Prosperity Tip: Steer into the Swerve

If you’ve ever driven in snowy weather, you know that sometimes the car does not respond to the directions you give it through the steering wheel. Achieving a goal can give you a similar experience.

If you’ve set a goal, and you’re doing all you know to steer yourself toward it, then it can be unnerving to find yourself heading instead towards something else. It can be as frightening as driving on the freeway in winter weather at high speeds, and hitting a patch of black ice.

When we lived in Utah, I had that experience more than once. Gratefully, I had been taught that if your car begins to spin out of control, you’re supposed to momentarily turn the steering wheel into the direction of the swerve.

In other words, if I want to drive straight, but the back of my car is skidding to the left (causing me to be pointed to the right), that I should turn my steering wheel to the left, just long enough to regain traction with the road, and then I’ll be in control again to straighten out. It’s not an intuitive thing to do, when you’ve lost control of your car. The instinctive thing to do is to freeze and slam on your brakes. But doing that actually exacerbates the problem, and can accelerate the spin. Even putting on the gas can accelerate the out-of-control-ness.

You might be feeling like your financial life is spinning out of control, and instinct might tell you to just STOP everything (slam on the brakes). But giving up on your goals and ceasing to do the things that kept you going before will only compound the problem, causing your financial life to spin out of control even faster.

Likewise, you shouldn’t just put on the gas, barreling forward, without paying attention to the indicators around you that say “something isn’t quite right”. A person who is spinning out of control financially has to notice, so that the right response can be taken.

Steer into the swerve.

When your financial vehicle isn’t going in the direction you expect it to be going, don’t ignore it. Face it. To face it is to steer into it for a period of time, just long enough to regain traction and then you can take it where you want it to go. In real terms, to steer into the swerve means to regroup. Look at your inflows and outflows, and rein it in. Come to terms with your situation, but before you can do that, you have to get perfectly clear on what your situation is.

If things are tough, and your financial picture isn’t what you want it to be, you’re not alone. Here is an opportunity. Find out where you’re at, face it, let yourself feel disappointment, and always have an expectation that you’ll find a way to come out on top in the long run. Coming to terms with what is, and then allowing yourself to find gratitude in simple things, is what it means to steer into the swerve, just long enough to regain traction.

Once you have stopped your vehicle from spinning out of control, you can once again point it in the right direction, and press on. Re-establish those goals of yours. Maybe they have evolved over the years a bit. Maybe you’ve discovered that certain goals don’t have the same luster they once had. This is the perfect time to look deeply at the things that bring you the greatest joy and happiness, and set some goals to achieve greater success in those areas.

A patch of black ice can be one of the greatest things that has ever happened to you on your journey IF it helps you get more clear on what you intend to accomplish while you’re a resident here on planet Earth.

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Why the things we do "stop working"

Did you have a breakthrough after applying a new understanding of a principle, only to find out that as time went on, it became more and more difficult to duplicate your amazing results?

Believe me, we experienced the same thing and wondered why things stopped working that had worked before. Eventually it became clear to me… or more accurately, God placed in my path a person who had been there, and who had discovered the answer and could share it with me. Here’s what I learned, and I think (with the financial turmoil in the world today) now is a good time to share it with you:

We’re here to discover the path to true, lasting, and complete joy. It’s the path to God; to a personal, two-way, living relationship with our creator. We find it by discovering and abiding by His laws… the more precepts we learn to live by, the closer we approach that fulness of joy.

It’s like the children’s game of “hot and cold”. One child hides an object and the other goes to find it. When the second child is headed in the right direction, the first child says, “warmer…”, but when s/he starts heading in the wrong direction, the first child says, “colder…” until by constant course-correction, the object is found.

In life, when we are headed in the right direction, we feel warmth and enlightenment from God in our spirits. When we are headed in the wrong direction, the enlightenment is replaced with darkness and confusion. It says, “Colder…”

Proximity does not have the same effect on our joy as much as does our direction. Meaning, a person who is nearly right on top of the object might feel “colder” for being faced in the wrong direction, while someone clear across the room from it might feel “warmer” for being faced in the right direction, even though there is a much greater distance involved. That’s the paradox.

So here’s why our law of attraction experiences can become frustrating:

The law of attraction is a true principle, so the first time we learn about it, it fills our souls with light and understanding, and as we apply it, we’re often blessed to see amazing results. Then, after a degree of success, God wants us to know that there is something even better to learn, something even more powerful and wonderful to discover. When our results are not what we think they should be, or when doing the same things do not yield the same results, He is allowing us to grope around a little bit until we face an even better direction toward even greater joy and success than we have perhaps even conceived thus far.

Sometimes we grope until we feel that “warmer” indication that lets us identify a goal that is perhaps more worthy of our energy and commitment. Sometimes we grope until we recognize that something is amiss in our life and needs to be corrected. Sometimes we grope until we discover the blessing in our hardship, and come to peace with it, will a heart full of gratitude.

