Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Cheryl Denton Among the Ashes Darkfire Series mystery writer When Hope was Gone The Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #27

Successful people remain focused on their past successes, not their failures. Their written goals keep their eyes trained on their next action steps, not on distractions.

Remember the most important 45 minutes of the day.
Jack asserts that the most productive time of day is the 45 minutes prior to falling asleep. Whatever we focus on during that time, our brains will work all night to help us internalize.

He points out that if we watch violent TV or the late night news just before nodding off, this is what our subconscious mind will re-play all night long. I agree with this assertion, because if I watch action-adventure movies with Joe right before bed, I have disturbing dreams all night. If we have been abused, just thinking about our abuser will lead us to dream about him.

Jack recommends spending those final 45 minutes quietly planning the following day’s activities. We should review our goals book, read something inspiring, and meditate on something positive. When I do this, I do sleep better, and the following day goes more smoothly.

Practice the evening review.
Jack teaches us to sit with our eyes closed, breathe deeply, and ask God, “Show me where I could have been more ______________ today. The blank could include words, such as loving, effective, assertive, peaceful, and so on. We choose the word and then wait for the answer to this statement. In the quiet, God will speak to us and show us what to do better next time.

King David was considered a man after God’s own heart. He wrote in Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Thousands of years ago, David was practicing this important exercise of daily review.

Keep a Daily Success Journal.
I went to to download this form. Jack recommends utilizing it for 30 days. It is a chart with four headings:

-Further Progress; and
-Next Action

He directs readers to fill out this form daily in order to monitor daily successes. He advocates this to help us develop greater self-esteem, which most of us lack. If we do this activity every day, it creates momentum in our lives. It’s hard to ignore the next action when we’ve spelled out why this is important to us.

Create your ideal day the night before.
I have been practicing this habit for the past few weeks, and I can attest that it works quite well. Before going to sleep, Jack teaches us to visualize our upcoming day. I have been thinking about everything flowing smoothly: the car runs like a top, traffic is light, parking spaces are easy to find, the grocery clerk is efficient, everyone I meet is pleasant.

While we sleep, our subconscious mind goes to work to create our ideal day, just as we have imagined it. Consider what chaos we create for ourselves when we lie in bed, imagining the worst for the following day. Remember, we attract what we think about.

Today’s Challenge
Go to and download the Daily Success Journal. Write down one success, the reason you believe this is important to you, further progress that needs to occur, and your next action.

Complete the evening review tonight, asking God to show you how you can do better next time. And remember to visualize a terrific tomorrow before you fall asleep!

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery

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Acknowledge Your Positive Past

Cheryl Denton Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone The Road to forgiveness Cincinnati mystery writer

Cheryl Denton receives Toastmaster’s Humorous Speech 1st Place Award, Area 53, 2013

Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #26

Most of us were raised by parents and teachers who paid far more attention to our failings than to our successes. Our brains are wired to remember things that are closely associated to strong emotions. The shame or fear that adults instilled in us brought about powerful feelings of failure. We remember those well.

If we want to re-program our minds to forget these negative feelings, we must consciously focus on and celebrate our successes. Jack Canfield offers some helpful exercises for improving self-esteem in today’s lesson.

Use the poker chip theory of self-esteem and success.
Unless we begin to celebrate our successes, our self-esteem will remain low. Think about the game of poker, where the players must place bets. If you have only 5 chips, and I have 200, I’ll probably have greater confidence and take more risks than you will. I can make forty 5-chip bets before I’m out. You can only make one.

This poker-chip theory applies to our self-esteem. If we have very little self-esteem, we won’t take risks. We’ll bow out of opportunities just to save face. But if we have 200 poker chips worth of self-esteem, we’ll stick out your necks and risk feeling a little uncomfortable.

