|Pathways to Success for Youth Project|
pathways to success for youth blog
The Power of an Audio Book and a Little Bit of Magic: Getting From Where We Are to Where We Want to Be
by Mikayla Cerney
One of the most powerful tools that I learned from Jack Canfield is an exercise called the Heart Talk. The way it works is a small group of people sit in a circle and agree to a set of guidelines:
A Heart Talk is an excellent way to bond a group, resolve a conflict, talk about a difficult or challenging situation or begin to process an event that is having an affect on the group.
This past year I went into the high school health class with Trish to assist in teaching a unit on The Success Principles. We decided that as an introduction to the work we would hold a Heart Talk. We asked for eight volunteers to come and sit on the floor to form the circle. We reviewed the process, went over the guidelines and everyone in the circle and in the room agreed to adhere to them. The students who were not participating we asked to listen silently. A Positivity bracelet served as our talking item.
To demonstrate the process, Trisha asked a general question to get the group started. She shared her answer and passed along the bracelet. About halfway around the circle, one of the students asked if we could talk about something that really mattered. He stated he had a lot going on and he wanted to talk about it in the circle. At first the group shared very little, each person talking for only a minute or so. Then one student shared about her home life with an alcoholic dad. Another talked about the anxiety he felt starting the year at a new school. As the Heart Talk progressed the participants felt safe enough to share some of the most heart breaking details of their lives. They spoke of bullying, substance abuse, peer pressure, physical abuse, neglectful parents, not feeling good enough, low self worth, disconnectedness, and depression. These students, who at the beginning of the Heart Talk were afraid to share, were now openly crying with one another. And the observers were silent but completely engaged.
An activity that was supposed to last a half an hour stretched to cover almost the entire 80 minute class. At the end of the Heart Talk Trish kept everyone in circle, opened up the discussion to rest of the class, and asked a few closing questions.
"So, what did you think?"
One girl in the circle said "This is the first time anyone has really asked me what is going on with me and given the space to talk about it.” This girl, a sophomore, had been in school for 10 years and that was the first time that she had been allowed to talk about what was really going on in her life. Her classmates nodded in agreement. It was the first time they had been given the space, too.
"Do you feel more connected to your classmates?"
The answer to that question was a resounding yes followed by both participants and observers getting up and tearfully hugging one another. Relationships had shifted and these kids were connected on a whole new level.
The next day the students asked if we could have another Heart Talk. And so we did. Several new kids joined the circle. Clearly there was more to say.
How many kids of how many ages in how many schools are expected to show up and perform in the classroom, but are experiencing challenges in their lives that set them up for disengagement? How many adults go to work with similar challenges, are expected to perform in the workplace and end up feeling disconnected and unsupported.
What would our lives be like if we started our days; our work days, our school days, our family meals with heart talks?
A Note from Trish: Prior to meeting with this class, the teacher informed me that this particular group of kids were a consistent behavior management challenge and that I should expect multiple disruptions, some disrespectful behavior and I should be prepared to send kids to the office as it was an every day occurrence. I’m thinking that Heart Talks just might be a little bit more powerful, productive and engaging than a trip to the Principal’s office!
Click here to get a Positivity Bracelet and learn more about how you can support expansion of the Pathways to Success for Youth Project.
Click on the picture to go into the classroom with Trish and a group of eighth graders to get a glimpse of the power of the Pathways to Success work in action. After working on turning dreams into action, reframing self limiting beliefs and embracing possibilities for the future, students were invited to a Come As You'll Be as an Adult Party. The results were shocking ... and powerful!
Even though Trish has been using the success principles for 5 years in her work with both youth and adults, she is always amazed at the transformation she witnesses in her classrooms, workshops and one on one coaching sessions. This story was published in Jack Canfield's 10th Anniversary edition of the Success Principles and reminds us of the potential impact this work will have on improving school culture, connection and academic engagement.
At a recent training event, Jack pulled Trish aside and told her that he's shared her story a lot lately. He said that every time it makes him tear up. Jack's career began as a high school history teacher in inner city Chicago. Disconnected, unengaged students were the inspiration for him to begin using stories in his classroom. As his students began to share their own stories, self esteem increased and students became engaged in learning. He eventually was asked to work with teachers; training them how to better connect with students and enhance self esteem in the classroom. He broke into the business world when a teaching colleague asked him to bring some of what he was teaching to teachers to her husband's company. And America's Number 1 Success Coach was born, which ultimately led him to publishing the Success Principles; a culmination of 30 years of work in the human potential field.
