Handling Economic Challenges Gracefully

This is one of my brain dumps. It’s not organized with literary brilliance, it’s a brain dump. But it’s important stuff, and I think it needs to be shared immediately. I’ll clean it up later. Maybe.

Here we go:

When facing a tough economic challenge, part of you might wonder what people will think if you have to make some drastic changes. It’s the classic “fear of failure”, and it’s time we address it in a new way:

When you’re hot on the trail of a rabbit (otherwise known as a “goal”), and feeling full of expectation and excitement about achieving it, and you know it’s just a matter of time, this post is NOT for you. Hang up now.

However, if you want to feel the exhilaration knowing you’re on the right track, but are having some trouble getting to that point, then keep reading. I think you’ll find some valuable insight here.

When things get tough, shifting your focus from chasing a dream to just trying to hang on to what you have can create some challenges. To stay on track for the best outcome in the long-term, you need to stop and check in on your primary motivator.

The desire to maintain a particular image with your peers is a dangerous motivator. It’s a trap that leads people in prosperous times to overextend themselves, and it’s a trap that leads people in tough times to take too long to cut their losses and adjust their plan.

“Adjust my plan?? But how is that demonstrating faith and tenacity??” you might wonder.

Note: The goal is in stone, but the plan is in sand, as it should be. When you face challenges, you must be willing to alter the plan.

When times are good, you can avoid this trap by being absolutely clear on your values and simply practice delayed gratification. Make sure you improve your lifestyle only for the purpose of helping you and your family accomplish your greatest potential, never for the purpose of impressing anyone.

When times are tough, reject any concern about what your neighbors might think if they see you cutting back in your lifestyle. There is a force of opposition that fills your mind with fear in order to keep you from doing the right thing for your family.

Think about it. Someone needs to take a stand for what’s right, even when it isn’t popular. And if you do the right thing, you’ll give others around you the courage to do the right thing as well. You may be the only person on your block to cut back on luxuries temporarily, but if it will help you be more free to obtain the true necessities for your family, then just do it.

“Cut back?? Isn’t that operating on a ‘lack mentality’?” you might wonder.

Let me explain. It is critical that you understand this:

The most important factor in your ultimate success is how you FEEL.

So, if you’re feeling fearful of the future, and having a hard time thinking “abundance” in spite of the circumstances, then one of the quickest ways to feel abundant is to TAKE CONTROL of the visible resources you already have at your disposal.

Be the master of your money.

Show yourself that you are still in charge, and that the money is not the master over you. If you cut back on expenses voluntarily before you have no other choice but to do so, then you are demonstrating mastery.

Ironically, there is a great feeling of ABUNDANCE that comes when you choose to pro-actively cut expenses temporarily.

Before our monthly income tripled in 2000, we prepared the soil by first coming to terms with our painful financial picture, and creating a long-term plan for climbing out. We cut back on our spending, and watched every penny very carefully, operating on a focused plan to roll our debt load down.

Although the picture was bleak, we felt rich, because we were doing something smart with our current resources. That feeling of taking control changed our vibration and led us to the opportunity that accelerated our income faster than we thought possible. Within just a few months, we paid off ALL of our debt except our home. This was something we originally thought would have taken 5 years or so on our debt pay down plan.

Did you catch that? Months, instead of years!

Until now, you may have only heard the part of our story that “our income tripled in about three months.” But we sat down several months before, and got serious about doing what we could to reduce our debts with the little resources we had. We got serious about improving our credit. We mapped out a month-to-month plan on how we would roll our debts, and refused to buy anything unnecessary until our finances were under control.

We felt rich, because we had taken control of a situation that had previously felt “out of control”. With that new feeling, we attracted the means to accomplish the goal very rapidly.

The means that showed up required that we go through a barrier of fear. But with our new understanding of the Terror Barrier, and how to get through it, we took the leap, and tripled our income. The Mindset Mastery Program will take you through that process, step by step. If something is telling you to take that leap of faith, have some courage and find out what our graduates have learned. You’re worth the investment. (More on Mindset Mastery Program here.)

Additional Tips to feel Abundant Now:

De-clutter your home. Unload things that you are not using, things that could be enjoyed and used by someone else right away. Let them go, cheerfully, and you’ll feel abundant again. Give them to charitable organizations who will recycle them.

Cut your losses. We’ve made our fair share of poor investments, and the first time we faced losing a lot of money, we used all of our mental toughness, all of the visualization, all of the prayer, hope and persistence we could muster to change the nature of the bad investment. We thought that when nothing changed, we were just not being faithful enough, and that God could certainly cause a miracle in our behalf to turn the bad investment into a good one if he wanted to.

But there was no rescue or change until we became really humble and began listening for, and looking for, other benefits from the experience. The investments actually ended up paying really well in terms of lessons learned, once we decided to stop trying to force them to pay well financially.

If you work to learn rather than work to earn, you will always be well compensated.

