I’m reading the latest book from best-selling author Jack Canfield, titled The Success Principles, which comprise 64 different lessons that Canfield has learned during the past three decades as as a highly-successful entrepreneur, instructor, best-selling author and keynote speaker.
My goal is to write a summary review for each chapter, every day until I’m finished with the book. You can access the most recent summary here: The Success Principles: #3 – chapter review
Chapter 4: Believe It’s Possible
This chapter is one of the shortest in the book at four and a-half-pages in length. Canfield starts off with a saying by Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” The author then notes that scientists have long believed that the human brain primarily responds to information that flows into it from outside sources.
However, researchers are now finding that as we mature and gather life experiences the brain tends to develop and base its responses on past experiences – with an expectancy of a similar outcome – rather than on new stimuli. According to neuropsychologists who study expectancy theory, it seems that we spend our entire lives becoming conditioned to our surroundings.
After a lifetime of events, the brain learns what to expect next – before a given outcome actually occurs. Interestingly, because our brain expects something to occur in a certain way, we often achieve exactly what we anticipate. Whether you believe it or not, this phenomenon is scientifically repeatable and is similar to the “placebo effect” where some kind of expected medical benefit is derived from a sugar pill.
As such, it would seem that there is truly a benefit to having a positive, can-do-attitude to accomplish the success goals that you have in life. Canfield stresses that when you replace old negative expectations with more positive ones, you enable your brain to maximize its ability to work out a solution – both consciously and sub-consciously – toward your desired outcome. Here’s a helpful quote that summarizes the chapter:
“Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.” ~ Richard Bach, best-selling author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull
What “stinking thinking” is holding you back?