A special thanks to one of my readers, Von Stocking, for pointing me to this powerful quote by Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles [of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], which helps us better understand the meaning of faith:
“Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness. If everything has to be known, if everything has to be explained, if everything has to be certified, then there is no need for faith. Indeed, there is no room for it. …
“There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen. …
“There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things. … It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect. …
“In a world filled with skepticism and doubt, the expression ‘seeing is believing’ promotes the attitude, ‘You show me, and I will believe.’ We want all of the proof and all of the evidence first. It seems hard to take things on faith.
“When will we learn that in spiritual things it works the other way about—that believing is seeing? Spiritual belief precedes spiritual knowledge. When we believe in things that are not seen but are nevertheless true, then we have faith.” (“What Is Faith?” in Faith , 42–43, emphasis added).
Thanks again, Von. May we all strive to believe a little more in unseen help, unseen resources, unseen answers, and an unseen Father in Heaven watching over us and guiding us to discover all of the truth and goodness we are capable of receiving!
Positive Thinking Tip: Every life challenge offers traction for rapid progress toward your goal. Friction is optional.
Imagine life like a network of cogs and gears, like the inner workings of an old fashioned clock. Each person, each situation, is passing into and out of our lives as though they were fixed onto one of the gears rotating and making contact with our own.
The mechanism is so complex that we cannot diagram it, nor predict with certainty which gears and cogs are at play to effect the interactions we experience.
One thing I know is that each time we set an intention to accomplish something, the governing forces alter the timing and pathways of each of the gears in motion. Each gear is on a track that can be moved in and out of the pathways of other gears in motion.
At the center of your gear is the axis upon which you rotate… sometimes smoothly, sometimes not. Things run well in the whole scheme of it all when you rotate freely with every engagement of oncoming, spinning gears.
Sometimes, however, after you set a goal, what shows up is a gear disguised as a challenge that appears to want to engage and then send you into a realm where you’d rather not go. So you tighten up your axis and refuse to spin with the oncoming gear.
This causes tremendous friction, and in reality can be much more painful in the long run than loosening the tension at your axis point, allowing the oncoming “challenge” gear to engage with your own, and see where it takes you. You’ll often find that after it spins you in the opposite direction of your goal, it eventually helps you come around to exactly where you need to be in order to receive the goal gear that was set in motion toward you when you set the goal in the first place.
The destination resulting from engagement with the unexpected “challenge” or “adversity” gear is rarely apparent when you consent to engage with it. But you can trust that it will move you into position to receive the “goal” gear as it spins its way toward you.
Those who refuse to engage won’t be where they need to be, when they need to be there. And then they wonder why their goals never come true.
Related Video: When Success Principles Don’t Work
If you refuse to relax in the face of adversity, not only will you feel the full force and heat of the friction, you’ll eventually lose your ability to engage at all with any gear that comes along to take you there… because refusing to “go with it” strips your gear of the very teeth that allow you to engage in the gears that appear desirable.
Every gear, apparently good or bad, has the potential to move you along to wherever you decide you want to be. Get a visual image of where you want to end up, and the right gears will come along to get you there. Keep your axis well-oiled, and you’ll find the journey to be a joyful evolving.
It’s only “hard” when you refuse to spin.
Let me help you stay well-oiled for 12 weeks straight, and just see where it takes you. It’s an amazing experience, well worth whatever sacrifice it takes for you to engage. The FTMF course is one of the most powerful gears I can offer you… and you can view it as a good gear because of the knowledge you’ll gain, or as a bad gear because it costs some money. Either way, it is specifically designed to take you where you want to be.
Even the economy is a gear in the machine of life, which will either cause you friction, or, if you choose, it can provide TRACTION to bring you to the success you seek. I have experienced both opportunities, and continually come to the same conclusion each time.
He has overcome tremendous odds and conquered the roadblocks to go on to fulfill a dream he has had for a very long time. Because of his tenacity, we’re proud to call him one of our Official Certified Mentors, and strongly recommend his services. He has a unique talent for having compassion for those he mentors, while still holding them to a high standard of commitment to the principles and their goals.