Begin by listing 9 major successes.
To help raise our self-esteem, we can begin to make an inventory of our major successes. Divide your life into three equal time periods. Then, list three successes you’ve had for each time period. My list looks like this:

Birth to 17

1. Sewed my first dress at the age of nine
2. Won the leading lady’s role in our community theater
3. Got accepted to the University of Michigan

Age 18 to 34

1. Published my first book
2. Gave birth to three healthy babies
3. Earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree

Age 35 to 50

1. Wrote a biography in 42 days
2. Set myself free from my abusive spouse
3. Landed a job as a magazine editor

Create a Victory Log.
A powerful way to increase our self-esteem is to create a Victory Log. We can recall and write down our successes each day. Later, we can re-read them to boost our self-confidence. Jack suggests expanding this list to 101 accomplishments. This can be difficult, but as our self-esteem improves, our memories of positive experiences will, too.

Display your success symbols.
Another way to build our self-esteem is to surround ourselves with symbols of our success. Last week, I hung a collection of framed objects over my desk. These include my diplomas, the cover of my first two books, and the cover of the magazine I edited. It also includes a painting I recently completed and a photo of a dock overlooking a lake.

This technique works on our subconscious mind to program us into believing that we are winners. It also conveys that message to others who see what we have accomplished.

Practice the mirror exercise daily.
The mirror exercise is designed to provide us with acknowledgement for our daily successes. Just before going to bed, stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself out loud how proud you are for any achievements you can claim, any personal disciplines you kept, and any temptations that you did not give in to.

Jack explains that this exercise can actually make people so uncomfortable that they break out in hives, sweat profusely, or feel nauseated. It makes most people feel silly, embarrassed, or uncomfortable at first. We are taught that we should never toot our own horn, become a stuffed shirt, or get a swelled head.

This exercise is designed to counteract the old parental wounds, unrealistic expectations, and self-judgements that we’ve been carrying around for years. Jack recommends doing the mirror exercise each night for 90 days. After that, we can decide whether or not we want to continue it.

Reward your inner child.
Each of us is made up of three distinct ego states: parent, adult, and child. The adult ego gathers data and makes logical decisions. It helps us remember appointments, figure out taxes, and balance the checkbook.

Our parent ego tells us to do the things according to its critical standards. These things include tasks such as brushing our teeth, meeting deadlines, and finishing projects. The parent ego also has a nurturing side that lets us know we’re protected, well cared for, and loved. It acknowledges us when we do a good job.

Our child ego whines, begs for attention, craves hugs, and acts out when it doesn’t get its way. Most of us ignore our inner child’s needs, because we are still trying to measure up to our perfectionist parents’ standards.

We can regularly reward our child ego for its accomplishments: for sitting quietly at a desk until a job is done, finishing a task on time, avoiding temptations, and so on. Rewards for our inner child might include reading a novel, going to the movies, playing with a friend, listening to music, or dancing.

For those of us who grew up with abusive parents, our parent ego often reminds us that we are failures. My friend told me this week that she gets nervous whenever someone watches her performing a task that she feels should be done to exacting standards. She realizes that this unfounded fear comes from her father’s emotional abuse, but she still struggles to measure up to his perfectionist demands.

If we have suffered abuse, we can remember that our heavenly Father loves us very much. Even if our earthly parents failed to make us feel loved and appreciated, God can satisfy our longings. Psalm 13:5 reads, But I trust in your unfailing love. We can turn to God’s Word regularly to remind our child egos that we are special and very much appreciated.

Today’s Challenge
1. Write your nine major successes. Expand it to include 101 successes.
2. Start making entries in your Victory Log.
3. Practice the mirror exercise.
4. Reward your inner child today for a job well-done.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery

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Drop Out of the ‘Ain’t It Awful’ Club

Cheryl Denton Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone The Road to Forgiveness mystery writer

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #25

This principle takes us into Part Two of The Success Principles, which is titled, Transform Yourself for Success. Part One focused on understanding the fundamentals of success. This section delves into specific ways that we can change ourselves in the process of achieving our goals.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
This is a profound statement. We make sure that our kids spend time with other ‘good kids,’ but as adults, we may not be quite so careful about who we spend our time with. I realized this a while back and became more selective about who I hang out with.

We can find more successful people in a variety of places, such as:

-Professional associations;
-Professional conferences;
-Chamber of Commerce;
-Country club;
-Leadership positions;
-Optimists International;
-Rotary Club;
-Volunteer positions in our religious organizations; and
-Networking groups.

