The Success Principles: Quotes by Jack Canfield

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Looking for The Success Principles quotes by Jack Canfield? What are some of the most noteworthy passages worth revisiting?

 In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield details 67 principles to help anyone achieve their goals and dreams, based on his study and interviews with hundreds of successful people. The basic formula for success is to identify what you want, know that you deserve to have it, and use the book’s principles to get you there.

The following The Success Principles quotes highlight some of his key lessons.

The Success Principles: Quotes and Passages

Jack Canfield struck gold as a co-author of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, but it took years for him to achieve success. In The Success Principles, he lays out his 67 principles for achieving success in all facets of your life. The following The Success Principles quotes and passages discuss some of his key ideas around what it takes to achieve success.

“Avoid toxic people until you reach the point in your self-development where you no longer allow people to affect you with their negativity, you need to avoid toxic people at all costs. You’re better off spending time alone than spending time with people who will hold you back with their victim mentality and their mediocre standards. Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people—people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealists.”

If you spend a lot of time with people who stress you out, aren’t successful, or aren’t supportive, you’re less likely to achieve success. In The Success Principles, Canfield encourages the reader to aim to spend time with people who uplift support, and nurture their dreams, have a positive attitude, and are successful. To start surrounding yourself with supportive people, identify those who are toxic and holding you back. Here’s how:

  1. Write down all of the people you spend time with regularly. Consider family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, people in your church, and so on.
  2. Write a (+) next to people if they’re positive and support you or a (-) if they’re negative and don’t support you. Besides not being supportive, negative people like to complain, and they see themselves as perpetual victims. You might notice that most of the negative people belong to one group. For example, maybe your coworkers have toxic attitudes.
  3. Spend less time with the negative people. Instead, surround yourself with positive people.

“We have an innate desire to endlessly learn, grow, and develop. We want to become more than what we already are. Once we yield to this inclination for continuous and never-ending improvement, we lead a life of endless accomplishments and satisfaction.”

Here, Canfield is referring to the 36th principle of success which is all about lifelong learning. He offers four strategies to learn more throughout your life:

1. Watch less TV; read more. The average person in the U.S. watches six hours of TV a day. Eliminating one hour of TV a week would help you make time for other pursuits, such as learning a language, spending more time with family, or reading. Reading is one of the most beneficial activities because it allows you to learn from people who have already achieved great things. 

If you’re hoping to become an expert in your field, reading for an hour each day on related topics can greatly accelerate the pace of your learning. If you read a book a week, you’ll have read over 1,000 books in 20 years, putting you in the top 1 percent of people in your field.

2. Listen to inspirational audio programs. Listening to inspirational audio programs allows you to learn from experts. People spend an average of 30 minutes commuting each way, which adds up to 1,250 hours in five years. Filling that time listening to the wisdom of experts allows you to learn and adjust accordingly. Visit to access Canfield’s audio programs on a variety of topics.

3. Attend success rallies and conferences. Success rallies and conferences are events with speakers, coaches, and other professionals who can provide guidance and inspiration that’ll help you become successful. Similarly, you can find telesummits—recordings of conferences—online that feature between eight and 24 speakers. Type “telesummit” into your web browser to access them.

4. Train your team. To ensure that you’re constantly moving forward as a company, everyone needs to be learning how to advance themselves and their work. Here are two ways to train your team:

  • Let employees attend training or hire trainers to lead private sessions for your company. Do a mix of professional development and personal development training.
  • Create a library of resources employees can use, like books, DVDs or CDs.

5. Visit this book’s resources page for additional information, including:

  • Suggested courses to learn to read faster
  • Canfield’s curated list of books that discuss keys to success. Topics include nutrition, quantum physics, and psychology.
  • Recommended training and organizations that provide training for companies and individuals

“Most of us avoid telling the truth because it’s uncomfortable. We’re afraid of the consequences—making others feel uncomfortable, hurting their feelings, or risking their anger. And yet, when we don’t tell the truth, and others don’t tell us the truth, we can’t deal with matters from a basis in reality. We’ve all heard the phrase that “the truth will set you free.” And it will. The truth allows us to be free to deal with the way things are, not the way we imagine them to be or hope them to be or might manipulate them to be with our lies. The truth also frees up our energy. It takes energy to withhold the truth, keep a secret, or keep up an act.”

Your words—spoken and unspoken—have a powerful effect on you and those around you, yet you don’t often think about this power. Being honest and telling the truth can be difficult—you might worry about being judged, feeling uncomfortable, or facing someone’s anger. But telling the truth is an important part of being an authentic person. Lying requires energy, and when you don’t do it, you can put that energy toward becoming your best self instead.

In The Success Principles, Canfield lays out his truth-telling process:

To tell the truth, follow these steps:

1. Learn to recognize when you have something to say. Some common indicators are:

  • You feel resentful toward someone. Resentment often means that you need something you’re not getting. When you find yourself resenting someone, ask yourself what you need from them. Then, talk to them as soon as you can.
  • You think you’re protecting their feelings by not telling them the truth. Though this could be true, it’s also likely that you’re doing this to protect yourself by avoiding upsetting the person. More often, this hurts you as you hold it in and backfires later if you do tell the person. For example, you may not have made enough money to finance the family vacation this year, but you don’t want to tell your spouse for fear of upsetting them. If you wait until the planning stage to tell your spouse, they’ll likely feel upset that you didn’t tell them the truth sooner.
  • You’re waiting for the best time to tell the truth. There isn’t a perfect time to tell someone the truth. Instead of worrying about when to tell someone something, make a plan to talk with them as soon as possible so you can move on.

2. Decide the purpose of your expression. Generally, there are two purposes to truth-telling: Expressing yourself and/or solving a problem.

3. Arrange enough time to have a conversation. For example, if you need to talk to your boss about something that’s bothering you, don’t try to catch them for five minutes at the end of a meeting if you need 30 minutes—schedule as much time as you need.

4. Prepare for the conversation. You may feel nervous during your meeting, so plan your main points to ensure you say what you need to say. 

5. Ask the other person how they see the situation. You may worry that the other person will feel a certain way upon hearing the facts, but you can’t know for sure without asking them. This allows them to share their point of view rather than leaving it to your imagination.

6. If you’re looking for a solution, ask what they’d like you to do to resolve the situation. Write down what you’ll do to resolve it and what they plan to do. For example, you might talk to your book club about not getting enough time to discuss the book due to spending time catching up about your lives. One solution might be to agree to limit personal catch-up time to 10 minutes at the beginning of the hour rather than letting it go unchecked.

The Success Principles: Quotes by Jack Canfield

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Here's what you'll find in our full The Success Principles summary :

  • The 67 principles to help anyone achieve their goals and dreams
  • Why achieving your goals requires you to invest your time and effort
  • How to take responsibility for your own life

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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