Someone emailed me the other day to tell me that she thinks I’m a lovely person and all, but that my writings have too much of a ‘religious’ tone to them. She was polite and appreciative, but clearly wishing she could learn the principles from a more secular point of view.
I can appreciate that. I respect her point of view and certainly never intend to offend anyone by focusing on how to partner with God to accomplish goals. After all, one of my foundational tenets comes from the Articles of Faith, specifically #11:
[I] claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of [my] own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
(Or not at all, if that’s what they choose.)
And the good news is that the principles of success and the power of positive thinking is applicable and accessible to all people, whether or not they belong to organized religion. Obviously.
So why a religious tone at all?
To answer this, I need you to understand some history. When I began learning these principles, it was primarily from a secular (non-religious) angle, and yet the principles fit so perfectly WITH my religious beliefs that I felt compelled to share with my churchy peers how it all comes together. My work was meant to serve as a bridge between the two camps, by focusing on what they have in common.
For those who only live in the secular world, the bridge seems unnecessary at best and annoying at worst. I understand that – I never expected my angle to resonate with everyone.
But when I began my websites and seminars more than 10 years ago, my target audience was specifically those who believed in God, who were faithful in their belief system of choice, and who maybe weren’t sure it was okay to prosper, or even how to do so without offending their Maker.
One of my business mentors questioned my judgment and could not understand why I wouldn’t want to share the message with a broader audience.
But that’s exactly why I didn’t – because nobody else had bridged that gap in quite the same way. This would be my unique contribution.
The Spiritual Conflict
The enemy of the human soul would have us fail, remain in bondage, and live in despair; and has managed to convince too many of us that it’s ‘evil’ to hope for something better.
Instead, I believe that God would have us seek out the laws that govern success, because as we learn the truth about them, we can become free.
As one of my mentors Bob Proctor taught,
“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21
(Bob Proctor is not a member of the Mormon faith, but appreciated the truth contained in that particular Mormon text. And I will add that although he generally takes a secular, scientific, non-religious angle with his teachings, he also appreciates truth wherever he finds and recognizes it.)
I believe the text to be true as well, and thus it became my quest to discover the laws that govern prosperity.
Now and then, I’ll share some tips that are more scientifically or secularly oriented, because I do think it’s good to understand the principles from all angles. We would ALL do well to be educated in a broad spectrum of subjects, and should realize that we don’t have to give up what we know to be true to accept additional truth.
The fact is, truth fits.
In other words, if it’s true, it will always fit with the truth you already have. If it doesn’t fit, then you can weigh out the differences and let the Spirit of God enlighten your mind to see clearly what is false. Meditation can help de-clutter the mind of the noise and allow you to tune in and more clearly hear / feel divine guidance from the Spirit of God.
So today, I decided to share some thoughts about Meditation, a practice from which religious and non-religious people alike have benefited for millenia. In my humble opinion, meditation does not replace prayer, but for me, it has been a powerful tool in conjunction with prayer.
Divine guidance truly is available to everyone, but there is a price to pay in order to hear it, recognize it, and know it for what it is. There’s no mistaking it when you feel it, but you have to make room for it first.
Genius Bootcamp provides the coaching, training and support, to help you make room, so you can realize how truly accessible and clear personal revelation can be. After all, the solution to every problem is only an idea away, and to me, a genius idea = inspiration from God. But whether you believe in God or if you believe in a Higher Power by some other name, Bootcamp is a place where you can awaken / strengthen your personal connection with the wisest “mentor” you’ll ever know. Learn more about Genius Bootcamp
So you need to slow down. Calm down. Be at peace, and listen. And if meditation helps, do it.
However you view it, whether you use it as a way to get closer to God, or perhaps as a way to connect with nature / your inner voice / highest self, here are some tips from Karl Moore, owner of Inspire3, and creator of the Brain Evolution System:
While home may be the most convenient place to meditate, it also is an environment that can introduce the most distractions. So having an audio program playing in the background, or in a headset can help you stay focused.
