Keeping Your Eyes on the Horizon

We were newlyweds of only one year. My husband and I decided to drive twelve hours to attend a conference which would help us start a business. Tensions were high because we couldn’t afford the trip, and our disagreements left us both feeling hurt and misunderstood. Because of a previous accident the year before, I was nervous about crashing again on this road trip, but to him, my fear was a personal jab against his driving skills.

We arrived safely, but I was still upset that he was offended by my fear of crashing. One of the guest speakers was a professional comedian who started to make fun of women with poor depth perception.

He explained that there’s this man at the wheel, and the woman next to him just suddenly SCREAMS out of nowhere. Well, of course the man swerves the car and after regaining some control he looks at her and screams back, “WHAT?!?”

“That car tapped its brakes!”

“Woman, that car is a quarter mile ahead of us!”

I’m thinking, Okay that is NOT funny, but the truth is, I couldn’t hold it in. I had been trying SO hard to stay angry at my husband. I did not want him to think I was enjoying myself, for, in my mind he needed to be punished. However, when the comedian popped the punchline, all of my pent-up emotion came bursting forth and I literally laughed until I cried. I laughed so hard that no sound escaped my lips. My abs curled until they burned. Basically, that comedian described ME, during our twelve hour trip to the convention, and I knew it.

My husband and I continued to laugh throughout the rest of the meeting, and our contentious feelings melted away. We talked about it later, and I reminded him that I was a nervous wreck only because we had both fallen asleep and driven off the road the year before. Road travel made me nervous, period. All the way to the function I had been watching to see if we were getting too close to the shoulder or center divider. Any deviation which brought us any nearer to the edge caused instant panic resulting in a gasp and reflexive grab of my shoulder strap. Any minor swerve which caused us to close in on another car caused the same reaction. And, yes, if a car even a quarter mile ahead of us put on their brakes, I braced for impact.

Even short, local trips on the freeway made me nervous. Rounding a bend was especially frightening, because I’d see the tire and paint marks from cars that had crashed there before. I’d say, “Oh… this must be a dangerous spot; look at all the crashes that happened here!” Of course, I’d prepare for impact, just in case. I’d even look ahead at semi trucks and imagine the horrific wreck that would result if they suddenly cut us off.

Over the years I finally learned to calm down. I reminded myself that my husband didn’t want to die any more than I did, and he’d be careful with or without my incessant reminders. I practiced trusting him, and trusting in the Lord to keep us safe. I also found a visualization strategy which worked wonders: instead of imagining a possible wreck, I’d close my eyes and picture myself tucking my children in bed that night; a vision which presupposed our safe arrival home.

It took me a long time to get my road travel fears under control. Our driving improved as we learned that we stayed nicely in the center of our own lane NOT by looking at the line painted on the road at our side (which resulted in constant adjustments and a jerky ride), but by looking to the horizon where the road was headed. Even if the road followed a long bend, by looking to where it disappeared on the horizon, the car seemed to naturally stay in the center of the bending lane. I discovered that by looking to what I wanted and where I wanted to be (literally, as well as figuratively), I was implementing a powerful method for not just dealing with my fears, but for achieving the results in life I wanted. What a wonderful lesson to learn.

And then one day I realized the lessons from this analogy ran even deeper than I realized:

Ten years later my old fear of driving in traffic was tested to my limit. I was at the wheel, trying to speed ahead at seventy miles per hour to pass a semi truck on my right, with a pile-on and no room for error on my left (due to road construction north of Salt Lake City prior to the 2002 Olympics). The lane was three-fourths the width it should be, and there was nowhere for me to go but straight ahead. I noticed that when I looked at the semi by my side, I started to close in on it. I only realized my error when I’d look forward again and realize how far over I had drifted. I discovered the only way to make it through was to look straight ahead, with my white knuckles on the wheel, and aggressively ignore the obstacles at either side. If a vehicle was going to swerve into my lane, then at least with my eyes on the goal I’d be less likely to overcorrect and cause my vehicle to roll, doing potentially fatal damage to myself and others around me.

This is how to reach your goals. Stay focused. Keep them vivid in your mind’s eye, and don’t let the obstacles, difficulties, disappointments or distractions divert your gaze. Your ride will be smoother. You’ll stay in the lane that gets you there. You’ll avoid collisions. You’ll even deal with sudden or unexpected threats more effectively.

This landmark experience also made me think of life in general. We’re all traveling this fast-paced, sometimes scary road called life, hopefully heading for a glorious eternal reward with our loved ones in the presence of our Father in Heaven. But along this road, there are obstacles that can take us off course or slow us down or cause a wreck, so to speak. The only way to proceed safely is to NOT give the distractions or obstacles your focused attention, even if it’s in an effort to avoid them, because doing so can cause you to drift toward the very obstacles you are trying to evade.

Sometimes when I forget, and look too long at the danger nearby, I don’t always realize how far I’ve drifted until I finally look back toward my goal. I must try to always look straight ahead and keep my eye on the prize. The obstacles will pass, one by one, if I just press forward with full purpose of heart. Should an obstacle swerve into my lane despite of my efforts to stay on track, I will be able to respond without overreacting, and keep my life from rolling out of control.

