Monday, March 05, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle 1

A while ago I read The Success Principles by Jack Canfield on the recommendation of a client. I thought it offered a lot of solid, practical, positive advice, some of which I've taken to heart. I've recently thought that I'd like to spend a week with each of the principles (there are 64). Of course, I'd also like to spend each week with a Nia principle and also a coaching skill. That might be a bit ambitious but it seems like a fun triad to play with.
The first of the success principles is take 100% responsibility for your life. In this context that means giving up excuses, blaming and complaining. If you want things to change, the change starts with you. "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got."
I believe it. I believe that taking responsibility for your life is a key to self-esteem and empowerment and is the way to create the life you want to be living. However in this book and elsewhere being 100% responsible for your life is equated with 100% creating your life. This belief is currently circulating widely and with great enthusiasm with the popularity of The Secret and the belief that we create our reality with our thoughts, our intentions, our focus and our choices. My view is that these 2 things are not the same and that the difference is significant.
I do not believe that we create everything that happens in our life. I do, however, believe that it's up to us to deal with whatever it is that shows up in our life - things we've created and otherwise - and that is my personal definition of being 100% responsible.
So, for example, when I was a girl, I had a younger brother who developed a brain tumour and passed away. In no way, shape or form do I believe that he created that experience for himself (or for the rest of us, for that matter). However, I do believe that once that tumour showed up, it became a part of my little brother's life and as such, his responsibility. Sadly, nobody could take that burden from him.
I believe that we are each 100% responsible for our life. We may try to run the other way. We may numb ourselves with drink or food or TV or any number of things. But in our hearts we know that our life is standing there in the corner, waiting for us to take care of it because only we can. And when we do, we discover our strength, our courage, our depth and our heart. We are the caretakers of our precious lives. And we are the beneficiaries of the kind of care we give.


Jessie said...

I'm glad you've decided to write about your interpretation of these principles. I haven't read the book, but you make me want to. These are good words, Jamie. Thanks for sharing them.

I've been trying to comment for the past couple days. I love you snow storm photos! You are so cute. :)

krista said...

I love this post.

Sacred Suzie said...

Beautiful post Jamie! I agree with it thoroughly too, it is how we respond to our challenges that matter and we must take responsibility for our lives, not all that happens to us. I think that is true empowerment.

Shannon said...

This book sounds fascinating and I love the idea of taking responsibility. Well, I love the concept, I'm not sure how much I would love the actuallity! It's one of those things though that once you realize something like this it's almost like you can't ignore it and go 'back' to how you used to think/do.

It's really got me thinking. Thanks so much for posting this.

melba said...

Yes. I hear you and I see the difference.
I understand.

Recently I have REALLy for the first time in my life been able to move past my past. The anger has gone. and it has taken me soo long. But I am glad to Be here now full of love and forgiveness.

Potato Print said...

Hi Jamie,
When I think of you, your sister automatically come into my vision. That's how I met you, as a trio. All very different and distinct, yet all having passed through the same womb.

This post exemplifies what I love about all three of you: the urge to forever better yourselves. Even when the three of you are old crones in a nursing home, you will all be engaged in seeking your highest selves. Bravo and bravo and bravo.

Anyway, this is a useful post, sometimes hard to read. The distinction is an important one. It's a great answer to the eternally annoying comment that my sister's death was "just meant to be."