So, ultimately, we found the courage to stop the financial bleeding where it was, and through the experience we learned (for the first time) to remove all emotional attachment from financial investments. We determined to be grateful that we only lost about $150,000 in that experience, and discover that we could bounce back after a setback. We found out that setbacks didn’t have to be fatal.

We decided to be grateful that we didn’t learn the lesson on millions of dollars instead of only tens of thousands.

Remember: The tools of visualization are not to manipulate circumstances, but to plant seeds, and to allow the natural processes do what they need to do, to ultimately bring the vision about in the right time and place. Visualization changes YOU, not the circumstances. When YOU are changed, your circumstances will reflect it.

So, if your circumstances seem bleak, use visualization to create the life you expect to live on the other side of the hardship. Most people who are gripped with fear in their present financial mess, they have no visual image of what their life will be like in 10 years. Most are so consumed with visions of a financial train wreck in a few months, that they have not stopped to consider how they might put things back together afterwards, and build an abundant life in the longer run.

Zoom out. If you are gripped with fear, zoom out. The law of rhythm states that all of life’s conditions are cyclical. If you’re having a bad day, you can expect to have a good day soon. If you’re having a bad year, you can expect to have a good year soon. If it’s been a tough decade, then start creating the vision of what a decade of prosperity would feel like. The opportunity for the upturn is there for you, but it requires your hope and optimism to bring it about as soon as possible.

And here’s an important tip:

Don’t avoid thinking about the worst-case scenario.

“WHAT DID LESLIE JUST SAY???”

You heard me right: Don’t avoid thinking about the worst-case scenario. But before you pass judgement that I’ve totally flown off the deep end, consider it this way:

If pushing the fearful thoughts away has not been working for you, go ahead and go there.

Let me explain. If I told you, “do NOT think about an elephant,” then you could spend all day long pushing elephant images away. What you’re essentially doing is thinking about elephants non-stop.

So maybe you’re facing the loss of your home. Maybe you’ll lose everything. Maybe you’ll have to go bankrupt. Go ahead and create a contingency plan: what would you do to start over? What is your ultimate goal? What is the life you’re trying to build? Stop avoiding the images of hitting the bottom, because by pushing them away all day, you’re essentially giving them a whole lot of attention. Get it over with. Think them through and finish the exercise with the vision of bouncing back afterward. See yourself successful on the other side.

Did you know that most highly successful people have lost, or nearly lost, everything, at least once? Bob Proctor says he has nearly lost everything twice. The law of polarity states that as bad as things are, is how good things are (or can be – if you’ll allow it) on the other side. The harder the fall, the higher the potential bounce. So many people face the loss of everything, but we find out soon enough what a person is made of by how quickly they bounce back.

How quickly a person bounces back depends on how quickly he/she comes to peace with what is.

So go ahead and think through the worst-case scenario, and come to peace with it as soon as possible:

  1. Think about it unemotionally – with a mindset of fixing it, in case that’s where you go. Then,
  2. Create a plan for avoiding the worst-case scenario, and let yourself get really excited about the success!

Address both the bad and the good possibilities, but address the bad with composure, and address the good with excitement.

The conditions connected to the dominant emotion will have the greatest affect the final outcome. So go ahead and think it through, experience the fear if you must, create a contingency plan for recovery, and then pull yourself together. Then spend the rest of your time and energy going forward on the plan for only prosperity and success. End your exploratory session on an optimistic note, and feel good knowing that you’re going to be okay no matter what. This exercise helps you get back to being in the right vibration for success, which is a much better place to be than in constant conflict of trying to think prosperity when you’re feeling so much anxiety.

Get back to the basics. Focus on your family. Your family is yours in good times and in bad times. So focus on building and strengthening those relationships. If you’ve already come to peace with the worst-case scenario, then you’ll find it easier to let go of your stresses to enjoy the kids, and your spouse. Really, what do you have to lose? (You might say, “everything!” but whether you do or you don’t, you can grow stronger as a family through it, and not let it fracture the most important thing: your relationships.)

Taking time to put family first will increase your emotional and spiritual vibration and prepare you to make better decisions when you return to the grind.

Prepare for emergencies. Historically, when the economy has suffered, other calamities have piled on top of it to add stress to an already weakened people, such as war, or widespread illnesses. This is a time of testing. Keep your head on and follow your intuition. Have some extra food on hand, in case you have to stay in your home for extended periods of time. If you are prepared, you will more easily avoid falling into fear. Remember, a mind full of fear cannot simultaneously be full of faith. A mind and heart full of faith will be in tune to receive inspiration that can help avoid or overcome hardships.

