Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jack Canfield Talks About the Quest for True Wealth

Today we’ll see what Jack Canfield thinks about the quest for wealth. I’m sharing some interview excerpts from Lili Fournier’s new PBS DVD – Quest for Success. We will learn about what some of the participants think about the quest for success and the quest for wealth. Visit each day throughout the week to learn about what another participant in Quest for Success thinks about this topic. Throughout the week I’ll share thoughts from Richard Branson, Marci Shimoff, Jack Assaraff, Jack Canfield and Desmond Tutu.

Jack Canfield About the Quest for True Wealth

LILI: That was my next question. What is true wealth? What is the most important thing in your life now?

JACK: True wealth, to me, is waking up in the morning excited as opposed to ‘Oh no, not another day.’ I remember when I had an operation about 10 years ago on my gallbladder. It had to be worked with and I went under anesthesia and if anyone has ever had an operation… am I going to wake up, are they going to put some bad blood in me, are they going to cut the wrong thing? You're in the recovery room and your eyes open and you look around and there's three nurses and you're still here and you go, ‘Yes, I'm still here.’ I have that feeling every morning - I get to get up. The first thing I do is I do a gratitude process, I'm grateful for the weather, the day, Southern California, my wife, my dog, the cat, my staff, all of that stuff. If I never even went out and ever experienced it I might be fulfilled in that moment because I'm grateful for it.

For me, my body's healthy, my wife loves me, my kids are growing and individuating, my staff is happy, people love my work, I get invited to speak places, I live in a paradise. I truly know I could close my eyes and sit in a cave for months and be happy because I know I'm there, I could do that through meditation, through self-appreciation, self-awareness. The other thing is that I get about five hundred letters a week saying, ‘You changed my life.’

A prisoner in Oregon said that ‘before reading your book I never took responsibility. I blamed everybody and now I love my life even though I'm on death row. I'm a counselor.’ ‘How could you be so happy, you're in prison!’ ‘I don't know, I just am. I used to hate the guards, now I like the guards. Now the guards are nice to me.’ Now the same warden, he started reading stories to the prisoners every night, like bedtime stories. One prisoner wrote me a letter which he forwarded to me once he said God, if I had been read stories like this as a kid, I wouldn't be in prison. You think, ‘Wow, I'm making an impact, I matter, I count. What I do is significant.’ Who could want more than that?

LILI: I find it really significant that you committed twenty years of your life to teaching self-esteem courses. I think it would be remiss not to ask you since you have the experience of having worked with so many people: what do you think holds most people back and what are the most powerful attributes or ways of breaking through limiting beliefs?

JACK: Well, two thing hold people back. One is limiting beliefs and the other is fear. Fear is based on limited beliefs, that I'm not enough to handle whatever it is I think I'm afraid of. If I knew from a total place of self-worth that I could handle anything that ever happened to me, then I wouldn't care what's going to happen to me - get arrested, lose my wife, get sick, lose my job. I would still know I can handle that. You know everybody, everyone of you watching this, you handled everything that ever happened to you up until this moment. You may not have handled it elegantly, you learned to do it better. The fact is you've handled it. So at some point I think that's why the older you get, the wiser you get.

You realize nothing can really kill me and if anything, it does make me stronger. If I'm afraid it's because I projected an image out of the future of something bad I think is going to happen. Number one, stop projecting bad images. Use the Law of Attraction to project a positive image to create a positive feeling. Number two: know that if even if that bad thing did happen, you could handle it, look at these hostages that are taken hostage and kept for years like in Iran. They come out and they create great lives again. People that were in solitary confinement in Vietnam, eight and a half years, couldn't talk to anyone else. A friend of mine, Jerry Coffee, he had that experience.

He said he wouldn't trade those eight and a half years for anything. He said, ‘because, I had to learn to get to know the only person in that cell. Me. I basically realized I psychoanalyze myself. Who was the only other person I could talk to? God. So I got very clear about everything in life.’ He said ‘I wouldn't want to go do it again, but I'm glad I had that experience. It made me the man I am today.’ One of the most compassionate, beautiful, clear, wise, articulate people I've ever met in my life. If he can handle that, certainly we can all handle anything.

There's really nothing to be afraid of. When you realize that you can't even die because you're already an eternal soul. We're all afraid of death. I like to describe death as walking from this room to that room. I'm still here, I'm just in a different room. I've met people who had near death experiences. They're all fearless. They're all very peaceful, even more so than I feel I am. I'll say to them why because I know, there's no doubt . What can you do, kill me. Alright, kill me. Who cares.

And so, my point of view is when you realize that there's really nothing to be afraid of and you start taking action, you start getting the results you want, you just go ‘Wow, what was I doing all those years.’ Wasting my life. I remember a woman, 65 years old. She picked up the back of a car. A friend of mine read about her in the National Enquirer I went to interview her. She wouldn't grant the interview. He finally got it months and months of persistences.

He said, ‘Why don't you want to talk about that?’ She said, ‘I'll tell you why. When you do something when you're 65 years old and you didn't think you could do it and you could, you have to ask yourself a very difficult question. What else in my life that I could have done that I didn't do. At my age, did I waste my whole life?’

LILI: That’s very poignant.

About Jack Canfield -

Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre, rapidly growing to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Behind the empire Time magazine called the "publishing phenomenon of the decade" he is the leading expert in creating peak performance for entrepreneurs and leaders.

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