Life’s Challenges: Friction, or Traction?

Every life challenge offers traction for rapid progress toward your goal. Friction is optional.

Imagine life as 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 affect 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 path 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 often shows up is a gear disguised as a challenge that attempts to engage you and 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 more desirable gears.

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 can 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 Mindset Mastery™ 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 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 cause TRACTION to bring you to the success you seek. I have experienced both opportunities and continually come to the same conclusion each time.

Your choice. Get started now and be on track for some powerful New Year’s resolutions. Let this upcoming year be your best year ever! Click here for more information about the Mindset Mastery™ Program.Originally published November 25, 2008

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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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Gurus are Human

47tips-gurus-are-human

I received an email this week that spawned an interesting conversation. I’ll share it here. Hector wrote:

How are your teachings different from all the dozens of gurus advertising out there?  I’m genuinely confused by inconsistencies from the gurus.

For example, Wattles wrote books about health and riches and then he died at 53, lost his bid for public office and to my knowledge he was still scrambling economically.

The author of Science of Miracles, Max Long Freedom committed suicide due to leg cancer while his group was in disarray and his wife left him.

Arthur Ray is in jail.

I honestly would like to come to terms with these inconsistencies.  Can you help me?

I didn’t verify his facts, but here was my response nonetheless:

Hi Hector,

That’s a fair question.  I think the bottom line is that each one of them is doing their best to make sense out of life and how it works, and they enthusiastically share the nuggets of wisdom they find along the way.  But just because you gain wisdom, it doesn’t mean you will always be the perfect example of how to live by that wisdom.  If gurus waited until they had perfected a principle before they shared it, only perfected people would have anything to share… and I think we know how many perfect people in the world there are not.

We as students need to separate the principles from the person sharing them or we will quickly become disenchanted, no matter who we choose to listen to.  I’ve been mentored by many a guru, and I’ve seen more than one fall off the pedestal on which I placed them – but that does not remove the value from the truths I learned from them.  Life has a way of delivering tougher and tougher challenges – when we’re ready for the next “lesson”, life delivers experiences to help us overcome and learn.  All the big gurus are still members of the human race, and will continue to face greater and greater challenges until the day they die.

You may solve the money problem, or you may overcome a health challenge, but growth only comes through opposition in one form or another, and frankly, we’re here to grow.  The answer is to learn all the wisdom you can, and apply the principles to your best ability, so that those challenges refine you and strengthen you instead of defeating you completely.  To get up every time you’re knocked down is success.

About each of the gurus you mentioned – only God knows how they faced, or are facing those challenges. The ultimate measure of success is whether you can find serenity and happiness in spite of the challenges that rage around you.  Whether or not you’re teachable enough to grow and learn and become a better person on the other side of the present challenge.

People think they need money to be happy.  People think they need to be in perfect health to be happy.  But the fact is, it’s happiness that is the goal – and some of the greatest people who ever lived were successful at finding happiness no matter what. I’ve had a lot of people go through my programs and find out that they can actually have what they want, and then they go get it, and then they discover that what they wanted didn’t bring them the happiness they thought it would, so they use the programs and principles on more carefully selected goals… and the good news is that it works for those, too.

We can be so quick to judge a person by their bank account, or their outward appearances – there will always be those in the media who love a good hero-to-failure story, but if we jump on that bandwagon of criticism, chances are, life will bring us through experiences of our own that teach us empathy instead of criticism, and to be more forgiving in our judgment on others.

We must try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Any more, when I hear a story of a fallen guru, I immediately wonder about the “rest of the story” that the media isn’t sharing. I wonder about the person’s internal growth and what lessons they learned in those final days.  I feel that I could probably still learn something valuable from them, and how I would love to pick their brain and learn from their errors rather than wind up repeating them myself.

Anyway, some of the greatest lessons come from our failures, and God bless the man who shares those lessons in spite of his imperfections.

In answer to your other question, to find out how I’m different from other teachers, you see an article I wrote about that very topic at http://www.positivethinkingtips.org/human-empowerment-in-perspective/

Hope this helps,

Leslie

His response:

Leslie,

Thank you for your prompt and thoughtful reply. I still remember when doctors endorsed cigarettes in advertising. That didn’t take away the value of medicine.

I am going to reflect on all the good advice I give to others and to my children, but I don’t follow myself. This is going to be my task for the day.

Without coming to terms with the gurus’ inconsistencies I mentioned to you, I’m always going to poison my progress with doubt and cynicism. I have been infamously good at that all my life and it’s time to change it.

Thanks again.

Hector

PS: I finished the Rabbit book and watched your movie yesterday, and I’m registering for the 12 week Family Course Today.

I congratulate this reader for his astute conclusion. Gurus are human. I’ve shared plenty about my own challenges, even in spite of the pedestal on which some of my readers have placed me, and hope this conversation helps others view leaders in the proper light.

We should learn what we can from them, but ultimately we must all learn to enlist and trust the guidance that comes from God directly. Sometimes that guidance leads us to a guru – but I don’t think that it was ever meant to be a final destination. Each mentor or guru is there to help us get past our present obstacles, or move us through to the next level of happiness or success.

Whatever the case may be, trust that when the student is ready, the teacher will always appear. As students, it’s our job to keep growing, learning, and preparing ourselves for our next teacher.

Isn’t life FUN?!  It’s an adventure for sure!

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