Who Is Responsible for Your Success?

June 30, 2010

By Jack Canfield

This isn’t a trick question.

Certainly you know the answer—the person who has been responsible for the life you live right now: YOU.

Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing… Your income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors.

I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but often times people convince themselves into thinking that external factors are the source of their failure, disappointment, and unhappiness.

External factors do not determine how you live. YOU are in complete control of the quality of your life.

When I hear people complain about the state of their life (be it their problems with personal finances, weight, their jobs, or general dissatisfaction) I like to help them see things differently.

If they feel “stuck” and unable to move forward for whatever reason, I ask them to scrutinize both what is working well and what isn’t working well in their life and see how they’ve arrived at where they currently are.

For example, if a woman tells me she’s unhappy with her weight—she travels frequently, and has no to time to exercise or seek healthy foods—I point out that her weight is not a result of her travels and schedule. It’s an outcome of what she chooses to eat and how she chooses to move, regardless of her daily agenda. Why not make a conscious effort to pre-plan healthy meals and snacks, even if it’s on the go, and sneak in 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there to be physically active (hey, I know some frequent flyers who make it a habit of running through airports!).

If you’re frustrated with any area in your life, then it’s time to take a little inventory. Certainly there are wonderful things happening, whether it’s your job, your romantic relationship, your children, your friends, or your income level. Your accomplishments are just as important as your missteps.

First, congratulate yourself on your successes; and then take a look at what isn’t working out so well. What are you doing or not doing to create those experiences?

Watch out! If you find yourself beginning to complain about everything but the choices you’ve made, then you need to take a step back. See if you can stop blaming outside factors for your unhappiness.

When you realize that you—and only you—create your experiences, you’ll realize that you can un-create them and forge new experiences whenever you want.

How empowering is that!

You must take responsibility for your happiness and your unhappiness, your successes and your failures, your good times and your bad times.

All too often we choose to claim the successes and blame the failures on others or other circumstances. When you stop blaming, however, you can take that energy and redirect it to focus on shaping a better situation for yourself. Blaming only ties up your energy. Imagine roping all the energy into a positive effort.

Some ideas to make this happen:

Believe, Believe, Believe! Have unwavering faith in yourself, for good and bad. Make the decision to accept the fact that you create all your experiences. You will experience successes thanks to you, and you will experience pain, struggle, and strife thanks to you. Sounds a little strange, but accepting this level of responsibility is uniquely empowering. It means you can do, change, and be anything. Stumbling blocks become just that—little hills to hop over.

Take no less than 100% responsibility . Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don’t waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live.

Stop complaining . Look at what you are complaining about. I’m fat. I’m tired. I can’t get out of debt. I won’t ever get a better job. I can’t stand the relationship I have with my sister. I’ll never find a soulmate in life. Really examine your complaints. More than likely you can do something about them. They are not about other people, other things, or other events. They are about YOU.

Make an immediate change. Are you unhappy about something that is happening right now? Make requests that will make it more desirable to you, or take the steps to change it yourself. Making a change might be uncomfortable for you. It might mean you have to put in more time, money, and effort. It might mean that someone gets upset about it, or makes you feel bad about your decision. It might be difficult to change or leave a situation, but staying put is your choice so why continue to complain?

You can either do something about it or not. It is your choice and you have responsibility for your choices.

Pay attention. Looking to others for help and guidance is helpful, but don’t forget to stay tuned in to yourself—your behavior, attitude, and life experiences. Identify what’s working and what isn’t. If you need to, write it all down. Then…

Face the truth and take action for the long term . You have to be willing to change your behavior if you want a different outcome. You have to be willing to take the risks necessary to get what you want. If you’ve already taken an initial step in the right direction, now’s the time to plan additional steps to keep moving you forward, faster.

Isn’t it a great relief to know that you can make your life what you want it to be? Isn’t it wonderful that your successes do not depend on someone else?

So if you need just one thing to do different today than you did yesterday, make it this:

Commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life. Decide to make changes, one step at a time. Once you start the process you’ll discover it’s much easier to get what you want by taking control of your thoughts, your visualizations, and your actions!


Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com


The Top 5 Reasons You Spin Your Wheels

March 16, 2010

Guest article by Shawn Driscoll

One of the coolest things I get to do in my work with ambitious, visionary leaders is to get them back on track.  You see, many creative people frequently find themselves feeling stuck, stalled or spinning their wheels. 

It’s a product of seeing so many possibilities, but not always seeing the exact path to fulfilling any of them.  The gap creates opportunity for some of our inner ‘gremlins’ to step in and slow us down. 

If  you’re feeling off track, stalled out or simply spinning in possibilities, it’s time to figure out what’s getting in the way.  Once you know what’s going on, you can actually do something about it!

 The top 5 reasons you get stuck or spin your wheels:

1. You’re not playing the game you really want to be playing
It goes something like this:  I’m frustrated.  I’ve got big ideas, but I’m not making progress on them.  Really, I’ve got a good life.  I make good money.  Maybe I should just be happy with what I’ve got.  And so you keep trying to talk yourself out of taking the risk and going for what really matters.  But the truth is, you’re ambitious and no amount of rationalizing is ever going to make you happy when you know there’s more you want to be doing. Claim the game you want to be playing.  It’s the first step!

2. You play on the slippery slope of self doubt  You know what you want.  You know what steps you could be taking to get there. And yet you don’t do it.  You decide and then backslide.  You look at what everyone else is doing and it sends you back to the drawing board.  You think:  “hmm, maybe this isn’t quite right.  Maybe I should keep looking for ‘the answer’.  Maybe I’m not ready.”  The slippery slope of self doubt will trip you up as long as you let it.  Commit to moving forward.  You can always adjust course.  But going backward sends you down the slide every time.

3Overinvesting in information gathering  It’s easy to pour your time, energy and money into information gathering.  Read another book. Take another class.  Download another report.  Scan for what everyone else is doing.  You can gather information all day long, but what you want is in the implementation, not the information.  There’s a time and a place for scanning for information.  And then there’s a time for action.  Know the difference.

 4. Aimless action  Jumping in without a strategy and engaging in ‘frantic tactics’ or aimless action is the fast route to spinning your wheels.  You feel busy.  You feel like you’re doing something…but in truth, you’re getting nowhere.  You don’t know why you’re doing ½ the things you’re doing…other than someone else said you should.  If you don’t know WHY you are doing what you’re doing, it’s aimless.  You need a strategy.  A focus.  A bias for action can be good, but overused it just keeps you spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast.

5. Pretending there’s no fear  Let’s be honest.  If you’re pursuing something worthwhile and big, you’re going to be scared.    But I hear people tell me all the time that they are ‘fearless’.  If you’re fearless you’re not really engaged in something that matters.  I think the real truth is we say we have no fear because we think you’re supposed to be fearless if you’re a risk taker.  Bah humbug.  True risk taking involves courage in the face of fear…not its absence.  I love this quote from a well-known bullfighter (whose name I don’t recall):

 “To fight a bull when you are not scared is nothing. And to not fight a bull when you are scared is nothing.  But to fight a bull when you are scared—that is something.”

 Do something that scares you.  It’ll be well worth it!

 My coaching challenge:
If you saw one of your patterns in the list, it’s time to take action.  You only need to do ONE thing differently to get back in the flow…so, what will it be?  Will you claim your big game?  Will you do something that scares you?  Will you silence your inner critic?

 I can’t wait to hear what shifts for you when you do!

Shawn Driscoll is a strategic business coach and consultant devoted to empowering high achieving entrepreneurs to build small businesses that make a big impact.  She guides her clients to create Signature businesses that stand out from the crowd as recognized as leaders in their market.  Shawn is best known as a down to earth and upbeat coach with a gift for seeing the unique brilliance in her clients and guiding them to turn their visionary ideas into high impact, high integrity, high income businesses. www.YourSignatureProgram.com
===================================================== March is Stop Your Drama Month!  Free resources for managers and leaders available by clicking here!

