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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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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#27: How to Profit from Your Losses

In this program, I talk about three reasons we have setbacks, and what to do, so that the hidden benefit contained in every adversity can be realized.

Resources mentioned:

12-week Home Study Program: http://www.prosperthefamily.com
Jackrabbit Factor free download: http://www.jackrabbitfactor.com
Free Report: http://www.portaltogenius.com

This program was originally recorded for Hilton-Johnson’s Global Teleclass Summit in 2009.

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When Someone Steps on Your Hair

“Leaning into” your problem is less painful than pretending it doesn’t exist.

One afternoon as I was playing with my kids, my sweet little two year-old stepped on my hair.

The instant I felt the pain, I pulled away to get out from under her little feet. It was my instantaneous reaction, albeit not very smart.

Lesson learned:

When someone steps on your hair, lean in, and gingerly remove them from off your hair before pulling away.

I know, I know… it’s not an experience that most of the people in the world will ever have, but it reminded me of a principle worth mentioning.

When you have pain in your life, financial or otherwise, just don’t panic. Panic leads to instinctive reaction, and instinctive reaction oftens result in more pain overall than is necessary.

Subconscious programs kick in when you’re in “fight or flight” (panic/survival) mode.

The key is to lean into the source of your pain, address it without panic or negative emotion, and handle it with a cool head. You’ll be able to solve your problem and avoid unnecessary suffering.

If the problem is that you’re short on money, don’t retreat from your problems, lean in. Go to the person you owe money to, and talk to them about it with a cool head and with the intention of finding a workable solution. Even if there seems to be no possible way to repay a debt, expressing your intentions and regret can leave you feeling more positive than if you pretend the problem isn’t there.

With a positive mindset, you’ll be more likely to eventually think of new solutions you haven’t yet considered.

So, any time you want to instinctively pull away from a problem (hoping it will go away if you just retreat fast enough), remember the lesson I learned from the two year-old who stepped on my hair.

“What if I can never repay my debts? What if I have to file bankruptcy?”

Keep browsing this blog. You’ll learn how to find your hidden resources, and also how to turn failures into successes.

You can also download my free ebook: Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters

Need a genius solution to a difficult problem? Sign up for Genius Bootcamp – early rate expires soon! Originally published July 4, 2009

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Rare Faith for Weight Loss

I know, I know. I tell people not to use the words “weight loss” because you don’t want your subconscious mind to go looking for the heaviness again, but these are the words that people still use in search of help, so I went ahead and put it in the title.

It’s my blog and I can do what I want. 😉

Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered how to use the Rare Faith principles to improve your fitness, here’s a tip:

Manipulate your scale to show the weight you want to be, and each time you step on it, imagine how good it feels now that you are exactly that (as though you’re already there). That’s the short version. A deeper exploration of the principles is contained in my Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse.

Here’s one reader’s experience with this tip:

“For quite awhile I pondered Leslie’s words ‘manipulate the scale.’ I couldn’t figure out how…especially with a digital scale. Well I figured it out and I want to share it with you as it has been one of the secrets of my successful achievements of getting to my goal weight. Each week I put a paper with my goal weight for the week over the actual number on the scale. So each time I stepped on the scale throughout the week I would see my goal for the week rather than the actual number. At the end of the week I would remove the paper and always find that the number I’ve been celebrating all week was the actual number. And then I would put on another paper with the following week goal. And that is how I manipulated my scale. This has been a goal I have been trying to meet on and off throughout the years. I am so glad to finally have reached it!” Laura D.

So what do YOU want to achieve this year?

To learn more about the principles, read The Jackrabbit Factor (free!) or go deeper with the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse (not free, but worth it!).

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$10,000 worth of home repairs – no charge

From a Mindset Mastery Honors Graduate and Genius Bootcamp Participant:

Super LONG and Super COOL Laws of Thought Story and Tender Mercies…

First Some Back Story… 

Prior to the taking and graduating with honors from Leslie’s Mindset Mastery course, I had been living in a scarcity & doubting mindset for well over 20 years. For the past year or two I’ve been focused on implementing all that I had been learning in the Mindset Mastery course to change the trajectory of my mediocre life. Among many other tools I’ve been using to support my mindset shift into abundance is a “Day Dreaming” Word Document that I look over every day to “visualize and feel” certain goals into my reality (kind of like a vision board on steroids). I keep things in this document that I want to attract within a year’s period of time and I started this at the beginning of 2017, so it contains all the goals and dreams I want to attract into my life this year. Anyway, a few of the items that made it into my “Day Dreaming” document for this year are :

