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:
“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!)
Powerful insight I learned from my daughter Kayli – she is preparing to serve a mission for our church but has been spending the last year “kicking Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism in the pants”. One of her main concerns has been “How can I effectively help others when I myself struggle so much?” She writes:
I was reading in Matthew 14 when the following verses and thoughts stuck out to me:
The first thing was that Christ had just learned that John had been killed, yet in his time of grief, he had compassion on those who needed to feel his love and hear his teachings.
The next few verses say that after Christ taught the people for a time, his disciples asked him to send the multitude away so they could get food. But in verse 16 Jesus says, “They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” Notice how he gives his disciples an opportunity to feed his people?
Well, realizing they didn’t have enough for the multitude, in verse 17 they reply, “We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.”
This is where I really started thinking about how this applies to my life. Recently I have seen people who I love dearly struggling. I have wanted to erase their pain and lift their burdens, but at the same time I have been struggling myself. So then I beat myself up for not being enough—for only having five loaves and two fishes—when I know full well that there is yet a multitude to feed.
But in verses 18 and 19 it says, “[Christ] said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude”.
When I read this next part, the realization came that I really don’t have sufficient strength to help anyone, including myself. But through my relationship with Christ, my small contribution can be turned into an abundance of “bread and fish”.
In verse 20 it says, “And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.”
The disciples of Christ gave all they had over to the Savior, who then fed the multitude and they still had twelve full baskets.
I get it now. If I just focus on my relationship with my Savior, give him everything I’ve got, he will multiply it and make my efforts even more than sufficient. Not only will I be able to help those around me without draining myself, but when all is said and done, there will still be even more to spare: “twelve baskets full”.
Talk about a miracle—not just for the disciples and the multitude, but for you and me, right here, right now. This is Rare Faith: believing that the impossible is possible and partnering with God to overcome every challenge. Thanks for letting me share this, Kayli. I love you!!
In my first book I compared the birth to a dream to giving birth to a child. The Law of Gestation helps us understand why it’s good to be patient, and why it’s okay if the success doesn’t always arrive when we want it to. After all, we want the baby and our dreams to arrive fully formed.
This gestation analogy also helps us stay in the right mindset in spite of the ebb and flow of goal achievement. Things go well, and then they stop going well; and then they go well again, back and forth. We think that’s a bad thing, but the Law of Polarity reminds us that there’s good in the hardship, and the Law of Rhythm helps us make sense out of the waves of pain. So does the birthing analogy—it’s like being in labor:
Going into labor is the final stage before the delivery of both a babies and dreams. The conception may have happened long ago, but when true labor kicks in, it’s finally time for the birth. With the onset of labor, at first the discomfort may be just bad enough to get your attention, but it’s tolerable. However, in the final stages, the pain can feel as if you’re at death’s door itself (and for some, it can indeed be fatal). Labor and delivery is serious business.
During the final transition, the surges of difficulty and pain can come so quickly and last so long that it seems there is no longer any relief between contractions whatsoever. When the contractions come back to back like that, it’s nature’s way of saying it’s almost over. Each pain brings progress, although it cannot always be detected, and it sometimes appears fruitless.
So if you conceived of a dream some time ago and it’s been growing, while you’ve been working and preparing to deliver it, and now you’re getting hit by one challenge after another with scarcely room to catch your breath in the middle, you may be poised for a glorious success, as long as you don’t abort now. Focus on the joy of success you hope to feel. Let that hope grow into an expectation. The pain and struggle will not be for nothing.
Don’t give up. Sometimes the relief only comes after you’re at the absolute end of all you can do, or after you’ve cut off all possibility of retreat and there is literally nothing else you can do. If you’re at that point now (and you’ll have to be honest with yourself about that), then all that’s left to do is to give it to God and trust.
Related: How to Surrender and Why You’d Want To.
A person who has not experienced extreme exertion like this can never experience the corresponding elation and euphoria of the victory that pairs with it. You may be able to experience a taste of it vicariously through books and movies made about people who dream boldly, believe fiercely, overcome tenaciously, and achieve gloriously; but it’s nothing like living and experiencing the full gamut of these emotions for yourself.
