The Heart of the Matter

Wow. Do you have something about your past that just bugs you to no end? If so, you’ll want to read this:

I just returned from an amazing experience and needed to tell you about it. For the last 3 years I’ve heard about a particular seminar… one that was originally recommended to me from a couple of my mentors: Bob Proctor and Camille Kocsis (remember the $10,000 story lady from the epilogue of The Jackrabbit Factor?). Well, I finally went, and am a different person than when I walked into it last Thursday.

It supports the material I teach, and adds a new dimension to it, which has been mind blowing. I won’t spend a lot of time explaining what I mean by that… all I can say is that if you have some emotional baggage holding you back from moving forward, you may want to keep reading.

If you’ve heard me say that we have a lot of old ‘X’ programming in our subconscious mind, and then maybe you’ve heard me teach how to replace it with a new ‘Y’ idea… how would you like to discover exactly what YOUR ‘X’ programs are? This is their specialty. If you were to attend their program, you’d get a good look at who you are, and your fears, prejudices, conditioning… and how to create new programs which will serve you better. Your results in life are a product of your programs. Isn’t it about time to scan your hard drive for viruses? You might not be functioning at your best because of a bad program, and you might not even know it’s in there.

I don’t receive a dime for sending people to the seminar. I even run the risk of losing clients every time I promote it to members of the ThoughtsAlive community. I have nothing to gain by this except the knowledge that some of you may feel something as you read this, and act on that feeling… to take a step toward some major emotional breakthroughs in your life. When you find something that helps you, don’t you want to share it with others?

Ironically, I went in feeling pretty good about my life, and with the expectation that I would just learn how to be a little better. What I learned about myself was pretty revealing. There was pain, exhilaration, anger, love… and watching people all around me transform their lives forever. Some people aren’t ready to take an honest look at themselves, but for anyone who IS willing…there’s amazing things in store.

I had no idea that they had such a long-standing reputation, because I had only heard about them from a few people… as it turns out, this company, PSI Seminars, has been the longest running program in the United States. Some of the greatest leaders have come out of it including Lee Iacoca, and some of the most masterful gurus are behind it, or involved in supporting it, including Deepak Chopra and Mark Victor Hansen, or so I was told by our instructor that weekend.

In fact, singer Don Henley attended years ago and it was after one of the experiences in the seminar that inspired him to go home and write the song ‘Heart of the Matter.’ Do you remember that one? ‘…even if, even if you don’t love me anymore…’

They teach what I teach about working with your subconscious mind, but in a little different way. I felt supported in my knowledge of the Universal Laws, and I was given color in some things where I had previously only had a black and white understanding. If you choose to participate, you will be better equipped to learn, and integrate, the principles from ThoughtsAlive if there’s been something emotional holding you back… or if there’s even an ABSENCE of emotion, which WILL sabotage your ability to successfully apply what I teach.

They hold the seminar in a number of places all over the world. Tell them I sent you. Again, I receive no compensation for referring people. They simply track the ripple effect on how an individual finds out about it, and how it affects their lives based on whether they encourage others to attend.

I have to admit that when I walked in on the first day of the event, I remember thinking, ‘…these people are just way too happy…’ and I was skeptical, even with more than a decade of experience as a ‘self-help junkie’. Then the magic began. It was a process, but I eventually uncovered some old programming that had been causing me on a subconscious level to behave in certain ways, and I found out exactly why it was there and what to do about it if it wasn’t serving me. The best part was that we didn’t just learn what to do, they created an atmosphere where you can go ahead and GET IT DONE while you’re there.

Very cool stuff.  I am committed to helping people find solutions, no matter from where those solutions may come.

Each opportunity I share serves a different purpose. There are so many different aspects to life, and the PSI Basic seminar will help you in some ways while mine will help you in other ways. Is there something serious holding you back? Get down to the ‘heart of the matter’ and let them help you find the power to release even the heaviest baggage so that you CAN move forward unhindered. We have great places to go and amazing things to accomplish… one step at a time!

