Finding Peace and Joy through the Storm

Serenity is life’s supreme accomplishment. It’s not about living life without storms, it’s about finding peace and joy in spite of them.

According to James Allen, serenity is the supreme accomplishment. In his classic essay, “As a Man Thinketh,” he describes how we shape our lives by our thoughts, and how we create a life of joy and bliss by thinking lawfully… or we create a life of misery through unlawful thoughts.

This means that true prosperity is built, not upon principles of competition and brute ambition, but upon principles of successful right-thinking.

Let’s take a look:

The Law of Polarity guarantees that contained in every adversity is the seed of equal or greater benefit, so by law, there is good to be found in all circumstances. That’s why joy and misery are simply NOT determined by what happens to you.

This is proven by the fact that there are rich people who are miserable, and poor people who are full of joy. By the same token, there are poor people who are miserable, and rich people who are full of joy.

In all areas of life, it comes down to this: “Unfortunate” people can be miserable, or they can be joyful, if for no other reason than because the law guarantees the potential exists for both poles in every circumstance.

(Clinical depression or other mental illness can make it nearly impossible for a person to find or access the seed of equal or greater benefit contained in their adversity. If you feel this way, watch this.)

Finding joy

Some of our greatest joys come from growing and becoming all we can be. Growth feels good. It’s what defines us as “living”. So, if the lack of money prevents us from doing that, then we should use the fundamental principles of prosperity to obtain plenty of money. If the lack of positive relationships prevents us from doing that, then we should use the principles to improve our relationships. We can even use the principles to improve our health: physical, mental, and spiritual.

How is this done?

We must first realize that our thoughts are the only domain over which we have ultimate control. We must also acknowledge the fact that all areas of our life are affected by our thoughts. Something happens, and so we respond to it. But how do we respond? It all goes back to how we thought about the situation, and the resultant actions spawned by those thoughts.

We cannot respond gracefully to setbacks if we do not first think graceful thoughts. We cannot turn a bad situation around unless we first think of ways to turn it around.

Success always begins in the mind. (And so does failure.)

That’s why I’m convinced that the most important thing we can do is learn to control our thoughts. True peace and tranquility can be obtained in no other way than through self-mastery:

SELF-mastery, not ENVIRONMENT-mastery.

So when we stop waiting for our circumstances to improve, and instead make peace with—in other words—find happiness with, the way things are NOW, then The Law of Cause and Effect kicks in, and the world begins to soften towards us.

Sometimes making peace with the mess we’re in now is the only way our circumstances will ever improve.

But it’s a scary thing, to make peace with disaster, to come to terms with ruin.

We’re so afraid to go there, because we think it means we’re giving up; and if we give up, then maybe it also means that all hope is completely lost.

But it’s just not true.

Remember, it’s how you THINK that determines what happens next. So if you THINK that making peace with disaster or coming to terms with ruin means irreversible failure, then you’ll never let yourself go there. And that’s what keeps a lot of people stuck.

But what if I were to tell you the truth: that happiness, progress, victory, and goal achievement are ALL waiting on the other side of your coming to terms with the mess you’re in, and finding happiness just the way things are? What if I told you that you should let go of the need for your environment, pocketbook, health, or relationships to change?

Do you dare go there?

What if nothing EVER changed? Can you imagine that? What if I were to tell you that the way things are, are exactly the way things will be for the rest of your life?

How much time would you spend grieving? How long would you let yourself be angry?

And then what?

After a period of grieving, you would be different. We are designed to recover. We were born with the capacity to adjust, and adapt to change. It’s a natural process, in fact. Once we let ourselves give up on waiting for things to change, we can fight it and prolong the pain, but ultimately our systems are physiologically programmed to cycle through all of the stages of grief until we come to acceptance.

The Stages of Grief:

  • shock or disbelief
  • denial
  • bargaining
  • guilt
  • anger
  • depression
  • acceptance/hope

And so we go there (if only just in our minds), and then here we are: having made peace with the way things are NOW.

This is where Nature, the world around us, notices we have changed, and because of the Law of Cause and Effect, it begins to soften towards us.

It’s about finding peace in the storm. Not peace without a storm, but peace in spite of the storm. Greater success then becomes a natural byproduct of our increased serenity.

