At Home in Hong Kong

I was only nine years old. My father had just accepted a contract to work for three years in Singapore, and telling my best friend goodbye on the night before our departure was wrenching. It was a cold December night as we cried and hugged and exchanged promises that we’d keep in touch forever. Never mind that we fought like cats and competed fiercely since first grade.

Later that night my family of six traveled 45 minutes north from our home in Orem, Utah to Salt Lake City. We stayed in a hotel and arose early for one of the first flights out of the airport headed for Los Angeles. From there, it was a quick vacation in Hawaii, and then a stop in Hong Kong before finally arriving in Singapore.

I only remember a few things from Hong Kong. One was the sights and smells of
Stanley Market, one was buying imitation “Izod” shirts for only a couple bucks on the streets, and one was an experience I never expected and have never forgotten. It was an incident which helped me see that while I might have been brought up in a sort of bubble, I could still feel right at home in a place that couldn’t be stranger to me.

It was daytime and we were walking down a busy city street. Hoards of people hurried by, and all seemed to have black hair. I must have stood out pretty seriously, because even at the young age of nine, I was already taller than most of the men, and my red hair flamed in the sunlight.

How unfamiliar it all was! How out of place I felt! What a strange experience for such a young girl. And then, from across the crowd of hundreds of Orientals, we spotted two young Caucasian men in white shirts and dark jackets. My father cupped his hands around his mouth and bellowed as loud as he could, “Elders!”

I am sure we startled a few locals that stood in the throngs nearby. I smiled at the lack of inhibition my father demonstrated though we were the visitors on “someone else’s turf.” Nevertheless, the two young men turned to us, and with countenances of joy they waved and shouted back across the crowd, “Mem-bers!”

(We each referred to each others’ apparent affiliation with the Mormon church)

I think back at how amusing that was to me; how the missionaries knew instantly that we shared the same beliefs. How pleased we were to see them, and how joyful they were to see us.

It was a wonderful reunion for strangers that had never met. The light in their eyes shone just as brightly as if each one of them were Alma, who “did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord.” (Alma 17:12)

We tried to repeat the experience when we visited Australia and saw two young men in suits. However, the ones we yelled at in Perth weren’t missionaries, they must have been businessmen. We laughed at our mistake, and have no idea what the men thought of us.

Instead, we found the camaraderie sought by attending a local ward (congregation) on Sunday. I have since felt just as at home in Indonesia, New York, and every other place I have attended church across the world.

I’m grateful that my experiences as a young child overseas taught me that I don’t have to be at home to feel at home. People who share similar beliefs and values of any background or culture can find that sense of “home” no matter where they are.

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Keeping my Eyes on the Horizon

I was a newlywed of only a year. My husband and I decided to drive twelve hours to attend a conference which would help us start a business. Tensions were high because we couldn’t afford the trip, and we’d had a few disagreements which left us both feeling hurt and misunderstood. I had been nervous about crashing during the road trip, and he had viewed my fear as a personal jab against his driving skills.

One of the guest speakers who was a professional comedian started to make fun of women who had poor depth perception. He described a scenario to prove his point. “As a man drives,” he said, “the woman at his side will invariably let out a loud GASP and grab hold of part of the car where she sits. This inevitably causes the man to swerve and exclaim, ‘WHAT? WHAT IS IT?’ Her response: ‘The car ahead of us put on their brakes.'” His conclusion: poor depth perception, since the car in front of them was a full quarter-mile ahead.

I had been trying so hard to stay angry at my husband. I did not want him to think I was enjoying myself on the trip at all, for, in my mind he needed to be punished. However, when the comedian told this story, all of my pent-up emotion came bursting forth and I laughed until I cried. I laughed so hard that for some time no noise escaped my lips. Why? Because the comedian had just described ME, during our twelve hour trip to the convention.