  1. A new fence because our East fence is about to fall over, and our South fence has enough slats missing now that our neighbor’s dog can come over and poop in our yard whenever it feels like it.
  2. A new roof because we’ve sustained enough wind and hail damage over the years to warrant the use of several buckets in our attic to catch the main leaks.
  3. Fix a hole in the brickwork on our house to the side of our garage door (a car rolled into it a couple of years ago leaving a moderate sized eyesore).

Each of these items are towards the end of the list of items in my “Day Dreaming” document for the year because I figured that the roof would cost over $5,000; and the fence & brickwork… well, I had no idea how much those would cost, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to pull any of these off until after attracting substantial increases in our business income throughout the year.

Mid April… 

After mowing the lawn and seeing our back yard fence for the first time in a month or two, and realizing once again, just how bad our fence had deteriorated; A Thought crossed my mind to not let doubt continue to stand in my way from at least finding out how much it would cost to fix the fence… even though I was 99% sure we couldn’t act on it for a while because our income hadn’t improved yet this year. So I made a Facebook post to a community Facebook Group asking if anyone out there had recommendations for a reliable and reasonably priced fence repair person or company.

Within a week…

We had a guy come out and give us an estimate of about $2,000 for the two sections of fence we would need to replace.

Not more than an hour later our neighbor on the South of our house (who we’ve actually never spoken to before), knocked at our door to tell us she has someone coming over to repair the portion of fence we share so we could give him access to our back yard if he needed to come back there. I asked her how much he was charging & she told me it would cost only $50-$100 to do it. I told her he could definitely have access to our back yard, and that we’d split the cost. The Lord gives good gifts, and I was thinking that having the worst of it repaired for $25-$50 (our half of the cost) would get us by until later in the year when we could afford to put a brand new fence up… but that’s not the end of the story…

A few days later… 

Even though I was thinking that I’d wait on fixing the East section of our fence; right after finishing my morning exercise (when I was all sweaty and gross), I had a recurring thought to go talk to our neighbors on the east of us right then about my intention to fix the portion of our fence that we share. I went right away, and in doing so I learned that THEY were already making plans to fix it! We talked about sharing the cost, but I didn’t know how I could even come up with half right now. As we got talking my neighbor told me how their insurance claim worked when their house was damaged in the storms the previous month. I learned that their deductible was not required to be paid up front, but was deducted from the check the insurance company sent the them… and then they hired someone to do the work cheaper than what the insurance company had paid so they had money left over for other things. Dang! I had thought all of these years (without looking into it of course) that we’d have to come up with $1,000 deductible out of pocket, so I’ve never even given a second thought into filing an insurance claim to have our roof fixed. With this new found knowledge of how home owners insurance claims work… I immediately went home & filed a claim with our insurance company. Upon doing so, I discovered that our deductible is not $1,000… it’s only $500 (even better!).

One week later…

The insurance inspector came to our home to assess the damage. When he finished his work he said he has enough evidence to submit a recommendation for us to receive a new roof, and to replace the East fence. He said they would ALSO pay for the water damage repairs in our kids bathroom (which I had forgotten about until he asked me if there was any water damage inside the house)!!! Can you say TENDER MERCIES? Holy cow we are being so blessed!

As I was sharing this tender mercy with my daughter later that afternoon we got talking about feeling genuine gratitude for things we want to be blessed with… and feeling the actual feelings as if a goal had already been accomplished. I described to my daughter how challenging it’s been for me over the years to FEEL the feelings and gratitude ahead of time. I found myself telling her of one time that I actually felt some pre-created (is that a word?) gratitude. As I began describing the first time I ever really felt real genuine feelings of joy and gratitude for something as if it had already happened, the realization struck me forcibly that the scenario I was describing to my daughter was at the beginning of April and I was picturing and feeling joy and gratitude for our fixed fence and new roof! Wow!!! Heavenly Father gives REALLY good gifts when we follow the correct principles upon which those gifts (aka blessings) are predicated!!

