Nix the Scorekeeping

If you’re married and working toward a goal, sometimes living the principles can be especially challenging because deep down you have certain expectations of what your spouse is supposed to be doing.

Heck, it can be hard enough achieving goals with all the lofty expectations of what YOU are supposed to be doing!

At one time I had to come to terms with the fact that I was in another one of those “temporary seasons of imbalance” and decided to just hunker down and get through it. My husband agreed, and was there to support me, filling in gaps wherever he could, rather than getting frustrated that there were gaps to be filled.

What an example. I have often struggled to reciprocate that same kind of support.

He and I run through life at a different pace. I’m a sprinter, while he’s a distance runner. I burn out, while he steadily plugs along. So there have been many, many times when our mutual goal setting efforts have ended in shipwreck.

I’ve pondered this dilemma deeply, because it’s common among many couples. I’ve seen more than one relationship crumble under the weight of such differences. Sometimes I think it’s a wonder that we’ve made it through those times with our marriage still in tact.

Marriage requires adjustments and compromises. It might even require unplanned course-changes, which is why it’s important to establish your priorities early with clarity and resoluteness.

I’ve abandoned goals that threatened to compromise my top priority: my marriage covenant. My husband has abandoned goals if they’ve put a strain on our relationship. I’m not saying that is good, bad, or indifferent; I’m just saying that when your values, priorities, and ideals are in stone, then decisions, sacrifices, and disappointments can eventually be resolved with greater serenity.

(I understand some marriages need to end. But that’s a topic for another day, and probably for someone more qualified to address.)

Marriage also requires patience, and an understanding that we all have ups and downs (Law of Rhythm). Most of the time, I was up while he was down, or I was down while he was up.

That’s life.

So in your marriage, even if you’re both working hard to learn and understand the laws of success, you’ll learn them and apply them at different paces and in different ways.

When you’re in the groove, your spouse may struggle. When you’re spouse is on a roll, you may struggle. How, then, can you succeed as a couple if you can’t seem to get it right at the same time?

Count your blessings if the above description sums up your relationship. The Law of Rhythm states that everything in life is cyclical. We will have up days and we’ll have down days. When you’re on an up, go ahead and get a whole bunch of stuff done! Take advantage.

When you’re down, go with it and let it serve its purpose (as described in Hidden Treasures), with an expectation that your turn for an up day is on its way.

Don’t allow yourself to feel frustrated when the two of you can’t seem to make quantum leaps forward together. It is GOOD that you’re on different tracks, because if you both were to crash at the same time, who’d be there to pick up the pieces?

Allow yourself to feel the joy that comes when you say, “It’s okay, you can have a down day, and I’ll carry the torch until you come around.”

Imagine how that would make your partner feel. You’ve just turned a frustration into a blessing, which is a key skill for building a mindset for success. The goals you strive for will continue to move toward you as you show compassion to your spouse in his or her valley, and refuse to keep score.

Take responsibility. The minute you begin to fume and fuss over what someone else is doing or not doing, you lose power. Instead of passing judgment, be grateful for his/her companionship, and the opportunity you have to grow through the experience.

Find the good. Think on the positive aspects of your spouse. Think and speak about the good things, and the good will grow. Don’t expect everything to be fixed overnight. Some of our challenges have taken ten, even twenty years to resolve. What kept us going was a common belief that we’d eventually figure it all out. Some days I wasn’t so sure, and on other days I’m certain he wasn’t so sure. But there has always been at least one of us believing, or when perhaps if we were ever both in doubt, we didn’t speak of it because failure was not an option.

Move forward with faith, and if you are struggling now because of a conflict with your spouse, count it a blessing (Law of Polarity) and start looking for the seed of equal or greater benefit contained in the adversity.

“Never let a problem to be solved” [or a goal to be achieved] “become more important than a person to be loved.” ~ Thomas S. Monson

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. You don’t ‘divi’ up the responsibilities and then critique your partner’s performance on his/her share. It’s a 100/100, or perhaps even a 110/110 proposition.

Do what you can do, even if it means sharing the other person’s load. Even if it means carrying the whole load for a while. Sometimes it may feel like 150/20. Maybe it feels that way most of the time. But if you try hard enough, and are willing to see it, I’ll bet you can remember at least once when it was 10/130. We all take turns, even if sometimes that turn goes on for years.

Whatever the numbers are, how you let yourself feel about carrying more than your “fair” share may well determine your future success. It also may very well determine how quickly things shift.

But if you begrudge the load, you rob yourself of the joy AND potential prosperity (monetary or otherwise) that is waiting for you on the other side of the adversity.

