In Life Management, Managing Priorities

“Without failure, there can be no success. No matter where you are in life,
you’re destined to face adversity, hardship, and challenges along the path
to achieving your dreams.”
–Jack Canfield, The Success Principles

We’ve all experienced times when we want to quit striving for something important and just settle for what we already have. You know from past success that it requires determination and unwavering perseverance to achieve your dreams.

I began my business in 1995. There were many times when I wanted to quit, but my vision and passion carried me through. When I felt especially discouraged, I repeated this simple mantra: Don’t quit…keep going! 

Ten years after starting my business, I met a man named Jordan Adler, and he shared his version of this mantra: Never quit on a bad day!

We all have bad days. Typically, the decisions we make when we’re feeling discouraged are not the best decisions. This is one of the most important philosophies for you to adopt in your business. If you can press through your discouragement and stay in action, you just might have a good day, which will put you in a more positive frame-of-mind.  From there you can make the best decisions in pursuit of the future you desire.

“Winners are not those who never fail
but those who never quit.”
-Edwin Louis Cole

My mentor, Jack Canfield, the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, has this to say about refusing to quit: “Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected by 144 publishers. If we had given up after 100 publishers, I likely would not be where I am now. I encourage you to reject rejection. If someone says no, just say NEXT!

Jack Canfield holds the Guinness Book World Record for having seven books simultaneously on the New York Times Bestseller List. People who know Jack today may be surprised to learn that he was 50 years old when his first book reached the bestseller list, and he earned his first million-dollar check at age 51. So, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Now is always the perfect time to start!

Jack just turned 73 this past week. Although I can’t imagine him ever retiring, Jack has been slowing his pace by taking more vacation weeks throughout the year. One of his goals is to leverage his expertise by training 1,000,000 people to teach his Success Principles to groups around the world.

I’ll share 8 powerful questions I learned from Jack when I participated in his Platinum Mastermind year-long program in 2008.  These questions serve as a powerful tool to coach others to success.

If you are dealing with a difficult or troubling situation in your life—perhaps you feel like quitting or giving up–and you’re ready to have things be different than they are right now, find a trusted accountability partner and have that person ask you these 8 questions. I do not recommend doing this exercise by yourself.

When you come to a question that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t quit! Ask your accountability partner to help you stick with the process. On the other side of discomfort is your breakthrough to success!

Speaking of your own breakthrough, I have a very special invitation to share with you.  Jack Canfield is going on a three-city tour this fall to share his One Day to Greatness workshop that will change your life. I’ll be attending the one in Seattle. If you live in or close to Anaheim (Sept. 15), Seattle (October 3), or Salt Lake City (October 20)–or you’re able to travel to one of these cities–and you have a strong desire to reach incredible new levels of personal and professional success, I encourage you to book your seat ASAP.

Now, back to the 8 powerful questions that I promised you. Have your accountability partner write down your answers.

1. What is a difficult or troubling situation in your life?

Where do you feel stuck, frustrated, discouraged, unhappy, irritated, or angry?  Whatever the problem is, the first thing is to identify it.

2. How are you creating it or allowing it to happen?

Everything you experience, you create. You are responsible for everything that you’ve allowed to continue in your life. What are you currently doing–either actively or passively–that allows this troubling situation to continue in your life?

3. What are you pretending not to know?

In every situation where you’re not taking action, you almost always know how to fix it. You know what to do but you’re pretending not to see the solution. You pretend because it’s inconvenient to change. It’s uncomfortable to notice a problem, because then you feel compelled to do something about.

4. What’s the payoff for keeping it like it is?

No person maintains a situation without some kind of payoff. Whatever the problem is, there are payoffs for keeping things the way they are. The payoff might be avoiding conflict or confrontation, or it might be remaining comfortable with the known and what’s familiar to you. Identify what’s blocking you from change.

5. What’s the cost for not changing it?

Every situation has a benefit (payoff) and a cost. What is the cost that you pay by not changing your situation? Often the cost includes giving up things like freedom, income, happiness, joy, and peace-of-mind. You may be sacrificing a lot by holding onto this troubling situation.

6. What would you rather be experiencing?

Think about all the great things that will come when you resolve the situation that is troubling you. Complete this sentence: I’d rather be experiencing ____.

7. What actions will you take and what requests will you make to get from where you are to where you want to be?

Do you need to do or ask for something? Do you need to set a boundary? What action will you commit to taking? This is the most important question. It requires you to get out of your comfort zone and do the things necessary to create what you want.

8. By when will you take that action?

Commit to a time and date for when you will take the action you’ve just identified. Also commit to an accountability check-in (by email, text or phone call) to let your accountability partner know that you did what you said you would do by the deadline. When you know that someone is waiting to make sure you took the action, you are more likely to follow through.

You’ll experience disappointment, adversity, and failure along the path to success, and your commitment will be tested for the goals you’re pursuing.  As you pass each test, you’ll learn valuable lessons along the way… lessons that will prepare you to handle the success that will ultimately follow when you persevere.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.”

— Confucius

What’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned that will prepare you to handle the success that will ultimately follow? What’s the next step for you?  Please comment below.

Life Architect – Creating Blueprints for Purposeful & Productive Lives Follow me on Facebook
Showing 4 comments
  • Barb

    I so appreciate your blog Kathy. This one really touched a spot where I have needed to focus. Clutter in my office has become a place I do not see. I just keep adding to it without taking control and making changes. I moved my working space to the dining room table! I have taken your course on dealing with paper clutter, but it didn’t make a difference – because I did not place action as a priority.
    6. Complete this sentence: I’d rather be experiencing ____.
    – Joyful freedom to work in a clutter-free, well organized office.
    Action starts today! With an accountability partner. Thank you Kathy!!

    • Kathy Paauw

      Barb, I am glad to hear that this blog post was helpful to you. Congratulations for taking action to shift something that has been bugging you for a a while.

  • Dolly Rhodes

    Kathy thank you for your blog and leadership. These 8 questions will allow me to face the credit card and student loan debt along with house repairs that we need to take action on. I’d rather be experiencing financial freedom from loans, using the extra money to help others instead of paying interest and living in a home fully remodeled!

    • Kathy Paauw

      Dolly, congratulations for doing this work and choosing to take action to create the change you desire.

Leave a Comment