Serving Two Masters?

Had a great conversation with one of my readers. Thought it would be worth sharing (name has been changed):

“Hi Leslie, thank you for all of you free literature. I do have a question or request. How can I reconcile your teaching (which I do believe is true) with what Jesus says in Matthew 6 of about not being able to serve 2 masters? This is my hangup. Thank you in advance, Becky

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

I replied:

“Hi Becky, what is your concern, specifically? Can you explain further? I want to be sure I understand your question before I reply… Leslie”

Her answer:

“Hmmm… Thanks for asking that question. It has caused me to think. What do I really mean? I am on your email list and love seeing them pop up in my email…  the one titled “How To Rely On God For A Paycheck” caught my eye. As I began reading the article and before I finished it, I was back on your site downloading your book, Hidden Treasures. This prompted my question again about wealth and the Kingdom of God.

“A little background…

“I was raised in a Christian home and went to church but it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s (money issues) that I began reading the Bible for myself and began a personal relationship with the Lord. I am and have been a stay at home, homeschooling Mom for the past 20 years… Prior to children, I as a gung-ho business woman working for my mother in a small family business that made money but it seemed like we were always struggling…

“Growing up, as the middle child, I was intuitive and sensitive to the goings on in our family and know that money was always a topic or struggle. We certainly were not poor, always had food, clothing and a home. But it seems there was always debt and struggle. I have worked since old enough to do so and enjoy working.

“Now, I do work part time… and have been for over a year. My husband has a nice job and we are not poor, have food and a home but we do watch our pennies, budget like Dave Ramsey, and can’t just go out and buy anything if we wanted…

“So… I want to earn more money to be comfortable now, to buy a beach house and to have money for retirement. I want to give our children an inheritance and want them to not have to struggle. But, what can I do?

“Matthew 6 talks about not laying up for ourselves treasure on earth but in heaven. That we can’t serve two masters. Where my treasure is there is my heart also. I can’t see my heart clearly at this point and don’t know whether I am seeking treasure or the Lord.

“…when I was at this crossroads 7 years ago, I ran across the Jackrabbit Factor online. Ha, I forgot about that. I also purchased Portal To Genius and can totally understand how necessity can be the mother of inspired invention. I journal and will go look for my old journals. Well, if I remember correctly as a result of reading Jackrabbit Factor I did pursue […and got] a dream job for me. With that courage, I further progressed to starting the Respiratory Therapy courses… and [began] your [Mindset Fundamentals] Ecourse

“[But now I have this concern:] Wealth in this world – is it in opposition to Matthew 6 teaching? … Thanks for listening, Becky”

Before I had a chance to reply, she messaged me again:

“After writing back to you the other day, I have started the [Mindset Fundamendals] Ecourse once again. I did’t get through it completely the first go round. I am rereading the book now and then proceeding from there. Is that what you would suggest? Thank you, Becky”

Here is my reply:

“Hi Beth, thank you for your patience. Yes, I would recommend finishing the Ecourse. But about your question, you said:

“…I can’t see my heart clearly at this point and don’t know whether I am seeking treasure or the Lord.”

“To figure this out, ask yourself WHY you want to earn more money to be comfortable now, to buy a beach house and to have money for retirement. WHY you want to give your children an inheritance and to not have them struggle. Go deeper – think about the reasons you want these things. Is it just for ease and pleasure, or do you see a way that these desires could play a part in building His kingdom?

“Personally, I wanted a big house because I remembered being young and finding the Lord in my quiet times. At the time I dreamed of this luxury for my family, we were in a two-bedroom house with our family of 8, so I imagined having a large house so that my children find the Lord in their own quiet places. I imagined having a place where the extended family could gather for Sunday dinners. I imagined a place where we could open our home to larger crowds and hold meetings that turn hearts to Him. I imagined a place where the teens would want to bring their friends so that we could be a positive influence on them.

“When you get down to the root of where you heart is, then your treasures will be more clearly discerned.”

So what about you? If you knew that you would get exactly what you asked for out of life—nothing more and nothing less, what would be on YOUR list? What things or accomplishments would give you the greatest, most long-lasting satisfaction?

In conclusion, here’s the good news that is sometimes forgotten:

As you choose God to be your only Master, you have this promise: “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

So, the objective is to simply do your part to make sure that you, at least, are not the limiting factor in what God can accomplish in your life.

I’m pretty sure He has even bigger plans for you than you can imagine. Choose Him to be your master, set your goals, make your plans, and look to Him to help you overcome the obstacles along the way.

Have faith, do your part, believe that He wants to bless you, and remain ready to say, “Thy will be done”. Not as a copout for when YOU lose faith, but as a genuine willingness to accept His will even when you’ve practiced unfailing faith.

Related: Human Empowerment, in Perspective

Related: But if Not

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Why I Believe in Time Warps

Are you Crazy Busy? Do you need a Time Warp?

Two weeks before I taught a Mentor Training class, I was on the verge of a meltdown. Too many things to do, not enough hands to do them with… and definitely not enough time to get it all done before the participants were scheduled to arrive.

In my frantic state, time seemed to race by and not many of my tasks were getting completed. Furthermore, I had to reluctantly stop in the middle and fly out of state because I was scheduled to meet with one of my mentors – a meeting that was not easy to come by and which I didn’t dare cancel.

After an incredible meeting (getting my head back in the right place), I came home at peace.

I didn’t immediately jump back into my preparations for the event. I spent some time with my kids in a non-rushed manner, and enjoyed peace of mind, knowing that everything was going to turn out okay.

