Updated: Feb 24, 2018
My husband Chris and I have been married for 13 years and have two beautiful children, Kacy and Karter. We have a truly blessed life, we are a loving and connected family, we talk about issues, we work through problems, we have lots of fun, we live Jack Canfield’s Success Principles and have been doing so for about 3 years, but it hasn’t always been that way...
I have been a perfectionist most of my life and when things weren’t perfect, I would get easily frustrated, irritated, raise my voice and just want things to get “fixed”. In my 20’s, I recognized this behavior and delved into some personal development work where I learned to manage this frustration a bit better. Now, more than 20 years later, things changed with marriage and kids, where life wasn’t all about me anymore. These frustration tendencies showed up again. I was now responsible for two little humans; my time wasn’t mine anymore and I realized I wasn’t good at making time for me. So instead of having the awareness to make “me time”, I allowed those frustration tendencies to arise again. I had also stopped doing personal development work…my excuse, I was too busy working full-time and raising a family. These frustrations came into play for several years, when the kids were smaller, as I didn’t quite have the awareness and tools to handle these situations. Chris and I argued more, I got frustrated and the kids saw it, so what was I teaching them? What were we teaching our kids? They learn more from what they see than from what we tell them to do. I cannot tell you how thankful and grateful I am for the event that showed up and introduced us to Jack Canfield and The Success Principles. I truly believe everything happens for a reason!
We listened to these principles for nearly a year and slowly things began to change. We weren’t purposely or intentionally implementing these principles, they were kind of happening in the background.
My husband Chris attended an event a few years back where Jack Canfield was speaking. He spoke with Jack afterwards, got his photo taken with him and was inspired to purchase The Success Principles book and CDs. When he got home, Chris put the package on the shelf and it sat there for nearly a year until he was in a car accident. At this time, Chris was in a tough place. He was in a lot of pain, feeling “woe is me” and suddenly had the idea to pick up Jack’s book. He started reading it, listening to the CD’s and it was at that time when our family started its transformation. Chris set up a CD Player in our kitchen and would play The Success Principles, in the background, anytime we were in the kitchen. We listened to these principles for nearly a year and slowly things began to change. We weren’t purposely or intentionally implementing these principles, they were kind of happening in the background. Chris heard them, I heard them, Kacy heard them and Karter heard them. And all of a sudden, I’m not exactly sure when, we started talking about them. We discussed them at breakfast, at dinner, during the bedtime routine and we truly began living them! These principles are changing our lives every day, in little ways and in big ways as I share a few below…
Be Clear Why You're Here
This one is really interesting for me. I have struggled with this for years. I've attempted 3 or 4 times in my 20-year career in engineering, operations and project management in the medical device industry to step away and "figure out what I want to do when I grow up". I was a photographer for a short while, I spent time in small business development, I moved into the mobile technology field. Each time it just wasn't the right fit and I always fell back into engineering, operations and project management. Why? Because I was good at it and it paid well. During this time, I became a mom. When someone would ask me, what do you want to do, what is your life purpose, I would say, I just want to be a stay at home mom...raise my kids to be kind, caring, loving children, be the room mom at school, support them in their extra-curricular activities, be a great wife, keep a beautiful home and focus on my family. Well the trouble with that is it doesn't pay well, so that responsibility would then fall 100% on my husband. That’s a financial challenge in Orange County, California!
To work towards this goal, my husband decided to launch his own leadership speaking, training and coaching business. He had been a corporate trainer for over 10 years and wanted to branch out on his own to teach leadership. He had been reading and studying leadership books for several years, specifically, The Success Principles. Then we learned about the Jack Canfield, “One Day To Greatness” Event in Los Angeles and decided to attend. At the end of this amazing event, Jack and his team offered a Train The Trainer Program and suggested that if anyone is interested in being a trainer, why go alone when you can tap into a community of trainers and support one another. That was an “Ah-Ha” moment for us, where I told my husband, that is what he should do. He agreed and signed up immediately. He attended Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough To Success Event, his Train The Trainer Program and became certified to teach The Success Principles. My husband formed his company, joined a MasterMind Group to support one another and build his business, however, it was slow going while he continued to work a full-time job. He was very clear why he is here, just finding the time to execute was his challenge.
