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Learning From Masters


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One beautiful April morning in 2015, as my family drove to Suttons Bay for a weekend trip, I read Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. It made the four-hour ride feel short and sweet, and it gave for great conversation with my children, at the time 9-years-old and 6-years-old. I shared with them Principle #1 – taking a 100% accountability for your success; then principle #2 – finding your life purpose.

“My life purpose is to be a teacher,” my daughter said.

“You want to teach children or adults?” I asked.

“Children. Adults are crazy.”

I noted this conversation in my journal and continued to read the book, intrigued by the countless stories of people who’d used these principles to transform their lives.

At Suttons Bay, we stayed at a cottage, and the first morning there I woke up at the break of dawn while everyone else was sound asleep. I made a cup of coffee and went outside. The shops still closed, I walked through the calm and quiet streets until I found a bench near a water stream. Listing to the water and chirping birds, I drank my coffee, read The Success Principles and did the visionary writing exercises in it.   

Reading the stories of those who’d applied Jack’s success principles was touching and uplifting. Many would approach him after he gave a talk to share how his books had changed their lives. At the time, I’d thought, “I’d love to meet him” because I knew from past experience the power of being in the presence of such individuals. As author Irina Tweedie’s Sufi Master told her when she wondered if a student actually needed a teacher, guru, or master, “You must cut cheese with a knife which is harder than cheese.” 


The autumn of 2015, on a night where I felt extremely frustrated after an amateur colleague caused me to lose time, money, and energy, I enrolled in the Quantum Leap program by Steve Harrison which also involved Jack Canfield’s Bestseller Blueprint. Years ago, Steve Harrison had helped launch Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which ended up selling over 500 million copies. Jack has set two Guinness records, one for the largest book signing and a second for having the most number of books (7 books) on the New York Times bestseller list at one time. Having achieved this amount of success, he has teamed up with Steve to help authors do the same.


Through their programs, I was surrounded by a team of professional, creative, and spiritual people who support and elevate each other’s work. They particularly understand and cater to authors’ and speakers’ career needs. Don’t get me wrong, it was and still is hard work, but it feels much easier with coaches by your side who provide numerous tools to help an author move forward.

After two years, I finally met this “team” in person in Philadelphia for a four-day meeting that was packed with information, workshops, and networking opportunities. My favorite part was when Jack Canfield did a guided meditation to tap into an area of our lives that was holding us back. The night before, a woman had shared with me how when he did this meditation the previous year, the lifelong back pain she’d had went away. For me, something else happened but it too was incredibly powerful.

Later that night, I went up to Jack for a picture. He complimented my book, its subject matter and the front cover, Healing Wisdom for a Wounded World: My Life-Changing Journey Through a Shamanic School, and I told him how two years ago when I read his book I wanted to meet him in person.

“Well, here you are,” he said. “You manifested that.”

Everyone is capable of manifesting their dreams by setting their intent and staying focused on and committed to the end result. It truly helps to associate with those who have gone ahead of you and mastered the very thing you’re trying to do. In the past, writers’ careers depended mostly on publishers, publicists, and intuitions that promised them success. If they didn’t follow through with the promises, the author felt pretty much helpless. That’s not the case nowadays. With the availability of the internet and technology, with so many opportunities for indie authors, we can learn, at our own pace, the secrets of success from literary and marketing masters like Jack Canfield and Steve Harrison, who turn others into masters.