One challenge to effective meditation can be staying awake. It might be good to meditate after you’ve already had a few hours of sleep. The mind is often the most at peace during early morning before the stresses of the day set in. Meditating with the sunrise is always a serene experience. An early meditation also helps you turn on a positive state and take on the world during the day with a positive mindset.
Many find that their mind wanders easily and that they really benefit from a guided meditation from time to time. There are many meditation recordings and brainwave audios to keep your meditation on track so you can work with your subconscious mind to achieve your goals more confidently.
It is best to choose one special place for meditation, so that you come to associate this place with a relaxed, tranquil meditative state, and your state will begin to shift as soon as you enter that space.
Do not confine your meditation practice to one place and one time during the day. You can take your meditation with you where ever you need to go. When you reach a meditation state that you like, anchor it. An anchor is any physical stimulus you choose. It may be as simple as touching your thumb and baby finger together. The next time you are stressed out, call up your anchor, relax, smile and remind yourself that you are going to do great.
These tips are brought to you by the Brain Evolution System.
For some, curiosity brought them to the beach. Some joked about how strange it was. Some were perplexed because they had come to take a boat on a pleasure trip, only to find that many of the vessels were beached. But it wasn’t until the water returned (slowly at first, and then suddenly more forcefully), that the people began to look for safety.
A few weeks ago I stumbled onto an intriguing documentary on the devastating 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, which claimed the lives of 200,000+ people. It showed tourists and locals mesmerized by the unexpected low tide, and unaware that a tsunami would soon follow.
Curiosity brought some to the shoreline. Some joked about how strange it was. Some came to take a boat on a pleasure trip, only to find the boats had been beached.
But it wasn’t until the water returned (slowly at first, and then suddenly more forcefully), that the people began to look for safety.
Unfortunately, some didn’t find higher ground soon enough.
Watch below, particularly beginning at the 4:20 mark:
Days later I was caught up in the Washington D.C. drama with the Affordable Care Act, the Debt Ceiling, and the government shut-down. I noticed Facebook friends taking sides, and others who determined to stay above the fray by keeping their minds on more positive topics.
As one who loves America and the opportunity it has provided for the common man to achieve almost anything, I’ve been concerned about the policies and popular opinions that have whittled away at the very thing that makes this country unique. Many people don’t know, but our constitution is the longest standing document in modern history to continually govern its nation.
To compare, the American constitution has stood for more than 220 years, while Italy has had 61 governments, JUST since 1945!
As outlined in John McCormick’s book, Comparative Politics in Transition, 7th ed.:
France has had 23 constitutions since the 1776
China has had 4 constitutions since 1949
The Soviet Union has had 4 constitutions in just 59 years
The Dominican Republic has had 25 constitutions
Haiti has had more than 20
El Salvador has had 16
Honduras has had 12
The list goes on.
What made America’s constitution different were the provisions for blocking the power-hungry. Checks and balances were designed for the express purpose of making sure the government could NOT become a creature more powerful than the governed. The founders had experienced oppressive government, and intended to protect the common person from future despots.
Most people are aware of the checks and balances between the House and the Senate, the Left and the Right, the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative branches. But not so many are aware of the checks and balances between the Federal and State governments.
For example, there was never supposed to be a Federal income tax, a Federal education program, nor Federal welfare programs. As virtuous as these programs may be, they were supposed to be handled at the State level, to maintain a wall of separation between local communities and the Federal government, in order to keep its powers continually in check.
John Locke, whose ideas were influential in the shaping the constitution, asserted that the purpose of government was to protect life, liberty, and the ‘estate’ of its people. The government is supposed to protect what they have, not provide for what they don’t have.
But when the purpose of government in the minds of its people shifts from the protection against tyranny, to the provider of comforts and privileges, the unraveling begins.
There will always be strings attached when a government provides comforts and privileges. Eventually the strings become cords that bind, and to accept them is to take a gamble of epic proportions. You’re at the mercy of the those in authority, and you must hope they will always be kind and honorable.