Fire Fighter Training. . .When Bad Drama Happens to Good Process

March 14, 2010

Guest Article by Beth Schneider

One moment I’m rehearsing and preparing for a teleclass where I was the guest expert. The next minute, my computer screen goes black. The computer starts making a weird beeping noise and all I’ve got are blinking lights and characters that don’t make any sense.

I frantically push buttons as I realize I’m supposed to “go on” in 10 minutes. Not only have I lost my script, but the call-in number to the teleclass and the contact number for the person running the class are locked in the depths of my now useless computer.


Sometimes even the best laid plans can unexpectedly blow up in your face and birth a crisis.

People make mistakes, technology breaks down, “drama” happens. We’ve all been there when the panic sets in and all rationale hits the road. Trust me I know from personal experience.

The key to handling a crisis or what we sometimes refer to as a fire, is to become a Fire Fighter. Take a look at the steps I used to extinguish this fire. Then incorporate them into your routine so that you can be a Fire Fighter when bad “drama” happens to your good process.

Step 1: It’s OK to feel
When I realized that my blinking computer wasn’t going to recover I yelled a long list of expletives at it, pounded on it one more time and then got to work. Don’t ignore your emotions. Be mad, sad, frustrated, scared, etc. The key here is to feel these emotions, not dump them on all the people around you. When the problem hits, close your office door and rant all you want, go outside, make a phone call to a sympathetic uninvolved ear, something to let out the feelings so that they can pass and you can focus.

Screaming at the people around you or the person who made the mistake is NOT going to help.

Step 2: Focus on a Solution
I needed a solution, fast! My heart was pounding. I was sweating. I had 8 minutes to recreate my script and somehow get the phone numbers I needed to actually dial in to the teleclass. I took a deep breath, calmed down and started brainstorming. I had a choice. I could focus and create a solution or jump up and down and have a temper tantrum. Former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani once said that his father told him the key to problem solving was to be the calmest person in the room. Yes, this is sometimes difficult, but by being calm, you can start to focus on a solution to the problem rather than the problem itself. And isn’t the goal to get a solution in place?

Step 3: Form a Plan and Get Going
With 6 minutes to go, I had a plan. As I phoned my Dad, I prayed he was home sitting in front of his computer. He was! First, I had him pull the phone number of the person facilitating the teleclass from their website. Then I had him register for the class so he would get the auto responder sign-in info. Phone numbers, yeah! While he was surfing, I opened my files and pulled a script from one of my live speaking events. Not quite the same program, but something to improvise from. My blood pressure was starting to return to normal.

Once you are able to focus, put a general plan of action into place so you know where you are going and not simply running in circles. Even though it may seem like there is “no time”, stop and think. Determine what immediate actions you have to take to keep your head above water.

Step 4: Get Help
I started thinking about who would have immediate access to a computer. My Dad was the first person I thought of. If he hadn’t been there, I would have gone to my Brother. Then to anyone else I could think of who I knew had a good chance of being in front of a computer.

Get the right people working with you. Figure out an expert who might be able to help or offer advice. Find a colleague who may have already been there, done that. Pull people off other projects if you need extra hands. See if there is something you can buy that will help.

If your house was burning down, would you want a fire fighter or a plumber? Do what it takes to get the resources you need.

Step 5: Recap
I called in to the teleclass in just the nick of time. It was a huge success and no one was the wiser. Wwwwhhhheeeewwwww.

Now I have a paper file of teleclass scripts, just in case. I also have a running log of teleclass call-in numbers, just in case. I have a system in place to ensure this never happens again. When the dust clears, revisit what just happened. Where did the breakdown occur? How could it be prevented in the future? If it might happen again, what should the plan be?

Fires happen all the time. It’s how you prepare and deal with those fires that make or break the amount of damage that is done. You can be your own best Fire Fighter.


Beth Schneider, President of Process Prodigy Inc., www.processprodigy.com, along with her team of highly sought after operations consultants, reveal the insider secrets billion-dollar corporations pay thousands of dollars for. Specializing in process creation, Process Prodigy tools and techniques have helped entrepreneurs increase productivity by as much as 600%, and revenues by as much as 250%. Visit www.processprodigy.com/ezine and grab your FREE systems starter kit valued at $297.00.