We can attend lectures, courses, seminars, clinics, and retreats that are taught by people who are already doing what we want to become. So, think about being the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Look for people who have a positive attitude and a solution-oriented approach to life.

Drop out of the ‘Ain’t it Awful’ Club
When I was studying educational methods, my college adviser told me to avoid the teachers’ lounge at all costs. It was, in her estimation, a hotbed of gossip.

In my first job, I found myself eating lunch with the other teachers in the lounge during the early weeks on the job. My adviser had been right: the only thing coming out of my colleagues’ mouths were negative statements about the administration, their pay, their benefits, and the kids.

I never wanted to form a negative opinion about one of my students based on someone else’s critical spirit, so I began spending my lunch breaks in my classroom. Soon, another teacher joined me, and we formed a wonderful friendship that was based on positive thinking and an attitude of helpfulness toward one another.

Be selective.
Make a list of all the people that you spend time with on a regular basis: family members, coworkers, neighbors, friends, acquaintances at church, and business associates.

Now, go back and put a minus sign (-) next to the people who are negative and toxic. Put a plus sign (+) next to people who are positive and nurturing.

Look over your list and see where there are patterns of negativity. Make a choice to stop spending time with those people who are sucking the life out of you.

For those of us who have been in abusive relationships, this process can be really difficult. Often, the most toxic people live with us. Even if it is impossible to completely avoid these energy vampires, we must severely decrease the amount of time we spend with them.

I have come to the realization that toxic family members can rob me within minutes of every ounce of energy I have spent a year building. Therefore, I do not answer the phone when they call, read their emails, or even talk with others about them. In fact, I limit the amount of time I spend with some relatives, who expend a lot of their energy bringing up our perpetrator’s unhealthy lifestyle.

This was not an easy decision to make. The Bible tells us, “Honor your father and mother.” (Matt 15:4) Avoiding one’s mother or father can feel un-Biblical. But a Christian counselor helped me to see my relationship with my family members from another perspective. She pointed out that God’s Word tells us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14) We must guard our hearts and our minds from people who do not have in mind the things of God.

Surround yourself with successful people.
If we are going to become successful, we must begin to spend time with other successful people. We can ask them to share their secrets for success with us. Then, we can experiment with their suggestions. We can read what they read, and consider new ideas. If the new ideas work for us, we can incorporate them into our success strategies. If they don’t work, we can move on and keep asking others.

Today’s Challenge
Think about people you know who are always blaming someone else for their problems. Consider the people who do nothing but complain about the economy, their health, their spouses, and life in general. Stop giving away your precious time and energy to them! Make a list of five successful people you would like to know better, and call one of them today.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery

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Exceed Expectations

Cheryl Denton Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone The Road to Forgiveness mystery writer

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #24

According to Jack, successful people instinctively choose to do more. As a result, they generally experience great financial rewards for their efforts. What I like about this practice, though, is that it builds self-confidence. People who go the extra mile are more self-reliant and tend to influence those around them.

Go the extra mile.
When I was a teacher, I decided that I wanted to be the best teacher on staff wherever I worked. I wanted to do this by avoiding discipline problems, so I created educational games that allowed the students to learn what other teachers were presenting through textbooks.

My games were a huge hit with the kids, and the parents were happy that discipline problems seemed to disappear when their child was assigned to my class. Over time, parents began requesting that their children be placed in my class, because word got out that it was fun!

It took a lot of time to design and make the games, but the payoff was worth it. My students were happier, learned faster, and misbehaved less than others. As a result, I gained a lot of self-confidence from my habit of going the extra mile.

Give more than people expect.
When we owned a drapery workroom, I always made something extra with the left-over fabrics. I gave customers a set of pillows, a covered bench cushion, or pillow shams to go with their draperies. They were so pleased, it was easy for them to refer their friends to me. Business grew quickly, and our reputation did, too.

Jack provides examples of outstanding hotel chains, such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons, where they focus on giving more than anyone ever expects. We can all have businesses, relationships, and lives that are top-notch, if we are willing to give more than people expect.