Just remember that the feelings come in pairs. If you feel discouraged, encouragement is available to you. If you feel defeated, victory is available for you. If you feel inadequate, then strength, wisdom, and everything else you lack is available to you.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. … Ye are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-16)
In short, there is no question without an answer, no need without a remedy, no pain without a salve. If you’re only experiencing half of the equation, circle back and ask, “What can I do today to strengthen or improve my relationship with God?” Because…
With God ALL things are possible.
You don’t need to go it alone.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
It’s your turn. Be the hero in your family. Don’t give up, and show it now by taking another step forward.
What will you do today? Originally published March 29, 2008
“Is anyone else feeling uncomfortable, aside from elation of course, with their new success? Last night I started to panic that we were actually getting what we wanted… I do get relief from the home study course where Leslie states this is normal… I feel so grateful and ready, just an unexpected nervousness as well…” – Amanda
Stand-alone short stories and brief snippets extracted from the longer Podcast episodes, for quick reminders of the principles and easy sharing.
#3 – Bleach and Blunders – It’s Better to Know
Lesson learned from a mishap in the laundry room. Sometimes we live in violation of the principles without knowing it. It’s better to know!
#2 – Failure is Feedback – Tragedy at the Pool
After my 3 year-old daughter Bethany was discovered face down in our pool, I learned something that helped me see my failures in a whole new light.
#1 – Happy Without It – the House Story
Sometimes you get what you want only after finding peace of mind and happiness without it.
So you want something to change. Maybe you need more money, want to reach a business goal, or just long for better health or relationships. Can you see yourself as though you’ve already achieved it? Can you feel how you expect to feel when it’s accomplished?
These are some of the first steps to powerful and effective goal-achievement, but one of the next steps is to set a date. While this step isn’t absolutely necessary, there are a few reasons why you might want to assign a date to your goal.
Reasons to Set a Date
- It makes you think more seriously about actually making it happen, putting it in “real time” instead of leaving it forever in “fantasy-mode”.
- It keeps you focused, and helps you avoid distractions that would derail you. After all, you have a deadline now, so you’d better get working on it.
- It increases your odds for accomplishing it, because a goal without a plan is just a wish.
- When your goal (and date) is set in a certain way, you receive unseen help with getting it done.
How to Choose a Date
Choosing a date for your goal can sometimes be one of the hardest parts of goal achievement. It forces you to think. It requires you to make a quality decision, to get serious about your objective, and to think it through with enough detail to determine an estimation of how long you believe it will take to complete it. All of these factors help you effectively achieve goals and they can be accomplished without setting a date, but if setting a date makes you do all of these things, then maybe you can see why the practice comes so highly recommended.
What if you Get it Wrong?
- What if you pick a date that’s too soon?
- What if you set it too far out, but it doesn’t really need to take that long?
- What if it doesn’t happen on the date you choose?
A goal date is like a due date. When a woman is pregnant, she (or her healthcare provider) checks the data and determines when the baby is due. It’s simply a best guess based on known factors. By the same token, when setting a goal, you simply pick a date based on the known factors: far enough away to be legitimately possible, but close enough that it creates an urgency to prepare for it.
Don’t get too worked up about choosing the right date, just give it your best guess and then firmly anchor your intentions to accomplishing the goal by that date. Remember, the real benefit is that the date keeps you on task. It keeps you from getting too distracted by competing interests.
How Long Should it Take?
The good news is that your goal, like a seed, has a finite gestation period. When planted properly and nourished adequately, goals and seeds both mature and bear fruit. There are natural laws that govern the growth and maturation of all things, including goals. Although science has completely catalogued the gestation periods for all seeds in nature, we don’t know the gestation period that corresponds with all the different goals, or idea-seeds. So when you set a date, you’re really just making a prediction of how long you expect it to take for the goal seed to mature.
On a side note, I believe in miracles. I believe that things can happen much more quickly by that rare kind of faith that I talk about so much, seemingly defying the more commonly understood laws of nature. These things happen within the structure of other natural laws that perhaps we just don’t yet understand. But I am convinced that nothing happens outside of governing laws. Since we don’t know or understand all of the laws by which God governs the Universe, we can do our best to understand and live by as much of the knowledge as we’ve received. And so the objective here is to simply do our part to make sure that we, at least, are not the limiting factor in what God can accomplish in our life. Yes, He can do all things, but how much we get to participate in those wonderful things depends squarely on our application of the laws and principles we’ve been privileged enough to understand.