(Note: nothing on my list changed. In fact, I even had even LESS time than before. The only thing that changed was the way I viewed the situation.)

Once I was ready, I returned to my tasks and calmly started checking them off one at a time. When I was done, I realized I still had about four or five days left to prepare, and yet there was nothing more that I needed to do!

Never in my life can I remember feeling so prepared for an event, with time to spare. In fact, I actually worried that the event might flop, because this was the first one I had prepared without feeling attacked by tremendous opposition.

(Previously, the amount of opposition I experienced beforehand was always the indicator for how well the event would go. The tougher the fight, the better the events always turned out, so long as I would just press on and make them happen anyway. As a result, I had resigned myself to the idea that every event I ever did would be a massive test of my faith, that everything would always have to get done in a panic at the last minute – and when there were pieces that didn’t get done – well, we’d just have to be at peace with letting those pieces go.)

Interestingly enough, however, this event did not test me like all the others had. It actually went amazingly smoothly and I felt untouched by the old challenges that used to get in the way and bog me down. I realized that my challenges were now of a different nature, perhaps because I had somehow “graduated” from the old kinds of challenges and was ready to move on to a new level of being.

In retrospect, I am convinced that as I allowed myself to think at a higher level than ever before, I literally experienced a time warp. I’m not talking about science fiction, I’m talking about the reality that “time is only measured unto man” and that with God, all things are possible.

I believe that when your thoughts are held in the right place, and when you hold the right mindset, time can stand still for you (or at least slow down) until you can accomplish what you need to do.

I’ve tested this and seen it help me out every time:

When I’m late and frantically trying to figure out how I will explain my lateness, the clock speeds up. If I calm down and picture everything turning out okay (letting myself feel the relief I’ll feel when I’m in my seat with time to spare), the clock slows down. And if I do this and show up “late” anyway, things have shifted to where my being on time didn’t really matter the way I thought it would.

Time management with these ideas in mind can provide a big boost toward the ultimate life mastery we’d all love to achieve.

So could you use a time warp?

Are you running as fast as you can and still falling behind?

Let me teach you how to experience this time warp phenomenon:

Join me for Genius Bootcamp June 22-24 in Salt Lake City, UT. I’ve learned some really amazing things, and together with my amazing Genius Bootcamp facilitator, we are chomping at the bit to share them with you. We’re telling everyone who will listen how cool and amazing this life experience can be when you learn and implement the principles we want to share with you!

At the time of this posting there were 10 seats still open. Click here to learn more about Genius Bootcamp and register now.

To see what Genius Bootcamp is all about, read Portal to Genius (free!)

I look forward to helping YOU enjoy more time doing the things you love to do. Let’s experience some time warps and achieve your goals with less stress!

Much love,

Leslie Originally published October 27, 2010

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Silencing the “Shoulds”

I have a love/hate relationship with the word “should.” The thoughts running through my head often follow this pattern:

“I should clean the kitchen.”

“I should speak nicely to my dog (or children, or spouse, etc.).”

“I should finish that project I started.”

“I should turn off the television.”

I should, I should, I should… That’s the hate part of the relationship, the part I use as a measuring stick that always leaves me falling short.

Then there is the love part of the relationship:

“Please just tell me what I should do, and I’ll do it!”

It’s not just me with this struggle, I know. It’s a societal infection. We live in a world where, from the time we are five years old (or sometimes younger), we are put on a path that is entirely outlined for us:

“You should go to school, you should get good grades, you should participate in lots of activities, you should go to college, you should get a good job, and you should look forward to retirement!”

What if all the “shoulds” don’t bring the happiness you expect or want?

There are even “shoulds” for that:

“You should go back to school and find a career better suited for you.”

“You should find a hobby that you really love to do.” Or, for the really desperate,

“You should abandon your entire, stifling life and start over with something you love.”

Isn’t there another possibility?

Do you remember what it feels like to dream? You may have to go back pretty far. What do you want to be when you grow up? Is it the same thing you wanted to be when you were four? We start on the “should” path so early that we may have to remember that far back to find our inner dreamer again. I finally realized that in order to get what I want, I need to define it-write it down in great detail. But then the battle begins: What should I want? It is so ingrained in me that instead of wondering what I actually want, I start dreaming within the “shoulds.”

How do you rediscover that ability to dream and create? How do you get in touch with what makes your heart sing? How do you silence the “shoulds” and follow your path?

Develop your spirituality. Spend time in prayer, meditation, and with good, inspirational literature. Develop a personal relationship with God. Learn to identify when He is speaking to you. Keep a journal of your spiritual progress.

Love yourself.

In the New Testament Jesus said “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Loving yourself is a prerequisite to loving others! I’m not talking about indulging your every whim, I’m talking about being patient with yourself, forgiving yourself. Be compassionate with yourself. Speak kindly to yourself. See all the goodness and potential within you-you are more amazing than you could possibly realize! Ask God to help you see yourself in this way.

Discover your talents. Start by playing. Pay attention to the experiences that provide the feelings you are seeking: peace, joy, fulfillment. And trust your instincts. Your idea of “play” may not look like playing to someone else.

Trust that the experiences of your life are clues to your self-discovery. Which events and people in your life are most difficult for you? These are gifts! There is something for you to learn from every difficult experience! Do you look for lessons in these kinds of experiences, or do you try to escape? Looking for the lesson is hard, but learning from the experience brings you closer to what you want: peace, joy, fulfillment.