Our kids, teachers, schools and communities need what this work has to offer. Learn more about how you can help us take the next steps to expand our training team and work towards getting this work into schools across the country. To learn more about what we're up to and find out the many ways you can support the Pathways to Success for Youth Project click here.
by Trisha Jacobson
I just wanted to share a quick exchange I had with Marissa about her recent blog post. It's about what she calls The Great Color Experiment. (Although she hasn't taken any pictures yet, I am looking forward to seeing the results of her experiment when we get all our team together for a planning retreat in late August after the new team members get back from BTS training!
Me to Marissa:
I just finished reading your blog post! Nice job! I am truly happy the work has had such an impact!
Tell me more about the Great Color Experiment.
Heart hugs and love,
Marissa to Me
BTS was incredible! I can't explain how much of an impact that week had on my decision making and my attitude. It was wonderful!
The great color experiment is, in a nutshell, me fully embracing on the outside how colorful I am on the inside. Since I started losing weight and shifting my focus toward promoting myself in the best light I could, I basically reinvented my wardrobe. It's been a pretty significant change, and for the first time I really feel like me. I can confidently say I have only acquired one single black clothing item in the time between then and now. Annnnd I just lost it at a business training in New York, and it's totally not a big deal!
I'm sure I'll have some pictures to share from our August retreat when the Pathways to Success for Youth team all get together to plan our next steps :)
"And I'll see your true colors
To learn more about what we're up to and find out the many ways you can support the
Pathways to Success for Youth Project
by Marissa Maitland
I first met Trish in the sex education section of my health class in high school. I maintained contact outside of school through her work at the local Teen Clinic and we stay connected over visits to our favorite restaurant where she and her peer education team would sometimes gather.
One afternoon, long after my high school days, I felt stuck and needed to unglue. After years of watching her work with teens unfold. I contacted Trish and she invited me to meet up at her home. She had just moved into a beautiful apartment she was renting in an old bed and breakfast in NH, on the water overlooking the mountains.
Trish has always been a rather strange influence in my life. Intuitive and magnanimous as she is wily, I usually find what I need when I'm around her; mostly through my own self-reflections. During this particular visit we drank lemonade and spoke of my family, my discontent with my job and touched on my overly involved focus on men. In between, Trish talked about her dream of someday buying the house she was renting and turning it into a retreat center and I listened as she told me of how her work with Jack Canfield’s Success Principles began and about her Pathways to Success for Youth Project.
The story of how she came across her new apartment was in and of itself a testament to, what I now know about how the Success Principles work; believing in possibilities, clearing out negativity, getting clear about what you want and taking planned and inspired action towards your goals. She spoke about what first led her to the trainings and the profound breakthroughs she had experienced. I was able see how her story connected to the changes that I, myself, had witnessed in her from afar.
“Now, how did this project that you and Mikayla are working on come about?” I inquired. She described a yearning to be able to give back to the kids she worked with what she had gotten from the trainings, which she lovingly referred to as “Jack's work.” She told me how the bulk of the seminar participants were adults with lifetimes of careers, relationships, and mistakes to sift through. She said that each one of them learned valuable lessons from their time in training and that they all shared one sentiment: they wished they learned it all when they were younger.
And from that the Pathways to Success for Youth project was born.
Trish told me that she would be selecting a group of teens and young adults that she felt would benefit from the program and join her in her vision. She would help the team raise money for them all to attend with the hope that thy would share the magic, see the value and join her in her mission to bring the work to young people.
I thought it was wonderful. At the same time, I realized that all the angst Trish was so adept at helping youth work through was, once again, present in myself. I had done so much growing in my time away from the place where Trish regularly worked her magic, but I was still not immune to the frustration, anger and shame I had carried with me throughout my adolescent years. Here it was again, and I had dragged it into her home in hopes of figuring out how to get rid of it. I felt the yearning she described and I couldn't imagine a better place for her to invest her energies ... in ME! And that was when she mentioned her dream from the night before.