Ironically, if your serenity is real, and you’ve genuinely given yourself to the process, then it won’t matter to you if you gain more success, because you’re already happy with or without it.

Besides, isn’t happiness the reason for our pursuit of success to begin with?

In conclusion, let me just say this:

We will continue to face challenges. It’s a necessary part of life, because without opposition we do not gain experience, strength, or wisdom. Adversity is a blessing, and when we begin to accept and embrace it for what it is, we begin to experience the peace and prosperity that is ours to enjoy. Life just gets better.

It reminds me of the story of the farmer who complained that everything was always bad. God thought, “You think you have it bad now? Hmmmm. I’ll show you! I’ll show you what bad really is!” and so things got worse for the farmer.

On the other hand, another farmer expressed gratitude for everything, even his hardships, even without understanding why the hardships were good. He prayed: “Thank you for the challenge, because it helps me grow.” God thought, “You think you have it good? Hmmmm. I’ll show you! I’ll show you what good really is!” and things only got better for the farmer.

So just remember:

The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”James Allen

For more on this topic, visit How to Surrender (and why you’d want to). Originally published July 29, 2006

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When You Feel Confused and Don’t Know What To Do… Pick Your Picnic

47tips-pick-your-picnic-new

John Sims was traveling with an associate. The associate said, “John, aren’t you going to put on your seatbelt?”

John replied with his raspy tenor voice, “Why, are we going to get into a crash?”

“No, but seatbelts save lives…”

John retorted abruptly in his usual blunt way, “Seatbelts don’t save lives.”

“Of course they do!” His friend explained, “Once, I was driving with my family and something told me to make sure everyone was wearing their seatbelts. So we all belted up, and just as we turned a corner, there was another vehicle coming at us in our lane. Even though it was a head-on collision, we all survived because of those seatbelts!”

John was firm, “No, the seatbelts didn’t save your life, whatever told you to put them on saved your life.”

Probably a decade has passed since I heard John relate that story. Leaving a lasting impression on me, its message has deepened and taken on new meaning. He’s right. It wasn’t the seatbelts that saved their lives. True, they played a part in the actual physics of keeping the bodies secure during impact, but the credit belongs to the voice of warning. The “life-saving” seatbelts were there during the entire trip. But the timeliness of the prompting, and the man’s response to it, changed the would-be tragedy into a miracle.

I am reminded of a game I played in high school. Planning to take some friends to a picnic, my friend and I prepared a tape recorder which described our every move as we traveled from our starting point to the final destination.

When it came time for the event, we told our unsuspecting friends to wait at a payphone until we called them and told them where to find the hidden tape recorder. Our instructions: “Turn it on and follow the directions explicitly!”

At the end of the journey was the picnic fit for a king. But along the way, we followed our friends, incognito. The most hilarious moments came when they tried to mimic what we had done, but in the wrong places. Having accidentally fallen out of step, our friends found that the description of our actions no longer suited their surroundings and, to us, it became absolutely laughable. If they had only known where they were trying to go, they could have improvised and found their own way.

Sometimes we look at others who have reached an admirable destination in their life, and then imitate their same steps in an effort to achieve their results. We listen to their tapes, read their books, and attend their seminars; and then we do our best to follow what they say. While we can learn a great deal from people who have what we want, we must realize that we’re not always on the same sidewalk, so to speak, as they were when they began their journey to the picnic. We’ve had different life experiences and carry with us a different variety of baggage, all of which makes a difference. We need to have the destination clearly in view, so that when someone else’s instructions do not work, we are still able to improvise our way to success.

So, how do you identify your picnic? It’s so simple that most people discard the idea as unimportant. This is one reason why few ever discover the power behind it. All you have to do is simply DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT.

If you knew you could not fail, what would your goals be? This is actually the toughest part of achieving success; the part that at least ninety-seven percent of the population will never do. Create a description of the success you desire, and commit it to paper. Write it in the form of a gratitude statement as though it has already happened. Then you are entitled to, and can trust the impressions which come to your mind. By doing this, you’ve done it: you’ve ‘spotted’ your picnic table. As you hang on to the vision, you’ll know instinctively just how to get to it, because it will be in clear view. Without it committed to paper, your impressions will seem random and you’ll struggle to know what to do next. Perhaps you’ve already felt that way.