So, the recent gridlock in Washington was, in some respects, anticipated more than 220 years ago! By design, allowing opposing views to have a voice within our government was part of the protective system of checks and balances. Then, rather than getting angry at one side or the other for “getting in the way” of progress, we need to stop and at least appreciate that we still have a government that is required to answer to an opposing side within itself.
I would rue the day when opposing views are no longer permitted in Washington.
And although our constitution has been amended with good and necessary amendments, there are also amendments that effectively nullified some of the most carefully crafted provisions of protection.
Some feel the constitution has become irrelevant, or outdated. While it is not perfect, it has – for the most part – continued to protect our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Many good people have voted for legislation and amendments that seemed honorable at the time without realizing how they inadvertently removed another layer of protection against potential tyranny.
Good people throughout history have been so blinded by the promised ‘ends’ that they were either unconscious to, or willing to forgive the ‘means’.
Naturally, the constitution as it was originally intended will be an annoyance, an inconvenience, an obstacle for those who want the government to provide more comforts and privileges. After all, it was expressly designed to keep the Federal government out of our personal lives.
But when those compassionate goals are achieved anyway, and people become dependent on the system, they eventually forget how to think and produce and solve problems and contribute and strive and achieve and conquer and thrive.
And frankly, that’s more convenient for potential tyrants, whether they be Republican, Democrat, or otherwise. Dependent people just don’t push back as much as those who would sacrifice their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the cause of freedom from tyranny.
So… EVEN IF WE DO NOT have a dictator now, with the original purpose of our constitution so disregarded, what’s left of it to stop one from taking power? Without protective restorative amendments adopted, both Democrats and Republicans (and everyone else) are dangerously vulnerable.
The reality is that the acceptance and implementation of Federal programs has set a perilous precedent, opening the door to an easy pass for less honorable mandates that may be introduced in the future.
Maybe you wondered why anyone would be so against such programs. Maybe you thought the opponents were callous, heartless, wealthy capitalists. Maybe you couldn’t understand why they would choose to be so unpopular, fighting to preserve one of your last remaining protections from potential tyranny.
The revolutionaries who first secured our freedoms were a noisy, annoying bunch of rebels. The British government didn’t like them very much. In fact, they were as much of a bother as the ‘right-wing nuts’ in Washington are, who have been trying to block yet another law that promises to provide comfort and privilege at the expense of one of our last remaining provisions of protection.
So here’s where the tsunami video stopped me short:
I was fascinated as I watched the political debates rage on in my Facebook news feed. People complained about the idiocy of the government barricading open-air scenic views. They cracked jokes like, “If we declare the southern border to be Federally owned, would they finally come block it off?” or “The Washington Redskins have dropped the name ‘Washington’ because it was embarrassing…”
And I realized America has lost something very precious. The constitution that was designed to keep the Federal government at bay has been so carelessly amended – its original purposes so disregarded – that the Federal government now oversteps its bounds so often that the people have accepted it as the norm.
For those who see it for what it is, we’ve been watching the tide go out further than ever before, and we joke about it. We find it curious. We gawk, we gather. We call others to ‘come and see’ as we share clips and snippets of news and satire with our friends.
Some didn’t notice the tide going out unusually far until it affected them personally. They thought they would enjoy the day on a pleasure boat but discovered the Affordable Healthcare Act was beached instead. Premiums were much higher than expected, the enrollment website wouldn’t work…
How curious! No matter. We’re happy to do our part, they say. This is so wonderful, they say. The government is so NICE, they say. (Cue: “Ice creaaam… Lollipops…!”)
And yet, still, there is no alarm for the meaning of such signs. It’s still just a conversation piece. They don’t see a potential tsunami of tyranny coming.
I’ve engaged in the political discussion myself, at the risk of my reputation (I might even lose some subscribers!), and will continue as my conscience leads. At the same time, my husband and I are moving to ‘higher ground’. The returning tide is up to our knees already and the force has begun to squeeze our ankles. It’s time to move, and fast.