She had woken up with the notion that she needed to start a waiting list for her youth participants. Then a look came over her. Would I like to participate? It wasn't a sure thing by any means, she explained, but if it were possible, would I be interested in attending Jack's Breakthrough to Success 5 day live event? I would need to take the time off from work, she stressed, which at the time meant I would go without money I deeply needed. “I will find a way,” I said, knowing it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
That was the start of my journey with the Pathways to Success for Youth Team. I was twenty-four years old in a group of girls that were mostly younger. I felt like I might be taking advantage; as if I might be taking away an opportunity that should be afforded to someone younger. Not to someone who had spent the last seven years out of high school in braces broken beyond repair. Not to someone who had taken six years to complete a four year program just to get a degree in a field most people considered useless. Not to someone who still had to take the bus to a crappy retail job in the city. I tried to brush the chip off my shoulder and instead, I stood confidently as I accepted my place on Trish's list.
Not long before our departure I met the rest of the girls on the team at one of our many fundraising events. We hit it off in no time. We were all vastly different; each with unique personalities and our own motivations, but we instantly fell in love. And so we pooled our efforts and with a great deal of work, we raised enough money to make the dream a reality. One car, two vans, two planes and one Grand Canyon later we arrived in the dry desert of Scottsdale, Arizona the day before Breakthrough to Success began.
We were nervous beyond anything else and buzzing with excitement as we said good night and rested up for our first day in the training room. And the transformation began ...
Our first day in the training room was everything you expect out of a great seminar … if you had ever been to one … which most of us had not. What was clear was that Jack Canfield, the author of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the Success Principles book and the seminar's golden star was incredibly charismatic and authentic. He was intelligent and confident but accessible. He disclosed a fair amount about his personal life and experiences, which made everyone feel just a little more comfortable in their own skin. And it was clear that he took his work very seriously. This was to be a fun week and a week of celebration, but only after the hard work and introspection that we would all do with equal participation. And homework. There would most definitely be homework.
At the start of day two I was amped to get back in that room. I was more clear about my thoughts and how I wanted to vocalize them and was determined that I wouldn't fall short where I had the day before. I was motivated to play full out. We ran through a series of activities where we practiced sharing and active listening. We discussed the previous night's workbook activity and we tackled our personal strengths, weaknesses, beliefs about ourselves. We did a self esteem check in preparation for future activities and we participated in silent heart hugging. This was hard for some and great for others, and ultimately became everyone’s favorite activity.
Although I was enthusiastic, I felt uncertain. It was clear that I had the most progress to make out of the bunch when it came to self worth. What I quickly started to realize was that the hurt that I had brought with me, and the work that I needed to do was not what I had anticipated. In fact, what I had come expecting to work through, I realized I had already done on my own, for the most part. What I needed to do in the training room was tackle the biggest beast of all, which was loving myself (as trite as that sounds).
I am so grateful for the moments that happened both inside and outside the training room and for my experience with the Pathways team. I have come to learn and embrace so much about myself and the world around me. By the end of my week at BTS I had collected so many of the tools I needed to move forward in my life.
After my week in Arizona I came back and dove in headfirst to living, loving, and working and shedding the negativity I held around me for so long. I had learned so many things; how to set realistic goals, how to manage my time and prioritize appropriately, how to save my money and my time for myself and spend it where it really counts. I even learned how to dress from an empowered place in an endeavor I affectionally refer to as the Great Color Experiment (which, I am proud to say was incredibly successful)! More on that later!
Today, a year later, I hold myself accountable in a way I never have before. I accept and take responsibility for my actions and realize that what happens to me is a direct result of that. I am now free to enjoy so many lessons because of that.
Since this time last year I have lost nearly twenty pounds. I have gained a healthy appreciation of myself and for life. Before BTS I had no car, no confidence, no savings, and surrounded myself with as much of that “stuck-ness” as I could subconsciously find. Today my coworkers, friends, and family look to me as an example of someone who is confident and reliable. I am much more comfortable in my skin. I have not only a vehicle, savings, and colorful wardrobe, but the knowledge that when I make my way out of my apartment every morning I carry myself in a way that reflects accurately who I am. I communicate more effectively and I express my appreciation for the people and things around me. I am more productive and am taking better care of myself, physically and emotionally.
This has all had a tremendous impact on my personal and professional life. Being a part of the Pathways to Success for Youth Team has been, and continues to be something that I cannot express enough gratitude for. The opportunity I was given is something that I hope everyone, especially young people, will experience for themselves and I am committed to helping that happen!
