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Your own beliefs and behaviors are greater predictors of your success than any fluctuation in the marketplace. Even when the newspapers splash the word “recession” across the front page, you can write your own success story.

Master the Art of “Inverse Paranoia”

Start by becoming an “Inverse Paranoid.” What I mean by this is to believe that every event in your life is the seed for your greater good—something meant to enrich you, empower you, or advance your cause.

Imagine how much easier it would be to succeed in life if you were constantly expecting the world to support you and bring you opportunity.

You can easily verify this belief for yourself. Just think about the last time that a terrible event turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

A big blessing for me came during the 1970s when I lost my job. I was working at the Job Corps Center in Clinton, Iowa, pioneering new ways to teach underachieving students. One day, the word came down that the center was being relocated and I was being laid off.

While attending a workshop at the W. Clement & Jesse V. Stone Foundation in Chicago, I shared my predicament with the presenter. He happened to be vice president of the foundation, and he immediately offered me a job working with inner city kids.

I accepted the offer, and what I got in return was a bigger salary, an unlimited budget, and a laboratory for learning the success principles that transformed my life and launched a new career path.

Ask Yourself: What Opportunity Exists Here?

Take the fast track to inspiration by constantly asking yourself: What’s the opportunity here? Make this a habit, and you’ll stay calm and centered during any event that seems like a setback.

The beauty of this question is that it triggers your mind to respond with positive suggestions. Compare these to the useless information you get by asking yourself the questions such as: Why did this happen to me? or Who’s to blame for this mess?

If you get passed over for a promotion or your retirement account takes a hit in the stock market, remember to ask: What’s the opportunity here? or one of its inspiring variations:

  • What can I learn from this event?
  • What will I do differently from now on?
  • Who can I turn to as a mentor or coach?
  • What’s my next action?

Remember the Three Things You Control

In a way, the economy is just a vague and sometimes ambiguous idea. It refers, in a general way, to trillions of dollars of goods, services, and products by billions of people across the planet. When you face a financial challenge, is it the vast, impersonal economy at work? Or is it your personal economy, which you can directly control?

You can’t always count on the economy, but you can always rely on yourself.

Remember, you have absolute control over three things in your life:

  1. The thoughts you think
  2. The images your visualize
  3. The actions you take (including what you say to others)

Your life experience is simply the sum total of the choices you make in these three areas. And you can attract new results at any time by making new choices. Use the ideas and exercise found in this article to do just that!


As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and speaks around the world on this subject. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!

*Photo by thinkpanama.