#1464 The #1 Success Principle

The Event + Our Response = The Outcome

In our last several +1s, we’ve been talking about success.

We started with some modern scientific wisdom on the subject then we went old school then we went spiritual then we did a successful search for “success” in the Heroic app before talking about true success and how to win the ultimate game of life by activating our Soul Force.

Today, as promised, we’re going to talk about Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.

In fact, we’re going to talk about his #1 Success Principle.

First, a little context.

Jack Canfield is the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He’s been a leader in the self-development world for decades.

In The Success Principles, he distills “the 64 timeless principles used by successful men and women throughout history” to, as per the sub-title of the book, show us “How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”


For the #1 Principle…

Canfield tells us: “It is time to stop looking outside yourself for the answers to why you haven’t created the life and results you want, for it is you who creates the quality of the life you lead and the results you produce. You—no one else! To achieve major success in life—to achieve those things that are most important to you—you must assume 100% responsibility for your life. Nothing less will do.”


Canfield’s #1 Principle is Covey’s #1 Habit. It’s the essence of ancient Stoicism.

It’s Rule #1 of creating a great life.

We need to become the Hero of our lives and we simply can’t do that if we’re acting like a Victim.


Canfield shares a formula to help us get the idea: E + R = O.

The Event + Our Response = The Outcome.

An event happens.

The event is, in itself, neutral. (Buddhists would say that the event is “empty” of meaning.)

We respond.

We need to know that we ALWAYS have a choice as to how we respond and it’s ALWAYS (!!!) OUR RESPONSE that determines the Outcome.

Of course…

When we’re in Victim-mode, we think the equation goes E = O—something happens then there’s an inevitable outcome. That, of course, is not true.

Canfield shares a simple story to bring home his point.

After the earthquake in 1994 in Los Angeles (I still vividly remember being essentially *thrown* out of bed in Westwood where I was attending UCLA 😲 🛌 ), one of the major freeways took a beating. So, traffic was at a near stand-still. Some news reporters were knocking on commuters’ windows asking them what they thought.

The first person was angry and complaining about the fires and the floods and the earthquakes and how much he hated California, whiney yada yada yada.

The second person was beamingly happy and said she left for work at 5 am to do her best to get to work on time and, knowing there’d be delays, she brought some Spanish language learning tapes plus a book and a lunch and a full thermos. Life was good.

That’s Today’s +1.

Event + Response = Outcome.

How are YOU responding to the events in your life?!?

Remember Principle #1.

Take 100% Responsibility for your life.

Make it a game. See how you can create better and better Outcomes by more and more consciously choosing your Responses to the Events in your life…


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