Learn more about how you can support the Pathways to Success for youth team as we continue to build our capacity as we get ready to bring this work to more youth!
I loved meeting with Michael Kline, our local entrepreneurologist, columnist for the Conway Daily Sun to talk about the Pathways to Success for Youth project and how I see it impacting youth in the work place ... in the Mount Washington Valley and beyond!
Preparing a Work-ready Youth
By Michael Kline
as published in Conway Daily Sun
July 15, 2015
As I conduct training programs for local employees, I find a few common threads. I discuss many of them in this column and often I take aim at employers, because that is most of my audience, and I urge them/you to take full responsibility for creating an environment and culture for success. That said, I see in the classroom, as well as in the local businesses where I shop, that we have a shortage of well-qualified, well-trained ready to work employees.
In spite of state, local and school district efforts, the challenge of finding work-ready employees seems to be on the minds of employers I meet. I am told that coming out of high school, many teens seem to lack any work ethic. I disagree; I think they lack a sense of responsibility, goals and training. The results are the same, so let us stop blaming and consider what we can do about it. If you own or manage a business in the valley, your livelihood may depend on finding or cultivating your own better workforce.
Imagine a workforce in which employees are clear about their goals and are self-motivated to reach them. The goals are broken down into manageable "how much, by when" segments that allow them to get their jobs done with ease because the big picture is clear and concise.
Even if they do not want to have a lifelong career in hospitality, retail or customer service, they see the value in learning new skills, expanding their knowledge, and saving money to support the pursuit of their personal vision for the future.
Imagine improved customer service because employees are motivated to create a better experience for both themselves and the customer because they understand that the way they respond to events directly impact positive outcomes. Or a workplace where interpersonal relationships between coworkers improve because they connect with each other authentically and appreciate all each of them brings to the team.
As my regular readers know, I have been involved in Jack Canfield training for a while now. My friend Trish Jacobson introduced me to Jack’s programs. While I have been incorporating many of these principles into my work with individuals and business clients, Trish has been busy working with our youth. This past winter, she applied the Jack Canfield’s Success Principles to a local ski school. By approaching each day with a sense of passion, purpose and clear vision of the outcomes she wanted to create, she was able to develop a cohesive team of dedicated people who took pride in their involvement in the bigger picture. Their sense of personal responsibility, willingness to learn, and their communication skills all greatly improved throughout the season. The staff bonded through their shared mission of impeccable customer service, which showed up in resort surveys directly measuring aspects of customer service and satisfaction. I should mention that about half of her seasonal staff was under the age of 25.
When she is not on a mountain, Trish works with young people through the White Mountain Community Health Center Teen Clinic and Community Outreach programs. She and her team make a significant contribution to Carroll County having one of the lowest teen pregnancy rates in the entire US. In 2010 she began incorporating some of the same principles into her health curriculum. In 2014, she founded the Pathways to Success for Youth Project. Her vision is to develop a classroom and online curriculum, which includes solid principles of success, elements of passion and purpose, tools to build self-confidence. At the same time, the program will help clear self-limiting behaviors and beliefs and instill a foundation of personal responsibility, goal orientation, taking action and entrepreneurial skills.
Clearly, the Pathways to Success for Youth is onto something - something big. This has the potential to transform education, our workforce, and create endless positive ripple effects. Trish, youth leadership colleague Mikayla Cerney and I will all be on Jack Canfield’s assisting team in Scottsdale AZ in August for a weeklong Breakthrough to Success training program. This program retails for $3500 per person, and the Canfield global community has provided tuition as well as lodging to Trish’s team. I hope as the local community whose youth directly benefit, we can raise the airfare and other costs to invest in eight of our local high school students to experience this truly transformational program first hand. How different my own life would have been if I knew as a teenager, what I learned in this program at middle age. For more information about helping our youth prepare for a more responsible adulthood, visit www.pathwaystosuccessforyouth.com.
Visit www.intus.com to learn more about Michael Kline's speaking, coaching and consulting services for businesses.
In my senior year of high school, I joined my local teen clinic’s peer education team thinking it was a great way to help out my peers and give back to the community. I had no idea how much it would change my life!