Moving to ‘higher ground’ means de-cluttering life of the things that really don’t matter. It means listening to my conscience and strengthening my relationship with God so I can be inspired to know what I must do to prepare for whatever the future holds. It means following the four steps required to qualify for Heaven’s intervention.
You may be wondering why, as one who teaches positive thinking, that I would dwell so much on something so depressing?
…after having enjoyed our new success for several years, we made some careless investment decisions. When we finally became completely conscious of the problem, we believed that we could “make” those bad decisions into good ones somehow just by “thinking right”.
…in every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit, [but] that doesn’t mean the adversity will go away with right thinking. It only promises that something good can be born from it.
The positive thinking skill also helps you cope when things don’t change. So when it appears that the country is falling apart, optimism is more important than ever. We need to be optimistic, hopeful, and most importantly, inspired, so we’ll know what to do.
So, as much as you may want to stick your fingers in your ears and say “lalalalala”, these issues will affect you. They will affect your children. You can face them once they can no longer be ignored, or you can look to higher ground now. Picture life the way you want it to look – your freedom, your happiness, your prosperity – and you will be guided and inspired on the steps you can take to help it happen.
And if the steps look something like getting politically involved – gasp!, don’t be shocked. It’s been happening to quite a few of us.
And actually, the steps may end up looking like something else, and that’s okay. If enough people hold the vision, and do the part they feel inspired to do, this nation will endure. I believe God is orchestrating its preservation and I hope we wake up and do our part soon enough, so it doesn’t require more serious conflict to restore it.
Unfortunately, too many of the protecting provisions are already gone, and the delicate balance of power has already been destroyed. So in order to pass on the promise of freedom that our fathers enjoyed, restorative amendments will be necessary. It takes more than a vote, we must learn, inform others, and stay involved with the representatives who get it. It may take a miracle, but I happen to believe in miracles.
Yes, you can still achieve goals, expect miracles, and succeed according to the principles, even if the government makes it difficult. But if you don’t move to higher ground while you still can, the difficulty may overwhelm you so much that you don’t even get the chance.
Stay tuned – together we can use what we know about overcoming obstacles to experience miracles in our personal lives, and who knows, maybe we can even make a positive difference in the condition of our country.
Future topics coming soon:
How (and why) to have a civil political discussion
Law of Polarity – what good can come from political conflict
A heated political debate where I was proved wrong (and I didn’t see it coming)
How to NOT lose credibility with the fence-sitters (both sides blow it all the time!)
Control is the objective of a government which sees its people with low potential. Freedom is the objective of a government which sees its people with high potential.
There are basically two world views.
One believes (on a fundamental level) in ‘control’ as the solution to all problems; the other believes in ‘freedom’ as the solution to all problems. While there are countless positions along the spectrum in both directions, those are the two poles.
Government is necessary to maintain order, but how it should achieve this is the never-ending debate.
Control, or freedom?
How much control? How much freedom?
When appropriations run dry for running federal parks, we quickly see which view is currently in play. Understandably, the authorities want to make sure the people feel the pain so all will be motivated to come to a resolution more quickly.
However, here’s where the world view bubbles up:
One side intentionally creates that pain by barricading open air scenic views and monuments, since there will be no one available to clean up the trash or sweep the streets. The pain is intentionally inflicted, and, in fact, the authorities must go out of their way to inflict it.
The other side would leave the scenic views and monuments as they were, and allow the trash to pile up and the streets to get dirty. The pain is natural and consequential.
There will be pain either way; but in the first case it comes actively, and in the second case it comes passively.
In the first case, there is NOTHING the citizens can do to remedy the pain without the government allowing it (by passing a budget, or removing a barricade).
In the second case, the citizens are free to pitch in and voluntarily help, IF they choose.
It’s true that the trash may in fact stay there until the government workers return. That’s always a possibility, but in a national crisis, I think it’s an unlikely one.