As one man named Alma taught his son: “The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever … Yea, see that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:46-47) Originally published December 20,2009

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Steer into the Swerve

If you’ve ever driven in snowy weather, you know that sometimes the car does NOT respond to your steering wheel directions. Striving to achieve a goal can give you a similar experience.

If you’ve set a goal, and you’re doing all you know to steer toward it, it can be unnerving to find yourself heading instead towards something else. 

Such an experience can be just as frightening as driving on the freeway in winter weather at high speeds, and hitting a patch of black ice.

When we lived in Utah, I had that experience more than once. Gratefully, I had been taught that if your car begins to spin out of control, you’re supposed to momentarily turn the steering wheel into the direction of the swerve.

In other words, if I want to drive straight, but the back of my car is skidding to the left, I should turn my steering wheel to the left, just long enough to regain traction, and then I’ll be in control again so I can straighten out. It’s not an intuitive thing to do when you’ve lost control of your car. The instinctive thing to do is to freeze and slam on your brakes. But doing so actually exacerbates the problem, and can accelerate the spin. Not only does braking make things worse, but so can putting on the gas.

Truly, there is only one smart solution: steer TOWARD the direction you wish to avoid.

Like a driver on black ice, you might be feeling like your finances are spinning out of control, and instinct might tell you to just slam on the brakes. Stop investing in yourself. Stop dreaming. Stop hoping. Stop trying. But doing these things can cause the situation to to spin out of control even faster.

Likewise, you shouldn’t just put on the gas and barrel forward, without paying attention to the indicators that say “something isn’t right”. A person who is spinning out of control financially has to take notice, so that the right response can be taken:

Steer into the swerve.

When your finances aren’t going in the direction you want them to be going, don’t ignore it. Face it. To face it is to steer into the problem for a period of time, just long enough to regain traction, and then from there you can take it where you want it to go. In real terms, to steer into the swerve means to regroup. It means to take a close and detailed look at your inflows and outflows, and rein it in if you need to. Prioritize your spending based on where you’re trying to go.

You need to come to terms with your situation, but to do that, you have to get perfectly clear on what that situation is.

If things are tough, and your finances aren’t what you want them to be, here is an opportunity. Find out exactly where you’re at, face it, let yourself feel disappointment if it’s warranted, and expect that you’ll find a way to come out on top in the long run. After you’ve come to terms with what is, you can allow yourself to find gratitude in simple things again.

This is what it means to steer into the swerve, just long enough to regain traction.

Once you’ve stopped your vehicle from spinning out of control, it’s time again to point it in the right direction and press on. Re-establish or re-commit to those goals of yours. Maybe they’ve evolved over the years a bit. Maybe you’ve discovered that certain goals don’t have the same luster they once had. This is the perfect time to look deeply at the things that bring you the greatest joy and happiness, and set some goals to achieve greater success in those areas.

A patch of black ice in life can be a great blessing if you’ll wake up and steer into the curve. As you do this, you’ll likely avoid a more devastating catastrophe, and you’ll be able to get yourself back on track all the wiser.  Originally published January 28, 2009

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The Swell in Front of You

Staying in forward motion, even when things look bleak, does more for lining up your success than you realize.

(Don’t forget: If you’re afraid you’ll fall, at least fall forward.)

I like to think of what happens when you’re standing in a still pool of water.  As long as you stand still, nothing happens.  If you take one step forward, it creates a ripple all around you, but even more than that I want you to think about the swell that grows in front of you.

One simple step creates a temporary surge of water right there in front of you.

If your finances feel flat, take a step in the right direction. DO something. MOVE. If the water seems low, lunge forward! Push ahead and watch the water rise. If you move, you can’t help but create a swell; after all, it’s physics! Move forward, and the resources right in front of you will surge. By law, nature responds to your action according to the law of cause and effect. Doors open, teachers appear, funds gather…

The problem is, if you’re like me, quite often you’re too busy looking at the ripples spreading out in all directions (wondering if and when they’ll ever return), to even notice the swell in front of you.

So take a step in the right direction (methinks you already know what it is) and then look for evidence of a swell in your immediate surroundings.

  • Be of service to someone without expectation of repayment, and it creates a swell in that relationship.
  • Read something empowering, and it creates a swell in your outlook on life.
  • Make that phone call, and you gather strength against your fear.
  • Write down that intention with determination, and your faith grows.
  • Invest in yourself, and you create a swell in your confidence that everything is going to work out.

And let me remind you that by the seven laws, what shows up in your life has everything to do with the way you FEEL about your challenges. Taking a step forward always helps you FEEL better, and that feeling can become a catalyst for inviting the unseen help we all depend on to conquer seemingly impossible things.

Every good choice creates a swell, and so it’s your job to just make sure that the swell doesn’t level out again.  The only way to keep it surging is to keep on moving.  If you stop, then (just like when you’re in water) the swell eventually dissipates, and you’re left looking at a flat, motionless environment once again.

It’s a temptation to stand there and wait for someone else to come along and create a swell… but the power is in YOU.

