And Along Came a Spider

Some time ago my eleven year-old daughter came home from orchestra practice simply devastated. She had been the first to arrive, and as the others filed in, nobody chose to sit by her. She sat at the edge of the room, the only student with an empty chair at her side.

She felt rejected and alone.

So the next day, as I dropped her off, I encouraged her to hold back and let some of the others sit down first, and then make her choice to sit by someone she’d like to get to know better. “Find someone who might be having a bad day, and BE the one to make a friend.”

I encouraged her to have a prayer in her heart, picturing herself with an abundance of friends, and reminded her that choosing to be positive and confident would help others want to be around her.

So she pulled herself together with an intention that things would be different this time. She agreed to pray in her heart and try to think more positively.

But what happened next surprised us both…

When I picked her up from school, she was excited to report that she ended up right between two girls that she was excited to get to know better.

How did it happen? Not the way we thought it would.

Contrary to my advice, she still showed up earlier than most; and out of habit decided to sit in her regular chair on the edge of the room. As a few of the other students filed in, the pattern threatened to repeat itself.

(That’s the power of subconscious thoughts right there…)

However, just then, she noticed a scary spider on her music stand. Creeped out, she took her folder and tried to push it off.

Instead of successfully getting it out of her space, it fell onto her leg. She jumped up and shook her pants, and wasn’t sure where it ended up. Assuming it was still at her chair, she decided that it would be better to move.

It took her out of her comfort zone and into another chair. One of the girls she’d like to know better came in and sat right next to her. Before long, a second girl took the empty chair at her other side.

Admittedly she said she thought the answer to her prayer would show up in the form of an idea, or an added measure of courage to do or say something uncomfortable.

But no, it showed up as a spider.

This micro-experience captures the essence of how God so often deals with us. When we ask for things to be better, he doesn’t just make things better. He creates conditions in our life that make us get out of our comfort zone and put us somewhere else – somewhere, where the blessing we’re asking for can finally be received.

Sometimes we get moved out of our comfort zone and still fail to receive the blessing. This can happen when our thoughts are not inclined to look for the hidden benefit in our adversity.

It would be like my daughter getting out of her regular chair and into another, and being so upset by it that she doesn’t even notice the potential friendships on either side of her. By her response to the hardship, she could have completely denied herself of the blessing that the change contained.

In that case, the girls that flanked her could have picked up on the downer-energy and might have been inclined to just ignore her.

I’m grateful that she was thoughtful enough to give credit to God for sending a spider, because it prepared the way for her to receive the very thing she was hoping for all along.

My dear reader… What’s your spider? What ugly thing has showed up in your life that’s opposite to what you’ve been praying for?

It’s there for a reason.

(To watch additional clips from this event, click here)

A Hardship is always a blessing in disguise. Pay attention to how it “moves” you.

I’d like to help you make sense (cents) out of your setbacks. Are you ready for a better future? Click here to learn more about the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program. Originally published September 22, 2009

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What we do to ourselves sometimes can’t be undone on our own

I was visiting my in-laws one evening when I signed in to my Facebook account and saw this post on my newsfeed. It was from my 18-year-old son. He said:

Jacob (18)

I just walked past my parent’s room and heard my 4 year old sister Sarah crying. My parents are gone so I thought she was in there waiting for Mom to get home. I tried to open the door but it was locked, so when I got into the room with a key and asked what was wrong, I saw that she had tied the ribbon of her dress to their bed.

As I was struggling to untie it she said:

“I’na good tyer.”

Then she came and asked me, “Wanna know why I tied myself to the bed?”

I asked, “Why?”

Bethany (7) and Sarah (4)

“Because Bethany was being mean to me.”