Focus on how you can give more, instead of how you can get more.
Television producer Stephen Cannell hired film school graduates to work in his mail room for minimum wage. Many of them complained that they wanted more. He marveled at how their negative attitudes got in the way of their being promoted within his company.

One day, a 40-year-old drummer was hired to work in the mail room. Steve Beers had been earning $100,000 a year, but his wife was expecting a baby, and he didn’t want to travel anymore. He was willing to take just $7 an hour to work in the mail room of Cannell’s company.

Everywhere, people were talking about this new guy in the mail room. He surprised the boss by getting his suit cleaned, delivered checks for the secretary, took scripts to actors’ homes at midnight, and did whatever he could to make other people’s jobs easier.

Cannell noticed Beers and promoted him from mail clerk to associate producer for 21 Jump Street. In just 4 short years, Steve Beers went from making $7 an hour to over $500,000 per year. By focusing on giving more, instead of getting more, Beers came out far ahead of those other whiny kids who didn’t appreciate the opportunities of starting out in the mail room.

Jack’s point here is not a new concept. Jesus told his followers over 2,000 years ago, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
(Acts 20:35b) What could you accomplish if you were willing to go the extra mile? Do you have the opportunity and the personal initiative to do whatever it takes?

Today’s Challenge
Choose one area of your life today, and go the extra mile to give more than you get. Volunteer to do an extra task at work, take your spouse’s car and fill it up with gas, spend a little one-on-one time with your kid, or surprise your neighbor with an unexpected home-baked gift. There are so many ways that you can delight others. By giving more, you’ll receive far more in the long run.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery

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Practice the Rule of 5

Cheryl Denton Among the Ashes When Hope was Gone Mystery writer The Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #23

Today, Jack talks about seeking the advice of a teacher who told him, “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”

Practice the Rule of 5
From that lesson, Jack and his partner, Mark Victor Hansen, developed something called the Rule of 5. This means that every day, they did five specific things to move them closer to completing their goal of putting Chicken Soup for the Soul on the top of the New York Times Best-Seller List.

Every day, they did something to promote their book, including:

-five radio interviews;
-five copies sent to editors to review the book;
-five phone calls to network marketing companies;
-five free copies to celebrities; and
-five press releases.

In addition, they called in to radio talk shows, sent copies to ministers to help them in writing sermons, provided free copies to all of the jurors in the OJ Simpson trial, did book signings, got military bases to carry them, and even got gas stations, bakeries, and restaurants to sell the book. For two years, they did a minimum of 5 things every day.

Did this pay off? You bet! They sold over 8 million copies of their book, which was translated into 39 languages.

Anyone Can Practice Persistence
To make this point more clear, Jack tells about a phenomenal view near Lake Arrowhead, where an entire mountainside and meadow are covered in daffodils. A sign there reads:

One Woman–Two Hands, Two Feet and Very Little Brain
One at a time
Started in 1958

One woman changed the landscape over the course of 40 years by just doing one simple task repeatedly. Imagine the possibilities if we were to do a little bit every day for 40 years!

Persistence Results in Blessings
God’s Word promises the following: “God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.” (Rom. 2:6-7) In other words, our good works are something visible which give evidence of our faith in Christ, which is invisible. And by our persistence, we can win plenty of glory and honor in this world, as well as in the next.

The Rule of 5 is a very powerful principle, but it takes persistence to make it work. What are you willing to do to move closer to your goal? I’m going to do exactly what Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen did to get my writing published.

Today’s Challenge
Choose one of your goals and make a list of things you need to do to move forward with it. Commit to doing 5 simple tasks each day. Like the daffodil woman, you can do anything if you stick with it long enough.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Practice Persistence

Cheryl Denton mystery books Darkfire Series Among the Ashes Road to Forgiveness

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #22

Jack points out in today’s lesson that the longer we hang in there, the greater our odds are of success. The Bible reminds us of this same point: Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4) If we stick with our goals, no matter what, God promises that we will not lack anything. That’s worth it to me to keep pressing on.

As we work to achieve our goals, we need to think about the following things.

(1) Remember that it’s not always going to be easy.
Jack tells the story of the man who started XM satellite radio. He experienced one setback after another, but he refused to give up. Today, millions of people subscribe to this service.