Dream. Start to create the life you want in your mind. It doesn’t have to seem possible; in fact, if what you really want seems impossible, it’s even more important to create and nurture that dream! Pay particular attention to the feelings you want to experience: energetic, excited, relaxed, easy-going, flexible, fulfilled, at peace, confident…add whatever feelings are important to you. Then start to believe in the possibility of that dream.

There will be things you should do. But who is telling you what those “shoulds” are? Be the creator of your life. The “shoulds” will vanish, and a path to your ideal life will start to form. You’ll know what you need to do as you learn to listen to what your soul is telling you.

_____

Robyn Young is a Mindset Mastery Program Honors Graduate and Certified Mentor.

Click here to learn more about Robin.

Click here to learn more about the Mindset Mastery Program.

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How to Rely on God for a Paycheck

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

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

So here’s my question to you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

What would you do TODAY with $1M?

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

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

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

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

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

Picture it.

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

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

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

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

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

Let me put it to you this way:

What is financial freedom, really?

What is financial security?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, God has a way with people like us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So now, how much money do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jan’s Story

Some time ago I held a special Mentor Training for those who graduate with Honors from the Mindset Mastery™ Program and want to learn how to effectively (and profitably) mentor others in the principles of “right thinking”. It was designed for those who were ready to take their skill and expertise to the next level.

(I held this course twice before taking time off to focus on my family. The last class was recorded and is available online so that Honors Graduates can enjoy the same powerful advanced training experience — complete with personal one-on-one coaching with me — all from the comfort of home. (Mindset Mastery Honors Graduates: click here to learn more.)

But now and then I hear from someone who went through the Mentor Training program to update me on what’s happened since. A couple weeks ago I heard from Jan Lambert, and her story was too inspirational to keep to myself. 🙂

First, a little back story…

Jan showed up at Mentor Training in an electric wheelchair and with a service dog. To attend, she drove over 1200 miles (each way), pulling over as needed to sleep in her van, despite the physical discomfort. In her words:

“I read Leslie’s book The Jackrabbit Factor. It awakened something in me that will not go back to sleep. I feel an energy that I have not felt in years, as if I am being driven toward a goal I did not know was there, until everything started to ‘work’ so I could come to Mentor Training.”

Here was a woman determined to make a change in her life, despite a past full of some extreme and traumatic hardships. She has given me permission to share a few of the many difficulties she experienced:

When she was a baby (13 months old, with medical records that prove it), she was sexually assaulted. Her childhood was un-loving. Nobody ever told her they loved her, in her entire childhood. Neither parent, no grandparent, friend — only men who wanted sexual favors. Her mother was violent. She was spanked every day for some offense or another, “walked on eggshells” and hid from her at every opportunity. Later in life she was married twice to cruel and abusive husbands. She says,

“It’s difficult to describe the feeling of going through life without a goal, other than ‘to survive.'”

In July of 2001, she was taken to the hospital with supra-ventricular tachycardia. The echogram showed damage consistent with Congestive Heart Failure. She was never able to do strenuous exercise, as she had Rheumatic Fever twice as a child. She ended up on Disability.

In 2003 a nurse determined that she was no longer able to take care of herself. She needed to either go to a nursing home, or have a daily caregiver. In her words:

“Over the years …I steadily gained weight. I knew it was ‘protection’ … My weight climbed to a height of 310 pounds. [After falling] I broke a rib once trying to climb up the furniture.”

“In October, 2008, I fell [again]. It didn’t seem like a bad fall, as I’d been having falls for about the past two years, but this time I couldn’t get up. It was the worst pain I can ever remember feeling since falling from a horse across a fence and breaking some ribs back in the ’60’s. Another run to the Emergency Room. X-rays revealed a fractured vertebrae. A subsequent MMRI revealed THREE MORE fractured vertebrae, all old, long healed. But the way they healed, they put on calcium on the inside, putting pressure on the spinal nerve.”

“So THAT’S WHY, all my life, I’ve been in great pain when I had to stand for any length of time, and when I had to walk. I’ve always avoided it. I’ve been called ‘lazy’ more than once because of it, but the pain can become incapacitating. It wasn’t the kind of pain I could just ignore!”

“Long ago, before I knew I had been a victim of child sexual abuse, I heard Spencer W. Kimball state in General Conference that the man who betrays a young girl’s trust is her destroyer, as surely as if he has put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Well, I guess that something inside me that remembered what happened… refused to be destroyed! I had always thought I was given the life I was given because I needed to learn to fight, but from this end of it, I realize I was given this life because I WAS ALWAYS A FIGHTER, and I had a chance to overcome it…”

Never giving up on the hope that she could find peace, and doing the best she could, step by step she held to the vision of a better life and worked for years to improve her condition – emotional and physical.

Long story short, she says,

“I’ve found healing. I had not realized the level of hatred and rage I had harbored toward all men, until it was gone. I feel a peace inside now that I’ve never had before. I feel safe.”

These were Jan’s remarkable words in 2010. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear from her again seven years later:

“[Your last podcast – ‘Happy Without It’] made me think of how my life has moved since Mentor Training. I had set my 5-year goal to have a ranch with my horses, dogs, cats, etc…

“About two years ago, I met a man I could not walk away from… he’s a Disabled Veteran who served as a Navy Seal for ten years. …We are now engaged to be married.