Learn more about the PSI Basic Seminar

My disclaimer about PSI:

I loved PSI Basic. I went more than once. There were some things about it I didn’t like, but what I gained from it far outweighed the parts that bothered me. What follows is my full and honest product review. The content, and the experientials they walked us through – absolutely amazing. Eye opening. Made you think. Shifted me, deep down. Our trip to Disney World pictured on my Prosper The Family website was a direct result of what I gained at Basic. Beyond Basic, there are more advanced trainings, which I did not attend. My husband did go on to PSI 7, and my brother in law did the Men’s Leadership and Principia. They both gained a lot from those advanced programs. I stopped at Basic for personal reasons. For one thing, they’ve got a brilliant marketing strategy built in to their programs, where if you move on to the advanced trainings, passing the next level includes a requirement (or at least a lot of pressure) to recruit new participants. Brilliant for them, but the way it was executed to me began to feel manipulative. It might have just been the people I was working with, but that is where and why I stopped. The moment I felt that “my success” at the next level was contingent on and measured by what felt like a compulsory requirement to sell tickets for them, I bowed out. My husband took that step with a less critical and more open mind, and used the experience to overcome fears and grow personally. That’s what it was designed for, and he gained a lot from it. But I struggled to see past the perceived ulterior motive and chose not to advance. It was less about the requirement itself and more about the way the representative went about trying to get me to advance. Another reason I stopped was because I took my teen son back for Basic, but during that session, the instructor was so foul-mouthed that I complained to him on a break. His defense was that he was just relating to the teens, because they hear that stuff all the time. I was angry because my son did NOT hear it all the time, and it was unnecessary to relate to him that way. In fact, it was a very negative distraction from the amazing content. My son wrote a letter to the directors explaining the same, and eventually received an apology.

So all that being said, I still recommend the Basic seminar. Even 10 years later, I would still recommend it. But those are my disclaimers.

If Basic is out of reach for you financially, consider joining me for my Genius Bootcamp. It’s cheaper, you won’t be required to recruit participants, and I (and my facilitators) don’t swear. So there you go. 🙂


Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Another great question from one of my readers triggered this article:

Hi Leslie, I read you article TO DEBT OR NOT TO DEBT. It was an eye opener! Could you please explain what you meant by “there are two things worthy of debt: a home, and education.” Did you mean there is good debt and bad debt? The debt elimination teachers I’ve sat under say “there is no good debt, just bad debt, and to work hard to pay you home off early.”

(I know there are many schools of thought.)

And what about all the students who graduate from college drowning in debt, because they took out school loans, and are paying on them for years to come? (I hear their cries on several debt shows I listen to, many of these shows make you scared to death to use a credit card). I’m sorry to ask this question, but I guess I need a little more clarification if possible. Thank you for all you share to help us improve our lives…. Ellie (name has been changed)

At the time I responded to Ellie, my understanding of good debt and bad debt was superficial. I’ve since learned an even better way to look at it, so before I share my original, somewhat sophomoric response, I want to share with you a more powerful article on the subject by one of my mentors:

Increase Your Cash Flow By Understanding the Proper Definition of Debt – Garrett Gunderson

You’re taught in America that your home is your biggest asset. If that’s true, why do so many Americans fail to utilize their home as an income-producing asset?

The answer is because so many of us are limited by misunderstandings about debt. When we understand the correct definition of debt, we are able to unleash unutilized potential to increase our production.

Can you give a clear definition of debt? We’re taught by financial pundits and religious leaders to avoid debt, but do we even know what debt is? How can we avoid something when we don’t know what we’re trying to avoid?

The most common definition of debt is any borrowed money, which is false. My friend Les McGuire, who spoke Japanese, used to teach this concept by telling people that they should avoid “tabemono” like the plague. The joke is that tabemono means food in Japanese, and the ironic point is that, first of all, by not knowing what it is we can never avoid it in the first place, and secondly, if we don’t know the correct definition of debt, we may be avoiding the very thing that is the most essential to our financial health.

So many people are avoiding “debt,” but not only do they not know what it is, they are also avoiding some of the most critical knowledge about finances that keeps them away from prosperity. Ironically, it’s also the knowledge that would help them get out of debt.

The True Definition of Debt

Contrary to the common definition, debt is the negative difference between liabilities and assets. It’s having more liabilities than you have assets on your balance sheet, and the difference between them.

