The first time I met Jack, I ripped a hundred-dollar bill out of
On a cold winter day in Denver, I waited in line to see one of my
heroes, Jack Canfield, the coauthor of the best-selling Chicken
Soup for the Soul series
and the author of The
Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You
Want to Be.
Where I wanted to be was a version of what Jack had become -- an
author, a speaker, an inspiration to thousands of people. He was
the whole package -- successful, kind -- a visionary for what is
possible in the world. I thought, "If I can get to know him,
I will become that."
When I saw the opportunity, I grabbed it. Literally. During his
presentation, Jack reached for his wallet, pulled out a
hundred-dollar bill, and said, "Who wants this?" Hands
shot up in the audience; people leaned forward to see whom Jack
would choose. But I leapt up, ran up the stairs to the stage, and
grabbed the bill from his hand. As I was launching myself in the
air, thoughts raced through my mind -- was I about to be
humiliated in front of 800 people? Would they call security and
haul me from the stage? But my desire for bold action was louder
than any voice of doubt.
I plucked the bill from his hand, he turned to me and said,
"Yes, that's it!
We can't wait around for the opportunities
to come to us. We must take action to create what we want!"
After his talk, I waited in line to formally meet Jack and boldly
asked for his personal e-mail address. Over the next several
months, I sent him lengthy e-mails sharing my vision and dreams.
He kindly e-mailed back one-liners of encouragement such as,
"Keep thinking and playing bigger; it's much more fun that
way. Love, Jack." Then my life got busy with other things. I
lost sight of my inspiration and I stopped e-mailing Jack.
A year later, my dreams had grown stale. I had this idea if I got
back in touch with Jack, he might just provide the perfect,
inspiring nudge I needed. I was looking for something that would
spur me into action, like a giant arrow that would show me the
I emailed him, and then emailed him again -- but got no response.
As I sat down at my computer to check my email for the fifth time
in 15 minutes, I suddenly woke up.
What was I doing?
I was waiting! And this time I was waiting for Jack. I realized
waiting was a behavior that began when I was a little girl. I
waited to be older -- surely freedom would begin when I had my
first boyfriend, first kiss, got my drivers license, graduated
from high school and went to college. Then I waited to know what
to do with my life. I had always waited, thinking the great prize
of life was just around the corner. And I had started to believe
Jack was the answer; that knowing him would provide something I
thought I was missing internally.
I remembered the crowd, most likely desiring that hundred-dollar
bill, while they sat glued to their chairs. What were they waiting
for? An Oliver Wendell Holmes quote ran through my mind,
"Many people die with their music still inside them."
Instantly, I knew I needed to do something about all this waiting.
The inspiration came like lightening: I was going to write a book!
A book about waiting and call it "Waiting for Jack!"
Instantly, ideas and chapter titles came to me.
It all sounded good but then reality hit, I was writing a book. .
. . Some nights I cried and wanted to give up; others I celebrated
my courage. I wrote, re-wrote, ripped it all up, burned what was
left and started over. I hired editors, changed directions then
changed back. I danced in the moonlight and curled up in a ball on
the floor. I told everyone I was writing, and then wished I
hadn't. I grew, contracted, then grew again, stretching further
than I ever thought possible.
Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with a life of personal
development and I have access to all the tools anyone could ever
want. I know I can "feel the fear and do it anyway". I
know how to take action. I know how to move forward even when
every molecule in my body tells me to stop.
We all have a "Jack" for whom we wait -- whether it's a
person, a place or a thing. We falsely believe the gifts of life
are just around the corner; that anywhere is better than here;
that one day we will arrive and everything will be okay. So we
don't try, we give up, we sell out, we forget who we are. We are
afraid to succeed, afraid to fail and afraid to say we are afraid.
But as Wayne Gretzky said: "You'll always miss 100% of the
shots you don't take!" So I stopped waiting and I wrote.
Three years later, Waiting
for Jack is
a best-seller on Amazon! I have grown in ways I never expected. I
know that I am capable of so much more than I ever knew before.
I ask you, what are you waiting for?
Kristen Moeller is the bestselling author of Waiting
for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie: How to Stop Waiting
and Start Living Your Life.
As a coach, speaker, and radio show host, Kristen delights in
"disrupting the ordinary" and inspiring others to do the
same. She first discovered her passion for personal development in
1989 after recovering from an eating disorder and addiction.
Kristen is also the founder of the Chick-a-go Foundation -- a
not-for-profit that provides "pay it forward"
scholarships for life altering training programs reaching people
who otherwise cannot afford such opportunities.