If we have not accomplished the ultimate goal of perfect oneness with God, then the game isn’t over, and we need to pay attention to those “warmer” and “colder” spiritual nudgings. There’s something new we’re supposed to find… a deeper understanding… a more perfect process of partnering with unseen help to accomplish even greater purposes than we can even comprehend.

It’s easy to get off course and not even realize it. When the drive for success begins to eat away at family relationships, for example, it’s time to get back to the basics and re-establish one’s footing on solid ground. When spending has become a little careless, it’s time to demonstrate greater respect for money and show gratitude for simpler things. When we’ve developed a habit of achieving goals that add to our personal comfort, it may be time to set goals for improving the condition of mankind at large.

Where ever we are, if we don’t fine-tune and continually improve our intentions along the way, what once felt warm will ultimately turn cold.

We are meant to learn principle upon principle, so holding tight to just one and never learning any more, will ultimately lead to some serious “coldness”.

Consider the following image. I’m grateful to one of my mentors for pointing this out:

This illustration shows the path to a perfect fullness of joy, or what you might call a path back to your creator. When you do things that are within the influence of His power, you enjoy the warmth of his Spirit, enlightenment, and true success.

To begin with, at the left, our behaviors can be in the red zone, and as long as we’re within the range, we will experience these spiritual benefits. As time proceeds, and we move toward the right, our underdeveloped red-zone behaviors will not yield the same results. We must fine-tune our understanding and behave accordingly in order to remain within the influence of His power. We must eventually learn to live within the yellow zone to find our way to perfect happiness.

Outside of the dotted lines we feel “colder,” while inside the dotted lines we feel “warmer.” This is how we are led to all truth.

So don’t be discouraged if you have fallen out of the joy you once felt. It’s still there for you, and as you search for it by getting back to the basics, you will find it. It only takes a step in the right direction for you to finally feel that assurance that you’re getting “warmer”.

Even when we feel very far away, the assurance, joy, and newfound hope is ours the moment we discover the right direction. Need some financial peace of mind? Seek first to find joy in simply being headed in the right direction. With a resolved intention to find the right direction, you will be led to it. From there, the joy and peace of mind you seek will certainly follow.

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Householder Family Christmas Update 2008

Lest you think I’m always so on top of things… here is our annual family Christmas update – a month late. I finally got a “round tuit.” Ever feel like you just can’t manage to do all that is expected of you? Yeah, me too. It’s called being a part of the “I’m doing the best I can” club. Welcome!

Jacob, age 16 – completed his Eagle Project at Camp Hinckley in Southern California, blazing trails after the devastating forest fires. He made 1st chair trumpet in band at his high school and enjoyed a week with the marching band in Florida, including a performance at the Gator Bowl halftime show. While in Florida, he asked one of the girls at the New Year’s Eve band festivities to dance, and was then interrupted by a man who announced that he was her husband. Oops! He didn’t realize she was one of the leaders. He discovered that she was a 28 year old instructor from Salt Lake City, helping with the Gator Bowl performances. This probably qualifies as one of his most embarrassing moments so far. Jacob also taught himself to play piano in 2008 thanks in part to a few instructional videos on YouTube. Some of the favorites include: “Take a Bow”, “Apologize”, and “Armies of Helaman Medley”. He started dating this last year, too: a few of his first group dating activities included watching “What about Bob” at the park – taking a generator and projecting the movie onto the side of a facilities shed, while roasting marshmallows from camp chairs perched around a Coleman’s Lantern. Making castles out of ice cream blocks. Attending a Jon Schmidt piano concert. In short, loving life!

Nathan, age 13 – has taken a new interest in amateur video editing and production, after being required to create one for science on the laws of Newton (see sample above). He made 1st chair clarinet in band at junior high, still loves tennis and doesn’t get to play it as often as he’d like. Loves social studies and is brilliant at understanding and remembering what he learns on the topic. He has also taken an interest in the piano and keeps the home full of music when Jacob isn’t already on it. Favorite songs to play: “Bad Day”, and “Everything”. Also completed his Eagle Project at Camp Hinckley at the same time. (He and Jacob took different ends of the trail and met in the middle.) It was a dream for me to knock both Eagle projects out at the same time!! (Aside from having to return to the site a second time – 6 hours away – to go measure and map the new trail a few weeks later.)

Kayli, age 10 – still loves horses and spends time with them whenever she can. This is Kayli visiting “Jack” – our friend’s neighbor’s horse. She started a family trend among the kids blogging. She loves to cook and can follow any recipe… goodies are her favorite thing to make. She still plays the violin even though we missed an entire semester. Learned to play most of “Maple Leaf Rag” and “Bad Day” on the Piano. Learned how to curl her own hair. Discovered a few new movie favorites: “Singing in the Rain” and “Anne of Green Gables”.