Take inventory of lessons learned. If you’ve made some mistakes with your money, learn the lesson and move on. Yes, we are to think abundantly, but we are also to be wise stewards of the resources we’ve already been given. It is important to know that God can and will provide abundantly all that we need to accomplish all He wants us to do, but if we slip into an entitlement attitude, that we should always have all we want right now, and that it will never run out, no matter how careless we are with it, we have swung too far into an irresponsible, immature mindset that is no better than a teenager’s who lives with a rich and indulgent parent. God will not spoil us… so if we think abundantly without regard to the rest of his universal laws, we are setting ourselves up to be humbled.

Practice gratitude. You have all you need in this moment, so recognize it, acknowledge it, and express your gratitude for it. Even selfish teenagers get more favors from responsible parents when they show genuine gratitude.

“So is there, or is there not, abundance??”

There is abundance. There is only abundance. We can have all that we need to enjoy freedom, and reach our highest potential.

In fact, we already do. We have all we need right now to learn today’s lesson. We will have all we need tomorrow to learn tomorrow’s lesson. Remember to always work to learn, and you’ll live an abundant, fulfilling life.

The journey will have some bumps in the road, and for good reason. Stay faithful, trusting that there is good in all of it, and you’ll come out on top. It is only by faith that miracles are wrought, and yet sometimes we have to take a step back and get our feet solidly back on the ground before we’re ready to climb that next mountain. When you start approaching your challenges in the right way, you’ll feel the joy, and the soul-expansion, of choosing the right.

If you haven’t been feeling that for a while, take a deep breath and assess your situation, right where it is. Face the facts – know where you are. The GPS (global positioning system) will only accurately take you to where you want to go if you accurately identify your starting point. If you haven’t done that for a while, (i.e. pulling your bills together and identifying your income/expenses), then doing it now can actually feel GOOD, because it’s RIGHT. Doing the right thing will bring you peace of mind, which is the first step to being open for further instructions.

It’s not over… it’s a wonderful new beginning! Originally published Jan 22, 2009

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#29: Stay at Home Moms Making Money

I was invited to speak at an LDS Homeschooler’s Conference hosted by Celestia Shumway (treeoflifemothering.com), attended by mothers who wanted to stay at home to raise their children but who sometimes struggled to make ends meet financially.

In this program, I share more candidly my own struggle to be a stay at home mom and to overcome my money hangups. I discuss the concern that ‘money corrupts’ and how we therefore sometimes block the ideas that can release us from financial bondage. I also describe the process for finding ways to accomplish the goal, even when it seems impossible.

The solution to every problem is only an idea away. I want to help you get the idea YOU need. Join us for our next Genius Bootcamp, a workshop based on my books Jackrabbit Factor and Portal to Genius (both free downloads!)

(The audio system was not perfect – the auditorium was large and had an echo, but the message is still powerful.)

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#28: Parenting Principles Preview

Parenting can be hard!  So when difficult behaviors wreak havoc on the family, you might just need a few more tools in the toolbox. Finding the core principles that govern success in any area of life is absolutely key to succeeding in that area, and what you’ll find on this podcast is no exception.

This entertaining audio program will not only help parents who have small children, but also those with teenagers. It describes the parenting system that I used for many years as we raised our seven children, and it made ALL the difference!

My guest Matt Reichmann and his wife Julie raised five children while he worked in Los Angeles law enforcement. He saw countless parents lose control of their children and then look to police for help. This negative trend spurred a desire in Matt to use his experience to make a difference.

The combination of Julie’s home skills and Matt’s law enforcement experience gave them a unique perspective in the art of parenting.

Over the years, they developed a powerful system of discipline based on the principle of personal accountability. After using the system in their home with success, they were encouraged by friends and associates to share their parenting techniques with others. This encouragement and a strong desire to help others lead to the creation of Accountability Concepts.

This audio was originally recorded ten years ago. I have been wanting to share it on my podcast, but his sweet wife (my dear friend Julie) was diagnosed with cancer and then lost her courageous battle in 2014. During those difficult years, their website was shut down, their business was put on hold, and the audio remained hidden in my archives. But it is my pleasure now to announce that Matt’s website is once again back on line, and he has given me the green light to finally share this audio FREE with you now.

To learn more about Matt Reichmann’s powerful parenting program, visit Accountability Concepts.

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Why Disappointment can be a Good Thing

“One of the greatest skills we can learn in life is how to deal effectively with disappointments, because after all, life is full of them. Learning the skill not only helps us turn things around, but it can also help us have total peace of mind (and even joy) in the meantime. As we learn to respond to disappointments in ways that are in harmony with the laws of success, we discover that there is always something wonderful to be gained from them.” ~ Leslie Householder

The Law of Polarity is all about opposites. Day/night, black/white, up/down, smile/frown.  One effective way to learn about something is through the use of opposites–we can understand more of what something is by understanding what it is NOT. We understand happiness because we understand sadness. We understand what is right because we understand what is wrong…

[It] assures us that even when things look bad–even very, very bad–there is the potential for good.  It doesn’t necessarily take away the natural sorrow we feel when bad things happen… But the pain is mitigated by the faith in something good coming from the bad situation.