That was the only explanation she gave.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t be mean to your little siblings or they might lock themselves in a room and tie themselves to furniture with knots that they can’t undo on their own.

~~~

It’s true; sometimes our reaction to life’s disappointments and frustrations becomes the real source of our problems. We can really complicate matters when we react instead of responding with calculated choice of thought.

The fact is, life will disappoint us, and frustrations are inevitable.  Our power to rise above such problems, however, does not lie in the circumstances themselves, but in how we respond to them.

And, as explained in Hidden Treasures, Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free download), the larger the problem, the greater the opportunity.

So, I echo my son’s moral, and remind us all to apply it to the world of adults:

If life is mean to YOU, don’t tie yourself up in knots that you can’t undo on your own.

Success is not a measure of how many problems we avoid; it’s a measure of how well we respond to the problems we have.

However, if you feel like you’re already “tied up” in some way, pat yourself on the back for being a good “tyer” (be kind to yourself!) …and then get some help. You don’t have to stay stuck forever.

To see how I can help you now, and to learn how to choose your thoughts carefully in a crisis for the best possible outcome, visit ProsperTheFamily.com Originally published November 29, 2010

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Keeping Your Eyes on the Horizon

We were newlyweds of only one 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 our disagreements left us both feeling hurt and misunderstood. Because of a previous accident the year before, I was nervous about crashing again on this road trip, but to him, my fear was a personal jab against his driving skills.

We arrived safely, but I was still upset that he was offended by my fear of crashing. One of the guest speakers was a professional comedian who started to make fun of women with poor depth perception.

He explained that there’s this man at the wheel, and the woman next to him just suddenly SCREAMS out of nowhere. Well, of course the man swerves the car and after regaining some control he looks at her and screams back, “WHAT?!?”

“That car tapped its brakes!”

“Woman, that car is a quarter mile ahead of us!”

I’m thinking, Okay that is NOT funny, but the truth is, I couldn’t hold it in. I had been trying SO hard to stay angry at my husband. I did not want him to think I was enjoying myself, for, in my mind he needed to be punished. However, when the comedian popped the punchline, all of my pent-up emotion came bursting forth and I literally laughed until I cried. I laughed so hard that no sound escaped my lips. My abs curled until they burned. Basically, that comedian described ME, during our twelve hour trip to the convention, and I knew it.

My husband and I continued to laugh throughout the rest of the meeting, and our contentious feelings melted away. We talked about it later, and I reminded him that I was a nervous wreck only because we had both fallen asleep and driven off the road the year before. Road travel made me nervous, period. All the way to the function I had been watching to see if we were getting too close to the shoulder or center divider. Any deviation which brought us any nearer to the edge caused instant panic resulting in a gasp and reflexive grab of my shoulder strap. Any minor swerve which caused us to close in on another car caused the same reaction. And, yes, if a car even a quarter mile ahead of us put on their brakes, I braced 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 that had crashed there before. I’d say, “Oh… this must be a dangerous spot; look at all the crashes that happened here!” Of course, I’d prepare for impact, just in case. I’d even look ahead at semi trucks and imagine the horrific wreck that would result if they suddenly cut us off.

Over the 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 improved as we learned that we stayed nicely in the center of our own lane NOT by looking at the line painted on the road 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 disappeared on the horizon, the car seemed to naturally stay in the center of the bending lane. I discovered that by looking 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 with my fears, but for achieving the results in life I wanted. What a wonderful lesson to learn.

And then one day I realized the lessons from this analogy ran even deeper than I realized:

Ten years later my old fear of driving in traffic was tested to my limit. I was at the wheel, trying to speed ahead at seventy miles per hour to pass a semi truck on my right, with a pile-on and 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 started to close in on it. I only realized my error when I’d look forward again and realize how far over I had drifted. I discovered the only way to make it through was to look straight ahead, with my white knuckles on the wheel, and aggressively ignore the obstacles at either side. If a vehicle was going to swerve into my lane, then at least with my eyes on the goal I’d be less likely to overcorrect and cause my vehicle to roll, doing potentially fatal damage to myself and others around me.