The best way to understand this is through balance sheets. The purpose of a balance sheet is to itemize one’s assets and liabilities and determine if they either have an overall equity position, or a debt position. For example, suppose a person owns a home with a market value of $300,000 (asset) and owes $100,000 to the bank (liability). Ignoring every other asset and liability, how much debt does he have? The common definition would say that he has $100,000 of debt. The true definition (although strangely ignored and/or unknown by most people) helps us to see that this person has zero debt, and actually has $200,000 of equity, which is the opposite of debt.

On the other hand, what if a person owns a home with a market value of $300,000 and carries a mortgage of $305,000? Again, the false definition of debt says that this person has $305,000 of debt, whereas the technically correct definition plainly shows that this person only has $5,000 of debt.

Again, the way to determine your amount of debt is to total your assets, total your liabilities, and then subtract your liabilities from your assets. Equity means that you have more assets than liabilities, and debt means that you have more liabilities than assets.

Why It Matters To Your Prosperity

Once a person understands the proper definition of debt, they can understand how they can leverage resources and increase their cash flow. For example, suppose the homeowner with $200,000 of equity were to extract that previously-unused resource and then use it to buy a real estate property whose cash flow is greater than the liability incurred from the refinance? They did not increase their debt; they merely leveraged their equity to increase their cash flow.

Why is this knowledge so critical for people to understand? Because countless people are unaware of the potential for wealth creation in their own homes. There is much misinformation surrounding the concept of debt, and it severely limits productivity. Myths surrounding debt result in literally billions of unseen, undervalued, and untapped dollars that, if understood and utilized properly, could drastically increase the wealth of most Americans. There are ways to leverage all of your assets, including and especially your home equity, without ever going into debt.

People who fear debt–and misunderstand what it actually is–often have thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars available to them that go unused. When they experience the paradigm shift of realizing what debt really is, they are able to open up a whole new world and unleash unprecedented amounts of productivity through principle-based and debt-free borrowing and lending.

Garrett B. Gunderson is a financial advisor, entrepreneur, coach to financial professionals, and primary author of the revolutionary book Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity.

Article Source:

My original comments sent to Ellie:

Hi Ellie,

In my opinion there IS good debt and bad debt. For example, I think a person would be foolish to spend their whole life renting because they were unable to save up $100,000 or whatever to purchase their first home. Suppose over a 10 year period of time, they put out $500/mo in rent on a home worth $80,000.

That’s a total of $60,000 in payments, with nothing to show for it. After those 10 years, the property could easily be worth $130,311 (at only 5% increase/year). If they had put their fear of debt aside and purchased the property instead, their down payment of less than $3000 and the $500/mo payment would have earned them more than $60,000 in equity, a reward for their willingness to manage a piece of real estate. In one way, it was like putting their rent money into a savings account instead.

(If the property does not appreciate, at least they can be assured that their house payment will be constant, unlike the rental market.)

So with this in mind, who was the fool? The person who avoided debt like they had been taught, or the person who chose to use “other people’s money” to be more self-sufficient in the long run?

Depending on the interest rate, renting and buying could easily mean the same monthly outgo for 10 years. The mortgage company will probably receive somewhere around $20-40,000 in interest over that span of time. Some people would think that’s sickening, and grumble about how much of their money went to the debt people.

On the other hand, I’d say “good for them!” Because of their service to me (allowing me to partner with them to control a piece of real estate), I’m happy they made money helping me make money.

Do you realize that with $3000 down on an $80,000 house, if you sell it in 10 years and profit $50,000, you didn’t just get a 62.5% return (50,000/80,000), you got a 1600% return on your investment, because YOU only put $3000 into it (3,000/50,000). You earned a 5% per year increase on not only YOUR money, but 5% increase per year on the bank’s money as well.

(I understand, that’s not taking into account your monthly payments, but I don’t mention them as part of the calculation because you’d be spending that money on rent anyway.) So what if you had home maintenance over the years? Chances are, they won’t come to anything near the amount you’ll retain or even profit from taking ownership.

“Debt” has such a bad rap because of how the masses use it. They use it to finance lifestyle, with no thought or intention of causing an increase from it. One leads to growth, one leads to bondage. It’s good that people hesitate to go into debt, because they should pause to scrutinize their purpose for doing so.

