Category Archives: Actions

The Magic 1000

How many times will you try?
Are you willing to take 1000 actions?

The video below should spark some thoughts for you, especially if you are considering building a wish for yourself.


The Magic 1000

In a previous article we addressed “Why 1000 Actions are required” so we won’t talk about why “more options yields better results” or why “multiple options, routes and alternatives” can help you overcome the inevitable obstacles you will face.

The Magic 1000 actions are important because of the mindset that it fosters.  If we suggested that you list only 10 or 100 action steps, you could probably do that fairly easily.  You might even complete those steps but the likelihood of you achieving your wish would still be rather low.

Committing to 1000 actions is, for most people, the same as committing to doing “whatever it takes” to achieve your goal.  1000 actions would be nearly impossible to achieve in a week or even a month so it requires the extended commitment that is required to build your wish.

Think of it this way . . .

What if your wish was to keep your child safe?  You would “do whatever it takes” because failure is not an option that you want to even consider.  That same thinking, applied to a single wish with a strong mental focus, will guarantee the accomplishment of that wish.

Don’t lose sight of your goal . . .

Mental focus is required so that you can continue to make progress toward your 1000 actions.  When was the last time you added actions to your Action List?  Do you review it on a regular basis?  At a scheduled time each week or each day?

 Whatever it takes mentality

There is little that cannot be achieved through total commitment to a single goal.  When will you commit to a goal or wish that is worth taking 1000 actions?  Do whatever it takes to achieve your wish and don’t be like most people who spread their actions across 1000 things and achieve nothing.



CELEBRITY – Jack Canfield – How to Take Action

Jack CanfieldAction is an important part of success in any arena and Jack Canfield certainly understands what goes into being a successful author, speaker and business person.

Jack Canfield is the co-author of the highly successful, best selling book series “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and “Success Principles” among other books.  Jack is also a professional speaker and trainer.  The short video below features Jack talking about “Taking Action!”, an important part of TheWishBuilder process.

About Jack Canfield:


Jack Canfield (born August 19, 1944) is an American motivational speaker and author. He is best known as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, which currently has nearly 200 titles and 112 million copies in print in over 40 languages. According to USA Today, Chicken Soup for the Soul and several of the series titles by Canfield and his writing partner, Mark Victor Hansen, were among the top 150 best-selling books of the last 15 years (October 28, 1993 through October 23, 2008). In July 2004, Jack Canfield founded the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of speakers, authors, coaches and other leaders in the fields of personal and professional development. The members of TLC meet semi-annually, and as of January 2012, membership numbered 120.

In 1990, Canfield shared with Mark Victor Hansen the idea for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and after three years, the two had compiled sixty-eight stories. Canfield has appeared on numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, 20/20 and NBC Nightly News. Canfield is the founder of “Self Esteem Seminars” in Santa Barbara, and “The Foundation for Self Esteem” in Culver City, California. He is also the founder and CEO of the Canfield Training Group. One of Canfield’s most recent books, The Success Principles (2005), shares 64 principles that he claims can make people more successful. In 2008, he wrote The Success Principles for Teens with Kent Healy, as a result of the success of his original book. In 2006, he appeared in the DVD, “The Secret”, and also in the book titled “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and shared his insights on the Law of Attraction and tips for achieving success in personal and professional life. In the summer of 2004 Canfield founded The Transformational Leadership Council (TLC), a closed membership, invitation only members’ club.

Apart from being an author, Canfield is also a speaker and trainer. He conducts seminars focused on peak performance, such as Break Through to Success. He also trains speakers and trainers about training and teaching the Success Principles through his Train the Trainer program.


CELEBRITY – Tyler Perry – “Focus & Don’t Stop”

Important note: The video on this page is not a direct endorsement by Tyler Perry of TheWishBuilder process but you will find many similarities between Mr. Perry’s life story, his suggestions in the video and the components of TheWishBuilder process.   As you look at your wishlist, remember that the key is to have a single goal, to focus on it with all your heart and never give up on the dream of making your wish come true.

Background on Tyler Perry:


Perry was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, as Emmitt Perry, Jr., the son of Willie Maxine Perry (née Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr., a carpenter. He has three siblings. Perry once said his father’s “answer to everything was to beat it out of you”. As a child, Perry once went so far as to attempt suicide in an effort to escape his father’s beatings. In contrast to his father, his mother took him to church each week, where he sensed a certain refuge and contentment. At age 16, he had his first name legally changed from Emmitt to Tyler in an effort to distance himself from his father.
Many years later, after seeing the film Precious, he was moved to relate for the first time accounts of being molested by a friend’s mother at age 10; he was also molested by three men prior to this, and later learned his own father had molested his friend.