This is how to reach your goals. Stay focused. Keep them vivid in your mind’s eye, and don’t let the obstacles, difficulties, disappointments or distractions divert your gaze. Your ride will be smoother. You’ll stay in the lane that gets you there. You’ll avoid collisions. You’ll even deal with sudden or unexpected threats more effectively.

This landmark experience also made me think of life in general. We’re all traveling this fast-paced, sometimes scary road called life, hopefully heading for a glorious eternal reward with our loved ones in the presence of our Father in Heaven. But along this road, there are obstacles that can take us off course or slow us down or cause a wreck, so to speak. The only way to proceed safely is to NOT give the distractions or obstacles your focused attention, even if it’s in an effort to avoid them, because doing so can cause you to drift toward the very obstacles you are trying to evade.

Sometimes when I forget, and look too long at the danger nearby, I don’t always realize how far I’ve drifted until I finally look back toward my goal. I must try to always look straight ahead and keep my eye on the prize. The obstacles will pass, one by one, if I just press forward with full purpose of heart. Should an obstacle swerve into my lane despite of my efforts to stay on track, I will be able to respond without overreacting, and keep my life from rolling out of control.

As one man named Alma taught his son: “The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever … Yea, see that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:46-47) Originally published December 20,2009

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Choose Your Rock Bottom

Recently it was necessary for me to write “my story” again, explaining the circumstances around how we discovered the prinicples I now teach and tripled our income in just a few months. As I wrote, I mentioned how I had personally hit an emotional “rock bottom” just before things began to turn around.

I stopped and pondered that. For us, things were pretty bad at the time, but looking back I now realize that there are other people on the planet who are much worse off than we were, when we felt things couldn’t get any worse. We weren’t homeless, we weren’t in jail, nobody was dying… No, we were just strapped financially and severely depressed. Prosperity seemed to elude us at every turn.

As I continued to ponder this, I remembered a number of other people’s success stories I’ve heard, and it seems to be a common thing to hear them mention hitting “rock bottom”. A ball won’t bounce back until it’s hit the ground. It seems to be a natural thing for humankind to begin to head upward only after hitting an ultimate low.

For some, rock bottom was jail. For others, it meant living in their car.

Do you realize what this means? Rock bottom will be different for everyone. Rock bottom is where life has become so intolerable that something inside of you finally looks heavenward and says, “I surrender. I can’t do this anymore. Show me the way.”

In my experience, there were plenty of times where I said, “I can’t do this anymore.” But the upturn only happened after I really surrendered. It’s when the words “I can’t do this anymore” came from a humble, teachable place, instead of a frustrated, angry place.

For me it was when I stopped trying to do things “my way” and was finally willing to really do whatever the Lord was trying to teach me. It means saying, “I am finally ready to listen, and do.”

It’s when you realize that you’ve got to take a risk and put the principles of faith to the test, no matter what. You refuse to think about the worst case, and cling tenaciously to hope, allowing yourself in your mind to see only the results you want.

It’s when you stop resisting out of fear of failure. If you have been afraid to trust, it’s when you have no other choice BUT to trust. It’s when you say, “I will move my feet, and do all I can do with a CALM spirit, and trust that things will work out for me because of it.” There comes a point where you have no other choice. That’s your rock-bottom. You numbly decide that if it all falls apart anyway, you’ll face it when it happens, but for now you’ll put one step in front of the other and just believe, with a calm surrender.

Some people consider an empty bank account rock bottom, while others don’t hit it until they’ve also maxed out their credit cards. Some hit it when they realize for the first time that they can’t make a car payment, while others don’t hit it until the repo man shows up to take the car away. There are those who have dealt with the repo man more than once, and even that doesn’t bother them enough to really hit rock bottom. I’ve since heard of people who have, over time, upped the level of what rock bottom means to them, and in one example, it’s when their bank account gets below $8,000. So, now when the balance gets close to $8,000, that’s when they have their “awakening” and get busy doing something about it.

No matter how successful a person becomes, no matter how much prosperity s/he enjoys, there will always be new challenges. Without them, we wouldn’t grow. How well we handle them depends on how hard it must get before we finally decide to trust the Lord to carry us through. Though we may never completely avoid challenges, we can learn to embrace them and gain the blessing they always contain.

Let’s not wait for things to get any worse. The upturn can happen now. Let today be the day that you surrender, trust, and discover how much better you can thrive when you trust the inner voice that is trying to speak peace to your heart.

