As the creator of the phenomenally successful Chicken Soup for the Soul series, as well as several other best-selling books, Jack Canfield knows a thing or two about the power of focus. Now he is involved with the DVD The Secret, showing people how to focus their lives to reach their goals.
Jack says many people are oversimplifying the message of The Secret, which promotes the principle that "like attracts like." "Don't just think that you want to win the lottery," he says. "Visualize having the money because it's simply a 'how' to get to the 'what' that you want." Jack says that there are three steps to getting what you want: (1) Be very clear about what it is that you want; (2) believe that you can get it; and (3) be able to receive it.
By following those steps, Jack says he is able to set and reach three goals in seven arenas of his life each year. "Each of us needs to look at life in many different arenas and say, 'What do I want to do with these arenas in my life?'" he says.
Jack says these are the seven arenas of your life to focus on:
Financial: This takes into account your cash flow, your net profit and your savings for retirement. For many of us, a healthy bank account upon retirement is an important goal. With discipline and visualization, Jack says you can put away enough each year to be a millionaire by age 65.
Career: Consider your ideal job. What makes you happy? Where is your passion? Visualize what you want and your subconscious mind will begin to figure out how to get there, Jack says. He says that if you truly follow your passion, the money will follow.
Relationships: Think about what the ideal relationship would be with everyone in your life—partners, parents, colleagues, children, etc. What qualities do you want to see in those relationships? Ask yourself what you want and how you can create it.
Health and fitness: As medicine advances, we're continually learning what we can do to be responsible for our own bodies, Jack says. When things happen that are out of our control, like illness or catastrophe, we can be responsible for our responses. Many people are unconscious of their responses, so when you begin controlling them, your life becomes more intentional and you start getting more of what you want.
Fun and recreation: Each year, look at how many vacations you want to take and where, Jack says. If you don't plan them, the rest of life gets in the way and you don't take time out for yourself.
Contributions: Jack says it's important to set goals for ways to contribute, not only monetarily, but also by donating your time or expertise to those who could benefit from it.
Personal goals: Tying in all of the above, set goals for what you want to achieve personally each year. "If you want to be successful, hang out with people who are successful," Jack says. He stresses the importance of living in a state of optimistic expectation, rather than negativity. "When you're describing your current reality, what you're really doing is prescribing your future reality," he says.
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, March 12, 2014