So get moving, do something!  Even if you’re weary, just take one more step.  As long as you keep moving, your momentum will build, and the swell will almost seem to lead the way. Originally published Nov 6, 2009


Let me help you keep your thinking on track during the rough spots. If you’ve already read all of my free ebooks, then take your understanding to the next level with my powerful life-changing trainings. You’ll find some deep discounts on several items through November – click here to check it out!

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Carrying a Heavy Burden? You can Still Fly.

A few years ago, I stepped outside of my home and unexpectedly witnessed what you see here – and it stopped me in my tracks.  It seemed impossible, but it was real.

A huge 747 airplane flew by so low, and so slow that it hardly seemed to be moving.  It appeared to hang in mid-air, defying gravity, and on its back was a space shuttle.

Now, I wasn’t living near a space station; I was in the middle of Orem, Utah at the time and never had any reason to expect to see such a sight out my front door. It flew so low that I could see the mountains above it.

I’ve always been baffled by how a Boeing 747 can soar through the air, let alone see it fly after having a heavy space shuttle placed on its back.

There have been times in my life when we have felt heavy financial burdens.  During those times, the dismal numbers made us feel it would be impossible to reach our goal with so much weight on our backs.

My husband and I would set a goal and enthusiastically go for it, but one glance over our shoulder and we’d be instantly discouraged by the burden, lose steam and give up.

What if the 747 pilot did the same thing?  What if he was halfway to his destination, successfully employing all the natural laws to keep the craft soaring, and suddenly glance to its back and think, “Whoa!  That’s too big for me!  I’d better slow down; conserve my fuel, or I might crash!”

The truth is, once the laws of aerodynamics are employed, he needs to remain steady and continue doing all that the laws require until he reaches his destination: keep his speed, tilt the flaps to maintain lift, etc.  Any interruption in his momentum, or pointing his nose down instead of up would likely result in failure.

Once we learned the laws of success and began applying them with consistency and patience, it became a whole lot easier to keep the momentum long enough to finally get where we were trying to go – even with heavy financial burdens on our backs.  Then after we reached our destination, we were finally able to set them down.

Learn the laws, then do something each day toward achieving your goal.  The laws will support small burdens in the same way they support heavy ones.

But either way, whether you’re trying to fly a paper airplane, or a Boeing 747 with a space shuttle on its back (figuratively speaking), you’ve got to move at the speed of flight. It can’t be done without some thrust.

You also need to face the wind and let it lift you, instead of trying to duck under it.  Follow the laws with precision and consistency until you’re at your destination.  No matter how long it takes to get there, each day you will get closer, and at the right moment, you’ll arrive at where you wanted to go.

Remember, don’t focus on the burden, focus on the destination, and live in alignment with the laws!

To learn more about how to do this, Click HERE to join me in a life-changing study of THE book that inspired my award-winning bestseller, The Jackrabbit Factor. Originally published December 4, 2009

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The Real (but overlooked) Purpose of Action

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~ Arthur Ashe

Action plays an important role in the process of achieving goals. However, the real purpose of action isn’t probably what you think it is.

So let’s look at the goal achievement process described in The Jackrabbit Factor (free download!)

  1. Decide what you want
  2. See it done on the screen of your mind
  3. Feel the emotions you expect to feel
  4. Take action according to the ideas/promptings that come to mind
  5. Persist in belief and continued action until it is accomplished

This formula for success is dependable, and the story helps you understand why. As can be expected, people often have questions about each of the steps, such as:

  • “What about God’s will?”
  • “How do I see it done?”
  • “What do I do if I can’t feel the emotions?”
  • “How do I get and recognize the ideas/promptings I need?”

…and so forth, and all of these questions are addressed in depth through the Mindset Mastery Program. But I’m not going to leave you totally hanging. That’s why for this post, we’re going to take a deeper look at item number 5.

Before I understood the principles of success and knew how to effectively apply them, I thought I had to take super-human strides to reach the toughest goals. But whenever I ran out of steam, I lost hope. It was that inflow of doubt that ultimately caused my failure, every time.

When I realized how faith had a very real and direct influence on the outcome, I tried to imagine that so long as I pressed forward, people and circumstances were continually lining up on my behalf, and that all the necessary elements would fall into place at the right time. I didn’t have to “go the distance” because success would kindly meet me in the middle.

And when I really believed it, that’s what started happening.

So my new approach looked more like this:

I pictured things coming together. I began to imagine vague silhouettes of people who would come along and provide the help I needed along the way. I say “vague” because I didn’t know who the people would be; I just knew someone would help me when I needed it. I trusted that someone would come along to show me the way, or teach me something I needed to know, or introduce me to someone else I needed to meet. And most importantly, I continued to take whatever actions I could think of to keep me going forward.

Now, on the surface it might appear that it was the action steps that took me where I needed to be; but the fact is, I was only able to maintain my belief (the real power at play) because I set up channels for the money, resources, and people to find me.

Let me put it this way:

How easy is it for you to believe that God will supply you with what you need next week if you have only ONE source of income, and you already know it won’t cut the mustard?

The fact is, God can provide, even if you have a fixed-income, but only as you live by principles of faith. You must believe. If you cannot believe, then you CAN get busy setting up additional streams of income – not just so you can handle it yourself, but so that it’s easier for you to believe that He can send you the money you need when you need it.