Take control of your life, and experience the exhilaration which comes from proceeding methodically toward your worthy ideal. Your success begins with the dream…and happens after you’ve done your part to enlist the voice of inspiration on your journey. See it in your mind, commit it to paper, and be grateful for it before it’s even yours. This puts you in tune with that ‘inner voice’, and you’ll finally know just what to do, and when.

This article, originally written November 14, 2003, was adapted and expanded to become the award-winning international bestseller: The Jackrabbit Factor

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Are You Making it Harder Than it Has to Be?

Positive Thinking Tip: Goal achievement is a learned skill, like a toddler learning to use a phone. When it doesn’t go the way you expected, hang up and try again!

When making a phone call, if you dial the numbers right, it works. Children who have never used a phone often have trouble making it work right for a while, just as we can have trouble making the laws of success work to achieve our goals.

It takes practice!

When a goal doesn’t happen the way you expected, it’s easy to get discouraged. Actually, that IS the COMMON thing to do. The uncommon thing to do is brush yourself off and ask the hard question:

“Where did I go wrong? What more do I need to know? In what way am I making this harder than it has to be?”

Common people may ask those questions, rhetorically, but not with a real intent of finding the answers. Actually, sometimes they don’t WANT the answer, because it’s just easier to say, “That law of attraction thing doesn’t work.” Truly, it’s easier to put the blame for failure on things outside of oneself.

**** OUCH! ****

(Now, if you’re offended, you may be surprised at the TURN this article takes next.)

On the other hand, UNCOMMON people ask the hard questions with a firm INTENT to find the answers. They SEEK for the answers, even if it means they have to admit that there may be more to learn.

Uncommon people will get uncommon results. Uncommon people will enjoy an uncommon lifestyle. If they DO ask the hard questions and find the answers, then the next time they pursue a goal, they can apply the new understanding, and can get better results.

Or not…

Here’s why: For me, this question / answer /new attempt process happened HUNDREDS of times before I actually saw it really work even ONCE. I know hundreds of ways it DOESN’T work. Each failed attempt showed me something else that I needed to tweak about my approach.

Think about it… The first time a kindergartner tries to use the telephone, chances are good that s/he will dial the number wrong. When that happens, it would be foolish to say, “This phone doesn’t work!” The PHONE works fine. The user just needs to be extra careful to dial ALL the right numbers, in the right order, with no extra numbers inserted along the way.

The law of attraction works FINE. You’ve just got to be careful to dial ALL the right numbers in the right order, and not insert any extra ones along the way. When you do it right, it unfailingly works the way it should.

And the good news is that when you see it work once, you gain confidence, and eventually realize that it can work for you EVERY time. In fact, it can become second-nature, just like using the phone. Then, after experiencing some success, you discover that it can even be easier than THAT… like discovering the redial button.

But I have some BAD NEWS…

The one element that does NOT go away, no matter how slick you are, or how smart you get, is the TEST to exercise faith when all appearances indicate impending disaster. Yes, no matter how good you get at the process, and no matter how much money you make, you’ll always get plenty of opportunity to exercise faith, make sacrifices, and stretch yourself OUT of the comfort zone to accomplish the next goal.

You just get to a point where you learn to accept the difficult nature of the process. Sorry to burst your bubble.

The knowledge I share here does not avert the challenges, it just gives you the power to overcome them when they show up… the power of subconscious goal achievement in spite of difficulty… the power to have PEACE of MIND through the process.

And yes, you CAN HAVE your victory. You can have the MONEY you need. You can find the job, or succeed in business… You can have the FREEDOM you seek!

Just try again, and learn from your mistakes. That’s how you win.

Find out what else you may need to know, so that you can achieve that oh-so-elusive goal. I want to help. Read the Jackrabbit Factor story free, so I can reveal the common mistakes people make with the law of attraction; or if you’re ready for more advanced answers, start the 12-week Family Time & Money Freedom (FTMF) home study course.

You can succeed!

