the success principles – principle 3 – decide what you want

if you haven’t read the other principles, i suggest you start with the first: the success principles – 1st principle – take 100% responsibility

“The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want” – Ben Stein
It may be obvious but it’s worth noting that one of the main reasons people are not getting what they want is because they haven’t decided what they want or haven’t defined it clearly and in details. Remember when you were growing up and other people kept telling you don’t do that, you can’t have that, you can’t have everything you want just because you want it… well that probably led you to finally loose touch with the needs of your body or the desires of your heart, and left you like many people today not knowing what you want.

So, how do you change that? Stop settling for less than you want. This is a habit, so to get rid of it the best way is to replace it by the opposing habit, start making choices again, stop saying ‘whatever’ or ‘I don’t know’, when you are confronting with a choice, act as if you have a preference. Remember you deserve to have everything in your life exactly the way you want it.

Here are few ways you can reconnect with what you truly want:

  • make a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have and 30 things you want to be before you die.
  • ask a friend to help you make an ‘I want’ list: have your friend ask you ‘what do you want’ for 10-15 minutes and right down all the answers. By the end of the exercise, your wants will be more true expressions of your core values.

People often don’t think they can make a living out of what they love, however most of the time you can. Let’s make a list of 20 things you love to do, and the following principles will show you how to make money at it.

if you check back the complete title of Jack Canfield’s book, you’ll see that it includes ‘how to get from where you are to where you want to be‘. Well in order to achieve that you’ll need to know 2 things: where you are and where you want to be. Therefore you need to clarify your vision of your ideal life, ie: describe what your destination looks like and feels like in the following seven areas: work and career, finances, recreation and free time, health and fitness, relationships, personal goals, and contribution to the larger community. Don’t worry about how you’re gonna get there, just figure out where ‘there’ is.

Once your vision is clear, you just need to lock it in with goal-setting, affirmations and visualizations, then your inner GPS will keep you on track and get you there.

Don’t limit your vision in any way, let it be as big as it is, as Michelangelo said: “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”. Or as General Wesley Clark put it “it doesn’t take any more energy to create a big dream than it does to create a little one”. One of the few differences between the superachievers and the rest of the world is that the superachievers simply dream bigger.

Robert Fritz (author of “The Path of Least Resistance”) said “if you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.”  Don’t let anyone talk you out of your vision, many will tell you that you’re crazy, that it’s not possible… don’t listen to them and follow your inner GPS.

Here is an exercise to help you clarify your vision:

(for original resource, please check: the vision exercise)

Sit quietly with relaxing music in a quiet environment where you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes and ask your subconscious mind to imagine (clearly and with pictures as vivid as possible) what your ideal life would look like in the following areas (it is important not to limit yourself in that exercise, don’t worry whether it is possible to get these or how you’re gonna get it):

  • financial: what is your annual income and monthly cashflow? how much savings do you have? what is your net worth? what does your home look like? where is it located? how many rooms it has? what landscape is it sitting in? is there a pool? how is it decorated? What kind of car are you driving? what other important possessions do you have?
  • career: visualize your ideal job, where are you working? what are you doing? what kind of customers do you have? what does your compensation look like?
  • free time: what hobbies do you have? what are you doing with your family and friends in your free time? what kind of vacations do you take? what do you do for fun?
  • health and fitness: what does your physical body look like? are you free of disease? are you pain free? how long do you live? are you open and relaxed? are you full of energy? how much do you weigh? how much do you exercise? do you eat good food and drink a lot of water?
  • relationships: what is your relationship with your spouse, family, closed friends look like? are those relaltionships supportive, loving, empowering? what kind of things do you do together?
  • personal development: do you see yourself learning new things frequently, attending seminars, reading books? do you want to learn how to play an instrument? do you want to travel to other countries?
  • community: what does your community look like? what kinds of common activities take place? what charitable, philanthropic or volunteer work takes place? what do you do to help others and make a difference?

Write down your answers as you go or write them down after you finish the whole exercise. Review the results every day to keep your conscious and subconscious minds focused on your vision. For maximum impact, share your vision with a person you know will be supportive and positive. this will help you clarify your vision even more, and make it feel more attainable. Every time you share it, you strengthen your own subconscious belief that you can achieve it.

Continue to the next principle principle 4 – believe it is possible.

And remember if you want to read the whole book, you can get it here: The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield

Great Wall of China Marathon – race report

Finally I took the time to write a report on the Great Wall of China Marathon, you can also see my first video here, but at least i’ll post some pictures here.