It’s the BELIEF that is key, but it’s the ACTION that helps you believe.

Even if you set up an income stream that only provides an additional $10 per month, you’ll go from having one income stream to two, and your belief will grow.

Over time, you can set up multiple and ever-increasing streams of income. Because of your efforts, you’ll have more confidence that He can, and will provide for your needs. I believe He wants to bless you faster than you are capable of receiving it. So when you give it your best and increase your belief, you are no longer the limiting factor in what He can/will do for you.

As you work, your confidence can grow. With greater confidence, your belief can grow, and with belief, your faith can grow.

“For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them” (Ether 12:12)

“Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give. Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.” (Doctrine and Covenants 67:2-3)

So have faith, and if you don’t have faith, keep taking action until you do.

Do you see how Action plays TWO roles?

  1. Action makes things happen. It’s what creates business transactions that create wealth.
  2. Action also lays a foundation for effective faith. It’s what gives you evidence, which can strengthen your faith that God will bridge the gap between what you’ve been able to do, and what needs to be done.

If you only see Action as described in the first statement above, you might only enjoy the success for which you are personally responsible. Your success might only rise to the level of your highest aspirations. (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

But if you employ Action as having the faith-building role as described in the second statement, you can enjoy more unlimited success because you know that your part is only a small part in the big picture of what God plans to do in your life. If you imagine He has bigger plans that you can even imagine, your action will keep you moving forward and ultimately realizing His plan for your life (which I can pretty much guarantee will be more amazing than anything you can dream up on your own.)

So, if you feel trapped right now, just DO SOMETHING. Move your feet. Take action. Have courage to make a thoughtful decision and then go for it!

And always remember the reason for taking action, that it helps you build faith; because done God’s way, faith will always be the A-number one ingredient for success. Originally published August 12, 2008

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Who Pushed the Apple?

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As you learn more and more about this “Rare Faith” I talk about, you might be wondering if it’s based in science, or theology. I happen to think it’s got a solid foundation in both, and here’s why. Let me begin with a story:

~~~

Two brothers sit beneath a tree after a long journey. One is a quantum physicist, the other a theologian. They are both hungry, and soon the wind blows and the tree sheds an armful of fruit.

The physicist says, “How remarkable it is that my thoughts can cause the wind to blow so that the tree would drop these apples.”

The theologian says, “How wonderful it is that God heard my prayer and blessed us with these apples!”

With confidence, the physicist explains, “But, my dear brother, the apples dropped because of natural law.”

With a knowing smile the theologian replies, “Ah, but the apples dropped at that time because God heard and answered my prayer.”

After bantering back and forth for a time, the two brothers parted ways and were brothers no more, and the Great Unseen Force of the Universe, (with all the names it bears) was sad and preserved the rest of the apples on the tree for creatures bearing softer, purer hearts.

~~~

This rare kind of faith that I talk about (sometimes called the Law of Attraction—although a more complete discussion of rare faith includes at least 6 other laws) is an amazing phenomenon, and it has been known to stir up quite a controversy between people who want to know how it works with their belief in God, and those who prefer to explore it’s functions from completely academic or secular sources.

Let me just level the playing field here, so that brothers don’t have to part:

Truth Fits. Period.

If something is true, it will not contradict something else that is true. In the case of the falling apples, both explanations fit the experience, so each man may adhere to his own belief without necessarily negating the other. Nor is either one of them required to adopt the other man’s point of view.

They both have apples and should both be grateful. End of argument.

It reminds me of a story of several blind men who were brought to an elephant, having had no previous experience with one. They each described the elephant, and each had something very different to say. One man after reaching forward and feeling the animal’s side said, “An elephant is like a wall.” Another man holding the elephant’s leg said, “No, this is not like a wall at all, an elephant is like a pillar!” Another blind man who had grasped its tail exclaimed, “No, an elephant is like a rope!” One holding a tusk described it as a spear and the one holding its nose described it as a tree branch.

The men continued in a heated argument, each one absolutely certain that he was right and the others had to be wrong, until a wise man was able to explain that they were all right because the elephant did, in fact, have all of the features described.

Life is like the elephant. There are scientific ways to look at life and there are spiritual ways to look at the same life. We understand life best when we consider ALL possible aspects and see how they can fit together.

I’ve had readers tell me how grateful they are that they have found a place to learn about the law of attraction from a perspective that includes God. Other readers wish I’d do it more, while some wish I’d do it less.

With that in mind, imagine if we were on a field trip to the zoo and the elephant keeper was going to tell us about the elephant. Should we be offended if he neglects to call our attention to the abdomen? Should be be bent out of shape if he talks too much of its head and nose? If he says something about the insides of the elephant, (parts we can’t immediately see or prove) should we reject his whole presentation simply because he included something that required some faith to accept?

No, I think we’d just enjoy the presentation and graciously take the parts that provided answers to our own individual questions, leaving the rest without fuss or fanfare.

You’ll find people who teach the law of attraction in spiritual terms, and you’ll find others who describe it in more scientific terms. Both offer valuable insight that can help all of us improve the quality of our lives.