There is room for both sadness and happiness in life. In fact, both are necessary. How could we understand happiness without experiencing the opposite?  People who strive to live without experiencing sadness or other negative feelings also limit their capacity for experiencing joy.

Parenting is the perfect example of the Law of Polarity.  Within this experience we find the greatest capacity for love, joy, and happiness, and also the greatest sorrow, frustration, and disappointment. The love a parent has for a child is transcendent, and the grief a parent experiences as a child struggles can be overwhelming.  But such great happiness does not come WITHOUT soul-wrenching experiences. The greater the heartache, the greater the joy that can come…

Read the complete article here…

For more on this topic, read Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free!)

Author Robyn Young is a Mindset Mastery Certified Mentor and Genius Bootcamp Facilitator. Join Robyn for our next Genius Bootcamp – registration NOW OPEN – Early bird rate expires soon! Click here to learn more.

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Adversity and Unifying the Family

Back when all my kids still lived at home:

Journal Entry 2008:

Tonight was our weekly family night, an evening set aside to spend time with the kids and improve our family relationships through activities and instruction. However, more often than we’d like, it’s actually the only family argument to open and close with prayer (as songwriter Michael Mclean once lamented). Nevertheless, we persist. We trust that the habit alone serves as an adhesive to help our kids feel like they belong to something important as they grow and prepare to face the world on their own.

Tonight was contentious, probably because of me. Honestly, I didn’t feel like “playing.” I was in an emotional slump and my head ached (a Law of Rhythm thing methinks). But because it has long been established as a weekly tradition, my kids began asking me what we were going to be doing that evening. Trying to brush the topic aside until I could rest my headache away, my answer was simply, “I just don’t know yet.”

My 12 year-old Nathan begged me to take them to the park for dodge ball, a family favorite. My 15 year-old Jacob had too much homework so we compromised and played some in the back yard with him first. Then he was back to the books and the rest of us headed off to the park for some more serious battles.

I loosened up, forgot my headache. Eventually I got off the swing set with the baby and began playing dodge ball, too. Holding the baby helped; the family was gentle when tossing it in my direction, and I won at least one of the rounds. There was still the usual sibling-to-sibling bickering, but I believe everyone had plenty of fun.

Finally it was time to go home. We gathered to the van and Trevan (my husband) realized that the keys had been locked inside. Nathan suggested we call Jacob to drive them over. But our other set of keys had already disappeared months ago, and since we never needed the second set, we had never bothered with finding or replacing it.

Besides, Jacob isn’t old enough to drive.

Trevan suggested we say a prayer. We huddled together and he asked God to allow the door to somehow be unlocked so that we wouldn’t have to walk the mile home. Then he said,

“But if not, help us to enjoy the walk.”

The front passenger window was cracked about 2 1/2 inches. First we tried to see if any of the kids’ arms were skinny enough and long enough to reach the door lock.

No good.

Through the front window we could see, resting in front of a couple books on the dash, a mechanic’s wire claw (about two feet long, used for grabbing little things that get dropped inside an engine). I asked Trevan where the keys were and he said they were in the passenger cup holder in the center console. I asked if he thought that the wire grabber would be long enough to reach them, but it looked pretty short compared to the distance between the cracked window and the center console.

It was the only possible option at that point, so even though it was a long-shot remedy, we got to work trying to obtain that claw.

None of us could reach it through the narrow window crack. Kayli suggested we use one of the badminton rackets that we had brought with us. We first tried to use the racket to pull the lock up (to no avail – wrong angle). Then we tried to use it to bring the claw closer, but there was a thick “Jane Eyre” book on the dash blocking it.

The window opening was about 2.5 inches wide along the top, but only about 1.5 inches wide at the lower front gap (the part closest to the dash where the claw rested). Trevan force-pulled the window down to give me an additional 1/2 inch or so, and although I couldn’t reach the claw, I realized I could reach the fuzzy dash cover upon which the books and the claw sat. So I grabbed the cover and pulled it toward me until the claw was within reach.

Next we had to use the claw to reach the keys. But no matter who tried, the closest we could get to the cup holder with that claw was at best 4 inches. We were SO CLOSE! How can we have so much success getting this far only to have our efforts fail now?

There had to be a way.

Trevan discovered that if a person could be lifted higher than the van, their arm could get into the window opening a little better and reach a little farther. But there wasn’t anything to stand on except the wheel, two feet in front of where we needed to be.

After Trevan tried and then Nathan, I took a turn standing on the wheel, leaning 45 degrees onto Trevan and squeezing my arm into the narrow gap. Nathan supported me from behind so I wouldn’t fall backwards off of Trevan’s shoulder. Simultaneously, Trevan force-pulled the window down just enough for me to get my forearm in. Then, miraculously my elbow passed through. I managed to hook the keyring with the claw and began to pull them out. At one scary moment it felt like my arm might break before I had the chance to completely extract the claw and keys. Carefully maneuvering my arm and shoulder while leaning at that unnatural angle, I managed to pull them out.

