Skip to main content

Self Development: Learn Life Lessons From Successful People

Mark Victor Hansen is best known for creating what Time Magazine called “the publishing phenomenon of the decade,” with his series of Chicken Soup for the Soul books, created with co-author Jack Canfield.

With more than 500 million books sold internationally and more than 100 licensed self development products, one might make the assumption that success came easy for Hansen.  That could not be farther from the truth. Mark Victor Hansen’s story is inspirational and he gives us many great life lessons.

Although early in his career, he had built a fairly successful and stable life, Hansen had it all come crumbling down when he went bankrupt after losing over a million dollars due to a faulty business decision. He was crushed.  Admittedly, he did not come out of his house for months. Instead, he wallowed in shame, hiding from friends and family.

          Read Related Article: 8 Strategies to Turn Your Life Around

One day in the midst of this funk, he decided to listen to the audio version of Think and Grow Rich – one of the greatest self development works of all time.

That is the moment when everything began to turn around.  As he continued to listen, his self-esteem began to rise.  He bought the book version of Think and Grow Rich and estimated that he read it over a hundred times.  It was through the self development and life lessons within that book that he realized that he could do anything if he wanted it bad enough.

So the stage was set for success, but even now the path would not be a particularly smooth one.  Mark Victor Hansen had begun to restructure his career.  He and Canfield had both built successful speaking careers by telling inspirational, motivational, and uplifting stories.

They had chronicled the transformations people had, and that was their proof that their stories could change lives. Furthermore, they endeavored to communicate their lessons and insights through a book of 101 powerful tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  And thus, Chicken Soup for the Soul was born.

The book, however, did not become an overnight sensation.  To the contrary, the book was actually rejected 144 times before finally being taken on by a publisher.  How many of those previous 144 publishing companies are kicking themselves now?

A piece of wisdom from Ross Perot became their mantra and framed their future success. That piece of wisdom was simply to turn ‘no’ to ‘on.’  They realized that within each rejection lied an opportunity to learn, refine, and improve your story and the way you tell it. As a result, the rejections fueled them and made them stronger.

Apparently, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield refined their stories quite well, as the sales in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books and merchandise have reached $1.3 billion.  So the biggest lessons, clearly, are to never quit if you have the passion. Use rejection and failure as a learning experience to make yourself better.

Between his extensive study of Think and Grow Rich, as well as his own experiences, Mark Victor Hansen gives us many great life lessons lessons. Use these 5 principles today to help you become more successful:

  1. Have a clear definite purpose.  Define what it is that you desire.  Desire is a powerful, and with a purposeful plan, your desire will manifest itself.
  2. Put it in the writing.  Write down what it is that you are trying to accomplish.  Put it somewhere where you will be able to see it multiple times a day.  The more you see it, the more your mind will begin to believe.
  3. Develop your story.  The majority of successful people have a great story. Whether it is overcoming challenges, helping and inspiring others, or simply a deep rooted desire for a strong, healthy family, having a compelling story – and having conviction in the meaning of the story to you – is beneficial to your development.
  4. Visualize and focus on the goal.  Picture in your mind, and sense how it feels once you have accomplished your goal.  Be specific with as much sensory detail as possible.
  5. Engage in a mastermind group.  Mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability, and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group aims to help you and your mastermind group members achieve success in business.

“What you think about comes about.” — Mark Victor Hansen

Susan Sly is a best selling author, work life balance expert, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of five children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.




More posts by SIYP TEAM