If religious or spiritual terms offend you, then simply substitute them with terms that fit your frame of reference. Call it Source Energy or Power or the Universe, or whatever keeps you from rejecting good information.

If the lack of spiritual or religious terms makes you nervous, then when you read material from those who use other terms, simply make appropriate substitutions as you go along and continue studying material that helps YOU gather all the useful information about how life works.

If you think about it, it’s simple. We’re all in this together, trying to build a happy life for our families, and we can really learn from one another by building on common ground. In this study of Rare Faith or the Law of Attraction, there is plenty of common ground to build upon.

Personally, I don’t see any contradiction. Together, both explanations have helped me understand life better. I believe God created the Universe and uses natural laws to deliver the goods.

It would be absurd to think that when an apple breaks from a tree, God needs to rush over and push it down. Fortunately, the law of gravity is already in place.

So I thank God for the goods. Others may thank the laws. In my opinion, both God and natural laws played a part, so I have no argument with the scientist.

When we live in harmony with the law of attraction, the “goods” of His creation will naturally find their way to us. By law they will, and we can depend on it. God understands all of the laws perfectly, and provides counsel in holy writings that supports the more secular descriptions of the phenomenon. I also believe he inspires scientists to discover truth about his creation to help us all improve our quality of life. Again, truth fits.

Quantum physics (and the commentaries in layman’s terms) have helped me understand how my thoughts can literally shape my circumstances. Theology has helped me understand who I am and why I’m here on this planet in the first place, and has kept me grounded so that I can use what I’ve learned with wisdom.

A person who has already discovered spiritual, eternal truths would be a fool to discard them upon their discovery of the laws that govern the physical world. And a person who only knows the physical world at its laws would be a fool to disregard the possible spiritual and eternal consequences of their pursuits.

The purpose of my business is to help families prosper through teaching the 7 Laws and how they work, laws that work whether or not a person believes they exist, and whether or not they believe in God.

Gravity pulls an apple to the ground whether or not you believe in the law, and whether or not you believe that a God created it.

When we understand and consciously live in harmony with the laws to build wealth, the prosperity comes just as dependably as the apple falling to the ground when it breaks from the tree.

That the results are dependable does not void the existence of God, nor does giving Him thanks for the resulting prosperity nullify the existence of the laws that delivered it.

For more on the laws that govern prosperity, read Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters. Originally published May 7, 2008

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When Someone Steps on Your Hair

“Leaning into” your problem is less painful than pretending it doesn’t exist.

One afternoon as I was playing with my kids, my sweet little two year-old stepped on my hair.

The instant I felt the pain, I pulled away to get out from under her little feet. It was my instantaneous reaction, albeit not very smart.

Lesson learned:

When someone steps on your hair, lean in, and gingerly remove them from off your hair before pulling away.

I know, I know… it’s not an experience that most of the people in the world will ever have, but it reminded me of a principle worth mentioning.

When you have pain in your life, financial or otherwise, just don’t panic. Panic leads to instinctive reaction, and instinctive reaction oftens result in more pain overall than is necessary.

Subconscious programs kick in when you’re in “fight or flight” (panic/survival) mode.

The key is to lean into the source of your pain, address it without panic or negative emotion, and handle it with a cool head. You’ll be able to solve your problem and avoid unnecessary suffering.

If the problem is that you’re short on money, don’t retreat from your problems, lean in. Go to the person you owe money to, and talk to them about it with a cool head and with the intention of finding a workable solution. Even if there seems to be no possible way to repay a debt, expressing your intentions and regret can leave you feeling more positive than if you pretend the problem isn’t there.

With a positive mindset, you’ll be more likely to eventually think of new solutions you haven’t yet considered.

So, any time you want to instinctively pull away from a problem (hoping it will go away if you just retreat fast enough), remember the lesson I learned from the two year-old who stepped on my hair.

“What if I can never repay my debts? What if I have to file bankruptcy?”

Keep browsing this blog. You’ll learn how to find your hidden resources, and also how to turn failures into successes.

You can also download my free ebook: Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters

Need a genius solution to a difficult problem? Sign up for Genius Bootcamp – early rate expires soon! Originally published July 4, 2009

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How to Rely on God for a Paycheck

This is nuts. It’s 1:00 am and I can barely keep my eyes open, but I know that if I just go to bed, I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep anyway. I have to get this out of my head. Having a message to convey is my curse and my blessing all wrapped up together.

Anyway, if I wait until the morning, there will be too many distractions.

So here’s my question to you:

How much money do you need to feel financially free and secure?

Is it a monthly cashflow? Is it a pile of “X” amount of dollars in the bank? What’s your number?

For years I operated from a standpoint of, “I will feel secure when we have $_______ coming in every month, residually.” Or, sometimes it was, “I know the work is done when we have $________ saved or invested.”

What I’ve noticed is that no matter what benchmark was set, once we achieved that number, I still didn’t feel financially safe and secure. I could see how quickly it could evaporate, or how easily we had grown into that income, and once again, felt a driving need to earn more.

Suppose One Million Dollars is your benchmark for success. Suppose you think that having $1M in the bank would allow you to do everything on your list that has been waiting for the day you could afford it. What if I could send you a check today for $1M. What would you do with it, right now?