After a round of “high-fives” we paused to give thanks, and then took a moment to help the kids see an important lesson in the experience:

Everything we needed was already there. We simply had to ask for help, and then get to work putting it all together in the right order.

The same is true in life. You already have all you need – the resources, the people, the brains – you just need to begin utilizing them in the right combination and in the right order. It can be hard, I know! It’s easy to feel blind to the solution. The good news is that as you make an attempt, every failure will lead you to think of the next idea, one after the other until you find the solution.

Just remember that it never helps to fret and fuss, moan and complain. Solutions are best (and sometimes ONLY) discovered by the person who is at peace, expectant, hopeful, and tenacious.

So ask God for what you need, and be willing to accept “no” for an answer (“but if not, help us to enjoy the walk.”) Then get to work finding the way to make your goal a reality. You might not yet have the keys you need to go where you want to go, but you do already have everything you need to begin the process of obtaining them.

And sometimes the solution only becomes apparent after a series of frustrating attempts. So keep trying!

If we had truly exhausted all possibilities without success, we would we have eventually tightened our shoelaces and started home on foot. I’m just glad we didn’t have to. In any case, I believe our family night was a success because we were unified for a common purpose (if only for 20-30 minutes), and it only happened because we first had adversity. (Law of Polarity)

And you know what? Solving the problem as a family turned out to be ten times more gratifying than the best game of dodgeball could ever be. Originally published April 8, 2008

For more about the laws of success, click here to read Hidden Treasures (free!)

Learn more about how you can Prosper the Family

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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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Surviving a Faith Crisis

I had my own faith crisis a few years ago.

When I found myself with more questions than I had answers, I felt like the earth had fallen out from beneath my feet for a time. But then ultimately I decided to focus and reflect back on some of the answers I had already received in my life, and by doing so, I began to more easily recognize the source of my confusion.

I got through my crisis by looking back and reflecting on the times when the Lord’s guidance was clear and the answers were sure. To be honest, they were few. I was reminded of how quiet, but piercing, unmistakable and true His answers were – something that cannot be duplicated by anything else – and the memory of it was enough to get me through another day.

It was different than a feeling of “wow,” “amazing,” or “empowerment,” “love,” and “light”. Those feel good and expand my soul, and I’d prefer to only feel those things.

But this was deeper than that. It was more like a sobering Alma 36 moment – like the jolt you feel when you suddenly realize you nearly fell asleep at the wheel with your family in the car.

God doesn’t ONLY deliver love and light. Sometimes out of love he also delivers uncomfortable wake-up calls. The God I follow does both, and so I have to be willing to receive both.

Did you know there are other ‘gods’ that would have our devotion? I’m not talking about ‘materialism’ or other worldly distractions, I’m talking about literal spirit beings who love to build their following of worshippers, but who did not CREATE us.

At one time I felt a sharp reprimand – the words delivered to a crowd, but striking me with particular force, “Return to the God of Israel.” It was an odd thought, but it certainly got my attention – I didn’t know I had left. I never intended to, and I didn’t think I had, but it definitely got me thinking and discerning more carefully. Before that, it never dawned on me that there were other so-called ‘gods’ competing for my attention, but there are. Not all promptings that make you feel good and light are from the one true God. Other ‘gods’ promise to lead you to a life of love and freedom, but only One will deliver on his eternal promises, and His is a straight and narrow path.

I had to make a choice and finally declared, “I could be wrong here, but here it is. I CHOOSE to believe.”

Regardless of what we know or don’t know, we have a CHOICE. And I chose to believe.

Afterward I felt a renewed and unexpected confirmation of peace. Unmistakable. Love, light, assurance, all of it. Even “wow”, “amazing”, and “empowerment”. The best feeling, though, was the PEACE – a peace that no other feeling can touch. It’s not grand. It’s not earth shattering. It’s too quiet, too deep, too solid, too sacred. It’s anchoring. But it only came AFTER I made my conscious choice, not before. That’s agency.

That’s the test: we have to study things out in our own mind, come to a conclusion, and then ask God (not Google, not Facebook) if we are right. There are wonderful answers online, but the only kinds of answers that endure faith crises are the ones that come directly from God. (James 1:5)

I don’t need people at church to be a certain way. I don’t even need the sermons at church to say a certain thing, because I can always learn and study true doctrine on my own. People are imperfect and get it wrong all the time. But they get it right a lot of the time, too. They’re trying, and there’s grace. We’re all just doing the best we can.

My relationship with God is personal. I feel that He still wants me there. I go to worship, serve, learn, teach, and most importantly, renew my covenants. Covenants with God are as old as the earth. I wouldn’t dare presume that we’ve evolved so much as a people that they don’t still matter in 2017. There is at least one very real and jealous influence that would love to make us believe otherwise, but the potential consequences of letting go (to me) just aren’t worth the risk.

