When Have I Done Enough?

Years ago, my friend Natalie taught a lesson during our women’s meeting at church about “Having Temperance in All Things”, which had a profound effect on me. I’d like to share my epiphany.

First, let’s establish a definition:

Temperance = moderation and self-restraint

Before her lesson, I’d say I easily understood the concept of “moderation” in terms of harmful substances (like sweets), or addictive behaviors (like binge-watching your favorite shows). But when I thought about what temperance in ALL things means, I had some trouble.

For example, I was never very good at knowing how to be temperate in goal achievement. I’d aim high, and then I’d overbook myself and get overwhelmed by all that needed to be accomplished.

I didn’t know at what point I could take a break and say, “I’ve done enough.”

Part of the problem was that I truly had the mindset that I could do anything – and that there was no such thing as doing “too much”.  I didn’t always know how to temper my ambitions, because frankly, they helped me achieve some things that I was pretty happy about.

However, sometimes my mortal body couldn’t keep up with the pace of my thoughts and expectations, and so predictably, I went through periods of unbridled ambition, followed by periods of crashing and burning, until I regained my strength to start it all over again.

I’m telling you, that kind of pattern can eventually break a person, like bending a metal rod back and forth until it finally snaps.

According to the Law of Cause and Effect, I knew that each time I took a step toward my goal, it took a step toward me. So I wondered, “How could it ever be okay to stop stepping?” Well, that morning before church it felt like I was on the verge of another crash-and-burn, so I prayed for insight. I wanted to know how I could keep making progress without burning myself out or incinerating my relationships.

We got to church and during the third hour, I joined the ladies meeting.

That’s when Natalie, at the front of the room, began. She said:

I like to make cookies.  In fact, I have a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that just works. Over the years I’ve used it, as long as I follow the right steps, we predictably end up with perfectly delicious cookies.

If I set the timer for 13 minutes and take them out when it dings, they’re perfect.  But if I get busy and ignore the timer, pretty soon I’ll start to smell them, and by then it’s too late. Even if I get a whiff and then run to take them out, it’s too late. They’ll be hard, dark, and good for nothing, except to be thrown away.

So, after mixing all the ingredients together, letting them bake is one of the most important parts – otherwise, you just don’t have a cookie. But baking them for the right amount of time determines whether or not they will turn out good. That’s why the timer is so important: to help you make sure the cookies don’t burn.

Life is the same way.

When you’re trying to accomplish something good, your energy and attention on the goal is one of the most important parts, like heat in the oven baking a batch of cookies.  However, you’ve got to turn off the energy and attention when the “timer” dings, or you just might ruin it all. So listen for (and heed) that inner voice that says, “Ding! That’s enough…”

Wow. I got it. I finally understood how too much of a good thing can be bad.

That lesson had a profound and lasting effect on me. I was amazed and grateful that the Lord answered my question so directly, so clearly, and so quickly! For the first time in my life I could finally understand that yes, there IS such thing as too much, and if you push the limits, you run the risk of ruining everything.

Too much of even the most wonderful things can turn into something bad. So remember:

When the “dinger” rings, it’s not just okay to stop, it’s critical!

Finding that middle place, finding your “13 minutes”, is so important. We have to trust that it is by “small and simple things” (instead of longer-than necessary intensity on things) that “great things are brought to pass”. Choosing this belief and abiding by it is an act of faith of the highest order.

After my epiphany that day, I tried to listen more carefully to the Spirit of God that serves as my “timer”. It quietly alerts me when I’m pushing things too long or too far. And instead of rationalizing that “I can still do MORE!”, I try to remember burnt cookies, so that 1) my goal can get just the right amount of energy, and 2) so that I can also avoid burning myself out as well.

As for the Law of Cause and Effect? Well, sometimes the right action is to take no action at all.

Natalie concluded her lesson that day by giving us each a perfectly formed cookie and saying:

“Careful baking is what determines the quality of my cookie, and temperance in my actions determines the quality of my life.”

Thank you, Natalie, for being an instrument in God’s hands that day. My prayer was answered (and my family thanks you for it, too!)  🙂 Originally published Mar 27, 2010


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Hope Like a Balloon

Hot air balloons. Helium balloons. Truly magical, if you don’t understand the science behind their buoyancy. And even magical if you do, in my opinion.

Do you remember how it was to experience your first helium balloon?  When you were a child, were you astounded at how everything else you knew fell downward… except that beautiful, shiny ball in the air? It did two things: it ascended upward, and it helped you feel happier.

As you got older, maybe you allowed it to become more of a a commonplace phenomenon.

Even now, every time I stop to think about it, my spirits are lifted as I watch the pull of a balloon rising in the opposite direction of everything else around it.