10 Action Steps to Stop Your Drama and Become the Leader of Your Life

March 11, 2010

Guest article by Linda Welch

Do you ever wonder “Is this all there is?”  Even if you have experienced great success in business or in your personal life, you may ask yourself this question.  You may have great relationships, a great job or business, a secure retirement…but there’s this deep “knowing” that there’s more you’re here to do…a bigger mission you have yet to fulfill.

What would it take for you to fully embrace who you are meant to be in the world?  What would it take for you to “step up” and become the leader you know you are meant to be?

You have a unique contribution to make in the world, a leadership role that only you can fulfill.  You begin the process of stepping into your “greatness” when you decide to master being the leader in your own life.  The process of discerning your calling and your mission in life can only begin when you accept the responsibility of becoming the leader of your life. 

If you’re ready to stop your drama and become the leader of your life, here are the action steps which will help you get there faster!

Action Steps:

  1. Stop your drama and embrace your calling to leadership!  The first step is simple!  Simply make the choice that starting now, you will be the leader of your own life!
  2. Examine your resistance to “stepping up” to becoming the leader in your life.  Are you addicted to some of the drama you have in your life?  Are you afraid to change? What’s in your way? Still waiting for the Magic Genie to come out of the lamp and grant you all your wishes and create the life of your dreams for you?
  3. Visualize each day from the perspective of creating what you want, rather than being a victim of what happens.  Strong leaders know that there is no right or wrong path.  There is simply “the path” with challenges and opportunities in every direction!
  4. On a daily basis, connect with your version of Source (whatever you consider that to be – God, Spirit, the Universe, Intuition, etc.) and ground yourself with unconditional love.
  5. Do an inventory of who and what feeds you and drains you. Eliminate unnecessary stress and drama!  Practice loving detachment with any people or situations you can’t yet eliminate from your life.
  6. Do a weekly reflection (can be written or a meditation) on how you showed up as a leader in your life in the past week.  Where did you hold back?  Where are you resisting? Bring your awareness to whatever came up that kept you from living your life as a strong leader. Visualize your upcoming week as a strong, grounded leader and imagine each day the way you’d like it to unfold.
  7. Begin with the end in mind. As you go through your day, remember the strong leader begins with the end in mind.  What is your intention for the conversation you need to have with your spouse? What is your intention for the project you need to complete for your business? What is your intention for how you want to “show up” for your child when they get home from school?
  8. Remember what you focus on expands.   Focus on what’s going well and how to get more of that and the solutions come much more easily!
  9. Begin a “Stepping Into My Greatness” journal.   Answer this question every day for 30 days:  If I stopped playing small, I would…
  10. Find an accountability partner.  Work with a friend, a coach or a spiritual guide who will hold you accountable for stepping up and being the leader you are meant to be in your life…and in the world!


So what are you waiting for?  The “right time?” the stars to align?,  more money in the bank?  Think of it this way, if you were to die tomorrow, what would you leave unfinished? What dream would be left unfulfilled? Whose life wouldn’t be impacted because you didn’t step up and fulfill your mission? Life is short.  Live full out!

Linda Welch is a Dream Launcher whose specialty is helping people “step up” to their greatness and fulfill their life mission.  If you’re ready to stop playing small, you can connect with her at http://www.launchmydreams.com

Get more free resources for Stop Your Drama Month!

Six Questions to Stop Sales Drama (Guest Article by Bill Prenatt)

March 9, 2010

Shortfalls in sales are a major contributor to “drama” in the workplace.  Here are some sure fire questions to ask yourself.  Take it from an experienced sales pro of 40 + years, when you honestly address the issues raised in these questions you can stop your drama, reduce stress, and make more money.

1)      How well defined are your goals both in terms of sales results and sales activities?

2)      Based on your goals, project sales for the next 90 days.  How does your projection compare to your goals.  What is the gap?

 3)      Based on you ratio of closes in the past (# of presentations or proposals closed per prospect), do you have an adequate # of activities to close the sales gap or shortfall?

 4)      Do you need to improve the quality of the prospects?

 5)      Do you need to improve the quality of the sales process?