Cars don’t generally appreciate like houses do, so I’d only go into debt for a car if I absolutely had to; in other words, if we needed it to go earn our living. We’ve driven junky, embarrassing cars while our friends drove nice, respectable cars, because we couldn’t justify the debt for the luxury of good appearances. “Good appearances” do not generally lead to growth, unless your image impacts your effectiveness as a salesman, for example. In our jobs, the car we drove had no impact on our profitability.

Education is the other potentially justifiable reason to borrow money. I don’t feel that way so much about a college education unless the salary expected coming out of it can more than cover the debt service that will be required – AND if there is a guarantee of work at the end of the road (which there isn’t). No, school loans are definitely a risky proposition.

I think the biggest problem with school loans is that the student isn’t wise enough with the money. I don’t know how it is across the board, but when I was in college, I had friends who were using student loans… and when the check came, they paid for their tuition, and a stereo, and furniture, and a car… etc. They didn’t keep to strict personal guidelines to spend it only on the education, and do without the luxuries until their occupation afforded it.

In their mind, they expected life to look a certain way, and that’s what the school loans were for: to live life as usual and be free from the job to focus on studying.

We, on the other hand, scrimped, starved, worked multiple jobs, and slept very little during college, AND spent our grocery money on seminars. We could see that what we were learning in school was good stuff, but it wasn’t going to teach us how to create income. The seminars however were teaching us how to build a life, instead of just earn a living.

Education is a worthy investment… because what you learn, and what you become as you learn it, cannot be taken from you. It helps you grow into the kind of person who can achieve anything they need or want to achieve. You are the only thing you take with you when you go, so developing yourself and your talents is never a wasted investment. There are ways to make in one month what you are accustomed to making in a year. What would you pay to learn how? Do you see how there is a big difference between an investment and an expense?

Using other people’s money for an wisely considered, well calculated investment can be good. Using other people’s money for lifestyle or an expense is never good. If you’ve ever played the game “Rich Dad Cashflow 101 board game“, (a game I STRONGLY recommend even though it’s pricey) expenses are called “doo dads.” (By the way, this game is definitely an investment, not an expense. It is education, not lifestyle. Take my word for it.)

If you must go into debt in order to make great strides forward, it is imperative that you feel good about the decision instead of looking at it with a sick feeling. Lots of people go into debt for a home or education and feel sick, and that can literally affect their opportunity to glean everything good from the investment that they could have gleaned. It becomes bad debt, simply because of the way they let themselves feel about it. With the feeling of dread for what they have done, they will be more likely to pull out and sell the home at the wrong time, or fail to apply the knowledge they gain from education to create profit because they are so focused on fear.

Look at it this way: if you want to travel from your home in Vacaville, California to Hawaii, and you were bent on following the rule: “only go FORWARD to get there the fastest,” you’d drive to the shoreline at Vallejo and get in a boat and start rowing. Good for you that you never turned back! Eventually, after probably a few weeks, you’d end up in Hawaii. On the other hand, if you allowed yourself to go BACKWARD for just 30 miles, you could hop on a plane in Sacramento, and get to Hawaii the same day.

Should you feel guilty for going backwards a little bit? That’s how you can look at debt. In fact, start calling it “other people’s money” when you are making a smart investment, and call it debt when you are spending it on something you shouldn’t. It’s going backwards just a bit so you can get in the vehicle that will take you where you want to go.

I hope this helps… hopefully you can also see why a person’s psychology has to be in the right place before these ideas will do them any good. Since this psychology is NOT the norm with the general population, you’ll rarely see programs on tv or on the news that speak to the small percentage of people out there who understand this.

I’ve learned that I have to be careful who I talk to about it, because some people are too quick to take advice based on someone else’s recommendation without thinking it through for themselves, and then they don’t want to take responsibility for the outcome of their thoughts, feelings, and actions if it doesn’t work out the way they hoped.

Take responsibility. If you use debt, manage it wisely. Make your payments on time, and always pay more than the minimum. Sacrifice lifestyle until your cashflow justifies it. Be the first to contact creditors if there is going to be a problem making a payment. They should know that you are more concerned about your standing with them than they are.