Any goal that is worth pursuing will not be easy. Like weight lifting, goal attainment takes effort. We may feel some pain, and we may want to quit. But if we remember that it will become difficult at some junctures, we can keep pushing ourselves through to success.

(2) Take just one more step.
Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer and had to have his leg amputated. Refusing to give up his love of running, he set out to cross Canada, shuffling and hopping on an artificial leg. Every day, he ran 26 miles…the equivalent of a marathon. He continued for 143 days until the cancer returned and prevented him from going on. Today, Terry Fox marathons are held annually and have raised over $340 million for cancer research.

I haven’t run any marathons, but I can say that I’ve used this technique to overcome some pretty significant obstacles. Seven years ago, I was busy running a drapery workroom, where I designed, sewed, and installed every job that I bid on. One day, I found myself completely paralyzed on the left side.

I was determined to get my life back, and my doctor told me it would take five to seven years to completely recover. I can remember moments when I had to push myself to simply bear weight on my left leg. Each day, I forced myself to take one more step than the day before. It was a big deal when I actually walked ten feet to the bathroom by myself.

This week, I hung 20 quilts in a display at one of the hospitals where Joe works. I realized that for the first time in seven years, I am once again capable of performing many of the tasks I did before I became ill. Taking one step at a time paid off.

(3) Never give up.
Jack tells the incredible story of Ross Perot, who wanted to send a Christmas gift to every single POW during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese government said they refused to accept anything coming from the US. So, Perot flew a fleet of jets to Moscow and had workers hand mail all of those packages. Every one was safely delivered.

(4) Hang in there.
It may take us years on end to make our dreams come true. I have been writing for twenty years, and I have seen some small successes. But I genuinely believe that this coming year is going to bring about big changes. I’m anticipating success and looking for opportunities at every turn.

Today, I met a banker who offered to take me with her to a networking group so that I could talk about my books and upcoming seminars. I discovered that she, too, is a survivor of domestic violence, and she has a tender heart for women who find themselves alone and helpless when their marriages fall apart. If we hang in there, God will send us people to lead us toward our goals.

(5) Deal with obstacles.
For every obstacle, Jack suggests coming up with three alternatives so that we can go over, under, or around the problem. We must always be thinking about a solution as we go about our day.

This afternoon, my friend went to the bank to open up an account for her new small business. The banker told her that she couldn’t proceed unless she first registered her name with the state. This is not even a state requirement of entrepreneurs in her situation, but she couldn’t get past this guy’s refusal.

I told her she had three choices: register her business with the state, go to another bank, or simply open up another personal checking account for keeping her business funds separate. We must anticipate obstacles along the way every day and prepare for solutions when obstacles block our progress.

Today’s Challenge
If you have given up on a dream that is important to you, it’s time to resurrect it. Make a list of small steps that will help you to get started again. Keep working at it. In time, we will all eventually reach our goals, provided we don’t give up.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Keep Score for Success

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #21

I am so thankful today that this success principle is a simple one. The degree of change I have been experiencing feels as if I am hurtling through deep space at the speed of light. I need a day to just drift a little.

People who suffer from PTSD can have setbacks when they push themselves too hard. Joe gave his yoga mat a sharp shake yesterday morning, and I nearly had heart failure when the mat snapped loudly against the floor. I know that when I begin having exaggerated startle responses like this that I need to slow down.

In this lesson, Jack talks about the importance of keeping track of our successes. He gives an example of a boy playing basketball. The father created a scorecard to track every instance of success on the court. Most coaches only track points made and rebounds. This father tracked points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots, and more. The boy became so excited about seeing where he was improving that he became a much better player, without the usual harsh criticism of the coach.

One of my goals is to weigh 137 pounds. I’ve been recording my weight daily for almost a year. I can look back and see where I started and where I am today. It has been helpful, but for the past couple of months, I’ve been stuck at about 142 pounds.