“And…he owns land in two other states, one unit is large enough to qualify as my ‘ranch’ and I can have all the horses, dogs, and cats I want there! Also most of the other things I dreamed up while I was writing (and drawing) the details… Including windmills and storage batteries for electricity independence, greenhouses for 12-month/year fresh food production, the barn of a size I want for the domestic livestock I need to supplement the greenhouse enterprise… it’s all there…

“His own dream of rehabilitating Felons will bring us the students I will need to teach the Program to while they make plans for their own futures, meanwhile learning skills with which to establish an independent business of their own instead of being reliant upon ‘finding a job’ which, if you don’t know this, is very difficult to do if you have ‘Felon’ on your record.

“My dream was to find people who needed to become independent business owners in order to earn a living, build a life, keep their family close by involving each family member in the business, keeping each one ‘needed’ and appreciated as they grow. I feel I was guided to appreciate the needs of felons for this purpose. Of course, anybody who wants to come and learn the Program will be welcome. 🙂

“My dream is coming true! And with a bonus I …had not even considered: my Sweetheart…

“I’m only 65. My life is far from over. …If my experiences can help another, they are not wasted. Not my fears, my tears, nor my triumphs.”

I love stories like this, which show that the principles aren’t just about money. As far as I’m concerned, they are even more about the kinds of things that money can’t buy.

If you want to feel renewed, encouraged, and inspired as well, read or re-read The Jackrabbit Factor now. (It’s free!)

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How to Survive the Downs

Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Straight Shot to Success”

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

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

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

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

“Joy in the Journey”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ups and downs we experience help us feel.

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

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

Fear not!

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

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

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

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

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Finding Peace and Joy through the Storm

Serenity is life’s supreme accomplishment. It’s not about living life without storms, it’s about finding peace and joy in spite of them.

According to James Allen, serenity is the supreme accomplishment. In his classic essay, “As a Man Thinketh,” he describes how we shape our lives by our thoughts, and how we create a life of joy and bliss by thinking lawfully… or we create a life of misery through unlawful thoughts.

This means that true prosperity is built, not upon principles of competition and brute ambition, but upon principles of successful right-thinking.

Let’s take a look:

The Law of Polarity guarantees that contained in every adversity is the seed of equal or greater benefit, so by law, there is good to be found in all circumstances. That’s why joy and misery are simply NOT determined by what happens to you.

This is proven by the fact that there are rich people who are miserable, and poor people who are full of joy. By the same token, there are poor people who are miserable, and rich people who are full of joy.

In all areas of life, it comes down to this: “Unfortunate” people can be miserable, or they can be joyful, if for no other reason than because the law guarantees the potential exists for both poles in every circumstance.

(Clinical depression or other mental illness can make it nearly impossible for a person to find or access the seed of equal or greater benefit contained in their adversity. If you feel this way, watch this.)

Finding joy

Some of our greatest joys come from growing and becoming all we can be. Growth feels good. It’s what defines us as “living”. So, if the lack of money prevents us from doing that, then we should use the fundamental principles of prosperity to obtain plenty of money. If the lack of positive relationships prevents us from doing that, then we should use the principles to improve our relationships. We can even use the principles to improve our health: physical, mental, and spiritual.

How is this done?

We must first realize that our thoughts are the only domain over which we have ultimate control. We must also acknowledge the fact that all areas of our life are affected by our thoughts. Something happens, and so we respond to it. But how do we respond? It all goes back to how we thought about the situation, and the resultant actions spawned by those thoughts.

We cannot respond gracefully to setbacks if we do not first think graceful thoughts. We cannot turn a bad situation around unless we first think of ways to turn it around.

Success always begins in the mind. (And so does failure.)

That’s why I’m convinced that the most important thing we can do is learn to control our thoughts. True peace and tranquility can be obtained in no other way than through self-mastery:

SELF-mastery, not ENVIRONMENT-mastery.

So when we stop waiting for our circumstances to improve, and instead make peace with—in other words—find happiness with, the way things are NOW, then The Law of Cause and Effect kicks in, and the world begins to soften towards us.

Sometimes making peace with the mess we’re in now is the only way our circumstances will ever improve.

But it’s a scary thing, to make peace with disaster, to come to terms with ruin.

We’re so afraid to go there, because we think it means we’re giving up; and if we give up, then maybe it also means that all hope is completely lost.

But it’s just not true.

Remember, it’s how you THINK that determines what happens next. So if you THINK that making peace with disaster or coming to terms with ruin means irreversible failure, then you’ll never let yourself go there. And that’s what keeps a lot of people stuck.

But what if I were to tell you the truth: that happiness, progress, victory, and goal achievement are ALL waiting on the other side of your coming to terms with the mess you’re in, and finding happiness just the way things are? What if I told you that you should let go of the need for your environment, pocketbook, health, or relationships to change?

Do you dare go there?

What if nothing EVER changed? Can you imagine that? What if I were to tell you that the way things are, are exactly the way things will be for the rest of your life?

How much time would you spend grieving? How long would you let yourself be angry?

And then what?

After a period of grieving, you would be different. We are designed to recover. We were born with the capacity to adjust, and adapt to change. It’s a natural process, in fact. Once we let ourselves give up on waiting for things to change, we can fight it and prolong the pain, but ultimately our systems are physiologically programmed to cycle through all of the stages of grief until we come to acceptance.

The Stages of Grief:

  • shock or disbelief
  • denial
  • bargaining
  • guilt
  • anger
  • depression
  • acceptance/hope

And so we go there (if only just in our minds), and then here we are: having made peace with the way things are NOW.

This is where Nature, the world around us, notices we have changed, and because of the Law of Cause and Effect, it begins to soften towards us.