Take five minutes to close your eyes and picture yourself living the life you want. Feel it now. Then, trust that things will soon begin to turn around for you. You can’t see it happening, but know that tomorrow’s series of events were just altered because of it. Originally published March 3, 2007

I want to help. Join me now in the Mindset Mastery program and discover what a simple shift in thinking can do for your life.

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Carrying a Heavy Burden? You can Still 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 Orem, Utah at the time and never had any reason to expect to see such a sight out my front door. It flew so low that I could see the mountains above it.

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 a life-changing study of THE book that inspired my award-winning bestseller, The Jackrabbit Factor. Originally published December 4, 2009

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Handling Economic Challenges Gracefully

This is one of my brain dumps. It’s not organized with literary brilliance, it’s a brain dump. But it’s important stuff, and I think it needs to be shared immediately. I’ll clean it up later. Maybe.

Here we go:

When facing a tough economic challenge, part of you might wonder what people will 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:

When you’re 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 the exhilaration knowing you’re on the right track, but are having some trouble getting to that point, then keep reading. I think you’ll find some valuable insight here.

When things get tough, shifting your focus from chasing a dream to just trying to hang on to what you have can create some challenges. To stay on track for the best outcome in the long-term, you need to stop and check in on your primary motivator.

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 faith and 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.

When times are good, you can avoid this trap by being absolutely clear on your values and simply practice delayed gratification. Make sure you improve your lifestyle only for the purpose of helping you and your family accomplish your greatest potential, never for the purpose of impressing anyone.

When times are tough, reject any concern about what your neighbors might think if they see you cutting back in your lifestyle. There is a force of opposition that fills your mind with fear in order 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 the 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’re 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.

Ironically, there is a great feeling of ABUNDANCE that comes when you choose to pro-actively cut expenses temporarily.

Before our monthly income tripled in 2000, we prepared the soil by first coming to terms with our painful financial picture, and creating 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 thought possible. Within just a few months, we paid off ALL of our debt except our home. This was something we originally thought would have taken 5 years or so on our debt pay down plan.

Did you catch that? Months, instead of years!

Until now, you may have only heard the part of our story that “our income tripled in about three months.” But we sat down several months before, 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 refused to buy anything unnecessary until our finances were under control.

We felt rich, because we had taken 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 Mindset Mastery Program 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 the investment. (More on Mindset Mastery Program 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 there was no rescue or change 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 in terms of lessons learned, once we decided to stop trying to force them to pay well financially.

If you work to learn rather than work to 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 of dollars instead of only tens of thousands.

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 your 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 their present financial mess, 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.

And here’s an important tip:

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. So many people face the loss of everything, but we 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:

  1. Think about it unemotionally – with a mindset of fixing it, in case that’s where you go. Then,
  2. Create a plan for avoiding the worst-case scenario, and let yourself get really excited about the success!

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: 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 road, 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! Originally published Jan 22, 2009

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#28: Parenting Principles Preview

Parenting can be hard!  So when difficult behaviors wreak havoc on the family, you might just need a few more tools in the toolbox. Finding the core principles that govern success in any area of life is absolutely key to succeeding in that area, and what you’ll find on this podcast is no exception.

This entertaining audio program will not only help parents who have small children, but also those with teenagers. It describes the parenting system that I used for many years as we raised our seven children, and it made ALL the difference!