I know you’re just reading along, but I really want you to stop and ponder that question:

What would you do TODAY with $1M?

If you don’t have a solid answer, then you are not prepared to receive $1M. If you feel like just putting it in the bank would solve everything, then you’re not prepared to receive it. If it’s so big that you can’t even wrap your brain around the concept of having $1M, then what difference would it make if it were $2M, or $400M? If you cannot conceptualize the difference between those figures and what that kind of money could do for you, then it’s time to start doing your research on the elements of your lifestyle that you’d like to enjoy one day.

Find out how much that cabin really costs, and whether that price includes granite or Formica, indoor or outdoor toilets, log or sheet rock. Get a feel for what the money can buy.

Suppose you were to leave your occupation to serve a humanitarian aid mission somewhere. How much money would you need each month, and how much does the plane ticket cost? Have you done enough research to know what’s a good deal and what isn’t?

If you have something in mind you’d like to do, have, or become, pretend like you already have the money and start shopping seriously for the things you’d need to purchase in order to have those dream experiences.

THEN (and here’s the cool part), release your concerns about the money, and focus on enjoying the experience as though it is happening now.

Picture it.

You don’t have to worry about the money part, because when you apply the principles of visualization to your dream-goals, things begin to line up for you to deliver the experience, sometimes without even requiring you to pay the regular price. Either opportunities line up that will provide you with the money you need, or circumstances will evolve in such a way that you will get to enjoy the benefit of your dream-goal through a barter, or a gift, or some other unexpected way.

It’s not your job to manage the creative process.

This is why I’ve always hesitated to encourage money goals, because honestly, for me, that’s not what pushes my buttons. Every time I set a money goal, it seems to put me into a state of being that repels the money. It must be some kind of subconscious program I have, I don’t know.

However, some people are really motivated and driven by money goals, but for me, they always seem to backfire. Well, I’ve decided that’s okay. I would rather that my driving force be the ultimate reason for wanting the money. I don’t want to have the money at the expense of all the other things that are more important to me than money, and that’s the risk we take when our goals are centered on a dollar figure.

So this begs the question: “What if I really do want a pile of money in the bank?”

Let me put it to you this way:

What is financial freedom, really?

What is financial security?

Isn’t it knowing that no matter what happens in the economy, or with your job, or whatever, your family’s needs will be met?

When our income tripled and we experienced what it was like to pay off credit cards, and buy the groceries we really wanted, and sign the kids up for all kinds of lessons, and fix all the broken things around the house… and ultimately move to the home that would really meet all of our wants and needs as a growing family, I thought I was experiencing financial freedom. I was able to do what I wanted, when I wanted to.

No question, it was an experience I hope everyone will enjoy.

However, we could not be content with life as it was, because Trevan was gone too much, and we always had to ask permission from his employer if we wanted to take some time off with the family. We would be concerned about the consequences he’d face at work if he had to stay home sick.

We were doing pretty well, but had so many opportunities come across our table for which he (we) simply did not have time to do our due diligence, and we could see it was potentially costing us as much as his annual salary to let the opportunities go. These were opportunities that could have replaced his annual income in just one or two transactions… and how much time would that have afforded him?

So it became clear a few years ago that he had to take the leap of faith. We believed that by letting go of his regular and dependable source of income, we’d begin to really soar financially. He’d have time to do due diligence on the amazing opportunities to invest in businesses, or real estate, or helping businesses find capital, etc.

We were convinced that by letting him finally be his own boss, and as we continued to live the principles of prosperity we had been studying, we’d finally get to start putting BIG piles of money in the bank. This is how we pictured creating peace of mind. In a small temporary way, we planned to make a ton of money and then simply take a little break. We had worked so hard for so long, we were liking the idea of taking it easy. Not retirement, of course, but easing up on our crazy life-pace that we had subjected ourselves to for as long as we could remember.

Well, just as in the story of the acorn, letting go of the tree was terrifying, although we knew in our hearts it was time. (In the case of the story, the tree represented his job). We wondered how long we could survive without the sustenance that the tree had always provided.

We envisioned the grandeur and prestige of being independent, full-time entrepreneurs. It sounded so glamorous, and we were proud of ourselves for taking the step in spite of our fears, especially in light of the Stickman Concept.

With a bit of cockiness, we approached our investments with confidence, knowing that everything works out for us, because we had enjoyed a superb track record since discovering the principles in 2000.

Well, God has a way with people like us.

Like the acorn, we took a hard fall, and had never before experienced such fear and confusion. We wondered how long we’d have to flounder before God would see fit to rescue us and send us the financial windfall we continued to chase through our various ventures.

We literally lived on the end of our resources, eking by, one day at a time. I couldn’t let myself wonder, “What happens when the money runs out next week, and there is no paycheck coming in?” I didn’t let myself even think about it. There were times where I had to consciously choose to relax and subject myself to peaceful music in order to combat the storm raging inside my mind.

Somehow, God continued to sustain us in various ways, week by week, against all odds. This lasted a few months and then turned into more than a year… and I finally began to think, “If He has kept us going this far, and we’re still alive, we have food to eat and a place to live, and our family is in tact, then why wouldn’t I believe He would continue to support us?”