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The Tide Always Comes Back

Positive Thinking Tip: No matter how bad things appear to be now, nature guarantees a turn for the better. Look forward to it.

The Law of Vibration (you may have heard people call it the Law of Attraction) is a natural law of the Universe. In other words, so long as you live in harmony with the law, all you need in order to accomplish your goals can become available to you in a natural way.

But one less-discussed aspect of the law is how you need to maintain peace of mind during the process. You need to calm down and allow nature to run its course. Let me cite three examples in nature:

  1. You don’t rush a baby; whenever possible, you let it have 9 months to develop.
  2. You can’t rush a seedling; pulling on it to make it grow faster will cause it to die.
  3. You can’t rush the tide; it must go all the way out before it will begin to come all the way back in.

Life has its ups and downs… it is the natural rhythm of life. In order to succeed, we must learn to ride the tide instead of fighting it. How do we do that? How do we continue to hope for prosperity in the middle of a setback?

When you are on a “down,” know that the up is on its way, just as the tide comes in and goes out, predictably. When you worry that things are going badly and you can’t see the end of your misfortune, just remember nature simply doesn’t operate that way.

Don’t get trapped in a downward emotional spiral by thinking that things are bad and only going to get worse! That is just as absurd as watching the tide go out and thinking:

“Oh dear… there goes our shoreline forever! I suppose the whole ocean is going to disappear!”

Be patient. Look for evidence that the tide is returning. Look for evidence that things are turning around for YOU. Look for evidence of prosperity on your horizon. If you look hard enough, you’ll find it… and as you focus on an upturn of events, you will be preparing yourself to receive some great rewards; one being that you will figure out better, more efficient, more desirable ways to earn a living.

If the tide doesn’t seem to turn around as quickly as you hoped, think on this: you must plant your dream seeds properly (as outlined in The Jackrabbit Factor Ecourse), and then relax. You’ve got to simply go about your activities in a peaceful way, knowing that because you planted the seed, nature needs time to do her part, too.

(You need to be willing to let the tide retract completely before expecting it to return again.)

How can you apply these ideas?

Let’s switch back to the seed analogy. The minute you start to feel anxiety about your goal is the same minute you must remember the seedling. Just because you don’t see the fruit yet, know that it is coming. You might not even see the sprout, but you trust that something is happening beneath the soil.

That’s how I try to approach my goals. I plant them by doing what Richard did in The Jackrabbit Factor, and then I take the actions that come to mind in a calm, deliberate way. I might go a long time before I see any evidence that my efforts have made a difference. But I know they have, so I keep on keeping on, expecting that in time, I’ll see a sprout. Besides knowing this, I know that there is also some critical personal development going on at the same time.

Furthermore, when I see a little sprout pop through the surface of the ground, I don’t pull on it to try and make it bring fruit immediately. Patience and confidence are two of the most critical elements for enjoying prosperity.

Confidence is important because it is by your faith that the seed will continue to grow. Don’t forget how much influence your thoughts have over the circumstances you experience. If you lose confidence, then your doubtful thoughts can kill the fragile seedling.

Maintain faith. Believing is a choice… you can choose to believe in your ultimate success.

A message to my serious readers who are finally ready for a major breakthrough: begin your life-changing journey in the 3-month Family Time & Money Freedom Home Study Course and let me help you make a significant improvement in your results.

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Principles for a Stronger Marriage

Marital Revolution

Positive Thinking Tip: Focus on principles for improving your marriage, and everything else goes better, too.

My friends Dino and Shannon (who joined me for one of my Book Writing Retreats, and who are pictured here) have done an excellent job putting together some principle-based, content-packed videos for you on how to get more love and understanding in your relationship.

Sign up now while they still offer free access:

Business of Marriage Video Access

With the combination of great information and their personal stories (like, Dino watching his dad drive away as he stood on the sidewalk as a kid, or Shannon’s dad dying from a heart attack instead of facing a divorce) make this a moving and hope-giving “must watch”.

It really doesn’t matter where you are in your relationship. If you’re struggling or if you’re doing great, every garden needs weeding from time to time.

These free videos are literally for everyone:

Business of Marriage Video Access

You’ll be glad you watched. What I’ve learned from Dino and Shannon has made a big difference in my marriage – and I thought we already had it pretty good.