It’s about finding peace in the storm. Not peace without a storm, but peace in spite of the storm. Greater success then becomes a natural byproduct of our increased serenity.

Ironically, if your serenity is real, and you’ve genuinely given yourself to the process, then it won’t matter to you if you gain more success, because you’re already happy with or without it.

Besides, isn’t happiness the reason for our pursuit of success to begin with?

In conclusion, let me just say this:

We will continue to face challenges. It’s a necessary part of life, because without opposition we do not gain experience, strength, or wisdom. Adversity is a blessing, and when we begin to accept and embrace it for what it is, we begin to experience the peace and prosperity that is ours to enjoy. Life just gets better.

It reminds me of the story of the farmer who complained that everything was always bad. God thought, “You think you have it bad now? Hmmmm. I’ll show you! I’ll show you what bad really is!” and so things got worse for the farmer.

On the other hand, another farmer expressed gratitude for everything, even his hardships, even without understanding why the hardships were good. He prayed: “Thank you for the challenge, because it helps me grow.” God thought, “You think you have it good? Hmmmm. I’ll show you! I’ll show you what good really is!” and things only got better for the farmer.

So just remember:

The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”James Allen

For more on this topic, visit How to Surrender (and why you’d want to). Originally published July 29, 2006

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So… my husband lost his job

It’s been a very interesting New Year! As we said goodbye to 2016, there was a feeling in the air that change was coming.

So when my husband noticed an interesting position posted at (I’ll call it “Company B”, a vendor for his current employer), I told him: “You should look into it…”

Husband: “I was thinking about it…”

Me: “I’m wondering why you’re still standing there.”

Chuckling, he disappeared into his office. He messaged his friend (the man he knew from Company B), and based on their relationship, he fully expected an eager, enthusiastic response. But two weeks went by and there was no reply at all.

Oh well, we both thought. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Then on January 13th my husband came home early, at about 10:00 am. A forced smile held back a flood of emotions as he sat down and broke the news to me that he had just been let go.

I was surprised, but not really. We had been feeling change coming, but didn’t know this is what the change would be. Remembering the Law of Polarity, I said, “Okay. This is good!”

He took a deep breath and said, “I choose to believe this is going to turn into something amazing.”

I agreed.

Let me pause to provide a little bit of back story for context. Here’s the sum up:

  • 1991-1997 – Really hard financial struggles.
  • 2000 – Big breakthrough, tripled our income in 3 months, started teaching seminars on what we learned. I tell the story in this video.
  • 2004 – Moved to our dream home pictured here.
  • 2005 – Released my books The Jackrabbit Factor and Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters, international best-sellers (free downloads, by the way).
  • 2006 – Husband quit job to help me run the books/seminar business full time.
  • 2007 – Invested too much money in real estate at the TOP of the market.
  • 2008 – The real estate market tanked and we worked overtime trying to hold it all together.
  • 2009 – New breakthroughs – had our biggest month to that point: $43,000. Published the sequel, Portal to Genius to describe all I had learned since releasing The Jackrabbit Factor.
  • 2011 – Husband returned to the 9-5 workforce to heal our strained relationship and begin working a longer-term plan with a stronger foundation. I stepped back from doing the business full time to recover, heal, and focus m0re on the family (instead of speaking as much as I used to).
  • 2012 – Sold our dream home and started working the new plan.
  • 2015 – Finally dared to begin dreaming again.

So, for the last couple years we’ve just been plugging away at the long-term plan and have been feeling pretty great.

I tell you all THAT to tell you THIS:

2012 was probably one of the hardest years we’d ever had. Our finances were in the biggest mess they’d ever been in, and when the market plummeted, we couldn’t sell our investments, people who owed us money couldn’t pay, and because the ripple effect was devastating, we also became those people.

I watched my husband’s self esteem shrink to pretty much nothing and I was not able to encourage him. I myself was just as depleted, and instead of being his greatest support, I was openly critical. I was exhausted, embarrassed, disappointed, and angry that my business had gone from a hobby I loved (because of how it helped people), to something I hated (because it was now needed for paying gigantic real estate bills).

So I’ve seen him broken and depressed. I’ve seen him completely paralyzed and unable to think of solutions. I’ve seen him beat himself up because he knew better, but still couldn’t shake the darkness.

To illustrate where we were at and what we were feeling at the time, let me paint a picture. I wanted to approach our problems with the belief that anything was possible (I was still teaching it, after all), and that we could just apply the principles and turn things around. But I wanted him to solve it, because I was exhausted. However, while I knew he could apply Rare Faith to solve it, I struggled to believe that he would. I was too tired, and he was stuck in despair.

After years of running the business 12-16 hours/day while trying to homeschool 7 kids, I ran out of steam altogether. My husband was doing all he could to help build and support the systems that delivered our product, but didn’t have direct control over creating the paycheck like I did as the marketer. I berated him for letting me shoulder the burden of the bills, and he wondered why I kept jumping in all the time instead of trusting him t0 figure something out.

Ironically, I had encouraged him to quit his job five years earlier to help me with the business. But now I wanted nothing to do with it, and I wanted him to solve the problem—even though he no longer had his best source of income for solving it. Still, he kept telling me to slow down and let him handle it. I don’t know why it was so hard to let go.

(Actually, I do know why, but that’s a long story. Read The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Tried to Write for more about that).

Regardless, it was time.