My husband and I continued to laugh throughout the rest of the meeting, and our contentious feelings toward one another melted away. We talked about it later, and I defended myself reminding him that I was jittery simply because we had both fallen asleep and driven off the road only a year before. Road travel made me nervous, period. All the way to the function I had been watching the side of the road immediately next to our car to see if we were getting too close to either the shoulder, or the center divider. Any deviation which brought us any nearer to the edge caused instant panic resulting in a gasp and reflexive grabbing of my shoulder strap. Any minor swerving which caused us to close in on another car at our side caused the same reaction. And, yes, if a car even a quarter mile ahead of us put on their brakes, I braced myself for impact.

Even short, local trips on the freeway made me nervous. Rounding a bend was especially frightening, because I’d see the tire and paint marks from cars which had crashed in that place before. I’d say, “Oh boy… this must be a dangerous spot; look at all the crashes that happened here!” Of course, I’d prepare myself for impact, just in case. I’d even look ahead at semi trucks and imagine the horrific wreck which would result if they were to suddenly cut us off.

After many years I finally learned to calm down. I reminded myself that my husband didn’t want to die any more than I did, and he’d be careful with or without my incessant reminders. I practiced trusting him, and trusting in the Lord to keep us safe. I also found a visualization strategy which worked wonders: instead of imagining a possible wreck, I’d close my eyes and picture myself tucking my children in bed that night; a vision which presupposed our safe arrival home. It took me a long time to get my road travel fears under control. Our driving even improved as we learned that we managed to stay nicely in the center of our own lane NOT when the driver looked at the line painted on the road immediately at our side (which resulted in constant adjustments and a jerky ride), but by looking to the horizon where the road was headed. Even if the road followed a long bend, by looking to where it headed, the car seemed to naturally stay beautifully in the center of the lane. I discovered that by looking ahead to what I wanted and where I wanted to be (literally as well as figuratively), I was implementing a powerful method for not just dealing effectively with my fears, but for actually achieving successfully the results I was after. What a wonderful lesson to learn. Until one day when I realized the lessons from this analogy ran even deeper than I realized…

Ten years later I was tested to my limit. I was at the wheel, trying to speed ahead at about seventy miles per hour to pass a semi truck on my right, with no room for error on my left (due to road construction north of Salt Lake City prior to the 2002 Olympics). The lane was three-fourths the width it should be, and there was nowhere for me to go but straight ahead. I noticed that when I looked at the semi by my side, I unknowingly started to close in on it. I only realized my error when I’d look forward again and see how far over I had swerved. I discovered that the only way to make it through would be to look straight ahead, with my white knuckles on the wheel, and intentionally ignore the obstacles at either side. If a vehicle were to accidentally swerve into my lane, with my eyes on the goal I’d be less likely to make a sudden, irrational move which could cause my vehicle to roll and do fatal damage to myself and others around me.

This landmark experience made me think of life in general. I realized that I’m traveling down a fast-paced, sometimes scary road we call mortality, hopefully heading for eternal life with my family in the presence of Father in Heaven, to enjoy the blessings of His greatest rewards. Along this road, there are obstacles which try to take me off course or slow me down by causing a wreck, so to speak. I’ve learned that the only way to proceed in safety is NOT to look at the obstacles and pay them focused attention in an effort to avoid them, because doing so causes me to unknowingly get pulled off the path toward the very obstacle I am trying to evade. Often when I forget and look too long at the danger by my side, I don’t realize how far I’ve deviated until I finally look back toward my goal. I must try to always look straight ahead and keep my eyes on the prize. The obstacles will pass, one by one, if I just press forward with full purpose of heart. Should
one swerve into my lane in spite of my efforts to avoid collision, I will be able to respond without overreacting, and keep my very life from rolling out of control.

Sometimes I still get nervous, but I’ve learned how to deal with my fears to some degree. I’ve learned that if I want to stay on the path and enjoy the smoothest ride possible, I must keep my eyes on the horizon. There will be fewer course corrections, and fewer mishaps.

As one man named Alma taught his son, Helaman: “For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass…The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever…Yea, see that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:44-47)

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Working with Law, Persistence Necessary?