My guest Matt Reichmann and his wife Julie raised five children while he worked in Los Angeles law enforcement. He saw countless parents lose control of their children and then look to police for help. This negative trend spurred a desire in Matt to use his experience to make a difference.

The combination of Julie’s home skills and Matt’s law enforcement experience gave them a unique perspective in the art of parenting.

Over the years, they developed a powerful system of discipline based on the principle of personal accountability. After using the system in their home with success, they were encouraged by friends and associates to share their parenting techniques with others. This encouragement and a strong desire to help others lead to the creation of Accountability Concepts.

This audio was originally recorded ten years ago. I have been wanting to share it on my podcast, but his sweet wife (my dear friend Julie) was diagnosed with cancer and then lost her courageous battle in 2014. During those difficult years, their website was shut down, their business was put on hold, and the audio remained hidden in my archives. But it is my pleasure now to announce that Matt’s website is once again back on line, and he has given me the green light to finally share this audio FREE with you now.

To learn more about Matt Reichmann’s powerful parenting program, visit Accountability Concepts.

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Why Disappointment can be a Good Thing

“One of the greatest skills we can learn in life is how to deal effectively with disappointments, because after all, life is full of them. Learning the skill not only helps us turn things around, but it can also help us have total peace of mind (and even joy) in the meantime. As we learn to respond to disappointments in ways that are in harmony with the laws of success, we discover that there is always something wonderful to be gained from them.” ~ Leslie Householder

The Law of Polarity is all about opposites. Day/night, black/white, up/down, smile/frown.  One effective way to learn about something is through the use of opposites–we can understand more of what something is by understanding what it is NOT. We understand happiness because we understand sadness. We understand what is right because we understand what is wrong…

[It] assures us that even when things look bad–even very, very bad–there is the potential for good.  It doesn’t necessarily take away the natural sorrow we feel when bad things happen… But the pain is mitigated by the faith in something good coming from the bad situation.

There is room for both sadness and happiness in life. In fact, both are necessary. How could we understand happiness without experiencing the opposite?  People who strive to live without experiencing sadness or other negative feelings also limit their capacity for experiencing joy.

Parenting is the perfect example of the Law of Polarity.  Within this experience we find the greatest capacity for love, joy, and happiness, and also the greatest sorrow, frustration, and disappointment. The love a parent has for a child is transcendent, and the grief a parent experiences as a child struggles can be overwhelming.  But such great happiness does not come WITHOUT soul-wrenching experiences. The greater the heartache, the greater the joy that can come…

Read the complete article here…

For more on this topic, read Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free!)

Author Robyn Young is a Mindset Mastery Certified Mentor and Genius Bootcamp Facilitator. Join Robyn for our next Genius Bootcamp – registration NOW OPEN – Early bird rate expires soon! Click here to learn more.

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Adversity and Unifying the Family

Back when all my kids still lived at home:

Journal Entry 2008:

Tonight was our weekly family night, an evening set aside to spend time with the kids and improve our family relationships through activities and instruction. However, more often than we’d like, it’s actually the only family argument to open and close with prayer (as songwriter Michael Mclean once lamented). Nevertheless, we persist. We trust that the habit alone serves as an adhesive to help our kids feel like they belong to something important as they grow and prepare to face the world on their own.

Tonight was contentious, probably because of me. Honestly, I didn’t feel like “playing.” I was in an emotional slump and my head ached (a Law of Rhythm thing methinks). But because it has long been established as a weekly tradition, my kids began asking me what we were going to be doing that evening. Trying to brush the topic aside until I could rest my headache away, my answer was simply, “I just don’t know yet.”

My 12 year-old Nathan begged me to take them to the park for dodge ball, a family favorite. My 15 year-old Jacob had too much homework so we compromised and played some in the back yard with him first. Then he was back to the books and the rest of us headed off to the park for some more serious battles.

I loosened up, forgot my headache. Eventually I got off the swing set with the baby and began playing dodge ball, too. Holding the baby helped; the family was gentle when tossing it in my direction, and I won at least one of the rounds. There was still the usual sibling-to-sibling bickering, but I believe everyone had plenty of fun.

Finally it was time to go home. We gathered to the van and Trevan (my husband) realized that the keys had been locked inside. Nathan suggested we call Jacob to drive them over. But our other set of keys had already disappeared months ago, and since we never needed the second set, we had never bothered with finding or replacing it.