All it is, is a container full of a gas that happens to be lighter than the oxygen/carbon dioxide mixture in the air, and when a balloon is full of a gas that is lighter than the gas mixture of its surroundings, it naturally rises above them.

Our thoughts, kept buoyant by focusing on the positive, also have the ability to pull US up and out of downer circumstances.

Every time you consciously choose a solution-oriented, hopeful, enthusiastically-expectant-of-good-things kind of thought, you fill your MIND with stuff that is lighter in nature than the common thoughts of negativity and discouragement.

It’s science:

Hopeful, buoyant thoughts do more than just help you feel good; they literally LIFT you above adversity like helium in a balloon.

So fill your mind with light-thinking, and in time, you’ll naturally rise above the gunk. The stuff that pulls you down will fall out of your life, like ballast out of a hot air balloon.

For a tank full of helium of the mind, I strongly recommend joining me in the Mindset Mastery Program.

I’ll help you keep your thoughts buoyant. I’ll give you REASON to hope, and a valid reason to have it, too. I’ll fill your mind with the stuff that will help you rise above your challenges, no matter what they are.

To your success! Originally published Oct 27, 2009

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Why I Needed to Have a Bad Day

A number of  years ago I was having a particularly horrible, edgy day. I was angry at everyone, and everything around me. Even things that weren’t all that bad felt intolerable. I don’t even know what originally set me off, but I was totally out of emotional control.

And then the final straw: doggie poop in the back yard.

That was it. We had already had a pow wow with our children the month before, and the deal was agreed: they needed to pitch in on his poop and start caring for him without being reminded, or we’d need to find him a better home. Don’t judge me.

With seven children between the ages of 3 and 17, surely one of them would care enough about keeping our basset hound to show some initiative.

But unfortunately, it had been about four weeks, and only once had one of the children cleaned up his poop independently.

He was already listed in one classified ad, and we had received two calls up to that point. But we also had a list describing the perfect home (it would need to be a step up), and we weren’t going to give him away unless we found a home that matched the list.

But on this day, I was especially upset about the poop and determined to place another ad to speed up the process. My 14 year-old son saw me typing furiously on the computer and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Placing another ad for Charlie.”

“What?!” He was devastated. He couldn’t believe I was actually going to go through with it, and was horrified to find out this wasn’t my first ad. Finding no sympathy from me, he stormed out of the house to cool off. Naturally, I felt horrible. Total mom failure.

But a few days later I found out how God used me, even though I was a mess, to accomplish his purposes:

On the day I placed that ad, my younger ten year old son was across the neighborhood coming home from the park on his bike. His pant leg had gotten caught in the bike chain while he was on a street that we rarely traverse. He was stuck, alone, and didn’t have the strength to pull it out. That’s when my 14 year-old wandered into that remote area of the neighborhood, just looking for some time away from his cranky mother. But in reality, he was being LED to rescue his brother, and didn’t even realize it.

Now, I don’t think God purposely ticks me off so he can set up a rescue; but he does know me, and he knows my weaknesses, and miraculously, and mercifully, he even uses my weaknesses to accomplish his purposes. Knowing this helps me feel like everything is going to turn out okay, if I just keep trying and trust that the Lord is in the details, even on the days when I’m at my worst.

Think about that: perhaps all is NOT lost when you feel like a failure; in fact, I’m certain that quite often, there is more good that comes out of those experiences than we realize.

So keep your chin up, and if you want to learn more about how you can get really great results in spite of yourself, find out how in the Mindset Mastery Program. You really don’t have to be perfect to enjoy wonderful results. Originally published November 6, 2009

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And Along Came a Spider

Some time ago my eleven year-old daughter came home from orchestra practice simply devastated. She had been the first to arrive, and as the others filed in, nobody chose to sit by her. She sat at the edge of the room, the only student with an empty chair at her side.

She felt rejected and alone.

So the next day, as I dropped her off, I encouraged her to hold back and let some of the others sit down first, and then make her choice to sit by someone she’d like to get to know better. “Find someone who might be having a bad day, and BE the one to make a friend.”

I encouraged her to have a prayer in her heart, picturing herself with an abundance of friends, and reminded her that choosing to be positive and confident would help others want to be around her.

So she pulled herself together with an intention that things would be different this time. She agreed to pray in her heart and try to think more positively.

But what happened next surprised us both…

When I picked her up from school, she was excited to report that she ended up right between two girls that she was excited to get to know better.

How did it happen? Not the way we thought it would.

Contrary to my advice, she still showed up earlier than most; and out of habit decided to sit in her regular chair on the edge of the room. As a few of the other students filed in, the pattern threatened to repeat itself.

(That’s the power of subconscious thoughts right there…)

However, just then, she noticed a scary spider on her music stand. Creeped out, she took her folder and tried to push it off.