I trust the Lord’s pace for my understanding.

I choose to stay, and I am at Peace.

“When problems arise and questions come, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you don’t have… I’m not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!”

“Honestly acknowledge your questions and concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe. Be candid about your questions; life is full of them. But please don’t hyperventilate if issues arise that need to be examined. What we know will always trump what we don’t know. So don’t let questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.”

~ Jeffrey R. Holland (emphasis added)

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Talking to teens

An actual message to one of my teenagers who was complaining too much about his responsibilities:

You’re doing so well in so many areas. But it saddens me that you blame dad when you don’t feel like doing your duties.

You’re old enough to govern yourself, so govern yourself or be governed. If you were governing yourself, you would already have plans to be where you’re supposed to be, even if dad wasn’t going, and even if he wasn’t expecting you there.

Freedom isn’t about doing whatever you want, it’s about willfully choosing to do the things that keep you on track to qualify for all the blessings that heaven has to offer. Each right choice increases your freedom. Each poor choice diminishes it. And I’m not talking about “consequences” that are implemented at home. I’m talking about your agency and how you get to use it every day in how you think and what you do.

As you know, we look for every possible reason to give you as much freedom as we (in good conscience) can. When you feel more restrained than you like, I encourage you to notice how good you have it, and be grateful instead of belligerent.

Your attitude (above almost everything else) has the greatest effect on, or is one of the greatest indicators, for what direction your life is headed, for good or for bad. Please, do not grieve me, and please do not disrespect your dad. He asks so little and gives you so much. Either way, you’ll answer to God for how you honor him, and you have so little time with him left.

Make this last year you’re home be one that you have no regrets about. I love you and am so proud of how much you’ve matured. I was impressed with how hard you worked this morning and I recognize you could have put up a much bigger stink than you did. Just pay attention to how you feel when you’re doing the right things, and then notice how much better it feels when you do the right things with a cheerful heart.

It’s a choice, and it will pay you great dividends if you learn that lesson early. Good night.. if you want to talk to me about this more, let’s do it after you get a nap tomorrow.

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Nathaniel’s Story

Nathaniel Drew joined us for a Genius Bootcamp in 2015 and later sent me this message:

“Hey, thank you for your genius Bootcamp. It was an amazing experience. …My life has changed quite a bit. A lot of positive manifestations that keep gaining momentum.” He added, “My wife saw a video of you …[and] approached me in tears because she related with your story so much. She read The Jackrabbit Factor and had me watch the video. In a month’s time we went from $19k/year expecting to be starving artists for the rest of our lives to over $70k/year and much more to come on the horizon. Thank you for sharing your world of abundance with us. It really means a lot to us. … Thanks again.”

I replied, “Great to hear, Nathaniel 🙂 I’d be happy to spotlight your story in an upcoming newsletter, if you would like to [send more details]. No hurry, just an open invitation.”

Well, turns out he has a fantastic story, and I’m thrilled he took the time to share it!

He related the events of the previous several years in his own words:

“I don’t want to be a starving artist anymore!” I said angrily standing outside my mobile home. I’m not sure if it was to my wife or myself or God or the Universe.

You see, when my dear Emily and I began talking about marriage during our courtship I told her “You know, if you marry me, you’ll be the wife of a starving artist for five or ten years.” Not only was she ok with that, but she was excited about it.

At the time.

As we lived the life of starving artists for 10 years we began to see others making a lot of money. Even artists doing exactly what I was doing making a lot more money than I was.

I had written music for musicals, commercials, short films, long films, and even some amazing feature films!

Nathaniel Drew’s Salt Lake Pops Orchestra on set for a music video

 

Nathaniel Drew’s Salt Lake Pops Orchestra performing with Alex Boye and Lindsey Stirling

So many times both she and I would get so mad. We knew how talented I was. We knew my compositions were technically amazing and I had won plenty of awards. We just had little money to show for it.

Nathaniel Drew conducting the Salt Lake Pops Orchestra

So it was, just after our tenth anniversary that I got mad for the last time. I cursed myself. I cursed the universe. I cursed my wife and my children and anything else I could blame. Anger and blame after all was better than the depression I had been through because I was now taking back my power.

One night I walked in the door from a torturous day at my studio and I closed the old heavy front door into our warm trailer. “Hey, did you get that video I emailed you?” she asked.

“Uh, yeah, the rabbit one?” I asked with smidgen of annoyance.

“Yeah, [about] The Jackrabbit Factor! It really has changed the way I look at things!” she said hopeful, but trying not to be too excited.

From here I must rewind to let you know some things about Emily to give you an appreciation of the place that she’s in at this moment that she’s offered this video to me. From the time we married it took seven years and many fertility treatments until we finally gave up on the idea of having our own children. Once we gave up our resistance we had our first child. Our son Liam. We then had our second son Peter 18 months after that.

