The 5 Principles of Personal Transformation

Start by appreciating your successes and the successes of others. By staying in touch with your accomplishments, you build true, authentic confidence to move on to make new things happen.
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For nearly 40 years my passion has been to provide people with a simple path to personal transformation. These principles are the steps that could lead to your transformation.

1. Appreciate your success.

This first principle is a challenge. We are quick to criticize and slow to praise -- especially when it comes to our relationship with ourselves.

It's not surprising. Our world is focused on bad news. Newspapers, magazines, television, the Internet -- all generate a negative environment. So we find it all too easy to focus on what's wrong. And when we really do achieve something, we discount it because after all, I did it -- how great can it be?

Failure to live this first principle drains our confidence and keeps us stuck instead of on the path to where we want to be.

Start by appreciating your successes and the successes of others.

By staying in touch with your accomplishments, you build true, authentic confidence to move on to make new things happen. Appreciating your success enables you to take responsibility for your greatness so that your life isn't about becoming good enough but about finding ways to use your own gifts to make a difference.

It's not wrong to praise and appreciate yourself. You will not become arrogant. You will not become more egocentric. Instead, you'll inspire yourself to do bigger things.

2. Learn your lessons.

Review your past year to discover what worked and what didn't work in order to find the lessons you need to learn. You are your own best teacher, the best source of your own wisdom. We never really need advice. And we hate it when we get it because we're being told what we know already!

It's essential to learn from your success and your failures! First catch yourself doing things right and incorporate that success into your future. Then review your mistakes and disappointments to discover the advice you need to follow to do better next time.

Once you capture your lessons, boil them down to memorable pieces of advice to remember in the next week, month or year. Limit yourself to the three most important lessons; there is only so much we can truly learn at one time. Example lessons are:

  • Remember what matters.

  • Take care of myself.
  • Confront issues early.
  • Be positive.
  • I've been making a personal Best Year Yet plan for 32 years, and this step of learning my lessons has been invaluable to me. There is always something more to learn. But the joy is that I rarely have to learn the same lessons over and over again -- I get to tackle new ones!

    3. Shift your limiting beliefs.

    Until we wake up to the negative beliefs we have about our chances for success, we live in a small box that limits what's possible.

    Here's what happens. When we aren't getting the results we want, we change what we're doing. But if your results don't change, it's because you have a strong limiting belief that is controlling your actions.

    Both the right attitude and the right action are necessary to achieve the right results. Both are necessary to become a master at producing results. This principle is the heart of the matter. Your actions are guided by what you assume to be true -- your attitude:

    • I don't know enough to...

  • He/she's a lot better than I am at...
  • I'm too old to...
  • I can't do that because I don't have...
  • I haven't got time to...
  • Find what you think is true about you and can't be changed no matter what you do. That's the limiting belief to shift. Start the attack by accepting that this belief is your own invention. As long as you live as if this statement were true and there's nothing you can do to change it, you have no chance of success.

    To achieve a personal transformation, create a new belief that clearly states the new reality you want to create. Make sure the statement is positive, in the present tense and as powerful and exciting as you can make it.

    • People are lucky to have me working for them!

  • I have what it takes to make a lot more money.
  • I handle anything that comes my way.
  • Keep repeating your new paradigm until you realize that this is the truth and that your old limiting belief was the lie.

    4. Live your values.

    It's easy to criticize others because of the noticeable gap between their behavior and the values they espouse. But doing so is not a good use of our time, to say the least.

    What makes sense is examining our own lives in light of what we believe, our values. When we don't live by them, we suffer. One of my early teachers, Werner Erhard, taught that our lack of integrity is the source of all our suffering.

    For example, if one of your values is honesty and you find yourself pushing your hidden agenda instead of taking care of the person in front of you, you suffer inside, right? Learn to shift immediately when you become aware of what you're doing that's not aligned with your personal values.

    5. Set and track your top 10 goals.

    Once you start living the first four principles, you'll be more in touch with what matters to you. You're more aware of what you can do; you have guidelines to learn your lessons and a new paradigm to sustain your transformation; and you are awake to your personal values.

    Now it's time to get specific about your personal priorities for the next year. You're ready to put your personal transformation into action -- to make a living, breathing and demonstrable difference in your world and beyond.

    Write no more than 10 goals that would make the next year your best year yet, in both your personal and professional life. Now set, track and score monthly goals that are the steps toward your yearlong goals.

    Soon you'll feel more like the master of your own destiny than you have in many years -- and you'll know what it feels like to be doing what really matters to you.

    Please share your progress along the path. Either leave a comment here or email me at

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