Jack Canfield’s annual week-long seminar Breakthrough to Success (BTS) happening from 12 to 18 August this year in Scottsdale, Arizona will be the last one ever. Jack has decided to retire this format of training which in his words has been his favourite week of the year. After guiding more than 5000 people towards breakthrough experiences through BTS, Jack is looking at other training events in the years ahead, yet none to be as intensive and as long as BTS. Unlike most personal development training courses, BTS promises to transform rather than just inform, thus enabling long-lasting changes to take place in the attendee’s lives.
Jack himself is not retiring, far from it. Yours truly considers himself very fortunate to have had this last opportunity to make the most of being among this year’s attendees and be trained by Jack.
This being my first trip to the U.S. the prospect of spending a week in Phoenix, Arizona, made me curious about the host city. Thanks to Google and scores of online reviews posted by former and current residents of Phoenix, known as Phoenicians, I learnt a great deal about this desert city like no other. And what intrigued me the most were striking discrepancies between online reviews I read.
For some, Arizona heat is intolerable, the place is inhospitable, the traffic is awful, crime is rampant, people unfriendly and the education system is falling apart. On the other hand, reviews making references to more affluent Phoenix suburbs like Sun City, and Scottsdale, where BTS is held, are glowing in every way. Although the logic of the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder applies, a bigger picture emerges. Whether we’re comparing Sydney’s western and eastern suburbs, different areas of Paris, Rome, Phoenix, or any other place on the planet, there will be differing beliefs on what is good and what is bad. We usually put many such beliefs down to how well off a person or an area is. “It’s easy for you”, people say, “you’re rich”. While this may be true, it is even more true that every one of us has a choice to decide what we want and then go to work on translating those choices into decisions which drive what we do, where we live, and how we live our lives.
Interestingly, some of the reviews I read mentioned that their authors had spent close to 10 years in Phoenix and that they did not know what was stopping them from leaving. “I should have left long time ago”, one reviewer said. The question is how many of those who had lived in Phoenix have since moved to places like Scottsdale and Sun City, or left The Valley of the Sun without complaining. How many have taken action on feeling unhappy and found a better place to live in. How many have invested in themselves, set and achieved goals to earn more and be able to move to different suburbs. And then how many have chosen to stay, complain about the lack of resources, list excuses and blame the government and other people for their lot in life. The answers are obvious. But my search for information on Phoenix was not futile. It only added to my belief that any answer or advice is only as good as one’s willingness to ask the right questions. The right questions for them.
During my eight days in Phoenix I intend to make the most of the weather, the people, and the geography of what is an amazing desert setting with its unique history and challenges that made up its past and will continue to shape its future.