Book Review `How to get from where you are to where you want to be… The 25 principles of success’
Jack Canfield, ISBN 978-0-00-724575-8 Published by Harper Element 2007
I was given this book by a friend whilst staying in a cottage in the West of Ireland during my Coaching training. I was “hard at it” typing one of my essays. I could not go to sleep that night without scanning through this book and highlighting sentences and paragraphs that felt relevant. Parts were relevant to me personally, to the coaching assignments and learning, and to my work as a Counsellor & Psychotherapist and Supervisor.
There are sections that I particularly got benefit from. Principle 2 `Be clear why you`re here’ was particularly useful in helping me focus for the “Who do you think you are” essay on the Coaching training. I found the `life purpose exercise’ thought provoking. In particular I liked his words: “Once you are clear about what brings you the greatest joy, you will have a major insight into your purpose”. Carrying out the exercise and reflecting helped me gain clarity in this area.
In the back of my mind I was concerned about completing, sending and receiving responses from friends, colleagues and family to the Full Personal Review assignment. Principle 17 `Use feedback to your advantage’ was reassuring for me. It helped me with: tips on how to react and deal with both positive and negative feedback; how to look for patterns in the feedback, and the benefits of same. I was also concerned about getting feedback from people who have developed differently to me. For example, people who have not looked at the emotional development side of their lives. I was anticipating “criticism” in that aspect as I know some people are uncomfortable around emotions and emotional intelligence. Canfields writing reassured me in that he wrote: “not all feedback is accurate. You must consider the source. Some feedback is polluted by the psychological distortions of the person giving you the feedback”.
This easy to read and use book covers goal setting, affirmations, and many other thought provoking subjects. Canfield tells the reader to “start now!.. just do it!”. That sounded familiar to me… one of the Positive Success group said something similar to me when I was trying to perfect the “perfect” essay!
I have been able to work more deeply with coaching and short-term/brief counselling clients in the areas of affirmations and goal setting using some of Canfields `25 principles of success’.
I was disappointed not to find “values” in the index section. I expected to find it in the section on discovering your life purpose (Principle 2). Alas, no! Perhaps Jack has addressed this in one of his other books.. more reading!
All in all, this is a very readable and accessible book for any coach, coach in training; and anyone interested in personal and emotional development.
One final quote from Michelangelo used by Jack Canfield: `The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.’
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