So the next big bill came along, and I let him own it, no matter the outcome. I wasn’t even tempted to step in. But he couldn’t think of a single thing he could do to generate the money. I was too fatigued to implement any of my ideas, and all he could think of was to ask our Bishop for help. I thought, If this is the only thing he can think of, and if I’m really committed to letting him solve this, I need to support him in however he chooses to solve it.

Yes, this meant me showing up at the Bishop’s storehouse for a food order. We had plenty of long term food storage, but needed help with the weekly fresh foods.

Yes, this also meant running into people who knew my books and probably wondered why the Jackrabbit Factor lady needed welfare. I remember standing outside thinking, If I’m too proud to go in there and accept some help while we put our life back together and re-establish how we want our relationship to work, then I’m in a worse condition than I thought. 

Trusting the experience would be good for my soul, I took a deep breath and walked through those doors.

After a couple visits, consciously swallowing my pride each time, I told my husband, “I think you should take a turn.” I knew his pride was already shot full of holes, but facing humiliation head on can sometimes really shift things, as I discovered. After all:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

So yes. I told him, “I think you should take a turn.”

My sweet husband answered, “That’s the least I can do.”

In time, he swallowed his pride even more and took a 9-5 job at 2/3 his previous salary so we could rebuild with a little bit of stability and give me a break.

A paper sack on the path: something to be grateful for, even if it wasn’t the ultimate goal.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago, when he lost that job of five years.

We very quickly learned how far we’ve come. It surprised us, how natural it felt to think optimistically, in spite of the blow. It shocked us that we were able to feel increasingly excited about all the possibilities—all the things we could do with our future.

His options were now completely wide open!

He allowed himself to feel relief that he didn’t have to be at that job anymore, and we looked for evidence that the Lord was not only aware, but probably orchestrating things to bring us to even greater opportunities and blessings.

Thus, we began talking about all the reasons this “setback” was good:

  1. With all the experience he had gained over the last 5-6 years, he was now more marketable than he had ever been before.
  2. He had been unhappy and thinking about leaving anyway, but didn’t feel like quitting was the responsible thing to do. In some ways, it makes it easier when they just decide for you that you’re done.
  3. Because they let him go, he received severance, which would not have been available to him if he had left on his own.
  4. We had been hoping for a chance to finish the online school we had been revamping, so that the online version of the Mindset Mastery™ program could finally re-open for students. We thought, maybe this will give us the opportunity to finish it! And, by offering a more affordable format to our readers, the potential revenue could be more than 4 times what he was making at the job.
  5. We’ve already been through MUCH WORSE, so we knew we were going to be okay, no matter how this was going to play out.
  6. We’ve been independent business owners before, and while we didn’t really want to depend on our business to pay the bills again, we knew it could if we needed it to. (The advantage and power of having previously taken action to build multiple streams of income).
  7. Our relationship has never been stronger, and we’ve never been so trusting of the principles at the same time (instead of one of us being up while the other is down, or vice versa). Not an easy thing to do! But now we know it’s possible. So facing this together was proving to be a deeply rewarding experience instead of the opposite, as we had experienced before.
  8. We had been listening to Dave Ramsey and trying to follow his advice for the last few years, so we had a decent emergency fund in place—not fully funded, but better than nothing. I have to say, it is SO TRUE—the promise that if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.

The promise was never, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not suffer.” It was that “if ye are prepared, ye shall not FEAR.”

Because truly, fear is the real enemy. When you do not fear, you qualify for blessings that cannot be given if fear is present:

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

Needless to say, it only took a few minutes and we were feeling pretty excited and grateful for the blessing of his unexpected termination. Not without a little bit of apprehension, of course, but every time the worry crept in, we consciously kicked it out and focused on all of the happy possibilities.

Within 30 minutes of his termination, and just as we were talking about the possibilities, he received a reply from Company B’s representative: “Yes! I would love to talk to you about the position – how about breakfast on Tuesday at 8 am?”

Isn’t that interesting.

We were reminded about our experience at the restaurant in 2009 when we were at the end of our money, had no credit, and needed to find $15,000 in just a couple weeks. We had decided to forget about our immediate problems long enough to allow ourselves to get excited about what we’d be doing in ten years, after we had figured it all out. That’s when the waiter announced the meal was on the house, and that’s the month we ended up making $43,000.

We’ve learned that as long as we focus on where we’re going, and the happy outcome we expect to enjoy as though it’s already been accomplished, things just work out.

I dare you to test it.

Together, we’ve been testing it regularly now for about five years. As we raise our large family with all the unexpected expenses and needs that come with that, we’ve often wondered where the needed resources would come from. But as we strive to keep an optimistic, faithful approach, our needs have been met unfailingly, and without compromising our values.

It continues to prove itself to be a true and DEPENDABLE principle.

This job loss experience (okay I’m going to say it: he was fired!), is proving to be no different.

However, even though we were choosing optimism, we still didn’t know if the new job was going to work out, or if it would be the right next step for him to take. But the one thing we knew for sure: things always go better when we are optimistic.

Especially when we choose optimism and let go of our concern about how things will turn out. It’s a type of surrendering.

Related: How to Surrender (and why you’d want to)

By evening when it was time to tell the children, we had worked ourselves up into such a feeling of excitement that we told them it was time for a celebration! We announced that we needed to celebrate because Dad was just let go!

As he explained what had happened, he paused and said, “Wait…this happened on Friday the 13th… Seriously??” Everyone was like, WHOA… but then he added, “I thought nothing good was supposed to happen on that day!”

