Today I share with you a story that changed my life few years ago. It has helped me keep going when the going gets tough. It has helped me plan my success strategies. It is a story that will change your thought system and if you practise its lessons, few years from now people will look at you and compare you with the Mustard seed.

It is the rise from rags to riches of Mark Hansen and Jack Canfield.

When Mark Hansen and Jack Canfield wrote the first Chicken Soup for the Soul, it was rejected by major publishers in New York. It was only accepted by a small company in Florida in the US. Hansen and Canfield were determined to make it a success. So they consulted widely, studied broadly and tried all sorts of ways to make their dreams come true; but the advice of one teacher did the magic.

Teacher Ron Scolastico told them a secret that is applicable in everything that you choose to do whether it is a goal to grow your business to the next level, excel in studies, reduce weight, become financially secure, or build a social network.

It is called the rule of five. The great teacher started with a simple analogy to illustrate this gem of wisdom. He said, “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp axe, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”

It is on the basis of this wisdom that they devised a set of five specific things that would move them towards their goal completion.

They focused on this strategy and for a solid two years, they did a minimum of five things a day, every day, and guess what, their goal of getting it to the top of New York best-sellers was met. And not only that: The Chicken Soup for the Soul series has sold more than 10 million copies in 39 languages. It had such a momentous success that it was termed as “The publishing phenomenon of the century” by Time magazine.

One of the many challenges most of us face in achieving our goals is falling into the trap of having so many things craving for attention and dozens of decisions to make on a continuous basis, all with consequences.

Information overload, opportunities and proposals from friends, relatives, customers, and others can overwhelm you to a point where you find yourself juggling this and that, but achieving very little.

The key challenge is if you don’t have a solid plan and effective way of dealing with your affairs; that is, if you cannot decide what to take and what to leave you can suffer from analysis paralysis, stress or burnout, decision fatigue and lower your productivity and fail to achieve your cherished goals.

The rule of five is perhaps one of the simplest, yet most effective of all laws. It simply implies that if you set a goal and do just five things that take you closer to the goal, sooner or later you will accomplish it regardless of how big it is.

As we usher in the New Year with great expectations, the rule of five is a tool that guarantees you success. Whether it has to do with your New Year resolutions, business targets or personal growth, wake up every day with a list of five things that would take you closer to your goals.

In other words rather than fill your desk with endless to-do-list, each day write down five tasks that if you accomplished satisfactorily would take you closer to your goal.

If you do this consistently for the whole of 2018, people will describe you in various ways: blessed, gifted, genius, super achiever and a winner.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018

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