Jack Canfield and the Rule of Five

People I Would Like to Meet Someday
(On earth or in heaven)

I would treasure the chance to meet Jack Canfield. 

Jack Canfield (born August 19, 1944) is an American author, motivational speaker, corporate trainer, and entrepreneur. He is the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which has more than 250 titles and 500 million copies in print in over 40 languages. I would like to meet somebody who demonstrates the power of perseverance. He was rejected by 144 different publishers.

144 different publishers rejected Jack Canfield’s prospectus for the book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” But, he never gave up.

He asked a number of best-selling authors and publishing experts how he should go about it, in response to the vast numbers of rejection.

Then a man named Ron Scolastico told him, “If you would go to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.”

Out of this advice Canfield developed what he called The Rule of Five: every day he did five specific things that moved him toward the goal of getting Chicken Soup on the best seller list.

He might do five radio interviews, or send out five review copies, or call five bookstores, and on and on.

Eventually the ax felled the tree; two years after the book came out, it made the New York Times best seller list, where it stayed for many months.

Where can you apply the rule of five in your life?

Can you make a five-minute phone call of encouragement to someone who has made a difference in your life? Or send five ‘thank-you’ emails each morning? Or read five pages of a book each day? Or review five Bible verses that have meaning for you?

As you survey the areas of your life that present the greatest opportunities for growth, think about how you can apply Canfield’s Rule of Five. How can you take five strong swings at the tree day after day?

Solomon said, “The one who works their land will have abundant food.” (Proverbs 12:11)

The rule of five is a great way to start working your land.

–Rev. Jeff Gannon

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