🙂

Originally, they were shocked, but after rehearsing to them all the reasons we believed this was happening because the Lord needed Dad more somewhere else, they understood.

We told them, “We have no idea how this is going to play out, but we trust that He is leading us. We just wanted you to understand why we might be saying no to some things, or eating food storage for a while until we get it all figured out.”

They were humbled, and supportive.

So anyway, instead of lamenting his loss (been there, done that, far too often, and for far too long…) we spent most of the day imagining the possibilities.

The next morning (Saturday), he had an idea come to him like a flash of intelligence, accompanied by a flood of details. (The Portal to Genius is real! You should really come experience it at Genius Bootcamp!) He immediately went to the computer and posted the following on a neighborhood Facebook group:

Yesterday my employment was terminated unexpectedly, so I’m now freed up to help you out. (Yay!)

I’m not looking for pity – I want to teach my seven children the value of work. I’m not too good for ANY honest work.

I have a little savings, so I’m ok for a little while, and I thought it would be fun to try an experiment.

So, here’s the deal: I will bring my own tools, and you supply the materials. I do work for you, you pay me whatever you feel it was worth – no questions asked.

Yep, simple as that. I have faith in God and in the humanity of people, and want to show my four boys that they aren’t too good for any honest work, and that as they rely on God and go to work with the resources they have available to them, their needs will be met.

I believe in Win-Win. If you don’t win, neither will I!

Need something fixed or created? I can help!

  • Home repair
  • Sprinkler repair
  • Furniture repair
  • Welding
  • Metal Signs (cut on a CNC machine)

I LOVE to build, repair, and create things. I’ve rehabbed homes over the years (outside of my normal computer software job), and I’m good at it. I can do just about anything, but if what you need isn’t something I am good at, I’ll let you know.

Disclaimer: I am not a contractor and I don’t have a license. I don’t have a business entity for this, and I’m not bonded nor insured, so I can’t do the jobs that require such. Also, if I get more requests than I can handle, I’ll choose the projects that seem like the best fit for my skills.

(My wife doesn’t know I’m doing this – hope I won’t be sleeping in the doghouse for it, haha)

Let’s have some fun and see where this goes!

PM me with your needs and I’ll let you know if it’s something I could do a good job with. I’m available to start today!

Immediately requests began to come in. He was out working that very day, and every day thereafter while he waited to see what might come of the job opportunity with Company B. One of our teenage sons even went with him as an apprentice (never let a good opportunity be wasted, right?)

He laid carpet, built cabinetry, fixed sprinklers, hung shelves, and performed a myriad of miscellaneous handyman tasks. Gratefully, he brought home some pretty good money, which put us ahead.

Quite a contrast from the last time life needed him to get creative.

My husband felt happy and free, and was having more FUN than he’d had in a long time. Yes, the concern would creep in sometimes, but we just kept replacing it with action, and optimism.

More than once he told me that he felt like he wasn’t just finding his feet; he had been pushed out of the nest, and was finding his WINGS.

Can I just say? We LOVE the feeling that the Lord is actively involved in our life, and we LOVE the opportunity to show our kids a better way to respond to setbacks than what they saw last time.

What a wonderful opportunity it has been, to discover for sure that we ARE different than who we were, even just 5 years ago. There’s no way we could have known this about ourselves without the opportunity to face something “awful” like this.

So the Tuesday interview went well. As did the Thursday follow-up. He was offered a position on Friday, but felt like he should negotiate a better package. Calming our nerves all weekend, by the next Tuesday they had come to an agreeable offer. It provides a higher salary than his last job, a wider array of potential opportunities in the future, the opportunity to work from home 3 days a week, and a little bit of travel.

A few other interesting things that convince us there was a divine plan behind it:

  • The man whose position he’s filling resigned the same morning my husband was fired.
  • Because he found another job so quickly, the severance pay helps us very quickly achieve one of our goals that we thought would take much longer.
  • Through a conversation because of his job loss with another former employee, my husband learned about a job opportunity that was exactly what my daughter has been looking for. She was hired and started that job two days ago.
  • And a whole lot more that I’m not going to take the time or space to explain here.

I’m just here to say that as scary as change can be, there’s no question that the Lord is mindful of ALL of us, and orchestrates things for our good when we do our best to stay faithful. Believe in good things! Optimism opens doors to opportunities that may otherwise remain hidden.

So if you’re feeling worried or stuck now, just imagine what you’ll be doing (and especially how you’ll be feeling) after you’ve finally solved the problem. Live THERE for a while, refuse to worry, have Rare Faith, and watch your world shift to a better place.

In gratitude,

Leslie

PS. If you struggle to have faith in the middle of a crisis, read Hidden Treasures: Heavens Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters – (it’s FREE!)

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#16: How to Surrender (and why you’d want to)

With effective goal achievement, there comes a point where it’s time to “let go”, or “surrender”, because if you try to force it, your persistence can backfire. This podcast is an excerpt from a personal coaching call with me and my client, who graciously allowed this to be made public so that it can help others who have similar questions.

My client had seen God’s hand in her life before, and acknowledged that He has ensured her needs have been met many times. But she worried:

What if this is the first time it doesn’t work out?
What if I’ve used up all the grace tickets?
What if I just keep busting myself up against the laws?
What if everything that matters to me falls apart?

Discover the answer to these questions and many more in this episode of the Rare Faith Podcast.