Getting it Wrong Doesn’t Change the Outcome
Okay, so you set a goal and put a date to it. Are you going to be wrong sometimes? Of course you will. How often do mothers deliver their babies exactly on their due date? Does it even matter if the doctor’s prediction was not accurate? Not at all. The baby still comes! Having a date in mind simply keeps the mother on task in her preparations. The outcome doesn’t change just because the anticipated bundle doesn’t arrive on the due date. She doesn’t lament, “I guess I’m not going to have a baby.” NO, if she goes overdue, she becomes even more convinced that it will happen at any moment.
If you set a date for the completion of your goal, and it doesn’t happen by then, don’t think of the goal-setting process as a failure. It was working just fine. In fact, even in that moment it’s still working—the goal just happens to be overdue, according to your calculations. So you picked the wrong due date. So what? It doesn’t mean you aren’t still expecting!
A Critical Moment
It’s actually your choice of thoughts in that moment—when it didn’t happen—which are the thoughts that matter most. It’s in that moment, depending on your thoughts, that your goal will continue to develop like a Polaroid, or it will fade back into the nothingness where it began. As you continue to believe and work toward the goal, all that you need continues to gather toward you and develop until one day it’s finally achieved. To learn more about how this works, read Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (FREE).
So hold on to the dream especially when it doesn’t show up on time. Doing so keeps it coming, and if it was important enough to shoot for in the first place, it’s important enough to keep believing in it. In hindsight, after you’ve finally achieved it, you’ll realize that it truly was better late than never.
Think of it this way: if it doesn’t arrive “on time”, then it probably just wasn’t done cooking. And that’s okay. You don’t want your goal to arrive half-baked anyway. Let it finish completely. When it misses your “due date”, get more excited, (not less), knowing that it’s even closer to being done than ever, and it’s only a matter of time. Keep preparing for its arrival. Be grateful, because when it does arrive, it will be even better than if it had arrived early.
So set some goals. Follow your dreams, and be patient with the process. Change takes time, but the time it takes is worth the wait. As my Dad taught me long ago, God doesn’t always deliver when you want Him to, but He’s never late.
To learn more, click here. Originally published August 14, 2006
I released the Jackrabbit Factor book in 2005, and then in 2006 the real life lessons began.
What I’ve taken from those experiences has been amazing, even though “thinking right” in the middle of it all was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
I love the principles in Jackrabbit Factor. They’ve helped me and thousands of others reach goals that were previously out of reach…
But I must confess – I’ve learned some hard lessons since I wrote the book, and I’m going to share them with you in this special podcast.
Some of what you’ll hear has not been shared anywhere else, and I hope I don’t regret doing this. However, if it helps YOU avoid some of the pain I’ve dealt with, then it will have been worth it.
After you listen in, let me know what you think below.
- www.ProsperTheFamily.com – the Mindset Mastery 12-week Program (the regular and online version)
- www.PortaltoGenius.com – the sequel to the Jackrabbit Factor
Originally published January 14, 2010
I’ve spoken to a few audiences in my lifetime, and I’ve experienced that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach as I’d anticipate standing in front of a room full of strangers, worrying about what they’d think of me and what I had to say. Sometimes I would feel the anxiety for days (or even weeks) before an event.
Thank heavens I hardly ever feel that way anymore. Nobody likes to feel anxious or worried about being around people or giving presentations. It’s not a fun feeling! It can be paralyzing, in fact. But at least in my case, I’ve identified a couple reasons why things got easier:
First of all, there is that “getting used to it” thing. Do something often enough, and the anxiety goes away, eventually. Even the most embarrassing moments can pale over time. (Like the moment when I spontaneously demonstrated my sweet Tari Piring skills at a convention where I spoke with 500 guests. You’re not supposed to do that arm thing with food on the plate, but I was trying to be clever. Naturally my pie flew off the plate in front of the directors’ table, aaaaand that’s all I’m going to say about that. One thing I can say is that the feeling of horror has indeed paled.)
