In 2005, Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup series, wrote “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.” It is, quite possibly, the most influential book on my personal self-help bookshelf.

The book is over 450 pages, and there are 64 principles. Starting with Principle One: “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life,” there are hundreds of tips and suggestions in an easy-to-read format. For instance, in a sub-section of the first principle, it says you have to give up blaming, and accept your part in the problem.

You are the one who ate the junk food. You are the one who took the job. You are the one who bought it. You are the one who didn’t buy it. You are the one who decided you could do it alone. You are the one who married him or her. And so forth, and so on.

When I was teaching high school, a student came into my room one morning extremely agitated. “Don’t mark me tardy,” he said. “It’s not my fault. A stupid cop gave me a speeding ticket and made me late for school.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” I told him, “I won’t mark you tardy if you’ll just tell me why the so-called ‘stupid cop’ gave you a speeding ticket.”

The boy scowled, sensed a trap, but wasn’t sure how to avoid it. “Wh-what do you mean?” he stammered.

“I mean,” I said, pointing to the sign in my classroom encouraging my students to be 100% responsible for their own lives, “just WHO was speeding?”

It was a classic “teachable moment,” and the point was made.

My point here is to encourage you to examine YOUR life to see which of the success principles could help you get unstuck and moving faster toward the life of YOUR dreams. Canfield isn’t giving me any kind of a kick-back for recommending his book, but I suggest you read it anyway.