Related: Human Empowerment in Perspective

Show Notes:

The misunderstood principle of letting go or surrendering
Giving up – not to the enemy but to God
Examples of a pattern: JS in the grove ready to abandon himself to destruction, Peter using Rare Faith to walk on water but still needing a rescue, Alma snatched from burning.
There is a time and a place for giving up.
Surrendering doesn’t mean do nothing, it’s letting go after you’ve tried everything and it didn’t work
I want to be led. I don’t want to impose my agenda. I want total faith.
Choosing rock bottom
Being clear on how you want to FEEL
What is your time frame to accomplish that? By NOW
Are you willing to RECEIVE? Snarky.
Beating myself up for my inability to receive
What if the thing you want is a few years down the road?
If I can be guaranteed that, then I can hang in there.
Labor – what kept me going was knowing that it WILL end. I can endure anything if I know it will end soon.
Get out of your own way. What does that even mean??
The struggles are not for nothing. It IS going to happen, no doubt
You and me hanging out in heaven saying, remember when? That was HARD! We will sit in a garden somewhere…
You found out it would take 15 years. How would you tackle today’s tasks?
With relief.
If you don’t want to think about heaven, think about 15 years from now, reminiscing back.
Goals written in present tense, vs. goals in past tense
Restaurant story
Get comfortable with a longer term plan, if for no other reason than to keep you out of anxiety. If that’s all it’s for, it’s enough of a reason.
Why I love Dave Ramsey
Yes you can triple income in a short time, but it’s important to also live by the law of the harvest and develop habits and accept the slower processes
Quick success? If they have not also established some long term habits, they will fall.
Hustle fatigue
Next goal: to know that you have sufficient
Time for your loved ones, time to serve.
When you feel anxiety:
1) remember, you’re on the X year plan
2) don’t be afraid to find out exactly where you’re at, listen to Dave and come up with a plan
Why I love KLove

 

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Power, Strength, Endurance

Scriptures

I’ve noticed that I can get weary easily. I run, run, run throughout the day to get everything done, and by 4 or 5 pm I’m depleted. I drag myself to the kitchen to make dinner, and have nothing left of myself for the family, sometimes until the next morning.

So when I attended a special meeting on a Sunday night in August of 2014 with my teenagers, and the speaker began talking about something that would give them power, strength, and endurance to face (and conquer) their day with strength, and to overcome all that challenges their sense of identity as children of God or which puts at risk their ability to enjoy true happiness in spite of their difficulties, I listened, for my own sake.

Then I tried what he suggested, and it worked!

I’m sharing this with you now because it provides a good reminder as we begin a new year:

He reminded us of the power that comes from studying the scriptures. Not just reading here and there to say you did, but to really search them, make them a priority. He said that missionaries who dedicate two years of their life to serving God have incredible stamina, extra strength, and tenacious endurance, because they get up early and study the scriptures for an hour every day.

However, there are some sad statistics indicating that when missionaries return home, within 2 weeks, 8 out of 10 of them find themselves neck-deep in pornography, and within a year, 1 out of 3 of them find themselves without faith.

Faith is the fuel of life. It is the source of true happiness. To believe in God even if you can’t see Him is to find happiness when life is difficult, to find joy in spite of difficulty. Life is hard for all of us, but those who find faith also find joy anyway.

So how do these missionaries lose ground so quickly? He said that when they come home, they get back with friends and family and stay up late into the night sharing stories from their mission, miracles they witnessed, faith-promoting experiences that would surely change their life forever.

Then in the morning, the voice in their head says, “You served an honorable mission, I’m so proud of you. You deserve a little break.” So they sleep in, and then stay up late again the next night, visiting with more friends and family, sharing more faith-promoting stories, and then sleeping in the next day.

These fine young missionaries haven’t slept in a single day for two years, and now they’re enjoying a little break. After all, they deserve it, right?

But in the morning, they wake late and don’t have time to study their scriptures for an hour like they’ve done for the previous two years. They are not replenishing the oil in their lamp, and within two weeks, it’s gone. So when they find themselves playing a game on the computer (or surfing Facebook perhaps), and pornography pops up, they don’t have the strength to click off.

The contrast of feelings is overwhelming. The heaviness and loss of self control they feel is completely the opposite of the joy and freedom they experienced on their mission. Some wake up at that point and do the hard things to put their life back on track, but some don’t, and within a year have totally lost sight of who they are and how to live strong and happy.

The source of that strength they felt for the two years prior was the Word of God.

So as I listened to the speaker, I realized that I have been feeling weary because I have not made scripture study the priority that it has been at other times in my life. I might read every day, but it hasn’t been first thing in the morning. I can see the wisdom of making an intentional study at the beginning of the day, to provide the strength, the oil for my lamp, that I will need for the following 16 hours. No wonder I’ve been running out of stamina after only about 8.

So I began again yesterday, waking early, eager to study the scriptures first. And the inspiration I received has helped me and my family turn a corner. It feels good. I had all the strength I needed until I eventually hit the sack at 11. I felt like I was my better self practically the whole day.

I need this strength. Life is hard and beats us down on a daily basis. But I’ve just re-discovered the power, strength, and endurance that comes from feasting on the Word of God.

(My scripture of choice that day was Isaiah, for Christ said, “search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah” (3 Nephi 23:1) – I’m telling you what, that’s no small task, but even the effort alone provided the oil for my lamp that I needed that day.)

This article was originally published August 19, 2014.

Here’s wishing you all the best in 2017. May your family enjoy an increase of peace, prosperity, and happiness this year, and in the years to come!

Now you can make 2017 even better! Join me now in the Mindset Mastery (FTMF) Program. Click here to learn more.

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