Second of all, aside from practice and time passing, there is something else that can be done to immediately get past that self-conscious oh-my-heck-what-are-people-thinking-about-me-right-now feeling, and it has to do with the way YOU think. It’s a pretty cool trick for feeling more comfortable in social settings, and here’s how it works:
As you probably know, the thoughts and feelings you bring to a social gathering emit a kind of a “vibration” that people pick up on. If you’re cheerful, people like that. They enjoy being with other people that make them feel good. If you feel comfortable, people feel comfortable around you.
But what if you don’t know how to feel comfortable?
When you feel nervous around other people (whether it’s an individual or an audience), DON’T WORRY about whether or not they like you, because if you do, you can unconsciously cause the very thing you want to avoid. To entertain worry puts you into an awkward “negative vibration”, which can be a turnoff to those around you.
Instead, all you have to do is LIKE THEM first.
You can choose to like people—just find something to like about them—and by liking them, you emit a positive vibration that more naturally causes them to mirror the feeling back.
A magnetic personality is not achieved by being super cool, amazingly talented, or having sweet Tari Piring skills. It’s achieved by finding and showing appreciation for the qualities, strengths, and talents in those around you.
Keep this principle alive in your life and you will always have an abundance of friends. Besides, as you’ve probably heard before, what people think about you is really none of your business, and most people are too busy worrying about what other people think of them to be thinking about you, anyway.
All of these concerns melt away when you’re focused on building up the people around you, and finding their admirable qualities.
Remember this key idea and you can be confident in a room full of strangers. I’ve been told that you should fuss about the way you look only while you’re preparing to be with people, but the minute you walk out the door, it’s no longer about you. Focus on the people around you and forget about yourself.
“Love your neighbor” (Matthew 22:37-39) is a timeless principle here well applied. Plant good seeds by following this advice, and you’ll more easily reap a harvest of good company (Gal 6:7-8).
Learn more about what your thoughts can do with MINDSET FUNDAMENTALS™ Originally published June 28, 2015
(I’ve posted about this topic a number of times, but am now preparing to bring it all together into one place. I hope to have it complete sometime this month, April 2017.)
If you’re anything like me, you’ve felt empowered when you learn something new about the way you think, or the way the Universe operates. That feeling can come from an article, a book, a workshop, an encounter with a mentor or leader, or even a good movie.
But do you ever feel frustrated that the empowerment just doesn’t last?
Some people discredit self-help or personal-development material altogether for this very reason. It can make them feel on top of the world for a few days, but then life often just goes back to normal, or worse. So when another opportunity comes along, they naturally feel jaded or discouraged and choose not to participate, because after all, the motivation never lasts anyway.
It’s like they go on a personal-development DIET. But here’s why doing so may be more dangerous than they think…
I remember feeling that way for at least 7 years. Until eventually I had an epiphany that changed me PERMANENTLY. So, I can say from first hand experience that it IS possible to experience something that lasts.
True, the same book, event, or experience does not affect everyone in the same way. But how can you ever know whether that next book, event, or experience might have been the ONE experience that finally changes your life, if you quit searching?
When the student is truly ready, the answers do come.
Until then, continue gathering morsels of wisdom because each one leads you closer, and prepares you for the solution, which will finally make all the difference.
Related: What you can Learn from a Locksmith
In the meantime, if you get discouraged about motivation that doesn’t last, look at it this way:
Your LUNCH didn’t last either.
(And in fact, neither did your shower.) But you aren’t going to quit eating just because your most recent meal didn’t last forever.
Each meal keeps you going until the next. Feeding your mind and spirit is no different. When your mind and spirit becomes weak, it’s time to feed it!
So, have you been on a mind-diet lately? If so, is there something you’re hoping to “lose”??
Indulge your mind! It won’t show up on your hips and it won’t expand your girth, so feast away! 🙂 Eventually, trust that you will find exactly what you’re looking for. That’s a Biblical promise, in fact. (Matthew 7:7)
Anyway, here’s something that I believe will change your life, and it’s FREE: Click here to read the award-winning best seller: The Jackrabbit Factor.
Either way, I look forward to helping you experience your next big breakthrough!
Leslie Originally published June 28, 2001