Remember, through natural law, God’s universe responds to the feelings you emit. So for now, try feeling grateful that you are able to help today. What if, for some reason, you couldn’t help, even if you wanted to?

Things could always be worse (Law of Relativity).

So don’t keep score. Inevitably, there will be a day when you are the one who needs to be carried. Serve with joy here and now, sacrifice whatever is necessary in the short term to make it work, and you’ll both reap great benefits soon enough.

Nag not. Be patient. Allow those you love to grow at their own pace. I know, it may delay the prize, but you may discover that the prize without your relationships in tact may not be a prize at all.

And if your spouse isn’t on board in the least with the things you’re learning, you can still prosper; you can still succeed. Have faith in God’s ability to show you how to achieve your dreams without compromising your values, even if you’re the only one who believes in them.

As Wendell Phillips said, “One, on God’s side, is a majority.”

Related: What if My Spouse Doesn’t Think Positive? Originally published March 13, 2007

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What if My Spouse Doesn’t Think Positive?

GRUMPY SPOUSE? NO WORRIES.

I’ve had this question come in time and again about how much our thoughts can influence a situation if our spouse’s thoughts do not support our own. If we shouldn’t manipulate another person’s freedom to choose, how does this all work in a marriage if both parties are not on the same page?

Some people have a gift of strong faith, and others struggle more to develop it. If you have an easier time with faith than your spouse, it may be your role to encourage, inspire, and exercise patience.

Your challenge will be to demonstrate faith in SPITE of your spouse’s doubt. See how we all grow? Even those who have a natural tendency for faith will be tested, just in a different way.

Positive, faithful thoughts are many times more powerful than negative ones.

Your spouse’s negative thoughts will not sabotage yours, unless you worry that they will. So choose to believe. As long as YOU maintain a peaceful expectancy for that which you seek, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

Just remember though, in your marriage, keep PEACEFUL expectancy for success… don’t be manipulative!!!

In other words, if you keep expecting your spouse to change, stop it.

“People don’t resist change; they resist BEING changed.” Bob Proctor

Imagine your relationship happy. Feel the relief and gratitude you expect to feel when things are better. Imagine the prosperity. As the nature of your thoughts improve from critical and impatient to cheerful and at-peacefulness, the general feeling in the home will improve… and you’ll find that the rising tide lifts ALL ships.

As you imagine feeling the feeling you want to achieve in your home, you’ll be inspired as to what YOU can do to help it evolve in that direction. Don’t be surprised if you feel inspired to relax a little, and stop trying so hard to change everything. Ironically, this is often the first step to realizing true change, and often the hardest step for a real goal-achiever/go-getter to take.

Related: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Tried to Write

Your vision and thoughts won’t force your spouse to change, nor should you expect them to. But they can certainly create an energy in the home that can help inspire it to happen in a very natural, gradual way.

Choosing faithful thoughts can help your spouse feel more hopeful. Once your spouse feels a little better, and begins to imagine the possibilities, opportunities will naturally follow, by the law of perpetual transmutation.

If your concerned that your spouse doesn’t have a better job, figure out “why” it needs to be better. Because, if the “why” is what you’re really after, the “how” may be something you never thought of. It could happen without a different job. The job itself could morph, or some other opportunity may come along, or you may find a way to accomplish the same ideal without a change in income.

Your thoughts do have power to bring opportunities… but your spouse must choose for him or herself whether or not to take them. So, bottom line, focus on the picture of your life the way you want it, and at the same time, release your expectations on your spouse.

Oh, the mental gymnastics!!!

Consider asking whether or not your spouse minds if you try to picture a better opportunity on his or her behalf. Your spouse may be more supportive than you think, and may end up testing the principles for him or herself as s/he sees things work for you. Best of all, you’ll begin to work together as one to achieve common goals. There is little else more powerful than that.

And don’t forget: it’s possible to get what you need without a change in income. Trades, gifts, odd windfalls… keep an open mind. As Wattles puts it, you “image” the thing, and the Universe will find the most efficient way of bringing it to you. Don’t pinch off the possibilities by deciding how it has to happen. Have fun daydreaming AND at the same time, relax about the “how”.

Above all, be grateful for however things line up. By choosing gratitude no matter what, you qualify yourself for the best possible outcome.

So if your spouse doesn’t respond the way you hope, be grateful anyway, trusting that God is leading the both of you along to learn the lessons he has in mind for you, all at the right time. Count it all a blessing.

