • 21 Keep Score for Success
  • 22 Practice Persistence…Never Give Up!
  • 23 Practice the Rule of 5
  • 24 Exceed Expectations

Section 2: Transform Yourself for Success

  • 25 Drop Out of the “Ain’t It Awful” Club
  • 26 Acknowledge Your Positive Past
  • 27 Keep Your Eye on the Prize
  • 28 Clean Up Your Messes and Your Incompletes
  • 29 Complete the Past to Embrace the Future
  • 30 Face What Isn’t Working
  • 31 Embrace Change
  • 32 Transform Your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach
  • 33 Transcend Your Limiting Beliefs
  • 34 Develop Four New Success Habits a Year
  • 35 99% Is a Bitch—100% Is a Breeze
  • 36 Learn More to Earn More
  • 37 Stay Motivated with the Masters
  • 38 Fuel Your Success with Passion and Enthusiasm

Section 3: Build Your Success Team

  • 39 Stay Focused on Your Core Genius
  • 40 Redefine Time
  • 41 Build a Powerful Support Team
  • 42 Just Say No!
  • 43 Say No to the Good, So You Can Say Yes to the Great
  • 44 Find a Wong to Climb Under
  • 45 Hire a Personal Coach
  • 46 Mastermind Your Way to Success
  • 47 Inquire Within

Section 4: Build Successful Relationships

  • 48 Be Hear Now
  • 49 Have a Heart Talk
  • 50 Tell the Truth Faster
  • 51 Speak With Impeccability
  • 52 When In Doubt, Check It Out
  • 53 Practice Uncommon Appreciation
  • 54 Keep Your Agreements
  • 55 Be a Class Act

Section 5: Success and Money

  • 56 Develop a Positive Money Consciousness
  • 57 You Get What You Focus On
  • 58 Pay Yourself First
  • 59 Master the Spending Game
  • 60 To Spend More, First Make More
  • 61 Give More to Get More
  • 62 Find a Way to Serve

Section 6: Success Starts Now

  • 63 Start Now…Just Do It!
  • 64 Empower Others to Empower Yourself

Readers reviews

Donald Mitchell:

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.

Peter Vidmar:

Jack Canfield reveals the specific methodology and results-oriented principles required for success and ultimate achievement. Whether you need to boost sales at the office, expand creativity, or create more balance in your life, Jack will pave the way to achieving your highest success!


Let me just start off by saying I love Jack Canfield for writing this book that is how much I love it. This too was a life changer for me because I have always struggled in the past with setting and reaching goals. However, The Success Principles shows you how to do just that. It is also filled with people who were able to set and reach their goals by changing just a few things in their routine every day.

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