Yesterday… 

I met with the project manager of the remodeling company that will be replacing our roof & repairing our bathroom from water damage. He reviewed all the insurance paperwork and then proceeded to discuss what he could offer…

  1. There is a coupon for $500 that will satisfy the deductible!
  2. He OFFERED to give us a $250 cash back credit if we allowed him to put a sign in our yard as advertising!
  3. He pointed out several items that really don’t need to be fixed by a professional that we could do ourselves & keep the money for doing so.

All in all, we will receive over $1,500 back to put towards:

  1. Our back fence repairs… that will only cost us $600 because: We are splitting the cost with our neighbor who we discovered is a Veteran and can get a VA discount on the fence materials at Lowe’s or Home Depot… AND we got the labor cost cut way down too by getting other bids – HOW COOL IS THAT?!!!),
  2. The brick repairs next to our garage door (that we discovered will only cost about $200

So basically, we are having over $10,000 worth of home repairs completed within the next two weeks… that we don’t have to pay for, and in fact we’ll be RECEIVING about $600 above and beyond all repairs that will help our cash flow!!!

To wrap up, I just want to point out that each of these tender mercies were a SINGLE IDEA AWAY all this time! All I really needed to do was to doubt not, but to be believing… having faith merely the size of a grain of mustard seed so that I could receive them!

Thank you so much Leslie for all of your AWESOME training materials, programs, and resources! ~ Mike Peters, independent wellness advocate

___________

Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to share such an awesome story!

Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, THAT’S how it’s done. 😉 To get started transforming your own life, get going with the same resources that Mike used:

Not ready to jump in full throttle? No problem. Get your feet wet today with the basic Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse (includes both books listed above)

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Goal Achievement as Easy as Breathing

Are you ready for a fresh start? Could you use a shift in your life?

There are a lot of people who are enthusiastic about making life changes, and so they work really hard to discipline themselves into new habits. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s HARD!

There’s a better way.

Your mind does a lot of things for you that you never have to think about, and that can include goal achievement.

Think about it: how much discipline do you need to keep your heart beating? How hard is it to remember to breathe? These tasks are handled automatically by your subconscious mind. Pat yourself on the back; you are successful at staying alive, thanks to your subconscious mind—a gift from God provided to each one of his children to handle for us the things that would threaten our survival if we forgot.

Imagine someone telling you, “Wow, you are so good at keeping your heart beating, you are amazing. You are such an example of one who breathes so naturally! If I could just breathe half as well as you, I’d be thrilled!” It seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?

So, what if goal achievement could be handled just as naturally?

If someone congratulates me on achieving a goal that was achieved this way, it almost seems silly to take credit. Sure, I had to hold the vision and take action when action was required; but knowing what to do and when to do it became almost as instinctive as breathing.

Setting a goal and turning it over to your subconscious mind is what activates the extra faculties of intuition, inspiration, or instinct. Turning it over is accomplished through repetition and/or emotion. To put it into simpler terms, it’s praying WITH a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish, and a feeling of gratitude and expectation as if it’s already been achieved.

Too often we pray for what we need, while envisioning the disaster we’re trying to avoid, or feeling worried about our potential failure to obtain it. All three parts need to agree: what we ask for, what we see in our mind’s eye, and how we feel.

When those three parts are aligned, things really begin to shift.

Seriously, test it with something small today.

Here’s the thing. Everyone is ALREADY shaping their future using their subconscious mind; they just don’t realize it. I’d venture to guess that most people haven’t noticed the connection between their previous thoughts and feelings, and their present results. But when you begin to trace the effects of your thoughts and feelings, you begin to discover the incredible power that often lies dormant inside your mind.

Wait a minute… if your subconscious mind is already helping you achieve images you handed it previously, what will your results be? Are they predictable? Yes—perhaps more than you realize. To get a clue, ask yourself this:

  • What have my repeated thoughts been about?
  • Which thoughts generate my most frequent emotions?
  • Do I fear and worry, more than I anticipate and excitedly plan for better days?

So that’s the first step: pay attention to your thoughts. And then remember that as you set goals and let your sub-conscious mind do the hard work, achieving them can become as natural as breathing. You are the captain of your soul.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus by William Earnest Henley

Let me help you initiate some powerful changes in your life. Join me now in the affordable Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse!

For a video explanation of this conscious-to-subconscious transfer, watch The Visual Aid that Changed Everything.

