Mark Victor Hansen was back in Manila for the second time after his first successful workshop in 1996 that jam-packed some 3,500 participants. On March 15, 2001, Launch Asia was witness to the success of his two seminars entitled, Living Your Dreams: A Healthy Helping of Chicken Soup For the Soul and Dare to Win by Thinking Bigger than You Ever Thought You Could.

“We hosted Mark because of his capacity to inspire and influence people from all walks of life,” says Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, president of TeamAsia, a marketing communications consultancy firm who organized the said seminars,

A prolific writer, a dynamic guru in the area of human potential, and a professional speaker to 32 countries for over 26 years, Hansen’s message of possibility, opportunity, and action has earned him the recognition as Outstanding Business Leader of the Year (Northwood University), as Humanitarian of the Year (National Conference for Community and Justice), and as one of the Top Ten Motivational Speakers of this age where Og Mandino, Zig Ziglar and John Rohn count.

Still, Hansen is best known for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which he co-authored with Jack Canfield, a series, which Time magazine hails as “the publishing phenomenon of the decade”.

To date, Hansen and his co-authors have published 38 books in the series with more than 100 audio, video and CD-ROM titles of the same being produced and distributed worldwide in 39 languages.

His other books include Dare to Win, Visualizing is Realizing, Mastering the Mastermind Principles, Living Your Dreams, The Miracle of Tithing,, Future Diary, Mind Power Anthology, and The Power of Focus.

His best-selling book, The Aladdin Factor suggests that you have to have your wishes in advance if you were to meet the genie! And what better wish is there than to have a few of his precious minutes for an interview for Launch Asia.

Three days before the seminars, an extremely tall (Hansen stands 6’4′) and smiling genie granted this wish, and more. One sitting with this big man with a big heart to match was all it took to discover the infinite opportunities awaiting to reshape the way the Filipino soul survives through good and rough times.

LA: Mr. Hansen, we learned that you are coming up with Chicken Soup for the Filipino Soul with Jack Canfield. That book would make us the first in the “nationality” category of the Chicken Soup series

MVH: I have so much respect and admiration for the Filipinos. You are the friendliest in Asia. I have not yet seen anyone as respectful, polite, hospitable, and warm as your people are. The Philippines has got a good reading number, too ­ you read more books on a per capita basis than those in America ­ and your people have many remarkable stories to tell. There is also a potentially huge market of 7 million Filipinos overseas, and that’s about 10 percent of your total population. We would like to be an ambassador, promoting the goodness of the Filipino spirit and your tourism to your fellow-Filipinos and to the world. Overall, our vision in coming up with the Chicken Soup series is to change the world one story at a time.

LA: With your own entrepreneurial success, at the same time, you and Jack Canfield are best-selling authors that have sold 75 million copies of the Chicken Soup series at least in North America alone. What is the greatest lesson that you have learned on your way to the top?

MVH: In 1974, I went bankrupt and lost US$2 million in a day. I went down and touched rock bottom. One day an audiotape fell on my hand and it was by a great guy named Cavatt Robert. It’s okay to be down as long as you’re looking up. I’ve been in so much pain as anyone else. It’s not a question of whether it has happened to all of us. The question is how resilient am I and how willing am I to get back? The greatest lesson that I have learned is that each of us can challenge ourselves to new heights of success, prosperity, achievement, and service. The greatest person is one who serves the most, and each and every one of us can serve at a higher level. Seven years ago, nobody wanted our books. Jack and I went to New York and had 33 major rejections. It broke my heart because they rejected us. But we didn’t reject ourselves. We went out and got turned down one more time until we finally sold it. We just kept moving forward a little bit at a time until we sold 75 million books. Our goal is to sell a billion books by 2020 AD. Now the lesson there is that if you really have high goals then you’ll just be going there. It’s like you’re chopping an oak tree. If you hit it five hatchets chops a day, after a long time it will tip over. So it just takes a little bit of action towards a goal and then you’ll get it.

LA: As a media item who frequents the television and print, you also meet a lot of celebrities and personalities whose own life stories could be worth mentioning to your audience. Who among them struck you as most inspiring?

MVH: Oprah Winfrey is my hero. I’ve been on her show three times. From a poor, abused, young girl at 14, did you know that she is now the first black woman billionaire in history? She used to say: “I was born with no voice, no power, no money and no influence. Now I have a big voice.” Her success formula? First, she journaled everything and second, she reads two books in a week ­ one of them is an autobiography. That’s why my own personal cliché is, ‘Don’t think it. Ink it.’ When you make a goal, write it down so you can visualize it.