Instead of successfully getting it out of her space, it fell onto her leg. She jumped up and shook her pants, and wasn’t sure where it ended up. Assuming it was still at her chair, she decided that it would be better to move.

It took her out of her comfort zone and into another chair. One of the girls she’d like to know better came in and sat right next to her. Before long, a second girl took the empty chair at her other side.

Admittedly she said she thought the answer to her prayer would show up in the form of an idea, or an added measure of courage to do or say something uncomfortable.

But no, it showed up as a spider.

This micro-experience captures the essence of how God so often deals with us. When we ask for things to be better, he doesn’t just make things better. He creates conditions in our life that make us get out of our comfort zone and put us somewhere else – somewhere, where the blessing we’re asking for can finally be received.

Sometimes we get moved out of our comfort zone and still fail to receive the blessing. This can happen when our thoughts are not inclined to look for the hidden benefit in our adversity.

It would be like my daughter getting out of her regular chair and into another, and being so upset by it that she doesn’t even notice the potential friendships on either side of her. By her response to the hardship, she could have completely denied herself of the blessing that the change contained.

In that case, the girls that flanked her could have picked up on the downer-energy and might have been inclined to just ignore her.

I’m grateful that she was thoughtful enough to give credit to God for sending a spider, because it prepared the way for her to receive the very thing she was hoping for all along.

My dear reader… What’s your spider? What ugly thing has showed up in your life that’s opposite to what you’ve been praying for?

It’s there for a reason.

(To watch additional clips from this event, click here)

A Hardship is always a blessing in disguise. Pay attention to how it “moves” you.

I’d like to help you make sense (cents) out of your setbacks. Are you ready for a better future? Click here to learn more about the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program. Originally published September 22, 2009

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What we do to ourselves sometimes can’t be undone on our own

I was visiting my in-laws one evening when I signed in to my Facebook account and saw this post on my newsfeed. It was from my 18-year-old son. He said:

Jacob (18)

I just walked past my parent’s room and heard my 4 year old sister Sarah crying. My parents are gone so I thought she was in there waiting for Mom to get home. I tried to open the door but it was locked, so when I got into the room with a key and asked what was wrong, I saw that she had tied the ribbon of her dress to their bed.

As I was struggling to untie it she said:

“I’na good tyer.”

Then she came and asked me, “Wanna know why I tied myself to the bed?”

I asked, “Why?”

Bethany (7) and Sarah (4)

“Because Bethany was being mean to me.”

