The best-selling co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series Jack Canfield was the keynote speaker at a charity fundraiser for Senses Care Home at the Ritz Carlton DIFC in Dubai last night. We caught up with him ahead of the masterclass he'll be holding in the city at Ductac tonight.
It's your first visit to Dubai, what's your impression so far?
I am enjoying myself tremendously and I love the variety of architecture. It's huge, very modern - beautiful and diverse.
What will be the key takeaway messages from your masterclass?
The idea is that most people want something more in life. They want more money, more free time, more intimacy, more joy, whatever it might be. The problem is that most people don't know how to get it and don't live with a vision of what their ideal life would look like. In fact, recent research shows that only three per cent in the world have written measurable goals for their life.
So my mission is to teach people the psychology and science of success and it's unfortunate it's not taught in schools. I want to give people the principal strategies and techniques and also the inspiration to take those steps forward because many don't do it based on fear and limiting beliefs.
Then we'll look at two things that are really critical, called mastermind groups and accountability partners. If you and I were accountability partners, for example, we would call each other every day and tell each other the five things we're going to do to move our goals forward. Eventually, one can develop an internal accountability but in the beginning, you need that extra coaching so it becomes a habit. A mastermind group would be six people who would get together either in person or by phone every two weeks for an hour or two. Each person would maybe get 10 minutes in the group to explain what they are working on, what challenges they are facing, what needs they have, etc. The group would then brainstorm, find solutions, share resources, suggest books and introductions. Again, it keeps you focused, on-track and sharing best practices with people usually with similar goals or in similar professions.
Then we'll also look at the idea of feedback and this is really important. Most people don't solicit feedback; they are afraid of what they are going to hear. I often use the example of my wife and I, as every Friday night we ask each other: "On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate the quality of our experience as husband and wife this week?" Anything less than a 10 gets a follow-up question to make it a 10. If I don't ask my wife that question, I'm the only one who doesn't know that answer - she's going to tell her sister, the woman at the hair salon, etc. So everyone knows what's wrong with the relationship or what could make it better, but me. So if I'm a retailer, a boss, teacher, parent - I need to get that same valuable feedback on how to improve the quality of my product, service and relationships from my vendors, client, boss and children.
Might there one day be a Chicken Soup for the Emirati Soul?
There might! In fact, we already have a Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul, and a series for the Indian Soul. What's really required for that to happen is for an Emirati to stand up and say: "We'd like to be the co-author of that book with you and I'm a good editor, writer and collector of stories." We need someone with their finger on the pulse of the country with access to other writers who can submit stories.
What are your top three tips for achieving goals?
You have to have some kind of system that brings you back into focus. Once you have your goals established, read them every day - be it on your iPad, in a list or on the refrigerator.
The second thing is to have an accountability partner - someone who you'll go through life or at least a couple of years with and hold you accountable. The third thing is visualisation, which is a very powerful tool. Spend three to four minutes a day for 30 days visualising your goals as already complete. For example, there's my million dollars in my bank account, there's me weighing X number of kilos or there's me walking across the stage receiving my PhD. It will become imprinted into the unconscious and become more habitual.
What's left on your list of things to achieve?
We've spent the last two years training trainers to do my work - "The Success Principles" - people from about 30 different countries have come to the US from India and Jordan to China. So, one of my goals is to have 1,000 people trained to do this work before I leave the planet. I would also say that I've probably got another good 50 or 60 books in me that I want to get out into the world. And I have a lot of travel I want to do. I've been to 41 countries and I would like to go to at least 40 more.
How would you like your epitaph to read?
"That he cared and he made a difference."
Tickets for Jack Canfield's masterclass tonight at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates from 5-9pm start from Dh795 and are available at www.rightselection.com/jackcanfield/. Call 04 352 7803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org