After completing a project management contract in the medical device industry, I suggested to Chris that I wanted to spend some time figuring out what God’s purpose is for me. He agreed, so my plan was to take a month and focus on me. As I was starting this month, I received an email from my friend and mentor, Jeff Blanton. He was writing a book and developing a process for helping people find God’s purpose for themselves, a truly transformational life change, “Jailbreak Leadership”. I thought, how incredibly serendipitous!!!! I replied back letting him know that I was taking the month to focus on just that for myself. He offered for me to come visit him in San Diego and he would test out his new process with me, of course I said yes! He asked me to take a short online assessment to help me figure out my strengths. I did and what showed up was Connection, Empathy, Developer, Relator, Belief. I didn’t really know what that meant, but Jeff walked me through his process and helped me figure it out. It was amazing! I spent the day with him, he asked me questions, we talked, he filled up flip charts of information and I came to realize that my purpose is to be focused on using my deep connection with people and my strong empathic tendencies. Jeff said to me, “I’m sorry I got you into project management 20 years ago, you really shouldn’t be doing that, but you were just so good at it!”. I laughed and thanked him, as I am thrilled how that path brought me to where I am today. He said that I should be looking to make a completely transformational career change, very different from my engineering, operations and project management background. I left feeling invigorated and excited for my new venture.
I took a detour for six months working for a company that was in a different industry. It wasn’t quite the right fit for me, but I learned a lot along the way. I started running the operations for my husband’s company, Standup-Success.com, so he could focus on business content and we could build our dream, not someone else’s. My husband then suggested that I attend Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough To Success (BTS) Event to have my own experience. I did and it was TRANSFORMATIONAL!
It all made sense to me now. I looked at things differently and understood why I did the things I did, felt the things I felt and responded the way I responded.
Having the awareness of my strengths in connection and empathy shifted how I viewed my life and my actions. It all made sense to me now. I looked at things differently and understood why I did the things I did, felt the things I felt and responded the way I responded. Going through BTS gave me the platform to connect with people at another level, connect with my feelings, desires and visions and find my purpose and passion. I realized that I enjoy the strategic component of my engineering, operations and project management work but not the tactical day-to-day operational component. I have strong needs for connection with people, I want to make a difference, I want to help people and I have so much information to share that I will create my own business that allows me to do all these things! I also connected with Dr. Deborah Sandella, creator of the advanced coaching technique, Regenerating Images in Memory, that frees clients of negative thoughts, feelings and memories, so they are empowered to live their best life. I was incredibly fascinated by this technique, so I scheduled a session to understand it better. It was POWERFUL! I was beyond amazed what showed up for me and cleared in one short session. I completed her training program and now offer this technique to my clients to help them live their best life. I feel such a connection to this process, with helping people and making a difference. I am now very clear why I am here!
I Need vs. I Want
The kids are great about this. Once we discussed this principle as a family, they are the ones that keep us on track if we happen to slip. I’ll say “I need to go to the grocery store, does anyone want anything”. The kids will correct me, “Mom, you want to go to the grocery store”. I’ll admit, in the beginning, it was a little tough getting corrected by my children, but now I hear it and simply shift my language, using “want” instead of “need”. As a family, we are all much better at this and it certainly changes our language and how we look at things. Having the awareness of our language of what we truly need in our lives versus the things that we want. It is powerful!
This has become a habit in our family as we recognize the value and importance of appreciation. I wish I could remember the specifics of this event, but one morning, when we were all getting ready for school and work, we were having some challenges. I got upset and Chris took the kids to school. I’ll admit, my “upset” is so much better than it used to be now that I have The Success Principles. I am so much more aware of my response; my words, my tone, my choice in how I handle the situation…I simply handle it better. I am not perfect, nor do I expect to be, but I am learning and growing each day. Being vulnerable is a good thing. During that drive to school, Chris decided to ask the kids to each take a moment and think of something that they could appreciate about me, he called it the “Appreciation Game”. The kids did this and then they each took a turn appreciating one another. That night, when we all got home from school and work, they told me about the “Appreciation Game”. I was literally in tears of joy! Since this time, I can recall two occasions when I’ve been upset about something and Kacy gently suggests that we play the “Appreciation Game”. It melts my heart and we softly move into the game. Kacy starts and genuinely appreciates me and every other member of our family, including our dog Kona. We then go from person to person, each offering appreciation for the others. It is a powerful exercise, and I continue to be impressed with my 9-year-old who is the first one to offer this suggestion to shift away from upset towards happiness. She is wise beyond her years!
Learning The Success Principles, creating the awareness of my behavior and how that was impacting our family was powerful. Incorporating these principles has truly transformed our family…our ability to communicate, our connection to one another, our happiness, our lives!