The transformation started off slow. Within the first few weeks I learned about heart hugs and greeted all my friends with heart hugs. A few months passed and I was sneaking my friends around the library to teach them about kinesiology which I had just learned at teen clinic. It’s this cool thing that demonstrates the effect of negative and positive influences on our body and how to protect ourselves from the negative. The name Jack Canfield was bouncing around in my head as he was the one who taught my mentor about the power of heart hugging and kinesiology.
During my time at the teen clinic Trish mentioned several times the idea that a team that would go to Arizona, train with Jack, discover the magic his work had to offer and come back to help her bring the success principles work to young people. In my mind it seemed a job too big for a party too small.
In August 2014 on the plane ride to Scottsdale Arizona with a team of 7 young people on the way to Jack’s Breakthrough to Success (BTS) event, I realized I had been wrong.
Every day of our trip was just as enchanting as the last. BTS taught me alot!
The support at BTS was unlike any I've ever had. Jack had created an environment that made it easy for me to trust everyone in that room and know they were there to help me become the woman I was meant to become. And likewise I was able to be anything they needed me to be to help them grow.
The day I walked into the teen clinic was the best decision I ever made. I am changed forever by what Trish and Jack taught me. Now, with the help of BTS, I have taken the first few steps toward obtaining my dream job as a makeup artist. I have acquired my cosmetology license, worked as a beauty advisor, been published in magazines and have been able to travel with my work from Florida to New York City. In early 2016 I will be heading cross country to attend school in Los Angeles for the next big step. And in the meantime, in addition to helping Trish with her vision, I am helping to spread this important work to the people I meet along my own journey.
Set a goal that is big enough so that in the process of achieving it, you will become someone worth becoming!
Click here to learn more about our work and how you can help us get our newest team members trained and expand our capacity to bring this work to young people.
When the opportunity came in 2012 for me to attend Breakthrough to Success I knew I had to go. I was slightly terrified at the prospect of sharing my heart and soul with 300 strangers but I knew I had to feel the fear and do it anyway. I was told that you get as much out of the BTS experience as you are willing to put in so I knew that if I were going to play I had to play full out. As prepared as I felt, I was still holding my breath as I walked into the training room on my first day.
I held my breath all morning as we were introduced to the format of the week, as we reviewed the guidelines, as the foundation was set. My anxiety peaked when it came time for the Silent Hug Process. We all stood up, some of us clearly more hesitant than others, and began hugging. I put my arms around my partner and they tightened their squeeze just enough as if to say "we are here together" and I let my breath out. From that moment I first felt connection I was able to let go of my fear bit by bit and dive into the work.
The week was a whirlwind of activity, reflection, hugs, laughter, and tears. In addition to the more practical aspects of setting goals, taking 100% responsibility, maintaining accountability, asking for help, and learning how to reject rejection, we were invited to explore our deeper selves. I shared my innermost thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams. And I listened, really listened, as others shared theirs. Together we came to understand that our emotions stemmed from a greater place within and learned that it is okay to feel them. It's okay to give ourselves permission to explore what our tears or anger are really about.
Through those moments of connection and vulnerability we forged friendships that will last a lifetime. To say that what I learned about myself during that week changed my life is an enormous understatement. It changed my very being. I came home from BTS floating on a cloud of unconditional love. I felt a sense of belonging to a world that is full of people who are all the same simply because we are here and we are all human.
I was so affected by this weeklong experience that when Trish shared with me her vision of a curriculum based on The Success Principles implemented on a national scale it brought tears to my eyes.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if our young people were given the tools they need to truly succeed in any and every way they thought possible! If they were given a solid foundation of empowerment, understanding, and compassion on which to build their wildest dreams. Adults seeks this enlightenment after living half of their lives without purpose and passion. What if we could START with our youth?
The next step for me to take to help bring Trish's vision to life was to attend Jack Canfield's Train The Trainer program, which Trish herself had already completed. This program was more about learning how to be an effective presenter and facilitator, how to teach the Success Principles, and how to stand confidently in your power as you bring this work to your audience. Over the course of the year I would spend three weeks with the same 70 people as we each discovered our strengths, strengthened our weaknesses, and developed our own stories into a platform for our message. This giant leap even further out of my comfort zone and into an amazing international group of the most successful people I've ever met yielded even more personal growth, self awareness, and a deeper connection to those around me.