Enjoy!

Leslie Householder

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Do the Challenges Ever Stop?

Positive Thinking Tip: When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.

It’s thrilling to discover the principles of prosperity, and it’s especially exciting when you see them work for the first time.

From there, you feel empowered and encouraged to think bigger and test the principles on more significant tasks. But when you face a setback, you might be left wondering, “What just happened here? I thought that if I just live the principles perfectly, the rest of my life would be easy!”

I have an answer for this, and I hope it doesn’t burst anyone’s bubble too much… but we were placed on this earth to grow.

All life is compelled to grow and expand. That is one of the definitions that helps us determine whether something is alive: does it grow?

In order for us to grow, we must have challenges that stretch us beyond our present limits. We must work our mental muscles and exercise our mind, body, and spirit in order to have the joy and experience the success that only comes through growth and expansion. There are few joys that exceed the feeling of facing a difficult challenge, and overcoming it.

The truth is, that if we ever found ourselves without challenges, we would become unhappy and restless.

Remember when you were a child, and your mother tried to teach you how to tie your shoe?

Did it work the first time you tried it? Probably not. And it was probably very frustrating, and likely evoked some tears.

In that moment, there had never been so great a challenge in your life. You wanted to throw in the towel, give up, and if it didn’t make you cry, it probably made you growl in frustration. However, in time, it became old hat for you and you could do it without even thinking.

Then when you were in sixth grade, your teacher probably assigned you a book report that would take several weeks and had to fill up about 4 pages. You had never done an assignment that big before, and it was overwhelming. In time, and after being required to do a number of similar assignments, it was no big deal. What took several weeks could be completed in a day, because you had experience.

Fast forward to college.

Remember those projects that ultimately determined your final grade? Remember the countless hours on the computer? Remember closing off your social life in order to meet that deadline? It was overwhelming, and the stress was unbelieveable. You had never been required to work so hard on something so important! If you were like me, you shed many tears and begged your professor more than once for mercy.

Then for some of you, you started in the work force and had job pressures and bills to pay. Sometimes it was too much to bear. You thought you had it pretty tough until…

You got married and added a spouse to the picture.

Now there were work pressures, bills to pay, and a spouse to please. Who knew that being responsible to one other person could stir things up that much?

Pretty soon, you got into the routine of things, and even though things are tough, you have no idea what tough means until…

You start having children.

Are there words to describe how complicated things became when kids entered the picture??

Now wait a minute… think back to the time when you were learning to tie your shoe. Oh, if only life were that easy now!!!

But remember, at the time, when you were six and you had to figure out how to pull the string just enough to make a loop and not enough to make a knot, it was as though the world was falling apart and it was nearly more than you could cope with.

One day, today’s challenges will look like child’s play as you learn to conquer them.

All that I do through my books and programs is to provide the tools you need to learn how to succeed in overcoming the challenges you face today. Will challenges in general go away? No.

But you’ll be prepared to handle bigger challenges, and you’ll grow in faith, hopefully learning to rely more perfectly on God in all you do.

It seems that life will only get more challenging.

WAIT!

I didn’t say life has to get worse… or even harder, but it will constantly deliver more and more ADVANCED challenges.

As we learn the laws and adopt them into our habits, we become successful at overcoming them more and more gracefully. Every challenge could easily seem overwhelming… but only relative to what we’ve conquered in the past.

Challenges are important because they help us build confidence.

Imagine a child who never gained confidence in learning something simple… what if they were required to hold office as president of a large organization! Each challenge is intended to lead us along to receive all that God would have us receive. Each is an opportunity to overcome and gain increased confidence in the partnership we are developing between ourselves and God.

You can get good at handling finances and attracting wealth. Learning to achieve prosperity is a skill that can be improved. Just as you got good at tying a shoe, this is one skill that can become a strength.

Don’t get discouraged if new challenges show up. It doesn’t mean you are failing. It means you have grown to a point where God believes you can handle something else. It is an indication of His increased faith in you.

I heard somewhere, “When you are down to nothing, God is up to something”. There is joy to be had in the struggle. As we learn to find peace in each whirlwind of trouble around us, that is success. Then, the prosperity you want begins to flow naturally.