Related: How to know if you’ll reach the goal

Originally published January 3, 2006

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#19: Making Cents out of Setbacks

Recorded at a Thomas Jefferson Education Conference (SLC, UT) – Making Cents out of Setbacks: How to Profit from your Losses

Are you weary of the fight? Has ‘quitting’ ever crossed your mind? You’re closer to succeeding than you probably know. Let Leslie take the lid off your mind and show you how to view your challenges in a whole new light, so you can turn them into some of your greatest assets. Identify and access the hidden benefits contained in your adversities.

Discover:

Why setbacks are a necessary piece of the success formula
How to pass the persistence test
What you can do to avert unnecessary setbacks
When (and how) to turn off the part of your mind that sets the goal (turn it off too late and you’ll miss the mark)
How to turn ON the part of your mind that achieves the goal
The role of a third part of your mind, and how to reduce the amount of energy required to accomplish the goal
The surprising purpose and meaning of ‘failure’ (and why you’re more fortunate if you experience it than if you don’t)
How to recognize, enlist, and trust your gut instinct for success
and more…

Related:
Making Cents out of Setback Video
Mind Model Video (Stickman)
The Truth About Failure
So… My Husband Lost His Job

Free download:
www.hiddentreasuresbook.com

Show Notes:
Background, newlyweds, seminars – “What, is this a sick addiction?”
Conscious Mind
Assigns meaning – good or bad: a ton of gold? What if you’re on a rowboat?
Accept/reject ideas
Create new idea
Subconscious Mind keeps you alive
Only accepts ideas, doesn’t discern
Responds to YOUR thoughts charged with emotion
Body – tool of the mind
Health, behaviors, action
As a Man Thinketh
Why we get stuck after a setback
Why we stay in bondage
2 factors determine the programs that will run:
Repeated often, or charged with emotion
Break the cycle with imagination
Gestation
Gears
Respond properly to setbacks
Focus where you’re going
Hidden opportunities
Turbulent wave tube
It’s the wave that propels you
Shark bait
Those who want to make the most progress in life, are the ones who are willing to take on the toughest challenges
Picture what you want
How would it feel when?
The only way you can answer it is through FEELING it
Seed of equal or greater benefit
The bigger your setback, the more fortunate you are
Handle negative experiences without emotion
Approach your hopeful plans with emotion
A successful person isn’t made as he sails his way to the top. A successful person is made in the moment of disaster when he chooses to think right anyway.
Laws of success
Life said, “Alright Leslie, what are you going to do with THIS…”
Laws were suspended on my behalf, working for everyone but me.
List of setbacks
“Keep teaching, you do not make them true or false by how well you’re living them.”
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth while the learned find themselves … to a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer
The only constant we can depend on is there will be change.
Failure is not an option, so that only leaves blame.
Bethany’s lips are blue
Home study course – www.prosperthefamily.com
Failed 4 times:
– to keep her safe
– heimlich
– hit head
– didn’t plug nose
No time to bemoan mistakes
Shallow lesson – watch kids better around water
Deeper lesson – life is fragile. Family more tender with one another
Life lesson – delivered straight from God to teach me what I had been looking for: Failure is feedback.
Cut your losses, keep moving
Bemoaning mistakes. No time for that.
Japanese Proverb – Fall down 7 times get up 8.
Dog without front legs, owner brought food, pig stole his food. Learned how to walk.
Our setbacks can bring out our hidden talents and gifts
What’s your handicap? What’s your weakness?
When life throws you something traumatic, you’ll discover new things about your capacity and potential. None are pointless.
It has a purpose. Look for the blessing it contains because it’s there.

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What happens when you’re grateful for EVERYTHING

God is a lawful being. There are absolute causes and effects in his law-governed Universe, and as we learn about and abide his laws, we can expect to enjoy the blessings connected to them.

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10)

It was a profound moment for me when I stopped to realize that there’s a reason, a very specific reason for doing every good thing we’ve been taught to do.

“Be grateful” is not just a band-aid to distract you from pain. It is a law, connected to a blessing.

While you may be wondering if it’s even possible to feel grateful for everything, consider this:

Feeling good about your problems activates certain laws of success for happier outcomes. (And who doesn’t want happier outcomes?)

As I’ve said before, when you change how you feel, the nature of your surroundings begins to shift ever so slightly.