In summary…

How to blow it: picture what you want, and wait for your spouse to make it happen. (You’ll end up in a negative “vibration” that will repel the things you want.) You’ll drive BOTH of you crazy if you’re always measuring your spouse’s behavior against your goals. Don’t base YOUR belief on anyone else’s actions. Your belief alone can be enough to initiate a significant shift.

How to succeed: picture what you want, see the prosperity in your mind, and enjoy the daydream, and then take the actions that come to YOUR mind. Trust God to inspire you to know exactly what YOU should do next. You can be shown a way to meet your obligations and thrive, all the while maintaining the values that are most important to you. He will help you get the timing right, too. You may even feel instinctively inclined to wait a little while before hitting it hard. Trust the peaceful impressions you feel, even if they seem illogical.

Knowledge eradicates fear and doubt. The more you understand, the more effective you become at applying the principles with success.

Lastly, read Portal to Genius – because the marriage described in that really FUN book illustrates exactly how all of these ideas really play out.
Originally published February 5, 2007

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The Language of Faith

Learning to consciously apply success principles for a better life is like learning a whole new language. At first, with every intention to communicate your desires perfectly, everyone makes mistakes. It’s happened to me: what was intended to communicate my desires clearly has often turned into something that I never intended at all.

But that’s okay… it’s part of the learning process.  Think about it:

Imagine going to a Spanish speaking country with nothing more than a rudimentary understanding of the Spanish language and an English/Spanish translation handbook.

(I tell people all the time that I can speak Spanish: Ta-co Bell, burrito, chimichanga, enchilada…)

So you arrive in the foreign country and climb into a taxicab. You open your book and intend to tell the driver, “I want to go someplace quiet and beautiful where I can feel the spirit of God.” So word by word, you search your translation guide and say, “Deseo ir en alguna parte tranquilidad y hermoso donde puedo sentir el alcohol del dios.”

The driver, who is a native of the country hears, “Desire to go beautiful tranquility somewhere, and where I can feel the alcohol of the God.”

Where do you think he will take you??

When you end up at a saloon, you might look at your book and throw it away saying, “This Spanish language doesn’t work!!!”

Do you know anyone who has been introduced to the principles of prosperity through “The Secret” or elsewhere, made an attempt to live according to the guidelines and then throw it all away because the “tool” didn’t work?

Maybe you’ve also thought about giving up.

Realize that the language of faith is just that: it is a language… of the spirit. It takes time to develop fluency. It takes time to understand the cause and effect of thinking, feeling, and acting in a certain way.

When things don’t go the way you expect them to go, accept the results and simply learn from them. Take the lessons that are available in every challenge and let them work in you so you can get closer to your goal the next time.

Don’t throw away the principles that you know deep down are true, even if the results you get aren’t what you intend them to be.

When you end up at a saloon instead of a beautiful botanical garden, it wasn’t because the “book” or the “language” didn’t work! It actually worked perfectly.

Let me give you an example. For a long time I had a goal statement that said, “Money comes to me frequently and easily from multiple sources in increasing quantities on a continual basis. People want my products; God helps his children through me.”

After about a year of this I realized that the part, “People want my products” is exactly what I was getting. Thousands of people wanting something I have doesn’t exactly translate into revenue.

That’s when I changed my statement to more accurately reflect my true desire: “People buy my products; God helps his children through me.”

See the difference? It’s a language thing.

We communicate our desires and receive what we ask for. “Ask and ye shall receive” is a true principle. But this language of faith that we are trying to learn comes from a culture that is part of our divine nature, but something we have temporarily forgotten.

In God’s world, when we ask for increased faith, He doesn’t necessarily give us faith, but opportunity to exercise our faith. When we ask for financial freedom, He doesn’t give us piles of money but opportunity to develop a growing income.

The more fluent we become in the language of faith, the more peacefully we will grow toward accomplishing all we desire.

As explained in The Jackrabbit Factor, that is why a person who sets a goal to lose weight can very easily end up with more pounds than where they began. It is also why a person who focuses so much on getting out of debt may very well end up with more debt than they ever expected.

(Read The Jackrabbit Factor for a deeper explanation on this topic.)

We learn the language of intention one concept at a time.

An underdeveloped understanding of Spanish may be enough to get me to the bathroom in a Mexican restaurant south of the border, but it may not help me when I need to navigate my way through town in search of a post office.

Likewise, an underdeveloped understanding of the principles of prosperity may help you accomplish something on one level, but a continued study of the “language” and practicing it often is what may be required to re-invent the most significant aspects of your life.