During week one of TTT we were asked to each prepare a ten minute talk for the last day. To present our talks we were split into groups of ten and sent into different rooms with two of Jack’s team where we would take turns presenting. The format of the presentation was that you would present your talk, receive feedback from the group and then have a chance to reteach a portion of your talk based on the feedback. Despite reassurances that we all had things to improve upon and that it was going to be a really great learning experience I was definitely nervous to talk in front of the group. In addition, members of the Canfield staff, including Jack himself, would be floating in and out to observe.
When my turn came I shakily stood up, took a deep breath to reign in my nerves, and just started talking. I spoke in detail about my experience with my mom's terminal illness as a teenager and how that abruptly welcomed me into adulthood. A few minutes into my presentation the side door opened and Jack Canfield himself walked in. I have never been more intimidated in my life. With only a moments pause I managed to keep talking and finished out my time. I received feedback from Jack about how I need to move around the stage and he even showed me what I was doing versus what I should do to make my message even more powerful.
As I began my reteaching he stopped me. "No, nope that's actually worse," he smiled, "loosen up. You look like a robot." I laughed and let go of the tension I had been holding since he walked in the door. As I began again I felt lighter, like it may actually be fun to do this. Before I left that night I was able to hug Jack goodbye and thank him for his feedback. As we parted from our hug to hold hands and look into each other’s eyes, he said "You were really great today. Seriously, you were born to do this. Keep going."
That was all the affirmation I needed. And so it continues ...
Click here to learn more about how you can support the Pathways to Success for Youth Project.
by Mikayla Cerney
Team Leader, Pathways to Success for Youth Project
My first exposure to Jack Canfield was when I was 11 years old. My nana and great uncle died within a few weeks of each other and my mom gave me a Chicken Soup for the Soul book to help me through my grief. That was the book that launched me into reading novels that featured "real" people with real world issues and writing about my own personal experiences even though I wasn't quite ready to share them.
The Success Principles came into my life ten years later when my mentor, Trish Jacobson, stumbled upon the audio book version of this master compilation of life lessons and proven success strategies. I remember her telling me about the different principles she was learning and how they were being reinforced by her past and present experiences. She was so moved by Jack's work that she decided to attend his Breakthrough to Success (BTS) live event.
When she returned she told me about some of the most profound moments of the week. Among those she shared was the Silent Hug Process. The Silent Hug Process is done in a group, the BTS group being about 350 people. Different elements of the activity were introduced over a few days until the final product is this:
Everyone stands from their seats and silently mills about the room while beautiful music is played. Pairs of participants embrace one another, left cheek to left cheek in a Heart Hug, and breathe deeply together matching their in and out breaths a few times. Once the hug feels complete the two participants step back, join hands, and look each other in the eyes. Then you part ways and find another partner to hug.
She described the process as somewhat magical and the connection that formed among the group as very powerful. She recalled the question Jack asked on the last Silent Hug Process on the last day of the event. “What if the entire world began the day with heart hugs? Every home, every school, every workplace …”
What was a profound experience for Trish sounded like a terrifying task to me. I was not comfortable with the idea of hugging my own friends and family, never mind a complete stranger. My aversion to this activity was a direct reflection of my unwillingness to truly connect with the people around me. After a turbulent childhood and the loss of my mother at 18, I was a very closed off individual. But I was willing to give it a try. After all, Trish was someone I deeply trusted and she was clearly moved by the experience and had chosen to incorporate it into her daily life. She didn’t pressure me, but her invitation to try the silent hug thing remained open. So after some resistance, a few swear words and some eye rolling on my part I gave and received my first proper Heart Hug. I'm sure that Trish's hug with me after attending BTS felt like she was hugging a lamp post.
Slowly, very slowly, I showed more interest in what Trish had learned at BTS. The different principles allowed me to digest the content little by little as I discovered that most of what I was learning felt truly useful. Trish led me through The Passion Test and helped me discover my Life Purpose. I learned how to set "how much, by when" goals that I could stick with because the results were always something tangible. You knew when you had succeeded because you chose the real life indicator that would show you it was complete. Discovering The Law of Attraction peaked my curiosity and I started reading about it on my own. The power of positive thought and intention started to show itself in my every day life. I was even occasionally asking for a hug.
For the first time in my life I felt like I had a purpose, a direction. Whether I was at work interacting with people, at home communicating with my brother, or building my relationship with myself I felt connected. There was an invisible web woven around me full of passion and purpose, of positivity and intention, and of 100% responsibility for my thoughts and actions.