Because people can feel your emotions (even if only subconsciously), they respond to you differently when you change the way you feel. The customer service representative deals with you a little more kindly. The other driver lets you merge. The professor is a little more forgiving about your assignment.

“Let a man cease from his sinful thoughts, and all the world will soften toward him, and be ready to help him. Let him put away his weakly and sickly thoughts, and lo! opportunities will spring up on every hand to aid his strong resolves. Let him encourage good thoughts, and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchedness and shame.” (James Allen, As a Man Thinketh)

Okay, all that’s fine and dandy—just change your thoughts and feelings and everything will go better. But I’m telling you what, it can be nearly impossible sometimes to even want to feel differently about things. I get it. I’ve been there, maybe even more than I haven’t been there.

But it’s okay. Sometimes we really DO need to give ourselves permission to just feel the full scope of sadness, disappointment or even anger that our situation warrants.

But here’s the trick:

Only go there with the plan to let it be temporary. The Law of Rhythm dictates that there must be ebbs and flows, ups and downs, and even sadness FOLLOWED BY HAPPINESS. But you don’t have to fake the shift, and you don’t have to force it. It WILL COME as a gift; your job is to simply hope for it, and allow it to happen. Don’t fight it when it tries to find you.

(Have you noticed? I think it may be trying to find you now…)

So allow yourself to be sad until you’ve felt it completely, but always maintain a hope and expectation that happiness will again eventually follow.

It happens after a change in perspective. You can help it along by first acknowledging the difficult place you’re in, but then as quickly as you’re able, be grateful for it. Lift your eyes and heart upward with hope—relying on the many promises you’ve been given, that your hope is indeed justified. No matter how ugly it is, be grateful.

Here’s the law:

  • This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24)
  • In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17)
  • And let the peace of God rule in your hearts … and be ye thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
  • O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever. (Psalms 107:1)
  • Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing…. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name. (Psalms 100:1-5)
  •  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20)
  • We accept [it] always, and in all places …with all thankfulness. (Acts 24:3)

Here’s the promise:

  • For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:
  • Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
  • Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted
  • Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven… (Matthew 5:3-12)
  • All things work together for good to them that love God, (Romans 8:28)

Do you see the Laws of Polarity and Rhythm depicted here? You are PROMISED comfort when you are sad. You are PROMISED resolution when there is difficulty. You are PROMISED a reward when there is injustice. You are promised ALL things will work together for your good if you love God.

How long you stay in pain may depend on how long you think only about the pain.

I’m convinced that God’s servants included so many hopeful verses to get us THINKING hopeful thoughts when we are in our pits of despair. Because, by the Laws of Perpetual Transmutation and Vibration, that is how we begin to move toward the happier half of the equation.

So let’s explore this. How can you feel good about all the bad stuff you’re dealing with?

It begins with choosing to believe in something that can’t be seen. Choosing to believe that something better is already on its way. Choosing to imagine that something more favorable is already in the works.

“…therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen…” (Alma 32:21)

The Law of Polarity promises a potential blessing to compensate for every hardship. When you start looking for the promised benefit contained in your adversity, you no longer remain the limiting factor in what the positive outcome can be.

Without the glance to Moses’ staff, without the pause to remember the promises in the Beatitudes, without a shift in focus, the natural laws by which God governs can only be expected to bring more of the same unhappiness. Change begins when WE change.

Hope is the answer. At least it’s the beginning. So if you are suffering, take a moment to remember God’s promises. Rehearse them in your mind. Speak them out loud. Allow yourself to hope that they are true, and begin looking for evidence that they are already in effect with you, right now.

When you choose gratitude and trust in the Lord even (especially) during a hardship, you are promised a better outcome—in fact, the best there is to have.

Part of the requirement is to let go of the outcome. Let go of how you want things to be (even if only for a moment), and be grateful now, just as things are. TRUST that if you do this, the best possible outcome WILL be realized, even if you don’t know what that is, and even if you’re not sure it will be good enough to make the pain or disappointment worth it. You must TRUST that it very much WILL be worth it.

The Law of Polarity also promises that if something is just a little bit bad, then the hidden benefit is only just a little bit good. They are equal and opposite. So if you’re dealing with something catastrophic, the promised potential benefit is equally phenomenal. This is why the most unfortunate person in the room is, in reality, the luckiest of them all, for the potential benefit they will realize if they learn to think lawfully about it.