She should have been the most elated mother in the history of the world, but she was depressed. In order to combat her depression she became determined and decided that she was going to run a triathlon. In order to run this triathlon she was going to train all summer for a specific triathlon at the end of the summer. She was so determined. She got up every day and went out to run. She scheduled other races that would lead up to the triathlon. She got her sisters and a niece involved who would run with her or watch the kids while I worked on my latest film score.

I had never seen her take such initiative. In the process she ran a half marathon! When she finished that triathlon I had never seen her more alive and happy. She even called it “easy” and “fun” and wanted to do more!

Many aspects of her life were changing. She stopped working so hard and started enjoying the kids more. It was this kick of empowerment that led her to Leslie Householder’s materials. “I haven’t looked at it yet, but I’ll watch it tomorrow if you want.” I responded.

“You should watch it right now!” Emily said excitedly.

I sat down with her and found the video [the one called Discovering Your Hidden Resources]. We watched together. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after a while I began to feel excited. I wasn’t sure what to say. We talked for hours afterwards about the law of attraction and about emotions and about what we really wanted.

Those following weeks were full of emotion and change. I began to get up every morning at 5am and started a vlog called the 7 Day Journey. I began to clean and fix up my house and be proud of my appearance. I began looking at houses and different properties that brought me joy. I began to live my life in a way that my priority was to feel joy as much as I could.

Most of all we felt joy and love and peace surround our desires. Things began breaking loose in my life. I began to focus on the house that I wanted. I focused on creating and feeling good. Taking walks, getting enough sleep, getting exercise, meditating. Every moment of my life was a quest to find joy. I began to believe in myself again. To feel powerful and alive. To feel in control. I was finding my true self and my purpose.

The first two months I received more money than I had the whole previous year.

I remembered how well my brother-in-law was creating in his life and we began partnering up in business. We had a $50mil. development that funded that March. I created a high-class resort with a restaurant and spa. But the best is yet to come. The totality of my work right now is going places and doing things that bring me joy.

…I felt inspired to go to a certain University I graduated from. I sat in their brand new beautiful and open library all day. It was so fun watching students. It was as if they had idea bubbles coming out of their heads. So much energy and fun, and I just felt the energy flowing through me.

I then felt prompted to go and talk with the President of the college. I headed out to his office, when on the way I ran into some ladies from the music department from where I had graduated. They were talking about a new music building for which they were going to be getting funding. And it hit me why I was to meet with the President of the University.

I was in the office and scheduled an appointment that they normally don’t give, at a time that was perfect. I met with the President, Dean of the school of Arts, Dean of the school of Music and several others. I found them another $30mil for their arts building and created the first social media wing/program in the world for the arts.

They also wanted me to do their social media marketing (something I’m very very good at).

Everything just fell into place including talking with the former Mayor of the city who set up meetings for me to meet with state legislators for more funds and setting up meetings with Facebook. It was just an avalanche of momentum all at once.

It feels good to know my purpose and to listen to my inner being. It is so amazing when source energy is flowing through me and I am so excited to see this manifest in my life!

The funny thing is that it’s not even that much of a surprise. It just feels natural. I am a powerful creator and have always been. The only reason in my past that money has not flowed to me is that I haven’t allowed it to.

I’m not just a musician.

I have been expanding all of my life and I now recognize that. I have felt bad as a composer when I wasn’t willing to let myself expand. I will continue to find things that truly bring me joy, and I am so excited to allow more and more expansion within my life and allow myself joy and happiness and money and amazing relationships. Every moment of my life is my choice.

I choose happiness. I choose wealth. I choose love.

~~~~

Well done, Nathaniel! To learn more about what he’s up to now, watch his video below:

(…and find out How to get YOUR music on the Billboard Hot 100 chart)

If the video doesn’t open, CLICK HERE

~~~~

Click here to learn more about Genius Bootcamp

Click here to learn more about the Discovering Your Hidden Resources video and 3-part audio series

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Parked, or Rolling Toward Your Goal?

Ten years ago I sent a broadcast inviting those who had read The Jackrabbit Factor (and who had seen amazing things happen as a result) share their success story with Oprah. Most of the responses I received were enthusiastic and supportive. However, a few (who admitted they hadn’t read the book) responded with a question:

“If you practice what you preach, shouldn’t you just put the intention ‘out to the Universe’ and let it deliver what you’re asking for, without asking your readers to help you?”

Fair question. But remember, the key to putting the principles to work is that once you know what you want, you must see it in your mind as though you already have it, FEEL the victory now, and then when an idea comes to do something, you must ACT.