Jared, age 9 – loves to play on the computer creating pixel art. He took first place in water color for 3rd grade at the Arizona State Fair. Has taken a real interest and demonstrates quite a talent in all sorts of art. He creates shadows and dimensions even when using nothing but Microsoft Paint. He loves the scouting program and loves to go to the science center as a family. Doesn’t like to go for long drives, though. Doesn’t like jumping cactus, nor slippery rocks next to ponds. His blue scripture case with “CTR” (for “choose the right”) embroidered on the front (with scriptures inside) vanished over our July trip to Utah and Idaho and still hasn’t turned up. Anyone seen it? The scriptures have his name engraved on the outer cover…

Nicholas, age 7 – matching socks, which can be quite a chore in our family. He set a goal to learn how to read by Christmas, so that he could finally “read Jackrabbit Factor“. Still waiting to lose a few teeth that look like they’d like to drop out soon. High energy, high volume individual. Packs a powerful punch. He has taken a liking to the piles of Legos Jacob “manifested” eight years ago (as described in Hidden Treasures). Maybe because they are just so much more fun than trying to match piles of socks. Also, Nicholas was excited to get his very own baseball bat at Christmas… still has yet to go use it…

BETHANY’S VIDEO – file conversion issue gave me trouble, couldn’t post it  🙁

Bethany, age 5 – sings original songs, complete with vibrato – melodramatic vibrato, at times. Can get me giggling by merely asking for something and then striking a pose that communicates absolute beggary, with puppy-dog eyes batting and lips pursed sweetly together. I try not to laugh but I can’t help it. And for the record: no, it doesn’t work. Loves to be rewarded with Trident gum when she goes for extended periods of time with a dry thumb. (Yes, it was given up more than 6 months ago, but there have been occasional setbacks.)

Sarah, age 2 – has everyone wrapped around her finger. Loves to spin in her “princess dress” (see sample above). Is talking in full sentences now (when she’s not on camera, at least), and loves her siblings (and all the attention they give her). Rides a little bike with training wheels. Loves Caillou, Baby Songs, and Elmo’s Grouchland Adventure. Has learned to reprimand Charlie the basset hound, but unfortunately Charlie pays no attention to her squeaky, non-authoritative voice. (“Charlie, GO!” “No, Charlie!” …and when he doesn’t obey, she just screams.)

That’s the rundown.  Besides all of that, we spent July on the road for a speaking tour, enjoyed Yellowstone, hiking the “Y” in Provo for July 4th fireworks, visiting friends and family, and Zion’s National Park (almost, that is… the trailer was too long for the mountain switchback roads so we had to turn around.)  In December, I spent a week at my parents’ house in an effort to make significant headway on creating the Jackrabbit Factor sequel.  (Kids voted to knock it out in a short period of time rather than to drag it out over two years like the last time.)

The best
part of the year was just being together.  Nothing brings us greater joy than our family, and we wish you and yours a bright and fulfilling 2009.  May God bless your family with the Spirit of Christmas Love throughout the year!
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Handling Economic Challenges Gracefully

Are you facing some tough economic challenges right now? Is there part of you that keeps wondering what people might think if you have to make some drastic changes? It’s the classic “fear of failure”, and it’s time we address it in a new way.

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

However, if you want to feel that exhilaration of pursuing a worthy ideal, and knowing that you’re on the right track, and are having some trouble getting to that point, and are perhaps facing some of the toughest setbacks you’ve ever faced, then keep reading. I think you’ll find some valuable insight…

It’s common to be driven by a dream, and then when things get tough, the shift of focus from chasing a dream to just trying to hang on to what you have can be a challenge. It’s important to check in on your primary motivator in a situation like that. I want to address a common, but dangerous trap.

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

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

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

If times are good for you right now, then avoid the trap by being absolutely clear on your values and simply practice delayed gratification. Make sure you are improving the lifestyle to help you and your family accomplish greater things, and not for the purpose of impressing anyone.

If times are tough for you right now, reject all concern for what your neighbors will think if they see you cutting back in your lifestyle. There is a force of opposition that would fill your mind with fears of what people would think, to keep you from doing the right thing for your family.

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a great feeling of abundance that comes when you choose liberty by pro-actively cutting expenses temporarily.

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

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

Did you catch that?

Until now, you may have only heard the part of our story that “our income tripled in about three months.” But it was a number of months prior to that, that we sat down and got serious about doing what we could to reduce our debts with the little resources we had. We got serious about improving our credit. We mapped out a month-to-month plan on how we would roll our debts, and not buy anything unnecessary until our financial picture was well under control.

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

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

Additional Tips to feel Abundant Now:

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

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

But the heaven’s remained silent until we became really humble and began listening for, and looking for, other benefits from the experience. The investments actually ended up paying really well, once we decided to stop trying to force them to be a certain way, and rather glean the benefit from the lesson itself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT DID LESLIE JUST SAY???

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

If pushing the fearful thoughts away has not been working for you, go ahead and go there. Let me explain. If I told you, “do NOT think about an elephant,” then you could spend all day long pushing elephant images away. What you’re essentially doing is thinking about elephants non-stop.

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

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

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

So go ahead and think through the worst-case scenario, and come to peace with it as soon as possible. Think about it unemotionally – with a mindset of fixing it, in case that’s where you go.

Then create a plan for avoiding the worst-case scenario, and let yourself get really excited about the success!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s not over… it’s a wonderful new beginning!

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