First, at our arrival to Beijing, I was agreeably surprised by the city. I was not expecting it to be so clean, so green and so easy to go around. There are trees or parks everywhere, but still less than bikes available for rental (download your app, scan the barcode on the bike and here you have a bike you can use and drop anywhere). of course the first few days, there was a bit of pollution but still ok (end of the winter means also no more coal burning in the city and also the pollution fight by the government is clearly giving results in Beijing). I was also surprised by the nice big roads, with big (huge) bike lanes, completely separated from the car lanes. Finally, another nice touch is all the electric motorcycles, no noise pollution is very nice (coming from Bangkok, this is a big change). However, they still clearly have to make progress on English… as even in international hotels (ok budget international hotels) staff spoke almost no English and relies on translation apps on their mobile phone to exchange with customers.

race registration

After few days visiting, meeting with the friends (5 of us are participating in the race), it was time to go to pickup our bibs for the Great Wall of China Marathon at the official race hotel. Small race means small organization, the bib pickup happened into the room booked by the organization. At least the organizer speaks English! A small hiccup with the bibs, my friends have bibs for half-marathon despite having signed and paid for the full marathon, the organizer takes care of it and tell them marathon bibs will be given to them before the start of the race tomorrow. We also take the opportunity to book the travel for supporters (package includes the same as the runners but not the entry to the race for half the price… no more details). The bib package includes a race T-shirt (not so many sizes available), the wording is nice but T-shirt is a very basic cotton shirt. Our registration completed, it’s time to head back to our hotel for dinner all together and an early night so we can wake at 4 for the departure by bus to the race location.

The Great Wall of China Marathon

Almost there, all getting excited, we arrive at the meeting point where about 10 buses are waiting (most of them already filled up with runners), we get installed and wait for departure, while the organizers provide drinking water to all buses for the runners. We depart a bit late, but after an eventless ride, we end up at the race start point (beautiful mountains, and we can see the wall waiting for us… definitively not flat…).

The morning is quite chilly (15 degrees is for people living in Bangkok at least…), but weather looks nice and we’re getting ready for the race. There is a bag dropoff organized (again, a small bedroom rented by the organization at the starting place), a bit of a lengthy process, but we get our bags stored safely in the room and can head up for the start point.

We’re all still smiling (though still a bit cold), some were more prepared than others with arm sleeves… but here we are ready and eager to get going. And we won’t get disappointed, in short, the race was really nice, though really hard as well ;). It took me a bit more than 10 hours to cover the 40 km, 15000 steps and 2400 m up (and down of course, since we finished at the same point…). The winner of the full marathon finished the race just below 6 hours. A nice touch from the organization was the printed certificate given on the finish line:

So, if you go racing there, what to expect? first, we were quite lucky with the weather, it started at 16-17 degrees and was nice temperatures most of the day. We had a little bit of rain near the end, which renders the wall very slippery (I don’t see how people would be able to race on the wall if it was really raining) and can be quite dangerous (even with my Salomon trails…). Second, I strongly recommend to have your camelbag with water and food with you, don’t expect any water or food while on the wall (despite the course map and organization indicating so…). Water stations outside of the wall were providing water, sport drinks, and food (bananas were not ripe… and oranges were wrapped individually in plastic), though I relied on my own food for the whole race.

There were no marking for the course, but most of it, you cannot get lost (just follow the wall…) and marshals were mostly posted at the places where you could have gone wrong. (there was some issue for the fastest runners where the marshals arrived late and therefore some runners did more KM than planned…). The course map also indicates toilets on the wall, I guess they mean the stairs getting out the wall and taking you to the forest where you can feel free to take care of your business… I did use some toilets after we got off the wall but Chinese public toilets (cabins with no doors and just a hole on the floor, no water…)

As mentioned before and as you can see in the pictures below, the wall is not flat (almost never) and slopes can be very steep to a point where it is very hard to run even while going down… Some of them have stairs but they can be small or high, and not always very wide… I definitively recommend to run with poles (make sure you use plasticprotection at the bottom) or if you didn’t, use the ramps when there are some or the wall itself when none are available. The part that is not on the wall is mostly paved road, though not flat either…

The cutoff was supposed to be 10 hours for the finish line and 8 hours for the last turning point, however it was not enforced and the last runner finished the race in 11h30m. The race was on the 1st of may which is very high touristic season, however the part of the wall where the race is happening is not touristic at all and the few people there did not make bother us at all, and actually it was nice to have some people cheering us.

going back to Beijing

If you don’t want to wait for the buses to get full to go back to Beijing then you can discuss with the organization (in advance) to have a taxi organized for you. (If I was to go there again, I would probably have a car or van if a group taking us to the start and bringing us back to Beijing).  There was a bit of traffic while getting back to Beijing (it was the end of a long week-end) but we ended there in about 1h30 which was ok. Almost straight back to bed, before one last day in Beijing. Surprise on the last day, a very nice blue sky greets us, I wouldn’t have thought that possible in Beijing:

gopictures taken during the race

details of activity

(registered with my garmin Fenix 5)