While Perry did not complete high school, he earned a GED. In his early 20s, watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, he heard someone describe the sometimes therapeutic effect the act of writing can have, enabling the author to work out his or her own problems. This comment inspired him to apply himself to a career in writing. He soon started writing a series of letters to himself, which became the basis for the musical, I Know I’ve Been Changed.

Around 1990, Perry moved to Atlanta, where two years later I Know I’ve Been Changed was first performed at a community theater, financed by the 22-year-old Perry’s $12,000 life savings. The play included Christian themes of forgiveness, dignity, and self-worth, while addressing issues such as child abuse and dysfunctional families. The musical initially received a “less than stellar” reception and was a financial failure. Perry persisted, and over the next six years he rewrote the musical repeatedly, though lackluster reviews continued. In 1998, at age 28, he succeeded in retooling the play and restaging it in Atlanta, first at the House of Blues, then at the Fox Theatre. Perry continued to create new stage productions, touring with them on the so-called “chitlin’ circuit” (now also known as the “urban theater circuit”) and developing a large, devoted following among African-American audiences. In 2005, Forbes reported that he had sold “more than $100 million in tickets, $30 million in videos of his shows and an estimated $20 million in merchandise”, and “the 300 live shows he produces each year are attended by an average of 35,000 people a week”.

Original video can be viewed on under the Inspiration section of his website.

If you liked that, here is another TylerPerry video of him being interviewed by Larry King. He talks about his background and growing up in New Orleans.

WARNING: Life Changing Event Ahead

I will just say it… “Going through project that you create for yourself will be a life changing event.”

It makes sense if you think about it.  If someone grants you an amazing wish, why wouldn’t it change your life.  If you won the lottery, it would be life changing, right?  If you quit smoking, that would change your life.  Lose 50 pounds and complete your first marathon… how can your life be the same?

How does it change your life?

I love the quote below from Seth Godin (courtesy of James Clear’s book, “Transform Your Habits”).  We usually focus on the big goals that we then break down and create using a 1000 small steps, but it is the small steps that impact our lives as well.

Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you—the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.   —Seth Godin will be Life Changing !

The big goal or wish are important because they give us “The Juice” we need to keep going but each step along the way can be just as life changing because it means we are changing our habits and those are what we will carry with us long after we have achieved our wish.

What are good ACTION Steps?

TriangleLogo-2Are there good action steps?  vs. “bad” action steps?  When you start out brainstorming, there are no “bad ideas” because any idea may lead to a good idea or action.

Once you move from brainstorming to executing your action steps you begin to notice that some actions seem better than others.  Maybe more effective or easier or just more fun.  The other ones … are they bad?

Well . . .  yes & no.  

You want to keep them around because there will be additional brainstorming as you progress through your 1000 Cranes project and these “bad ideas” may spark some other, more useful, ideas down the road.  They may even help you overcome obstacles or challenges because they could get you thinking about some counter-intuitive strategies you might be missing.

When you are deciding which idea or action step to tackle, you should consider “The Seinfeld Strategy“.   An online article by James Clear for Entrepreneur magazine describes it this way…

Brad Isaac was a young comedian starting out on the comedy circuit. One fateful night, he found himself in a club where Jerry Seinfeld was performing. In an interview on Lifehacker, Isaac shared what happened when he caught Seinfeld backstage and asked if he had “any tips for a young comic.”

Here’s how Isaac described the interaction with Seinfeld…

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”

A key part of creating your “chain” of action steps is choosing the right ones.  If they are too easy or inconsequential you risk not making any progress toward your goal.  If they are too difficult or overwhelming, you risk not doing them at all.

The key according to the Seinfeld Strategy…

… is to choose a task that is simple enough to be sustainable. At the same time, you have to make sure that your actions are meaningful enough to matter.

For example, researching good jokes each day is simple, but you’re never going to write a joke by merely researching. That’s why the process of writing is a better choice. Writing can actually produce a meaningful result, even when it’s done in small doses.

Similarly, doing 10 pushups per day could be simple and meaningful depending on your level of fitness. It will actually make you stronger. Meanwhile, reading a fitness book each day is simple, but it won’t actually get you in better shape.

Choose tasks that are simple to maintain and capable of producing the outcome you want.

Another way of saying this is to focus on actions and not motions…

So as you evaluate all the possible actions that will build your path to your wish, be sure to craft the action steps so they are “simple enough” that you can do them again & again” while also “meaningful enough that they matter” toward your desired outcome.

Remember, you can always break down your action steps to make them simpler but you are the one who decides how much one action step contributes compared to all the other possible action steps.  Take ACTION NOW !

How Long will it take?

Many people ask
“How long will it take me to complete my project using The Wish Builder process?”