I now realize that I could have reached my goal more quickly if I had tracked more than my weight. I should have been recording the number of days that I: practiced yoga for 30 minutes, walked for 30 minutes, kept my carb count below 60, and drank 90 ounces of water. Just because I didn’t lose weight every day doesn’t mean that I wasn’t getting healthier. Feeling successful in a variety of ways would have inspired me to keep trying when the scale didn’t register success.

Today’s Challenge
Choose one goal and create a scorecard for it. Design a chart with measurable successes related to that goal across the top. For each day this month, note your successes. Let me know if this helps you reach your goal more quickly.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

Click on the image below to buy now.
 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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Commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement

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Jack Canfield’s Success Principle #20

If you’re joining me in the middle of my review of Jack Canfield’s Success Principles, I hope you’ll understand the method to my madness. Survivors of incest, abuse, and trauma often suffer from very poor self-esteem. We find it hard to keep our lives in order, and achieving goals can feel overwhelming.

I am offering this condensed version of Jack’s advice to my readers, while including my own reactions to the exercises in the book. I hope you find them helpful. I certainly have.

In Japanese, kaizen is the word for constant and never-ending improvement. It has become a personal mantra for millions of successful people around the world.

In our ever-changing culture where electronics are obsolete almost before we unpackage them, we know that we must learn to adapt to change. Our survival depends on it. If we want to thrive, though, we must take a more dedicated approach. We can’t just adapt to change, we have to constantly work at improving ourselves for the rest of our lives.

Jack Canfield uses the mantra kaizen to keep himself on track. I prefer Jesus’ words: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt 5:48) In other words, God sent Jesus as our model. He set a high standard for us: he wants us to strive to express his ideal love to those we encounter, just as Jesus did.

Expressing ideal love as a Christian can be acted upon in numerous ways. We can learn to forgive people who have hurt us, become more generous with our money, show kindness to people who don’t deserve it, or simply commit to becoming the best person we can be.

Jack Canfield offers the following suggestions for thriving in our ever-changing world:

(1) Improve in small increments.
We must begin our journey toward a dream in baby steps. If we try to tackle something really difficult before we’re ready, we may get so overwhelmed that we just quit before finishing.

I can certainly relate to this as I continue with these success principles. There are days when my head is swimming, and I wonder how on earth I will ever achieve the 101 goals I have written down. But if I select one goal and write down all of the steps I need to complete along the way, it becomes far more manageable.

(2) Decide what you want to improve.
Ask God every single day, “How can I improve today?” Listen for his response, and then devote your free time to it. Perhaps he’ll lead you to read a book, take a class, volunteer, practice a sport, meet someone new, or spend more time with your spouse.

I decided to co-author a book with my daughter-in-law, because I needed to improve my discipline of actually finishing and publishing what I write. Since we are writing alternating chapters, Lauren can only do her part if I finish my work on time each month. By writing regularly and meeting once a month, we figure that we can have this novel in print within a year.

(3) Don’t skip steps.
Becoming a master at any craft or skill takes a lot of time. If I want to find my name on the New York Times Bestseller list, I’m going to have to put in a lot of hours at the keyboard. I started by committing to writing this daily blog as a discipline to show up at the computer every day.

I know that I’ll need to network with agents and ask other writers to edit my work. I must learn perseverance in marketing what I write, because it isn’t helping anyone to have piles of manuscripts on my shelves. By working my way through all of the baby steps over a long period of time, I know that I will eventually reach my goal.

Jack points out that there are very few overnight successes. Desiring to become a millionaire is a very achievable goal, but a person has to be willing to put in a lot of time and effort to make it happen. Buying lottery tickets or hanging out in casinos probably would not be the best way to financial success.

We must make a commitment to constant and never-ending improvement if we want to enjoy success. Every success builds confidence, which translates into improved self-esteem. For those of us suffering from PTSD or the aftermath of abuse, greater confidence is an excellent by-product of following The Success Principles.

Today’s Challenge
Choose one thing today that you want to do better. Write down the steps that are necessary to improve this skill. Commit to constant and never-ending improvement until you master what you have chosen to do.

I  decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I have been blessed to have three of my books published.  It is my hope you will enjoy reading them all.

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 Ashes Hope Forgive Cheryl Denton Books Mystery


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