My good friend Marnie sent the following bit of humor to me because I talk so much about the Laws of Success and how things just work out better when you live in alignment with them. For example, when you’re in the success-law-abiding groove:

  • You find the perfect parking lot when you need it.
  • You obtain the money you need, sometimes from unexpected sources.
  • You meet the right person at the right moment who has the solution to your problem.
  • Serendipitous events happen more regularly, even predictably.

However, it can leave a person wondering whether the laws somehow override the basic fundamental principles of tenacity, and persistence.

After reading the following short story she sent, you decide:

car ladyAfter starting a new diet I altered my drive to work to avoid passing my favorite bakery.

I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning, and as I approached, there in the window were a host of goodies.

I felt this was no accident, so I prayed … “Lord, it’s up to you, if you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery.”

And sure enough, on the eighth time around the block, there it was! God is so Good!

(“Maxine” is a cartoon character by John Wagner of Hallmark.  She has a fan page at http://www.facebook.com/maxine)

So yes, persistence still may be required, but an understanding of the laws can help you have the tenacity and belief that the persistence will eventually pay off.  Without that guarantee, too many of us would run out of steam, a little too soon.

This woman’s story is also an example showing “You get what you ask for” – even if it isn’t for your good.

So as you choose your goals, take the time to consult your heart / gut instinct / inspiration / spiritual guidance (whatever you want to call it) to find out first if the thing you ask for is for your best and highest good.  When you know that it is, then it’s all the easier to believe you’ll have God’s help in obtaining it.

Without that assurance, your persistence will probably still pay off, but when all is said and done, you just may wish that it hadn’t.

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Crazy Rabbit Hunter

(Don’t miss the frightening images of the photographer below!)

Nearly twenty years ago, my husband and I sat with a mentor who taught us many of the things that were integrated into The Jackrabbit Factor.  In fact, it was one simple analogy that eventually turned into the whole book and ultimately its sequel, Portal to Genius.

At the time he shared it with us, my husband and I were struggling to be entrepreneurs, and had difficulty explaining why we were doing what we were doing.  We kept odd hours, we raced here and there to get things done, which, at the time, weren’t really producing anything.  (Actually, that’s not entirely true… we could pretty well predict about $30/month in revenue, but it was costing us hundreds a month to produce it.)

But we did what we did because we could see a bigger picture.  We could see its long-term potential, and that vision of possibility is what kept us going.

His brief but profound analogy went something like this:

“Have you ever seen a dog chasing a rabbit?”

I didn’t think I ever had, but I was able to imagine it.

He continued, “What if you couldn’t see the rabbit?  What would you think of the dog?”

“I’d think he was crazy.”