So that’s why I sent out the invitation. Not because being on Oprah was the goal, but rather because I thought that being on Oprah might take me a step closer to the goal. Being on Oprah was never “the goal.” It was not a destination. The ultimate goal was the vision I had for my family, and the positive difference I hoped to make for other families across the globe. Naturally, I knew that being on her show wasn’t the only way for me to achieve my goal, but I acted on the thought anyway, because that was the idea that showed up.

Taking action can be scary

By suggesting that my readers contact Oprah.com to share their stories and recommend my book for her show, I risked ridicule, judgement, and a possible flurry of unsubscribes. Taking action is scary, and yet I’ve discovered that action it’s necessary, and the fear is normal.

(I’ve also learned that having people unsubscribe is not a bad thing. I prefer to surround myself with like-minded people, so if I ever say something that turns someone off, I wish them well and know that they will find what they are looking for elsewhere.)

So to reiterate: When you set a goal, you must act.

Act where you are

I’ve also learned that no matter where I’m at now, or where I’m trying to go, I can only act on my present surroundings, like the acorn in the ground. The acorn does not need to act on the nutrients that are still three feet away; it must act on the nutrients in the ground that are already in contact with it. In time, as it grows roots, it will be able to connect with other needed elements a few inches away, and then a few feet away, and beyond; but it all begins with simply taking action right where it is.

As Wallace Wattles taught in Chapter 11 of The Science of Getting Rich:

“Whatever your action is to be, it is evident that you must act NOW. You cannot act in the past, and it is essential to the clearness of your mental vision that you dismiss the past from your mind. You cannot act in the future, for the future is not here yet. And you cannot tell how you will want to act in any future contingency until that contingency has arrived.

“Because you are not in the right business, or the right environment now, do not think that you must postpone action until you get into the right business or environment. And do not spend time in the present taking thought as to the best course in possible future emergencies; have faith in your ability to meet any emergency when it arrives.

“If you act in the present with your mind on the future, your present action will be with a divided mind, and will not be effective.

“Put your whole mind into present action.

“…Act now. There is never any time but now, and there never will be any time but now. If you are ever to begin to make ready for the reception of what you want, you must begin now. And your action, whatever it is, must most likely be in your present business or employment, and must be upon the persons and things in your present environment. You cannot act where you are not; you cannot act where you have been, and you cannot act where you are going to be; you can act only where you are.

“…Do not wait for a change of environment, before you act; get a change of environment by action. You can so act upon the environment in which you are now, as to cause yourself to be transferred to a better environment. Hold with faith and purpose the vision of yourself in the better environment, but act upon your present environment with all your heart, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.

“…Do not feel discouraged, or sit down and lament because you are misplaced. No man was ever so misplaced but that he could not find the right place, and no man ever became so involved in the wrong business but that he could get into the right business.

“Hold the vision of yourself in the right business, with the purpose to get into it, and the faith that you will get into it, and are getting into it; but ACT in your present business. Use your present business as the means of getting a better one, and use your present environment as the means of getting into a better one. Your vision of the right business, if held with faith and purpose, will cause the Supreme to move the right business toward you; and your action, if performed in the Certain Way, will cause you to move toward the business.”

(Click here to get my 8-week study of this remarkable book! – use promo code “summer17”)

My invitation to my readers that day was just one of those ideas that showed up, and sending the invitation out was simply acting on my present surroundings.

You don’t have to act on EVERY idea

While some of my readers did contact her company, other readers offered additional ideas:

One suggested I send her producers a book. Another suggested I go to New York and meet with a bunch of media representatives.

Although these suggestions may be something I will do at some point, at the time it didn’t feel right. And frankly, ten years later, being on Oprah no longer carries the appeal to me that it once did, and I’ve found that I can achieve my ultimate goals in so many other ways by simply acting right where I am.

So what was the outcome of my acting on that thought? Who knows! Maybe someone on her staff learned about the book and maybe it helped them. I never got a phone call, and that’s okay. At the very least it gave me an opportunity to experiment with, and write about, the principle of acting where you are.

I knew that if it was truly in harmony with my ultimate goals, it would come together at the right time. That it did not happen when I wanted it to did not prevent me from making progress in other ways. Even now, I continue to maintain a clear mental picture of how I am building my life to be, and will continue acting on the suitable ideas that come to me as they come.

Understand this:

God knows best how to bring your vision about, but He still expects you to move your feet.

After all, you can’t steer a parked car.

So what about you? What are your goals? Are you at least rolling, even if you’re not sure you’re headed in the right direction?

Do your best to act where you are to achieve your worthy objectives, and keep the thought: “Please nudge me in another direction if I’m wrong!” in the back of your mind. So long as you are at least rolling, God can steer you.

And if you go one way and discover that you need to turn a corner or make a U-turn, it’s not the end of the world. We will all make mistakes along the way, but remaining frozen is probably the worst mistake of all.

To get the unique, inspired, genius idea you need for your next step, join us for Genius Bootcamp June 22-24. At the time of this post there were still 4 openings left! Originally posted Feb 15, 2007

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