So during the second year, we pressed forward full throttle toward our goals, allowing the little money we had to flow through us freely, trusting that nature would fill the vacuum we continued to create. Unlike year #1, during year #2 we operated with very little (if any) anxiety, and gained confidence that everything was going to continue to work out. By this time, we were at peace with whatever was going to happen, good or bad. We’d move our feet in the direction of our goals a little further each day, and until there was absolutely nothing left we could do, we’d keep on keeping on.

I settled in to that strange new way of life. Like the acorn, we realized that we could survive, even disconnected from the tree, and I began to release my fears of, “What if we have to move?” Or, “What if you have to go back to a job?”

Suddenly, I found myself relying on God the same way we had relied on the paycheck. I knew God was there, and was aware of us and our needs, and I also knew that He could only bless us according to our faithfulness, so we practiced being at peace in the storm. Can’t really practice without a storm, so here was our opportunity to practice.

Related: What would you do if you ran out of money?

So now, how much money do I need?

Honestly, it flows through us faster than you’d believe because of how much we continue to pump back into our business so that we can extend our reach to more families and bring more mothers home from work.

I’m like that acorn, and as much as we all think we want a pile of money, I have learned that financial freedom is not having ten years of money in my hands today.

The seed does not benefit from having ten years worth of nutrients and water dumped on it all at once.

Neither I nor the seed would be able to absorb it, and it would likely wash us both away into oblivion. No, in the bigger picture, the seed is better off receiving only as much as it needs, as it needs it.

Financial freedom is the financial peace of mind that comes from recognizing that your job does not pay you… it is God that pays you through your job. It is not your business that pays you, it is God that pays you through your business. Remove the delivery vehicle, and He can still deliver the resources you need to become all you have chosen to become. It will find you, so relax as you keep taking just one more step!

As you allow yourself to find peace in darkness and uncertainty, you discover that miracles here on earth have not ceased. You become the newest recipient.

The acorn only becomes a mighty oak after it lets go of the parent tree, and finds all the sustenance it needs from God through the elements within its immediate surroundings. It grows independent and becomes shelter and sustenance for other tiny seeds only just getting started.

You don’t need a bazillion dollars in the bank. The person who learns to rely on God for daily support is the person who is truly financially free… because no market crash, no bank failure, no thief nor law suit, can ever overshadow the peace of mind that comes from having discovered God’s willingness and power to give you just what you need when you need it.

I will point out, also, that only people who experience great financial hardships will likely ever discover this miracle I’m talking about. If you’ve got it rough, count yourself highly fortunate. The sooner you let go of your fears, the sooner you’ll experience true financial freedom.

Realize now that even if all of your fears came true, you could still bounce back bigger than ever.

And then once you finally feel, and daily live, with that freedom in your heart, it’s only a matter of time before it begins to manifest in your physical reality, too.

But by then, you’ll have a wise and proper perspective on money, and will put it to work, blessing the lives of others.

I look forward to hearing your story. Originally published September 3, 2008

To learn how to enjoy peace of mind in any economy, join me now in the Mindset Mastery Program.

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How to Overcome the Fear of Not Being Liked

I’ve spoken to a few audiences in my lifetime, and I’ve experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach as I’d anticipate standing in front of a room full of strangers, worrying about what they’d think of me and what I had to say. Sometimes I would feel the anxiety for days (or even weeks) before an event.

Thank heavens I hardly ever feel that way anymore. Nobody likes to feel anxious or worried about being around people or giving presentations. It’s not a fun feeling! It can be paralyzing, in fact. But at least in my case, I’ve identified a couple reasons why things got easier:

First of all, there is that “getting used to it” thing. Do something often enough, and the anxiety goes away, eventually. Even the most embarrassing moments can pale over time. (Like the moment when I spontaneously demonstrated my sweet Tari Piring skills at a convention where I spoke with 500 guests. You’re not supposed to do that arm thing with food on the plate, but I was trying to be clever. Naturally my pie flew off the plate in front of the directors’ table, aaaaand that’s all I’m going to say about that. One thing I can say is that the feeling of horror has indeed paled.)

Second of all, aside from practice and time passing, there is something else that can be done to immediately get past that self-conscious oh-my-heck-what-are-people-thinking-about-me-right-now feeling, and it has to do with the way YOU think. It’s a pretty cool trick for feeling more comfortable in social settings, and here’s how it works:

As you probably know, the thoughts and feelings you bring to a social gathering emit a kind of a “vibration” that people pick up on. If you’re cheerful, people like that. They enjoy being with other people that make them feel good. If you feel comfortable, people feel comfortable around you.

But what if you don’t know how to feel comfortable?

When you feel nervous around other people (whether it’s an individual or an audience), DON’T WORRY about whether or not they like you, because if you do, you can unconsciously cause the very thing you want to avoid. To entertain worry puts you into an awkward “negative vibration”, which can be a turnoff to those around you.

Instead, all you have to do is LIKE THEM first.

You can choose to like people—just find something to like about them—and by liking them, you emit a positive vibration that more naturally causes them to mirror the feeling back.