LA: In your book The Aladdin Factor with Jack Canfield, you said that anything is possible if you dare to ask, and that anyone can be a genie. As you see it, how can the Filipinos overcome their seemingly inherent shyness to ask and then eventually unlock their genies from within?

MVH: Shyness is a decision. It’s a decision that’s probably made at a very young age and so what happens is that if you decide to have more self-confidence and value yourself from inside out, then you start to see yourself as someone who is able to ask for the good stuff that you want. Because as we’ve taught in The Aladdin Factor, half the time you ask for a raise for example, you’ll get it – it’s a 50-50 chance. So you don’t want to not ask and get a raise.

What happens is that you start to see yourself, as you want to be rather than as you are. The principle is first, you have to A-S-K in order to G-E-T anything you want and it comes in two (2) levels. First, you got to ask yourself: ‘Am I willing to give myself permission to be more successful, healthier, happier?’ Then, what happens with a stable government is that you start to say ‘I got hope in the present so I got power going into the future. So I can start to accomplish stuff that I haven’t accomplished before.’ It appears to me that when you’re going to have both political and economic freedom, for sure all the rest of Asia is starting to integrate and everybody in America wants to start working with the Filipinos. So you’d certainly get enough connection. There’s no lack of talents because everybody’s born equal. We’re all born with 18 billion brain cells and if you have high, lofty and inspired goals, then you also get inspired results. Your country is about to get rich again. If you invest (your wealth) wisely and let it multiply and exponentialize, then you become a no-limit, fully functioning culture.

LA: Having been to Manila twice, what recipe can you come up with that would make the Filipinos thrive as a people and as a country?

MVH: The economic assumption is that you all have everything it takes to be great. You have a great number of population, a lot of you are pretty much educated, you have rich culture and resources. The Philippines can even be one of the Tiger countries in the future if only the corruption is gone. The political system is stabilized and your president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is doing a good job ­ at least that’s what I’m told. Let’s hope that she can. I think that teamwork just needs to be better here. Teamwork means Together Everyone Achieves More. You have to figure out first: ‘How am I unique and how am I strong?’ The next one is the harder part in which you ask: ‘How am I weak?’ That’s part of self-discovery. Knowing what’s my potential and what I need to exercise my full potential. If you put up a team, even just two people can go out and do incredible stuff. Eleven years ago who could figure out how many would want our first book? Also, there’s a Spiritual line that says, “Without vision, the people perish,” and I want to transliterate that with this: “With vision, the people flourish.”

Mark Victor Hansen’s Tetrahedron of Success

1 Know what you really want. It all starts with thinking. You have to be hungry enough to want that something and turn that into a goal. All it takes is one person to make a decision to succeed ­ why can’t that person be you?

2 Put them in writing. Have a Future Diary to log your goals. Classify them in spiritual, family, health, mental, social and financial terms. Write down as much as 101 goals for yourself and do it in as fast as 20 minutes. You’d be surprised by what you’d find.

3 Visualize your goals. Because what you see is what you get, you have to visualize your goals in order to realize them. Look at what you’ve written when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Your mind actually never sleeps.

4 Put up a team. Success is difficult without a team, because together everyone achieves more. Believe that 1 + 1 = 11 by getting the right people to help you realize your goals and make that commitment with you

… and Today’s Biggest Business Trends

Internet is ubiquitous. This technology is our bridge to the future.

Broadband demand is insatiable. It’s just beginning.

Wireless technology is in. Expect this be everywhere, too.

The rest of the world wants all of the above.

Culled from his two seminars entitled, Living Your Dreams: A Healthy Helping of Chicken Soup For the Soul and Dare to Win by Thinking Bigger than You Ever Thought You Could, Shangri-La Hotel Manila, March 15, 2001.


Overall, our vision in coming up with the Chicken Soup series is to change the world one story at a time.

If you really have high goals then you’ll just be going there. It’s like you’re chopping an oak tree. If you hit it five hatchets chops a day, after a long time it will tip over.

Heart at Work
Denice Christine Garcia corners Mark Victor Hansen as he cooks up yet another recipe of hope and life-changing possibilities.