So look forward with hope to whatever that blessing may be. Expect it. Be grateful for it, even before it is yours.

I’ve learned (although sometimes I forget) that if I experience a terrible blow or disappointment, the sooner I get on my knees and thank God for the awful thing I’m experiencing, the sooner it passes. In those times, my prayers often sound like this:

“Dear Father in Heaven, -sigh- thank you for this challenge. I don’t know how it is good for me, or why I must endure it, but thank you for it. I’m sure there’s a good reason, and I look forward to discovering what it is. Thank you for giving me a bad day (week, month, year…) if for no other reason but that I will know a good one when I have one. Help me through this. Help me find the hidden blessing in it. (Then I pause to really feel what I’m saying, and I try to imagine how he sees me in that moment. I imagine him feeling proud of me for choosing gratitude in spite of the circumstances. Then I close my prayer…) In Jesus’ name, amen.”

When I do this with sincerity, I absolutely feel a shift every time, and I know that the future outcome just changed for the better. I know it. And it has yet to fail me. I’ve been able to look back every time and see why my gratitude was not in vain.

Example: How a bad experience can be good

I think of the story shared by Corrie Ten Boom who suffered many difficulties in the German Concentration Camps. At one time, she and her sister argued about whether they must really express gratitude to God for even the fleas that infested their quarters. They were women of faith, but this was a tough thing to do. As it turned out, many of the other prisoners were regularly troubled by the guards, but Corrie and her sister were left alone—because of those horrible fleas.

As Napoleon Hill so eloquently stated, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” So yes, we can be grateful for even the fleas, and even the hardships we face today. In truth, all things can work out for our good if we expect them to, looking forward to the understanding that will eventually come, and allowing the good to emerge through the tragedy like a gleaming sunrise after the coldest, darkest night. Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn.

As M. Catherine Thomas said in her book, Light in the Wilderness, “…if you wish to feel the most penetrating power of the Spirit, try the experiment of giving thanks in the moment of disappointment, of tragedy, of the specter of ruin. When you are able to do it consistently, you will feel as though you have discovered and united with the mystery of life.”

To learn more about the Laws, read Hidden Treasures. (FREE!)

And please, share this article with someone who needs an uplift today. Originally published April 6, 2012.

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How many goals at a time?

One of my readers recently asked: “Can you have more than one goal at one time? Or is it too overwhelming for you and your mind?”

That’s a really good question.

The length of what follows reminds me of Blaise Pascal, who is known to have said (in French), “I have made this [long] …because I have not had time to make it shorter.” I understand, Blaise. I understand. Anyway, here we go:

You can have as many goals as you want, but there should be an ultimate overall goal that steers the ship and helps you determine all the other goals you should set along the way.

Before I talk about focusing on one versus juggling several, there are three things to consider:

  • What is my overall goal in life? How do I define success?
  • Do each of the smaller goals contribute to my overall goal?
  • Which goals must wait until the more urgent, priority goals are accomplished?

Other goals may help you reach the main goal, or if you’re not careful, they can distract you from it. Contradictory goals will cause you to spin your wheels.

Every one of your goals may be important and good, but timing is important. When I was first married, it was my goal to stay home from work when we began our family. So without knowing how we’d do it, and expecting a windfall miracle to make it financially possible, I quit work and stayed home with my baby for that first year.

A miracle showed up, but it wasn’t the one we were looking for. It showed up as hardships, debt, and my husband eventually losing his job. It would be another decade before I’d look back with gratitude for the struggles we endured. The “miracle” was that God believed we could, and would, handle our mess and that eventually we’d rise above it, solve the problem, and share what we had learned with others.

The goal to stay home with the children never changed. To me, that was one important representation of what success meant to me. But our order of priorities had to change for a while before we could earn the privilege of having a mother in the home.

My ultimate goal, though, had more to do with how I wanted my LIFE to turn out when all was said and done. Part of that vision included how I’d like my children to turn out. A family rich in relationships and fulfilment better defines success to me than a fat checkbook. But watch how this all fits together:

As I’d picture how I wanted my children to turn out, it made me want to be the one to have the most influence on them as they grew up, which (for me) translated into wanting to be home with them.