 6)      Do you need to improve the quality of the selling skills?

If you keep doing what you have been doing…you are falling behind.  Successful selling is like a well measured recipe, when you put in all of the ingredients according to a predetermined, proven best practice, predictable results pop out.

 So avoid the drama and the headaches that come with missed sales quota’s.  When you don’t feel well you go to the doctor…right?  So if things aren’t going your way in the sales area, ask for help.

 Bill Prenatt is a successful salesman, sales manager and leader, purchasing agent, and sales trainer for 40 + years.  If you don’t know what to do to get on track, call him at  636 484-0208


Five Ways to Eliminate the Drama of Assumptions (Guest Article by Lisa Rickwood)

March 8, 2010

“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once and a while, or the light won’t come in.”
~Alan Alda~
Actor, Writer and Director

It’s one of the most dangerous things you can do in relationships – make assumptions. Assumptions can break up relationships, devastate your health, destroy your finances and wreak havoc in your life.

 The dictionary defines the word assumption as being ‘the act of asserting a claim, taking something for granted, arrogance, assuming of power or possession of something and finally, assuming facts without proof.’

 We do it all the time. We make assumptions about people, cultures and business – the world. We do this because we’re busy and it’s easy; we categorize and assume things to understand and act quickly. In short, we’re impatient beings. Jumping to conclusions or making assumptions causes us undue stress and drama.

 First dates are filled with assumption and drama.

For example, a woman on her first date often makes assumptions about whether her date likes her based on his actions. If he doesn’t kiss her on the first date, a million negative thoughts enter her mind.

 ‘He doesn’t like me, he’s in a relationship, he’s arrogant, he’s…’ The list is endless and if that woman keeps thinking this way, she may sabotage the relationship before it even gets started.

Perhaps the man is a gentleman and was taught to go slow on the first date or maybe he thinks the woman isn’t ‘into him.’ They both won’t know unless they drop the assumption game and engage in true dialogue.

 The assumption game can make or break a company.

 For example, if your business requires that you cold call or follow up with prospects, you may feel stressed if you don’t have a strategy to handle the negative thoughts that enter your mind when you call.

 If you spent your time ‘chasing’ prospects or playing ‘phone tag,’ you may feel frustrated and angry that people aren’t returning your calls. You may conjure up all kinds of drama about why ‘they don’t want you or that they’re not returning your call because they think you’re too expensive, not experienced enough’ and all the other negative thoughts that swirl in your head.Not long ago, I received a phone call from a client who was suffering from assumption drama. She told me her web designer hadn’t been returning her calls and was ‘ignoring her.’ I asked her what was happening and if she had proof.

 “What do you mean?” she asked.

 “Well, what proof do you have that she’s avoiding you? Did you have an argument? Did you tell her that her work is suspect?

 “No,” she said.

 “Well, is it possible that she’s having technical or family challenges and can’t reach you?”


 “Why don’t you phone her and see what’s happening. She might have family, health or other issues keeping her from responding to you. Try not to make assumptions until you have all the facts.”

 “Okay, good plan – I’ll do that.” She said.

 A few weeks later, my client phoned me and she was happy. She told me she wasn’t stressed out and she dropped her assumptions and spoke with the web designer. This person had suffered a computer crash and it took a week to get ‘back on track.’What do you do if you recognize that you’re suffering from assumption drama? Simple – you take the five step strategy and apply it right away.

 Here’s the formula to drop assumption drama and get back to enjoying life:

1.   Recognize the problem: You can’t change what you can’t acknowledge. If you know you tend to assume things and jump to conclusions – change your thinking. Tell yourself that you need more facts before you take action.

 2.  Get all the facts: We’re all busy but that shouldn’t stop you from getting as many facts as you can about a situation so you can make informed decisions.

 3.   Double-check and ask questions: Even when you get the facts, it’s good to double-check and ask questions to clarify. Often, we’re impatient and react to the first facts we receive.

 4.   Communication: Once you have the facts, you’ve double-checked and asked questions, you’re free to communicate. If something bothers you, be honest. If you don’t like the way somebody did or said something, tell them tactfully. Good communication between you and another party will lead to constructive, not destructive actions. 