That was the only explanation she gave.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t be mean to your little siblings or they might lock themselves in a room and tie themselves to furniture with knots that they can’t undo on their own.

~~~

It’s true; sometimes our reaction to life’s disappointments and frustrations becomes the real source of our problems. We can really complicate matters when we react instead of responding with calculated choice of thought.

The fact is, life will disappoint us, and frustrations are inevitable.  Our power to rise above such problems, however, does not lie in the circumstances themselves, but in how we respond to them.

And, as explained in Hidden Treasures, Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free download), the larger the problem, the greater the opportunity.

So, I echo my son’s moral, and remind us all to apply it to the world of adults:

If life is mean to YOU, don’t tie yourself up in knots that you can’t undo on your own.

Success is not a measure of how many problems we avoid; it’s a measure of how well we respond to the problems we have.

However, if you feel like you’re already “tied up” in some way, pat yourself on the back for being a good “tyer” (be kind to yourself!) …and then get some help. You don’t have to stay stuck forever.

To see how I can help you now, and to learn how to choose your thoughts carefully in a crisis for the best possible outcome, visit ProsperTheFamily.com Originally published November 29, 2010

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What my Daughter Taught Me about Success

Many summers ago, during a family trip, we decided to throw together some free presentations along the way. I had so much fun doing them because I had intentionally left my suits at home, kept my hair in a ponytail, and said, “Not this time,” to the stuffy protocol of putting on a “professionally impressive, Toastmaster-approved event.”

I didn’t break my neck making sure everything was perfect; after all, we were on VACATION. Some of you may have seen the one I did the following year, because we made it available online (free) here: Stickman Video.

After rolling into town and unloading our things at the hotel, I had just enough time to brush my teeth and throw some makeup on in the restroom before racing into the event where about 80 of you waited. In the last moment before meeting you and beginning the presentation, some foundation came flying off my finger and dripped down the front of my sweater. I knew that nothing I had was going to remove it, so I wiped it off the best I could, shook my head, and thought, “This will just have to do,” knowing I needed to press on, even if things weren’t perfect.

When you’ve got something to do, you just can’t stop when everything isn’t “just so.” You do the best you can and let it go.

My children helped us set up the room that night. They had a ball doing it, too: running up and down the aisles, and since there wasn’t anything breakable in sight, I was happy, too. After setup, most of the kids wanted to go play at our host’s home, but (then) 9 year-old Kayli wanted to stay. She had brought a stack of homemade bookmarks in hopes some of the participants would want some before the evening was over. One older brother chided her, saying, “That’s so dumb, it’s just paper. Nobody’s going to want them.” But she wasn’t dissuaded.

In fact, she sat quietly through two of our events that week, and by the end of the week she had earned $150 selling “just paper.”

Those of you who were at the events were so gracious and encouraging. I know that your encouragement of this little girl will return to you in one form or another, if it hasn’t already.

Fun fact:

Nine years later, at the recommendation of a friend, my daughter traveled three hours from home to see Drew Christensen for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, in preparation to serve a mission for our church. After her visit, and to our shock, he sent us the following pictures:

Unbeknownst to us, he had already met her in Idaho back when she was nine, and had bought one of her bookmarks while attending one of our events nearly a decade earlier. Crazy, right? I couldn’t make this stuff up. Doesn’t that sound something like what would have happened in the book, Portal to Genius??

Anyway, back to the events of 2007…

Fast forward seven months. After those events, Kayli hung on to nearly every penny she earned. She payed 10% to charity, and with the remainder, she spent $60 on a box of little canvas bags from Uline.com. Originally she intended to create little bags of homemade cookie-dough mixes to put in a few local boutiques, or to sell online. But when the bags arrived, we realized that they just weren’t big enough to fit a batch of cookie dough.

At Christmastime, a friend suggested we make gift bags, but we didn’t have time to develop the idea before Christmas had come and gone. But by the time Valentine’s Day was on the horizon, she was ready. Spending the rest of her money on supplies, she put together the Valentine’s day bags that we mentioned in one of our last emails, and created 10 to sell.

Her brother again made a cutting remark, which hurt her feelings, but it didn’t stop her. Admittedly, I had a ton of other things to be doing, but she had been so persistent with me that I couldn’t refuse her any longer. I dropped everything to take her to the craft store for the rocks, iron-ons, candy, and miniatures. I helped her figure out a good way to assemble them. I created a newsletter announcing them, and we took pictures to include in the announcement:

She sold out of her 10 bags within a day or two. I initially thought that I’d better get onto the website and post “Sold Out.” After all, she had accomplished her goal and was excited that it had all happened so fast. But then I had that second (less convenient) thought that said, “Why not keep going?”

So I dropped everything again and we traipsed all over town looking for all the components to make more, so we could fill the orders that continued to roll in. We cleaned out 3 different Michael’s Craft Stores of heart iron-ons and miniature stuffed puppies. She was on Cloud Nine. When it was all over, she had recouped her entire investment and, in fact doubled it.

Then, her brother came to me and said, “Mom, I want to make something…”

~~~

So maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, well any kid could do that if they had a Mom with a website.” But before you go there, let me make a point:

I had seven children. I had a website and a newsletter. The opportunity was there for every one of them… but only ONE (to that point) had ever done anything about it.

Life is like that:

We are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us (and we love Him!), a Father who has the most expansive distribution network in the Universe. We all have something to offer, and if we bring it to the table with the right mindset: one of expectancy, persistence and determination, then when we are really ready, I envision God smiling kindly, putting his work down, and taking us under his wing to help us accomplish the thing that we are determined to accomplish.

In those early days, my kids would beg for this or that, wish for that or this, and quite regularly whine when things weren’t just so… but once in a while, one of them would step forward with a determination to get the help they needed to accomplish something that they couldn’t completely do on their own, refusing to put it off any longer. They demonstrated a resolved intention to GET IT DONE, whatever it took. Right or wrong, that was the child who finally got my undivided attention and help with their project.

I’ve learned a lot watching my daughter take initiative. She maybe didn’t know WHAT to do, but she was definitely locked on to the vision of what the results would be, and she knew that with my help she could accomplish anything.

What about you?

If you could have God’s help with something THIS WEEK, what would you have Him help you do? Are you clear on what it is? Are you determined to do everything in your power to make it happen? Are you willing to pray like it depends on Him but work like it depends on you?

Let’s practice operating this week with resolved intention. Decide first what you want to accomplish, and then get behind it 100%. Give it all you’ve got, and envision God helping you as a loving parent who can no longer ignore your requests because you’re showing up as a determined, persistent, willing and teachable child. Don’t hold back. Throw your heart into it, trust God to provide, and watch a miracle unfold. Originally published Feb 18, 2008

Here’s Kayli all grown up:

For additional help, perspective, and a deeper understanding of the Rare Faith principles, join me in the Foundations Ecourse, or Mastery Program.

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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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