In order for me to be home with them (and not be thinking about money stresses all the time), I desperately wanted to develop a passive income, which would be there whether or not something happened to my husband, or if I became physically unable to work.

We set dates for our lifestyle goals based on what we wanted in place by the time they were teenagers. Instead of waiting until they were teenagers for me to make a contribution, I worked at odd hours with piles of laundry all around, learning real estate strategies, stock market strategies, book writing and site development skills, typing one-handed with a baby on my lap and preschoolers on the floor with cut-up paper and coloring books strewn around, so that I’d be free by the time they were adolescents to finally give them the kind of deep engagement and focus they’d need me to give — a different kind than what toddlers need.

Did I ever feel guilty about doing more than June Cleaver did? Yeah, sometimes. Until a certain Bible passage helped me feel a little better about it. It is the definition of a “virtuous woman” from Proverbs 31 and goes like this:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She ariseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard… She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle… She maketh herself coverings of tapestry… She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant… She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her…”

A virtuous woman sounds busy doing many, many things, including working for financial gain. This verse helped me feel better about burning the midnight oil now and then to make my own contribution to our family.

Still, even now, every monetary goal I set is always for the primary purpose of being free to focus on raising my children the way I want, which is for the purpose of helping them enjoy fulfilling, happy lives as adults, which is for the purpose of me coming to the end of my life pleased with the contribution I made while I was here.

Every goal I set will fit into the big picture of life success as I see it, somehow. If it doesn’t, then I know that I will NOT be passionate enough about it to make it happen.

Setting a goal to own a Rolls Royce will have no power for me because it makes no contribution to the driving purpose for my life. Is a Rolls bad? No, it’s beautiful! But I know myself well enough to know that it isn’t something for which I’d go through the refiner’s fire.

Even if I pictured myself in a Rolls, feeling grateful and so forth, I’d never take the “action” I’d need to “receive” it. I just wouldn’t care enough to make the effort. And all the visualization and feeling in the world wouldn’t cause it to appear in my driveway without MY firm INTENTION to make it happen.

So, set as many goals as you’d like, and know that you will not focus on all of them at the same time, or with the same intensity. You must put them in priority order and tackle them with laser focus one at a time. You’ll create a goal statement for each one of them (as described in The Jackrabbit Factor). And then you’ll pick the one that is most important and urgent, and you’ll spend your energy (mental and otherwise) on making daily progress toward its accomplishment.

If your LONGEST term goal is clear, then you’ll INSTINCTIVELY know which one needs your attention first.

The other goals will be written and posted where you’ll see them now and again, but your main focus is on the ONE. Sometimes stuff shows up out of nowhere to take you closer to one of your non-priority goals, while you spend all your energy in another area. It’s really cool when that happens. You are rewarded for your determination one way or another.

To focus only on one goal is not to say that, in any given day, you will not work on more than one. But no matter which goal you’re working on, at that time be 100% focused on it, like a laserbeam.

A lightbulb will brighten a room, but a laserbeam will cut through steel like a hot knife in butter. Both are good, but only laser focus has the power to accomplish the tough stuff.

Personally, I’m not so good at keeping to routines where I give a certain part of my day to different goals like that. It’s hard for me to shift gears at the drop of a hat and switch my focus. For me, I trust that my “temporary seasons of imbalance” are just that: temporary.

If you have a lot of wonderful goals in mind but you are not truly focused on any one of them, you are like a gently shining lightbulb. Plants will grow, and you’ll keep people from stubbing their toe, but no steel will bend for you.

What if there are too many things that are urgent? What if your mind is in a fog because there are too many demands bombarding you?

That’s when you really need to put it all on paper to get it OUT of your head, so you can look at all of it objectively, without emotion. Relax, and you’ll instinctively know which one needs your attention first. Pay attention to your gut feeling, and go for it. Trust that things will all work out if you just keep doing your best. If something falls through the cracks, be at peace knowing you’re doing your best, and that it’s all perfect just as it is. There is good that will come from even the failings.

By putting your task list on paper, you’ll find that the “problem” and the “overload” is really just in your head. You’ll see that the list is just ink on paper. There really is no problem there. It’s just data. It is what it is, and no amount of worry or panic will make it any better. The solution will only be able to reach your consciousness when your mind is relaxed, at peace, hopeful and expectant about finding the solution.

Prosper on! Originally published on July 14, 2007

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