“That’s right.  So when people think you’re crazy doing what you do, don’t let it get to you.  They just don’t see your rabbit.”

~~~~~

So to illustrate, I’d like to show you someone else chasing a rabbit.  See if YOU think he’s crazy:

The following pictures were taken by Hans van de Vorst from the Netherlands at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The descriptions are his own. The identity of the photographer in the photos is unknown.

rhunter1

I was simply stunned seeing this guy standing on this solitary rock in the Grand Canyon. The canyon’s depth is 900 meters here. The rock on the right is next to the canyon and safe. Watching this guy on his thong sandals, with a camera and a tripod I asked myself 3 questions:

1. How did he climb that rock?

2. Why not take that sunset picture from that rock to the right, which is perfectly safe?

3. How will he get back?

After the sun set behind the canyon’s horizon he packed his things (having only one hand available) and prepared himself for the jump. This took about 2 minutes. At that point he had the full attention of the crowd.

rhunter2

This is the point of no return. After that, he jumped on his thong sandals… The canyon’s depth is 900 meters (3,000 feet) here.

rhunter3

Now you can see that the adjacent rock is higher so he tried to land lower, which is quite steep and tried to use his one hand to grab the rock.

rhunter4

We’ve come to the end of this story. Look carefully at the photographer. He has a camera, a tripod and also a plastic bag, all on his shoulder or in his left hand. Only his right hand is available to grab the rock and the weight of his stuff is a problem. He lands low on his flip flops, both his right hand and right foot slip away…. At that moment I take this shot. He pushes his body against the rock. He waits for a few seconds, throws his stuff on the rock, climbs and walks away. Presumably to a bathroom to change his shorts.

We may never know why this photographer did what he did.  I’d like to see the picture of the view he valued that much.

Likewise, people around you may never understand why you do what you do.  But it doesn’t matter – don’t let it bother you.  They just don’t see your rabbit.

Follow-up to this post:

One of my subscribers knew more about this scenario than I did (thanks, Monique!) and pointed out that this crazy rabbit-hunter had more knowledge than we do as onlookers.  There is always another way to look at something – and our perspective or paradigms will influence the way we feel about it.

If you are the rabbit-chaser, you have more knowledge about what you’re doing than those who watch you, and you’ll naturally feel differently than they do about it.

Avid rabbit-chaser regularly do things that have a greater perceived danger than is actually present.

View the final picture in this story HERE.

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FTMF private Q/A Blitz – coming soon!

Leslie takes your questions

For FTMF participants and alumni only:

Don’t miss our upcoming FTMF private Q/A BLITZ!!!

Now’s your chance to have YOUR burning question answered, so that you can get un-stuck and move on to bigger and better experiences!

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Post your question using the form below, and then watch for the announcement of the upcoming teleclass.

FTMF participants will automatically be sent the private dial-in information for our next call directly to their email box, and Leslie will answer your questions and help you refocus so you can complete or even repeat your FTMF program with Honors!

Remember, this is just for FTMF participants and alumni!  Not a participant?  It’s not too late to get started!  SIGN UP NOW.

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Carrying a Heavy Burden? You can Still Fly.

shuttle_piggyback-FLY

A few years ago, I stepped outside of my home and unexpectedly witnessed what you see here – and it stopped me in my tracks.  It seemed impossible, but it was real.

A huge 747 airplane flew by so low, and so slow that it hardly seemed to be moving.  It appeared to hang in mid-air, defying gravity, and on its back was a space shuttle.

Now, I wasn’t living near a space station; I was in the middle of Utah at the time and never had any reason to expect to see such a sight out my front door.

I’ve always been baffled by how a Boeing 747 can soar through the air, let alone see it fly after having a heavy space shuttle placed on its back.

There have been times in my life when we have felt heavy financial burdens.  During those times, the dismal numbers made us feel it would be impossible to reach our goal with so much weight on our backs.

My husband and I would set a goal and enthusiastically go for it, but one glance over our shoulder and we’d be instantly discouraged by the burden, lose steam and give up.

What if the 747 pilot did the same thing?  What if he was halfway to his destination, successfully employing all the natural laws to keep the craft soaring, and suddenly glance to its back and think, “Whoa!  That’s too big for me!  I’d better slow down; conserve my fuel, or I might crash!”

The truth is, once the laws of aerodynamics are employed, he needs to remain steady and continue doing all that the laws require until he reaches his destination: keep his speed, tilt the flaps to maintain lift, etc.  Any interruption in his momentum, or pointing his nose down instead of up would likely result in failure.

Once we learned the laws of success and began applying them with consistency and patience, it became a whole lot easier to keep the momentum long enough to finally get where we were trying to go – even with heavy financial burdens on our backs.  Then after we reached our destination, we were finally able to set them down.

Learn the laws, then do something each day toward achieving your goal.  The laws will support small burdens in the same way they support heavy ones.

But either way, whether you’re trying to fly a paper airplane, or a Boeing 747 with a space shuttle on its back (figuratively speaking), you’ve got to move at the speed of flight. It can’t be done without some thrust.

You also need to face the wind and let it lift you, instead of trying to duck under it.  Follow the laws with precision and consistency until you’re at your destination.  No matter how long it takes to get there, each day you will get closer, and at the right moment, you’ll arrive at where you wanted to go.

Remember, don’t focus on the burden, focus on the destination, and live in alignment with the laws!

To learn more about how to do this, Click HERE to join me in the life-changing study of THE book that inspired my award-winning bestseller, The Jackrabbit Factor.

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