5.   Take a deep breath: Most of us react to situations. Take a few minutes to deep-breathe before taking action; this is often all the time you need to think clearly.

 My client would’ve saved days of stress and drama by applying this formula. She would’ve recognized that she tends to jump to conclusions and needs to sit back and get all the facts and communicate before making decisions. She would’ve found out that her web designer had technical challenges and that nothing delayed was her fault.

It’s not easy, but if you can sit back without making assumptions and get the facts, you’ll save time, save your sanity, save your business and save your life.

Lisa Rickwood, BFA, CPCC, is a speaker, author, coach and creative VA who helps small business owners and entrepreneurs save two hours a day and minimize stress and overwhelm. To get your FREE Instant Stress Relief Kit visit: www.escapethepace.com If you need a VA with vision, visit: www.escapetheapce.com/virtual to email Lisa for your VA Kit.

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Better Career Strategies: Stopping the Drama and Maximizing Opportunities(Guest article by Daryl Green)

March 5, 2010
Are you prepared for tomorrow’s challenges? Are you tired of your current job? The rapid pace of globalization makes it difficult for anyone to be secure. Given this reality, can you afford to be content with someone else entrusted with my future career options? As I conducted research for Breaking Organizational Ties: How to Have a More Fulfilled Life in Your Current Job, I heard numerous complaints about bad bosses and uncaring organizations. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to “stop the drama” in their lives.
 Although today’s job represents an uninspiring journey at work, rarely is a person willing to do something different. Many people become unhappy in their lives because they work in awful conditions.  However, you can find a way to be compensated for your talents even if that means changing your environment or leaving it. This article shares winning strategies during an economic crisis. Economic Crisis
Economic troubles make career planning more difficult. Since November 2009, America has lost 7.2 million jobs with the unemployment rate topping 10%.

Companies have shed 11,000 workers from their payroll. State agencies have had to layoff or furlough workers. Millions of Americans are now waiting longer for food stamps, unemployment checks, and disability payments.

Margaret Simms of the Urban Institute notes, “The length of the recession clearly has put a strain on the resources that states bring to bear.”

Therefore, our lives continue to unravel as things we depend on disintegrate before our eyes.

Career Strategy
An economic crisis and an uncertain future require individuals to explore new personal strategies. For many people, happiness means more than having a job. According to a Yankelovich Monitor’s study in 1997, only 25% of adults said “a lot of money” signified success and accomplishment. Unfortunately, many individuals work in organizations that don’t stimulate their professional growth.

In my own situation, I’ve kept my primary job but created my own business venture. This decision started my professional development and gave me a competitive edge in the market.

It doesn’t necessarily mean giving up your current job. However, it does involve a different mental journey. Marsha Sinetar, author of Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow, argues that individuals rarely take the time for introspection: “Most of us think about our jobs or our careers as a means to fulfill responsibilities to families and creditors, to gain more material comforts, and to achieve status and recognition. But we pay a high price for this kind of thinking.”

Therefore, you may need to change directions. These steps include the

following: (a) take a personal assessment of your current work situation;

(b) determine your primary focus; (c) prepare a plan for professional development at your job; (d) decide what you need to do in order to obtain your dream job; (e) weigh the consequences of changing directions; and (f) surround yourself with a positive support system.

Many individuals are rethinking their career situations during this economic crisis. I see a sense of despair encompassing them. How do I stop the drama in my personal life? Sadly, most people don’t know how to get out of this vicious cycle of hopelessness. Individuals should continue to sharpen their skills and never let anyone else decide their future. It appears that few managers are concerned about employee career development.

Therefore, I caution you not to get too comfortable in your jobs while the rest of the nation is going through unprecedented change. This article demonstrated that you can mobilize yourself and take control of your own situation.  In fact, it’s a critical step in achieving personal fulfillment and acquiring future wealth. Through this process, you will gain the insight to develop and enhance your skills while pursuing your personal goals and dreams.

About the Columnist:Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, please visit him at http://nuleadership.wordpress.com/.

 For more free resources during SYD Month go to www.stopyourdrama.org