A magnetic personality is not achieved by being super cool, amazingly talented, or having sweet Tari Piring skills. It’s achieved by finding and showing appreciation for the qualities, strengths, and talents in those around you.

Keep this principle alive in your life and you will always have an abundance of friends. Besides, as you’ve probably heard before, what people think about you is really none of your business, and most people are too busy worrying about what other people think of them to be thinking about you, anyway

All of these concerns melt away when you’re focused on building up the people around you, and finding their admirable qualities.

Remember this key idea and you can be confident in a room full of strangers. I’ve been told that you should fuss about the way you look only while you’re preparing to be with people, but the minute you walk out the door, it’s no longer about you. Focus on the people around you and forget about yourself.

“Love your neighbor” (Matthew 22:37-39) is a timeless principle here well applied. Plant good seeds by following this advice, and you’ll more easily reap a harvest of good company (Gal 6:7-8).

Learn more about what your thoughts can do with MINDSET FUNDAMENTALS™ Originally published June 28, 2015

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How to Survive the Downs

Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Life is like a roller coaster. When things go downhill, throw your hands in the air and smile!

Have you ever met someone whose life seems to be falling apart and they’re happy anyway? Have you ever thought, “Wait a minute, you’re supposed to be miserable and depressed!”

It’s true. There are some who are simply in denial, and who hope that the problems will go away if they just ignore them. However, there are others who feel happy even when things are going down because they know a secret. They understand the 19 Rules of Prosperity.

These people can feel happy during a downturn because they know the ride never goes downhill forever. By law, it always turns upward again at the bottom – just like a roller coaster. They smile now because they’re focused on the longer term; and they’re already thinking about the joy and heights that life will take them to next.

Now, while we’re on this “roller coaster theme,” imagine you’ve saved for years to take your family to an exciting theme park on the other side of the country. You’ve pictured the laughter, the fun, the memories you plan to create: the joy of being together, the food, the free time; it’s all so very wonderful!

Now it’s finally time to take that trip. You enjoy a relaxing plane ride, settle in at the hotel, spend the night, and in the morning you have a full day to take in all of the theme park attractions. After entering the gate, you notice that just inside the entrance there are two roller coaster rides to choose from. The first one is called “Straight-Shot to Success” and goes like this:

“Straight Shot to Success”

You get on, and it pulls the line of cars all the way to the top of a twenty-story tower where ….

… it lets you off so you can climb down the stairs to do it again.

Look at the enthusiasm in this picture, just before unloading to climb down and repeat the experience all over again! (Wouldn’t it make for a pretty boring roller coaster ride? Yes. But isn’t that what we think we want out of life? A steady, predictable, safe and easy climb to success?) The thing is, if that’s what we got out of life, I think we’d feel pretty dissatisfied with the whole experience. Without the lows, the highs mean nothing.

So, let’s take a look at the second roller coaster ride called “Joy in the Journey,” which instead goes something like this:

“Joy in the Journey”

You get on, and it pulls you to the top of a big hill and then turns you loose into a series of ups and downs, loops and turns. Everyone is terrified and laughing, all at the same time.

Even when the people plummet at break-neck speeds straight toward the ground, they have a smile on their face.

Now, is that twisted, or what? Are they in denial?

No. They are genuinely enjoying themselves, because they know that the terror is temporary, that the danger is an illusion, and that it will come to an end. They know that they are in a controlled, safe environment that is simply giving them the appearance of danger. Deep down, they know everything is going to be okay in the long run.

Which rollercoaster ride do you think would have the longest waiting line? “Straight-Shot to Success,” or “Joy in the Journey?”

I choose the latter. Here’s what helps me endure the scary parts:

Believe it or not, like a roller coaster ride, Life itself is a safe environment, even with all its dangers.

Contrary to appearances, it truly is a safe place to be. From God’s vantage point, the things we fear are nothing to Him, including death itself.

Do you realize that the life you live is precisely the life you would have chosen all along? THIS is the life that brings you the greatest joy: the life with all the ups and aggravating downs. So be grateful for your downs, and as you allow your heart to swell with gratitude, you’re putting yourself into the right mindset to receive next the best “ups” that God has to offer.

The ups and downs we experience help us feel.

The change from up to down (or down to up) is precisely what makes it possible for us to recognize the difference from one emotion to the other. Like I said before, without the downs, the ups would be meaningless. The lows help us feel and appreciate the highs.

Bob Proctor says, “Most people tiptoe through life, trying to make it safely to death.” Do you see the irony in that? Instead, we should have courage and press on toward our dreams with full, fearless intention.

Fear not!

As Mark Twain said, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

You have a choice of what to think about. So think on the expected highs that put a smile on your face, instead of worrying about the imagined train wreck at the bottom of the hill that hasn’t even happened yet.

It is only when your heart is at peace that it is truly prepared to receive inspired solutions to your problems.

So, if you’re headed in a downward direction, be at peace. The tracks are bent and will surely guide your roller coaster car up to the top again in time. It’s going to be thrilling! And in fact, according to the Law of Rhythm, you’re already on your way. Originally published Mar 12, 2008

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