The fact is, there’s an army of citizens in this country who take enough pride in their country that they would show up. Any local scout troop or church group would be honored to do just that.
They don’t need a paycheck from the government to pitch in, because they receive spiritual and psychological income – and they know it’s worth it. There are enough people in America who still know what that feels like, and they show up where there’s a need.
That is, unless they can’t GET to it because it’s been blocked by a barricade.
There you have it: control vs. freedom, in a nutshell.
Seeking a few more young men for an experience of a lifetime… registration closes soon – attend first rehearsal THIS THURSDAY – FREE!
Millennial Choirs & Orchestras – ALL AGES, ALL FAITHS, ONE VOICE (but just a little short on a few young men!)
This semester-long program builds:
Young men, no audition required!
This organization is 2000 strong in 4 states with a first-rate reputation – and a CD that topped the Billboard Charts! Their world-class directors will bring out the best in you.
Our children and teenagers have LOVED this program, and would do almost anything to be able to stay in it. At the time of this post, there were 144 young women and 73 young men. 27 more young men needed – and those last spots won’t last forever!
Attend the First Rehearsal FREE! Rehearsal is THIS THURSDAY
September 12, 2013
American Leadership Academy
3155 Santan Village Parkway, Gilbert
Fall Semester tuition for young men is $145 until 11:59 pm of the first rehearsal day. Late registration rate (add $20) applies beginning at 12:00 am (midnight) following the first rehearsal day of the semester. Registration closes at midnight on the Monday following the second rehearsal day each semester. Tuition is paid online as part of the registration process. There is an option during registration to divide the tuition into 3 payments, 30 days apart. (Attire costs $95).
Positive Thinking Tip: The miracle you need is at the end of all you can do, so keep on Truckin’!
Let me tell you about a guy I know and the unexpected (and surprising) miracle that showed up after he taped a box fan to the front of his personal motor coach…
His name is John. John was traveling with some business guys in a large and very expensive rig. It was important for him to get to a meeting where he was to be the key speaker. However, as they motored along, he realized that the engine temperature was beginning to rise.
One of his passengers was concerned that John was going to ruin the engine if he didn’t just pull over and wait for help. John knew plenty about auto repair, but just didn’t have the tools. Also, they were so far from civilization in any direction that to wait for a tow would be simply unacceptable. It would take far too long to get the help, and the tow fee for a rig as big as his was going to be so huge, he didn’t even entertain the idea.
He pushed that motorhome along and kept going.
As they approached a final hill before the next town, again the passenger warned John that he should stop. He said, “John, even if we DO get to the next town, it’s Sunday, and there won’t be any shops open to repair it anyway.”
John turned to him, weary of his pessimism, and said, “I’m NOT going to stop until I HAVE to!” He hadn’t yet done all that he could do, so in his mind, it wasn’t time to change plans. Instead, he bull-headedly focused on his destination and kept faith that SOMEhow he would find the way to make it to the meeting on time.
Then his mind began to think… what did the rig need to stay cool? The engine fan had stopped. It needed air circulation. Well, he had a large box fan, so he used duct tape and fastened it to the front grill of the motorhome, ran the cord through the window, plugged it in, and hiked that final hill.
What a picture that must have been to any oncoming traffic! They pulled into a Burger King, and sat at a table contemplating what to do next.
As they talked about their predicament, a Burger King employee overheard them and said, “Hey, I own an auto shop. Here, take the keys, open it up, and you can use my equipment.”
They were soon on their way and John accomplished exactly what he had set out to do. Against the odds, they reached the meeting in time.
So here’s the point:
John’s “miracle” was waiting in that town the whole time. He didn’t have to “go the distance” – he actually met the solution half way, by pressing on and having faith that the solution would be at the (true) end of all he could do.
That is life. That is how we need to approach all of our problems, be it financial, emotional, spiritual, or social.
We must do all we can to get ourselves TO that miracle we seek, and TRUST that THAT is where we will find it. We mustn’t let that final hill, the hardest part discourage us; for after all, ‘there is no witness until AFTER the trial of our faith’.