The answer of how long your project will take depends on you.

  • If you complete one action per day, then it will take a little less than 3 years.
  • 3 per day = less than one year.
  • 10 per day = 100 days.
  • Bigger, more ambitious projects often take longer (but they don’t have to).

 Can I speed up the process?

Certainly.  Involving others and leading a team effort can get things done much faster than a single individual.  The Wish Builder is a great team building exercise and it often helps people find answers to problems they might find insurmountable by themselves.

Be sure to check back regularly since new ideas are constantly being added to this article and others on this website.  Remember, how long your project takes is up to you … and you can also learn ways to make it go faster.


Brainstorming Tool # 1 — Random-Word-Generator

Random words can be a great tool for brainstorming and the Random Word Generator below was provided by

How do I use a Random Word Generator for Brainstorming?

It is actually pretty easy.  When you feel like you have run out of ideas toward your goal, just grab a random word and figure out an angle or way that the word might be related to your goal.

It could be a characteristic of the word, the opposite of the word or just simple “word association“.  What does the word make you think about?  How can that be tied to your goal?

Random Word Generator:

Simply click on the “Random Word” button and a random word will be generated for you. This is done via javascript so if it does not work, you may want to update the java version on your computer.


Brainstorming Rule # 1:

Remember, there are no wrong answers when you are brainstorming. The value of an idea or action step will be evaluated later. The goal of brainstorming is to come up with as many answers as possible so you have more options to choose from.

A Random Word Generator is a great tool to spark your creativity and can be used either by yourself or with a partner or group. The more people who are involved, the more associations you will find for each word and the more ideas you will generate for your project.

CELEBRITY – Zig Ziglar – Your Goals

Zig Ziglar is one of the greatest motivational speakers and his speech on goals is a classic.  It contains some wonderful ideas that will help you set your goal.

The video below is audio-only so it is great to listen to while you are working on your computer.  If you want to listen in your car, check out the paragraph below the video. 

I really enjoyed the video below and even downloaded it (using free YTD software) to my computer.  My video software (Camtasia) allowed me to convert the video to audio so I could listen to it in my car.

I saw Zig Ziglar speak in person a couple of times.  The first time was in Chicago around 1997 and he was wonderful.  The last time was in Hartford and his health had taken a toll on his mind.  He still had a wonderful voice but he lost track of his speech a number of times.

Other fans of Zig Ziglar . . .

Seth Godin, marketing guru,
Excerpt below is from Zig Ziglar’s Goal Setting & Achievement book titled “Pick Four”, (curated by Seth Godin):

“Then I found Zig.  His selling program, his eighteen tapes on motivation, and most of all, his thinking on goals.  Zig Ziglar, a door-to-door cookware salesman who was born in Yazoo City, came to the rescue of a Stanford MBA who was lost.

The tapes are a hoot, and they’re worth whatever it takes to get your hands on a set.  I listened over and over – listened to at least seventy-two hours’ worth of Zig, at thirty plays a recording.  And it started to work.

Within a month I had written down all the steps he describes in his goals program, and I started following the steps.  Drip, drip, drip.  Day by day, bit by bit, I started making progress.  And then, quietly, my progress started accelerating.  Suddenly, the bricks started falling into place, sales were made, personal goals achieved.

It works.”


Have you set your goal or wish yet?

Here is a bonus video by Zig Ziglar talking about “getting out of the box”. It applies to goal setting as much as anything… Enjoy.

About Zig Ziglar

Source: (edited for brevity)

Zig Ziglar
Picture source:

Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar (November 6, 1926 – November 28, 2012) was an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker. Zig Ziglar was born in Coffee County in southeastern Alabama to parents John Silas Ziglar and Lila Wescott Ziglar. He was the tenth of twelve children. In 1931, when Ziglar was five years old, his father took a management position at a Mississippi farm, and his family moved to Yazoo City, Mississippi, where he spent most of his early childhood. The next year, his father died of a stroke, and his younger sister died two days later.

Ziglar served in the United States Navy during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. He was in the Navy V-12 Navy College Training Program and attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

In 1944, he met his wife, Jean, in the capital city of Mississippi, Jackson; he was seventeen and she was sixteen. They married in late 1946.

Ziglar later worked as a salesman in a succession of companies. In 1968, he became a vice president and training director for the Automotive Performance company, moving to Dallas, Texas.
As of 2010, Ziglar still traveled around taking part in motivational seminars, despite a fall down a flight of stairs in 2007 that left him with short-term memory problems. State Representative Chris Greeley of Maine mentions Ziglar in the credits of his CD on public speaking.

Zig Ziglar wove his Christianity into his motivational work. He was also an open Republican who endorsed former Governor Mike Huckabee for his party’s presidential nomination in 2008.