Besides, Jacob isn’t old enough to drive.

Trevan suggested we say a prayer. We huddled together and he asked God to allow the door to somehow be unlocked so that we wouldn’t have to walk the mile home. Then he said,

“But if not, help us to enjoy the walk.”

The front passenger window was cracked about 2 1/2 inches. First we tried to see if any of the kids’ arms were skinny enough and long enough to reach the door lock.

No good.

Through the front window we could see, resting in front of a couple books on the dash, a mechanic’s wire claw (about two feet long, used for grabbing little things that get dropped inside an engine). I asked Trevan where the keys were and he said they were in the passenger cup holder in the center console. I asked if he thought that the wire grabber would be long enough to reach them, but it looked pretty short compared to the distance between the cracked window and the center console.

It was the only possible option at that point, so even though it was a long-shot remedy, we got to work trying to obtain that claw.

None of us could reach it through the narrow window crack. Kayli suggested we use one of the badminton rackets that we had brought with us. We first tried to use the racket to pull the lock up (to no avail – wrong angle). Then we tried to use it to bring the claw closer, but there was a thick “Jane Eyre” book on the dash blocking it.

The window opening was about 2.5 inches wide along the top, but only about 1.5 inches wide at the lower front gap (the part closest to the dash where the claw rested). Trevan force-pulled the window down to give me an additional 1/2 inch or so, and although I couldn’t reach the claw, I realized I could reach the fuzzy dash cover upon which the books and the claw sat. So I grabbed the cover and pulled it toward me until the claw was within reach.

Next we had to use the claw to reach the keys. But no matter who tried, the closest we could get to the cup holder with that claw was at best 4 inches. We were SO CLOSE! How can we have so much success getting this far only to have our efforts fail now?

There had to be a way.

Trevan discovered that if a person could be lifted higher than the van, their arm could get into the window opening a little better and reach a little farther. But there wasn’t anything to stand on except the wheel, two feet in front of where we needed to be.

After Trevan tried and then Nathan, I took a turn standing on the wheel, leaning 45 degrees onto Trevan and squeezing my arm into the narrow gap. Nathan supported me from behind so I wouldn’t fall backwards off of Trevan’s shoulder. Simultaneously, Trevan force-pulled the window down just enough for me to get my forearm in. Then, miraculously my elbow passed through. I managed to hook the keyring with the claw and began to pull them out. At one scary moment it felt like my arm might break before I had the chance to completely extract the claw and keys. Carefully maneuvering my arm and shoulder while leaning at that unnatural angle, I managed to pull them out.

After a round of “high-fives” we paused to give thanks, and then took a moment to help the kids see an important lesson in the experience:

Everything we needed was already there. We simply had to ask for help, and then get to work putting it all together in the right order.

The same is true in life. You already have all you need – the resources, the people, the brains – you just need to begin utilizing them in the right combination and in the right order. It can be hard, I know! It’s easy to feel blind to the solution. The good news is that as you make an attempt, every failure will lead you to think of the next idea, one after the other until you find the solution.

Just remember that it never helps to fret and fuss, moan and complain. Solutions are best (and sometimes ONLY) discovered by the person who is at peace, expectant, hopeful, and tenacious.

So ask God for what you need, and be willing to accept “no” for an answer (“but if not, help us to enjoy the walk.”) Then get to work finding the way to make your goal a reality. You might not yet have the keys you need to go where you want to go, but you do already have everything you need to begin the process of obtaining them.

And sometimes the solution only becomes apparent after a series of frustrating attempts. So keep trying!

If we had truly exhausted all possibilities without success, we would we have eventually tightened our shoelaces and started home on foot. I’m just glad we didn’t have to. In any case, I believe our family night was a success because we were unified for a common purpose (if only for 20-30 minutes), and it only happened because we first had adversity. (Law of Polarity)

And you know what? Solving the problem as a family turned out to be ten times more gratifying than the best game of dodgeball could ever be. Originally published April 8, 2008

For more about the laws of success, click here to read Hidden Treasures (free!)

Learn more about how you can Prosper the Family

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They All Have Angels

Depression had gripped me throughout my second pregnancy. I was thrilled to be expecting another baby, but the hormones made it difficult for me to feel the happiness.