When planning for the Be Kind Fest came around some months later I suggested that the Teen Clinic give out free hugs. Trish thought I was joking at first but soon realized I was serious when I asked for money to pick up art supplies to make Free Hug signs. When the day of the Fest finally arrived I was nervous to offer hugs to people passing by. What if they think I'm crazy? What if they make fun of me? A lot of people walked straight by avoiding eye contact. Then one person stopped with their arms open. Then another. Then a whole group. I was gaining confidence and momentum, even asking people if they wanted to learn how to make their hugs more powerful by doing Heart Hugs. My doubts disappeared. There were numerous memorable moments from that day and one very profound experience that helped me to realize the importance of compassion and of true connection. (read more here)
As time passed and without me even realizing it, Jack Canfield and The Success Principles had affected my life on all levels. I was still experiencing a few undesirable situations that I wasn't ready to let go of yet but overall my personal growth since first listening to Trish talk to me about BTS was tenfold. Because of these self discovered revelations and my willingness to process my grief with a counselor, I was finally able to start the process of healing and become the confident, strong version of myself that I always wanted to be.
by Molly Mullins
In the summer of 2014, I had completed 5 years of nursing school, graduated with honors, was madly in love and had a full time job waiting for me; yet I had never been so disappointed in myself. Why, you ask?
Well, one stupid test had me believing I wasn't good enough and erased all of my great accomplishments in my head. I had failed my nursing boards and was not taking it well. Then one night that I ran into my mentor, Trisha Jacobson. She asked if I would be interested in joining the Pathways to Success Team and attend Breakthrough to Success with Jack Canfield. My heart told me to go but my head kept making excuses about why I couldn't. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed something to get me through the challenge. The opportunity was sent my way and I decided to go for it.
BTS brought out a lot of anger and sadness that I needed to release. I thought about things I had never thought about and realized why I was the way I was. I was in tears most of the training days but left the training with a better understanding of myself as well as a boost in confidence that I was able to bring back to my life.
BTS allowed me to open up about my life to complete strangers. They were non-judgmental and supportive. They encouraged me to follow my dreams and not listen to what others were telling me to do. This was a freedom I had never experienced.
Trying to explain my BTS experience is nearly impossible. I am so glad I went. There is not a day that goes by that I don't use the skills I learned and the self-awareness I gained.
Being a nurse and a human being in general, it is easy to practice the success principles and see the good in people. I am constantly looking at how I affect other people and the way having a positive mindset makes my life more enjoyable and attracts others to me. I find that approaching my patients with respect and trying to understand why they are the way they are makes me able to take better care of them.
I am proud of who I am now and can honestly say I am good at what I do. When teaching my students, I can truly relate to them and provide them with the confidence they need to move forward. I am reminded that everyone starts from the bottom and the journey upward is a wonderful one.
The success principles don't go to waste in personal life either. There are many times when I find my discussions with people more productive because of tools that Jack taught me. I am not afraid to help others recognize their own problems within so that they can better understand their ability to communicate effectively. I also find that I have become an advocate for others to achieve their goals whether small or large. The list goes on and on. I will never forget what I learned in August of 2014.
Most of all, I learned that I'm glad I failed my nursing boards because even though I did, I still had honors from five years of nursing school, I was still madly in love, I still had a full time job waiting for me and I got an amazing lesson from Jack Canfield that will carry me through the rest of my life.
Molly is 23 and lives in North Conway, NH with her fiancé Chris and their cats Hunter and Loki. She maintains a busy nursing practice, is a clinical instructor and incorporates the success principles into her work with her patients and students.
Pathways to Success for Youth Team
Patty Aubery, Trisha Jacobson, Jack Canfield, Mikayla Cerney
Marissa Maitland, Molly Mullins, Marianna Robinson, Grace Remillard, Jack Canfield, Trish Jacobson, Mikayla Cerney, Meg Perrin & Faith Jacobson
Jackie DiFonzo, Olivia Belanger, Kelly Sharp, Marianna Robinson, Chance Bousquet, Meg Perrin, Lea Thelemarck being interviewed by Patty Aubery, President of The Canfield Training Group
Team members not shown: Nichole Tomacelli, Jen Collard, Whitney Pray, Drea Kasianchuk, Chelsea Latham