I think that what most people don’t know about me is, I was born in a “really lower middle class family”, and born in Texas.
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My dad was in the Air Force. So, I lived in 5 states by the time I was 6, and have very little memory of it. We settled in Wheeling, West Virginia, where I grew up primarily.
My father was somewhat abusive. My mother divorced him. And, I got a step father who raised me from the time I was about 6 until entering high school.
I was a typical middle class, suburban kid in West Virgina.
Except for the fact that my mother was an alcoholic and my father was a workaholic and sometimes drank…
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So, it created a lot of compassion and empathy for me cause I’m very, what you call, “hyper-vision”… I notice every little thing. Cause I had to… to survive in those families.
And also, I think I have a huge sensitivity to pain. And that was how I really got started…
The Chicken Soup For The Soul Books, which really catapulted my career…
This came about when one of my students at some lecture I was giving said,
“You know about the story of the puppy you just told us… Is that in a book anywhere?”
I said, “no”.
And she said, “well it needs to be!” And I said, “why is that?”
She said, “My daughter needs to ready that story.”
“Well just tell her the story.” (Jack)
“I can’t remember. I need to see it in a book.” (Student)
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When you’re a kid, you have an impulse to act, and you ACT. You want to touch the cat, you want to throw the cat out the window, you want to stick your hand into the VCD and put peanut butter in there, and you DO.
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The problem is, as we’re growing up we get conditioned by our parents, and our care takers, our siblings and our coaches, nuns, and all these different people that come into our life.
Don’t do that. STOP. That’s bad.
You know, we get slapped and told we’re not okay…
So, after a while, when we go to do something, we’re looking… “Is it okay if I do this, you know…”, instead of just DOING IT.
All my sons, and my step son, and step daughter have been great risk takers there.
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They’re all artists. One’s a drummer, one’s a hip-hop singer, one is in high-school but he’s in the school play, he just had a lead in the school play, (he sings), and my daughter is a singer and my other son is very athletic, he’s a surfer, he snowboards as well, and he’s always inventing games and trying out new things, always on the edge, you know… Always coming-in with cuts and scrapes… which I love…
Because, they’re out there on the edge of their potential, exploring how they can keep pushing it. It’s not that they never get scared or never feel rejected and have to go through things… But, they seem to rebound very quickly.
Every one of us knows what we want…
We can feel it…
I just tell people, “If you could have anything you can want and there were no limitations, what would you do?”
Everyone has an answer. Little kids. Big adults. That’s their “core essence”!
And, if we all fully do that which we’re passionate about, and understand the principles for how to bring that into being, they I believe the world would work perfectly…
That’s why I do what I do.
(THERE’S MORE TO THIS STORY… WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE)
Jack Canfield, the No.1 Success Coach in America is coming to India this summer. Meet him LIVE at Mumbai (April 12, 2012) or Bangalore (April 14, 2012).