When the time came, labor was long and complicated. By the time my son came into the world, I was too exhausted to celebrate his arrival. For the next 24 hours I lay in bed rehearsing what I had just gone through, unable to do much else but shake my head in disbelief that any human being could have lived through such an ordeal. I had no words for how I felt.

I held him tenderly and remarked to my husband about his dark, almost purple complexion… which side of the family did that come from? He seemed especially tired to me, but the nurses weren’t concerned so I just tried to get some rest and regain my strength.

We were nearly ready to leave the hospital when the nurse came into the room. She had taken him for a routine task and was now coming back. I pretended to be asleep and then I heard her ask my husband “Is your wife sleeping?” He told her I was, and she said, “There’s a problem.”

I rolled over and sat up. She told us that he had turned blue and that he was being prepared for a helicopter transport to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City 45 minutes away. In an oxygen bubble he was doing well, but they needed to do some tests to figure out what was wrong.

We finished our packing, and caught up with my little boy before they whisked him away. We managed to find another Elder from our church in the hospital that assisted my husband in giving Nathan a blessing that he would grow to live a long life of service to God. I shed a tear but felt numb… I had missed my chance to emotionally connect with him.

After several tests it was determined that he had been born with a heart defect and needed surgery, for which he was scheduled just a few days later. We stayed in a nearby Ronald McDonald House and our life was put on hold. I sat with him and kept a tape recorder in his bed playing the music I had labored with. It was calming and had come to represent a sort of peace amidst the beeps and bustle of hospital chaos, first for me and now for him. We finally began to bond, as I tried to understand who he was and what he meant to me.

The day of surgery we took pictures and kissed him and then let them take him away. We sat in the waiting room for four hours, waiting for word. Then it came. All had gone well and there were no surprises; he would be stable enough to go home in a week or two. Relief settled over us.

My husband couldn’t be away from work any longer so he left me at the Ronald McDonald House and went home to get some rest before work the next day. I lay in bed at 10:00 pm, feeling guilty and beating myself up that I wasn’t by Nathan’s side helping him through his first night after surgery. What kind of a mother was I, that I could be so bitter after the delivery, and then to not be near him now? Oh, how I wanted to be.

But in all of the commotion, everyone including me had forgotten that I was recovering too. I should have been resting the past four days, and the fatigue had caught up with me and hit me hard. I stayed there crying, utterly exhausted physically and emotionally, scarcely able to move, let alone get back to the hospital to comfort my little Nathan. “Dear Father in Heaven, please let thine angels attend Nathan tonight, I just can’t go; I just can’t.” A warm, comforting feeling came over me and I knew my prayer had been heard. I relaxed and left Nathan in God’s hands for the night.

Nathan came home ten days later, with tubes taped to his face and an oxygen tank, which would be his constant companion for the next six months. At three months I took him in for a follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, who examined his thriving little body in amazement. I didn’t understand why she would be so astonished, until I overheard her quietly telling an intern, “Most of the kids with his defect don’t make it past 3 months.”

That isn’t anything I remember ever being told; I had only expected him to live “a long life of service to God.” What else hadn’t I been told? No matter. I knew there was a purpose and good in everything that had happened. If I had been able to bond before they had whisked him away, I doubt I could have coped with his emergency. If I had been able to be with him the first night after surgery, I would have missed the sweet feeling of having a prayer so surely answered.

Only two months later I was reading in the newest issue of the Ensign Magazine. It told a true story of another girl that had been treated at the very same hospital. I quote a few excerpts:

“Clayne…hurried from the intensive care unit to awaken Debbie, who was sleeping in the hospital’s parent room. ‘There are visitors,’ he told his wife. ‘I can’t see them, and I doubt that you can see them. But I can feel them.’

“For nearly an hour, Sherrie looked about the cubicle and described her visitors, all deceased family members. Exhausted, she then fell asleep.

“‘Daddy, all of the children here in the intensive care unit have angels helping them,’ Sherrie later told her father… ‘People from the other side helped,’ Sherrie recalls tearfully. ‘When I was really in pain, they would come and help me calm down. They told me that I would be okay and that I would make it through.’’’ (Michael R. Morris, “Sherrie’s shield of Faith,” Ensign, June 1995, 44)

With the initial challenges behind us, I truly enjoyed bonding with Nathan. He is a very special young man with a uniquely compassionate heart. I am even grateful for that difficult experience, because I know that when we pray, we are heard. And now I also understand that when the angels were taking care of Nathan that night, they were also taking care of me. Originally published December 23, 2008

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