Ziglar, who had been suffering from pneumonia, died at the age of eighty-six at a hospital in Plano, Texas, on November 28, 2012.


  • Ziglar, Zig (1975). See You at the Top. Gretna: Pelican Pub. Co. ISBN 0-88289-126-X. Pelican publisher Milburn E. Calhoun reported his greatest success with See You at the Top, which had been rejected by some thirty publishers previously.
  • Ziglar, Zig (1978). Confessions Of A Happy Christian. Gretna: Pelican Pub. Co. ISBN 0-88289-196-0.
  • Ziglar, Zig (1982). Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-08102-8.
  • Ziglar, Zig (1985). Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World. Nashville: Oliver Nelson. ISBN 0-8407-9039-2.
  • Ziglar, Zig (1986). Top Performance: How to Develop Excellence in Yourself and Others. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-09973-3.
  • Ziglar, Zig (1994). Over the Top. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. ISBN 0-8407-9112-7.
  • Ziglar, Zig (1998). Success for Dummies. Foster City, Calif: IDG Books. ISBN 0-7645-5061-6.
  • Ziglar, Zig; Hayes, John P. (2001). Network Marketing For Dummies. Foster City, Calif: IDG Books. ISBN 0-7645-5292-9.
  • Ziglar, Zig (2003). Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. ISBN 0-7852-6481-7.
  • Ziglar, Zig (2004). Confessions of a Grieving Christian. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8054-2745-7.
  • Ziglar, Zig (2004). The Autobiography of Zig Ziglar. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-385-50297-4.
  • Ziglar, Zig (2006). Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7852-8919-7.
  • Ziglar, Zig; Norman, Julie Ziglar (2009). Embrace the Struggle: Living Life on Life’s Terms. New York: Howard Books. ISBN 978-1-4391-4219-6.
  • Ziglar, Zig; Ziglar, Tom (2012). Born to Win: Find Your Success Code. Dallas: SUCCESS Media. ISBN 9780983156512.

TheWishbuilder’s note…
Even though Zig Ziglar spoke about goals almost every chance he got, it is surprising that the word “Goals” was not used in his book titles (listed above). I hope you enjoyed the videos on this page and please leave a comment below about what you found the most useful.

Why 1000 Actions?

The 1000 Cranes (and 1000 actions) may seem like a lot more than would be needed to accomplish your wish, but there are good reasons why the number is so high.

First, more options yields better results.

Imagine the 1000 Actions approach like this…

Most people think that you set a goal, choose the path and it takes you straight to your destination like in the picture below.


Anyone who has tried to accomplish anything worthwhile knows that it is rarely that simple.  If it was that simple then everyone would keep their New Year’s resolutions and we all know that rarely happens.

So, what really happens?  Most likely, you will encounter an obstacle or challenge before you reach your goal which will require you to change your plan and take a different series of actions.


The bigger your goal, the more likely it is that you will encounter more than one obstacle …Slide3

Now, what if you are not able to squeeze between these obstacles?  Or maybe there is a huge wall that you can’t go through or over.

That is why you need to look at as many multiple options, routes and alternatives as you can so that you can achieve your wish.


Did you notice that sometimes an action taken in the “wrong direction” can come around and end up hitting the target?

Bottom line… Your wish deserves 1000 Actions

1000 Actions ensures that you meet your goal and your wish will be granted.  Be sure to brainstorm as many ways that you might achieve your goal as possible… and don’t leave out the impossible ways too.  One of those might actually come true !



Brainstorming Tips

smartWhen you are brainstorming actions, inevitably you will run out of ideas before your reach 1000.  Even if you make it to 1000, you may need more ideas if you encounter something unexpected in your path, aka an obstacle or challenge, or you may find that the rest of the ideas just don’t fit the “last mile” of your journey toward your wish.

That is where it is helpful to have some “tricks” or tips to fall back on.

Here are some of my best Brainstorming tips…

Go Crazy !  Go beyond the “regular, commonsense way”, which is really pretty boring and consider the CraZY way.  What is the craziest idea you could think of?

Write down random words and figure out a connection to your goal.  It may take multiple steps but each one will get you thinking in a new way.

Consider doing the opposite of what you planned.  Is there a way to go back one step that leads to 5 or 10 steps forward?

Get someone else’s opinion, preferably someone who thinks very differently from the way you do.

Write gibberish as a warm up.  It can stimulate your brain to go in a new direction.

Ask a question … and then relax, pause, and wait for your mind to give you an answer.  You will be surprised by what your subconscious mind will give you when you give it a chance.

What brainstorming tips do you have?  Please leave a comment below and share them with other visitors to this site.