Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stay Focused on Your Dreams by Jack Canfield

I just spent a day conducting my Success Principles Workshop for
200 unemployed men and women sponsored by the Workforce
Institute in San Jose, California.

It was a very revealing day.

First, I was struck by the diversity of the people who have lost
their jobs due to the cutbacks caused by the recession--computer
programmers, salespeople, managers, artists, trainers, architects,
landscapers, lawyers, actuaries, truck drivers, painters and

Secondly, I was struck by the mood of resignation and depression
that was present in the room when we began in the morning.

The prevailing belief was that there were not any jobs available
and that it wasn't going to get any better anytime soon. People
were preparing their resumes, going to job fairs, going to
interviews, but with little or no results.

I was reminded of Spencer Johnson's book Who Moved My Cheese, in
which he reports how rats in a laboratory maze are trained to press
a certain buzzer with their noses, and once they are reinforced
with a reward of cheese, will keep going back to press the same
buzzer even though they are no longer receiving cheese for pressing
the buzzer. Their noses will become bloody and they will eventually
die rather than press a different buzzer.

Human beings do the same thing. They will repeat a behavior that
used to work over and over and over again, even though it is not
producing the desired result, hoping that someday it will work

There is something to be said for perseverance in the face of
an obstacle, but sometimes you have to come to grips with the
fact that a particular opportunity may never exist again.

In my book 'The Success Principles' I teach a formula called E + R =
O. It stands for Events + Responses = Outcomes.

If a certain response (job search) in the face of a certain event
(the current economic situation in your area) is not creating the
outcome (income) you want, you may have to change your response.

You may have to try something different, which could include
employing a more creative approach to presenting yourself, moving
to a new location where the jobs are, changing fields (which might
require retraining or re-education), becoming an entrepreneur and
starting your own business venture, joining a multi-level marketing
company, partnering up with other people to start a service of some
kind--all of which may require you to step outside of your comfort

A good example of what I am talking about is a woman I read about
in USA Today. After losing her job she noticed that all the homes
that were being foreclosed in her neighborhood were left in shambles,
just as the angry people who were forced out of them. She called the
local banks and offered to clean them for a fee so that they would be
presentable when the banks tried to rent or sell them. Her little
venture was so successful that she had to hire several other people to
help. She now has a successful house cleaning business.

I saw a story on CNN about another jobless woman who opened a store
to help buy and sell used furniture from the people who were forced to
downsize as they were being foreclosed upon or forced to move to
smaller apartments. She sold some locally and some on the internet.
These are all examples of finding a need and filling it, of getting
creative instead of sitting passively by, doing the same old behaviors
that are not working.

By the end of the day in San Jose there was a different mood in the
air--one of excitement and enthusiasm about pursuing all of the
possibilities that lay before them.

They had come in at the beginning of the day simply hoping to figure
out how to find a job. By the end of the day they were leaving focused
on how to create the life of their dreams.

They had transcended the limited goal of getting back to ground zero
and replaced it with a goal of "thrival" rather than mere survival.

No matter what is going on in the economy...

* hold fast to your dreams,
* visualize them with feeling twice a day,
* keep your self-talk positive,
* surround yourself with positive people,
* read uplifting books,
* trust your intuition,
* take continuous action,
* expect the best,
* respond to feedback by making the necessary corrections,
* and persevere until you get the result you want.

It's a formula that always works.

After the workshop had concluded, one of the participants came up
to me and said...

"You know, I used to set goals and do the things you were teaching
us today when I was younger. I guess I've just stopped doing the
things that work."

Whatever you do, don't stop doing the things that work. I promise
you, if you work the principles, the principles always work.