Seek peace and prosperity comes, seek prosperity and peace flees.

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Is Absent-Mindedness Affecting Your Success?

Positive Thinking Tip: De-clutter your life and you’ll more easily recognize the subtle, inspired indicators that will lead you to success

A couple years ago, my husband and I took our seven children to a neighboring state for a read-a-thon. On the way home, we stopped half-way and stayed with my sister for a night to break up the trip. The next morning, in our rush to be on the road again, we gathered our blankets and pillows, said our goodbyes, and loaded the van. My husband was at the wheel and I glanced back to ask the kids, “We got everybody?”

Nobody indicated otherwise, so I said, “Great!”

We had just begun to roll down the road when I looked back again and noticed my 15-year old missing.

Oh, no, I thought, not Nathan! He’s the one we forgot last time!

So I exclaimed, “Hurry! Back up and I’ll run in before he realizes we almost forgot him again!”

Within a minute I was back inside the house.  Hearing Nathan upstairs, I exhaled a sigh of relief. Whew! He didn’t notice.

My sister’s husband had a questioning look on his face, so I just said quietly, “We forgot Nathan… don’t say anything.”

Soon after, Nathan opened the door so I hollered nonchalantly, “Nathan… time to go!”

He ran downstairs, said his goodbyes and we climbed in the van. Just as we were getting ready to pull away, someone in the back said, “Where’s Nicholas?”

We gasped.  How did we miss Nicholas?

So I asked, “Nathan, will you go find Nicholas?”

“Sure.” Nathan said, and then ran to the house.

Pretty soon, out came – not Nathan – but my brother-in-law. Standing there in his robe with his hands out and eyes wide, he gestured, “What the –?”

Chuckling, we watched him disappear back into the home. Then suddenly, he stepped into the doorway again with a look of utter disbelief, and three fingers held high.

What’s that supposed to mean? We wondered.

Just then, Nathan emerged from the house with Nicholas…

…AND Bethany.

Okay, in my defense, I will say that we were driving a 15 passenger van full of blankets, pillows, and backpacks. Most of the time, you can’t see everyone in their seats even when they ARE there. When you rely on one child to let you know that their buddy is missing, but that child is missing, too… well, you see what can happen.

Did you know you can leave three children behind and not even realize it?

I do now.

It reminded me of the family who stopped at a gas station during a long road trip, and then hours later realized that the mother had left her prescription glasses there. Regretfully, they had to turn around and go back for them, costing them in a lot of extra time and gas.  When they arrived, they discovered their son waiting, too.

This kind of absent mindedness can get really expensive in terms of time, resources, and most importantly, damaged relationships.

I my case, I thought we were ready to go, but I was wrong. The added clutter in the van, and my hastiness, distracted me from the indicators (empty seats) that would have told us exactly what we needed to do next (find our children), before driving away. Had we proceeded anyway, without fixing the immediate problem, it could have cost us in extra time, gas, and again, most importantly, potentially damaged relationships.

So how can we avoid absent-mindedness?  Maybe it’s just a matter of addressing the clutter. Too much clutter in life can distract us from subtle indicators that would clearly tell us exactly what we really need to do next on our journey to the desired goal.

What are you trying to accomplish?

  • Financial freedom?
  • Stronger family relationships?
  • Better health?
  • Peace of mind?
  • A sense of fulfillment?

It could be that there’s something critical you aren’t even thinking about… something urgent and important that you must do first.

If life’s clutter is keeping you from recognizing it, then there may come a day when you have to turn around and go all the way back to this place to fix what was neglected right now. There are subtle indicators ready to get your attention, but you may need to slow down and clear up some clutter before you’ll notice them.

So… what kind of “clutter” can become a distraction from the subtle indicators?

“Clutter” might include:

  • Too many unnecessary activities filling your day (life is short – be selective about how you spend your time!)
  • Too many unnecessary things laying around your home or office (things were created to be utilized, to benefit people – if you no longer benefit from possessing an object, transfer it to someone who will put it to use.)
  • Too many meaningless conversations (do your discussions center on the topic of things, other people, or uplifting ideas?)
  • Too many meaningless non-family relationships (is there a positive exchange of service, knowledge, or value taking place… or not?)

