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Learning how to be successful in life can be slow sometimes and it can make you feel frustrated at sluggish progress in your success journey – despite all the know-how and principles you rigorously employ.

Can success be sped up? Is there an antidote to slow outcomes despite arduous planning and actions taken? What’s the secret for seeing huge results right now?

Let’s get one thing straight…

When we admire someone’s success, or even our own, we often focus on the end result and not so much on the effort (and time) that it took to become successful. This can cultivate unrealistic expectations, especially the idea that overnight success can happen through careful strategy and an execution of sound advice.

How to be Successful By Focusing on What IS Working

The truth be told, success typically follows a series of little events and achievements that can seem to take an eternity, that include a few disappointments along the way, and that challenge everything about you to the core – your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going.

If you focus on what’s not working, guess what: You’re likely coming from a place of aggravation as your mind wraps around all that is wrong.

You may even have negative thoughts like, “I’m not good enough,” “It will never work,” or “Something must be wrong with me.”

What this mentally does is engender more of these counter-productive feelings. You attract what you are feeling. So, negative experiences, people, and results will beget more negative experience, people, and results.

There’s not much success in that.

The key in learning how to be successful then, is to focus on what IS working. @JackCanfield (Click to Tweet!)

Practice Journaling and Meditation

In order to focus on what is working, I recommend two simple practices: journaling and meditation.

Maintaining a journal or as I like to call it, a gratitude journal is a great way to steer your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.

Start each day with reflections on what you are grateful for in your life (list them out!) and end each day with notes on what went right (again, write them down) however small they may seem.

Spend time each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation.

Learning how to meditate can be a powerful tool for arriving at solutions to problems and shifting your attitude so you can attract success sooner rather than later.

The magic of meditation is its ability to essentially shut down the outer layer of your judgmental, highly-critical brain and allow your unconscious mind to take over. This is where you enter a deeper state of inner peace and joy, tapping into a higher level of creativity that will help usher in the results you want.

(If you’re new to meditation or if you’ve struggled when meditating on your own I’ve written a post to teach beginners how to meditate.)

Are You Taking Real Action?

Let’s say you’re doing ALL these things, but you still aren’t happy with your success…

I’ll ask you then, are you taking real ACTION?

You may be taking the actions you are used to taking. But, if you keep doing what you’ve already done, then you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. It’s a matter of practicing some new behaviors. Shake things up a bit and see if you can take new actions or modify existing ones.

Every day do five specific things that take you toward your goal. Change up the five actions regularly and be open to feedback so you know when you’re off course.

Success Takes Patience

Lastly, I want to remind you about patience.

It’s natural to underestimate how long a certain goal can take, especially a profound one. When I set a goal to become a millionaire the year was 1983.

How long did it take? Eleven years. It took time for Chicken Soup for the Soul to hit the bestseller lists. You could say our tenure on the New York Times list was more than a decade in the making.

That’s a lot of patience for someone who initially wanted overnight success.

Continue to Take Action

So, yes, patience is a virtue. But, keep at it, and in no time, you’ll be only one week, or one day away from your ultimate success.

Remember… be grateful, reflect on what IS working and continue to take ACTION!

I want to leave you with a bit of homework to complete. Resolve to start a gratitude journal to begin steering your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.


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 Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of João Silas.