Keep learning, keep studying, and keep practicing!  You’ll get there!

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Getting Personal Here…

Looking for Part 2? Click HERE

It’s after 2 in the morning and I’m still wide awake – just read my sister’s blog Og Invents Wheel and Other Wonders, and I’m re-inspired to try harder to share more of my real and raw experiences, too.  Here comes a real and raw one now:

If you’ve known me very long, you may have noticed how I’ve sort of fallen off the map since May. (Thankfully, today’s technology allows me to automate much of my business and take a sabbatical when I need one without it being too obvious. One way I did this was by pulling out some of my favorite, archived articles/blog posts and recycling them, or talking about other interesting people and the messages they had to share instead of my own.)

As I’ve said before (like I did in my class, “Lessons Learned Since Writing Jackrabbit Factor,”) our world turned upside down about 5 years ago. Everything that had been going so well (you know, all those reasons I wrote Jackrabbit Factor and Hidden Treasures in the first place) suddenly imploded. Well, not suddenly – it actually all seemed to happen in slow motion – so slow that we hardly noticed what was happening.

Let me back up. After our first big financial breakthrough in 2000, and after having enjoyed our new success for several years, we made some careless investment decisions. When we finally became completely conscious of the problem, we believed that we could “make” those bad decisions into good ones somehow just by “thinking right”.

A hard lesson I learned was that, sure, while it may be true that in every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit, that doesn’t mean the adversity will go away with right thinking. It only promises that something good can be born from it.

It seemed that no matter how much positive thinking I mustered, our situation refused to improve. It felt as though the principles were suspended on my behalf and it didn’t matter how well I lived what I had been teaching, none of it seemed to be working as it had in the past.

So as you can imagine, one of my biggest stresses was figuring out what to do with the business. My husband had long since left his job to help me with it. But now, what about my books? What about our websites and programs? If the principles really didn’t work any more, how could I possibly continue teaching them?

I wondered if it was time to just pull all the books from the bookstores and issue a public apology.  But, even as I fought my own demons, I continued to receive mail from readers all over the world who shared their success stories and profound gratitude for my work.  Ben Southall attained the World’s Best Job out of 34,000 applicants and credited my book for his success on a national news program. Publishers from other countries were asking for the rights to my book. Business owners were talking about how my programs had helped them multiply their revenues. Mothers shared stories of how they got the money they needed even after all appearances indicated it should have been impossible.

I read their expressions of gratitude and began to feel jealous of my readers’ successes. I began to feel like a pawn – an instrument in God’s hand, helping thousands of people achieve their dreams, but not being allowed to achieve MY dream, which was to just live a simple life enjoying my children and focusing 100% on my own little family.

Each time I seriously thought about quitting, I remembered those people and their stories. Simultaneously, I felt God telling me, “Keep teaching – you don’t make the principles true or false by how well you live them.”

Actually, we had quite a few arguments about that, God and I. But He always won. I’d throw my Felicity tantrum, and get bitter, rebellious and cynical. I’d try to ignore the needs of the business and just DECIDE to live the life I wanted. But then life always had a way of throwing me back into the work.

In my rebellious moments, I derived tremendous pleasure out of cleaning a toilet, or reorganizing a cupboard.  After all, that’s what normal people do, right? I just wanted to be normal. I wanted to let go of the pressure I felt to be a shining example of right thinking.

I can’t tell you how many times I logged into Facebook, sorely tempted to update my status with what I was really feeling.  I can be really good at sarcasm, but I also know how damaging it can be, so I resisted.

Over time, I began to learn new lessons. Deep, profound, clarifying insight into the same principles I had thought I understood before. My mind opened up and all the pain began to have purpose again. I began to write the Jackrabbit Factor sequel, Portal to Genius, to document what I was learning. We had new breakthroughs, and began to see our finances turning around. We had some of our best months we’d ever had, but still had a pretty deep hole to climb out of.

The final verdict was this: I knew the principles were true. I knew that things around me changed according to my thoughts and emotions. I knew that things went better when I lived with childlike faith, and took the time to “see” the outcome I really desired and answered the question: How would it really feel if…?

It’s just that sometimes I didn’t feel like doing it. I was tired. I was discouraged. I was impatient. I was embarrassed. Thinking right takes effort and intention, and frankly, sometimes it’s just plain easier NOT to do it.

Anyway, I really do need to get some sleep, but all this is leading up to why I had to drop off the map in May, and what’s happened since.  It’s actually very exciting. 🙂

So stay tuned… and g’nite!     Read the follow-up post here

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