If you get caught up in the clutter and miss the subtle (but otherwise oh-so-obvious) indicators that something else is an urgent priority (like a child left behind), at some point you may have to go back and make things right before you can arrive at your desired destination with all the right parts and pieces in tact.

So this is my invitation to you: take inventory of your life. Where are you trying to go?

Do your activities, conversations, things, and non-family relationships, truly make the necessary contribution to your journey? Clear what you can, and then take a look around. You might find a gaping hole right under your nose that requires your immediate attention now. Address it now, and you’ll get to your destination successfully a whole lot faster.

(And, if you’ve ever lost track of a child as we have, don’t feel too bad… it even happened to some of the most famous and well-respected parents in history: Joseph and Mary, when Jesus was 12, two thousand years ago.)

To your success!

Leslie

PS. Be sure to check out the FTMF course. It will help you more than you realize.

“I just wanted to say THANK YOU!  I took your FTMF course and it changed my LIFE! I would not be where I am today without the guidance of someone helping me to learn how THINK correctly.  I feel like my world completely changed after I took your course.” – unsolicited email

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Human Empowerment, in Perspective

Bell

There are a lot of success “gurus” out there, and in spite of what some of my readers have said, I have to admit I don’t really see myself as one of them.

Having traveled the seminar circuit, and having written two award-winning and three best-selling books, I’ve been lumped in the category of speakers who “have it all together”—which is laughable to me.

I am an ordinary person who tries her best to do the right things, but who still makes mistakes just like anyone else—if not more so. Perhaps one difference between me and other people is that I’ve made a project out of publicly sharing the lessons I’ve learned (and have yet to learn) along the way.

(Thank you for coming along on my journey—it’s nice to have your company!)

So what’s the difference between me and the other “gurus”?

Well, one difference has to do with my perspective on human empowerment.

While some gurus teach that you are the ultimate master of your own life, and that you can have, do, and be whatever you want, and that you deserve to have everything life has to offer—my take on it is similar, but it’s different enough that I think it’s worth bringing up.

Some gurus will tell you that you deserve it all.

That’s reasonable, but realize this: They tell you that so you’ll overcome the common mindset that you don’t deserve abundance.

In that light, it’s a good philosophy. But it’s incomplete.

Yes, we must overcome the feeling that we are unworthy or undeserving of success—but the flip side of that is NOT that we are entitled to it, or automatically deserving of anything.

The antidote for feeling unworthy or undeserving (from my perspective, at least) is to believe that the gap between who I am, and my potential, can be bridged when I lean on the power of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Frankly, I “deserve” nothing because I fall so short of living the principles perfectly. But gratefully, I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be perfect to enjoy the blessings, I just need to recognize my shortcomings, acknowledge them, and rely on Him to make up the difference.

Think about it: if we’re really talking about Universal Law, and if it’s as absolute as the term “law” would indicate, then you would have to maintain a perfectly positive, expectant attitude ALL the time or the law of attraction wouldn’t work. Period.

Yet, while nobody keeps their thoughts perfectly (and I mean perfectly) positive at all times, goals are still achieved; victories are still won.

How do you explain that?

I explain it this way: God has provided a way for the demands of the law to be satisfied, but it requires honest effort to be obedient to the law, while I do my best to bounce back into right thinking as soon as I can, and having humility—humility which is demonstrated by acknowledging the role of, and my need for, a higher power in the delivery process, and hoping that God will make up the difference where I fall short when I trust him. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

It takes faith to believe that my Creator can and will help—but that’s the price I pay. The price is not to achieve perfect, unfailing obedience to all the laws of success every moment of every day. The price I pay is to do my best, and then have faith in God that he’ll line things up for me, anyway.

The key is unwavering faith.

Not unwavering faith in oneself, not unwavering faith in the laws (because that would mean nothing but predictable failure, from imperfect obedience to an absolute law), but rather: unwavering faith in God.

Related: Trick, or Treat?

So, do you subscribe to the philosophy that you ALONE are powerful enough to make your life the way you want it? It IS a better philosophy than believing that you are powerless to change anything—

But faith in yourself alone can only get you so far. Faith in a divine Creator takes you the rest of the way. In many ways, it can be harder to do, but when you get into the groove of it, it’s definitely the easier of the two options.

Some gurus will tell you that you’re the creator of ALL that comes to you. I see myself as a CO-creator with God. It’s a partnership. Yes, I am capable of original thought, and I am even capable of creating circumstances in my life with some independence.

But I’ve also learned (the hard way) that when I take the independent approach and get what I want, I find out that it may not have been the wisest thing to ask for.

(Be careful what you pray for, as they say—because you might just get it.)

Yes, I’ve seen astonishing results from applying the laws of success and utilizing the power of intention. But I’ve seen even better results when I first make the effort to determine whether my desire is in alignment with God’s divine plan. When I know with certainty that I am in alignment, it’s infinitely easier to have the faith required while I wait for the necessary elements to line up.

You might wonder, “What if what God wants for me is less wonderful than what I want for myself?”

I feel assured that we cannot possibly imagine the unbelievable rewards that are available for us; rewards that are beyond our comprehension.

We’re like the child who wants nothing more than the plastic toy in the store window, while our parents know that the joy will be short-lived, and that life has much deeper joys to be experienced.

So it is with us. Trust that the object of your desire may be, relatively speaking, childish in comparison to the rewards that are available to us. Check with the parent to see, “Is this something that will bring me ALL the happiness I’m capable of experiencing?”

True, you can use the laws of success to get what you want, apparently without God, sometimes with amazing ease. And using the laws in alignment with God’s purposes often puts you first through tougher challenges than by going independent…

That’s because He’s a good parent.

He’s smart enough to let you first grow into the person capable of appreciating and completely utilizing the reward when it finally comes.

Don’t begrudge the challenge that shows up when you set a goal. Embrace it with gratitude because it’s there to shape you into the person who will be able to fully appreciate the reward you seek.

Haven’t you heard that you don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are? How else do you think you change who you ARE, without opportunities to grow through opposition?

Yes, I am the captain of my soul; I am a creative being, capable of original thought, and able to build a better life for myself—no matter who I am, or where I come from.

But without God I am nothing.

Before you get all up in arms about that, think about it: I don’t dictate whether I have the breath of life in me today or not; it could literally be gone in an instant. (Try attracting another breath with your positive attitude when God shuts off the power fueling your life.)

You may not already have everything you want, but you HAVE been granted another breath, at least. How much say did you have in that matter?

It’s a gift worth acknowledging. I look at all I receive as a gift, even when I’ve worked my tail off for it.

So in summary, I am constantly reminded by my weaknesses how dependent I am on that higher power for strength. I rely on unseen help for the guidance I need, which leads me to the necessary resources to accomplish the goals I have. Call it the law of attraction, call it guidance, call it your subconscious, call it whatever you want. The point is, there’s something bigger than all of us that helps us along.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been successful at achieving a goal with an attitude that I “deserved” it or was “entitled” to it. I think this is the reason why:

Sometimes when one of my own children comes to me with a request, and s/he approaches me with an entitlement mentality, I am more inclined to deny the request. (What makes me think a cocky expectation of a goal achieved is what will impress my Creator?)

Related: God or Science – Who Pushes the Apple?

But when my child comes to me with gratitude for what they already have, and make the request for something additional, sometimes I’ll test them with, “What if I say no?”

If their response is, “That would be okay…” then I usually freely deliver.

When their response is anything resembling a tantrum, I hold it back. I can’t reward the ingratitude. Even if I want them to have it, I can’t deliver, lest they conclude it was their tantrum that did the trick.

It’s all just food for thought:

How are YOU asking Life for what you want? With an entitlement mentality, a tantrum, or with gratitude?

Are you going to be able to find peace of mind if it never comes? I think you’ll find that sometimes it only finally arrives after you’ve learned to live in genuine peace and happiness without it.  My newest book, Portal to Genius (free) helps you understand this better in a story form.

Wow, that post was longer than I intended. Sorry about that.

If you want to travel this journey with me, I can help you better if you’ll read The Jackrabbit Factor. (It’s free.)

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