The Unexpected Cure for Doubt

I remember when my husband and I were trying to live on about $1200/month.  We were both working full time and fighting a losing battle to stay afloat.

We listened to motivational audios that urged us to believe in our dreams, and we knew that we could have any kind of life we really wanted, but when it came right down to it, it was always impossible to see where any extra money would ever come from.

I can see now that at the time, having faith in the face of scarcity was an impossible expectation.  Here’s why:

The thing that made it so difficult is that we knew exactly how much money we were getting, and we also knew just how much our expenses exceeded that income.

If true financial success cannot be achieved without at least some degree of FAITH (believing in something without tangible evidence), how in the world is a person supposed to have that kind of faith when all evidence proves that it’s utterly impossible?

I learned that there are three things that, over the years, helped me build that necessary faith.

  1. Continuing Education – learning new marketable skills and studying the laws of success
  2. Work – investing time, money, and energy in other income streams outside of our regular jobs.  (Even when they didn’t produce a profit – and they didn’t – for nearly 10 years!)
  3. Choosing to Believe in God, and believing that He was interested in our success – and trusting that it was being orchestrated, if we’d just kept moving our feet.

For nearly a decade, we worked and studied, and worked some more.  We believed the abundance would have to find us sometime, if we just kept trying.

It makes me think about the early settlers of my desert region:

There were a lot of ditches to dig and canals to build before they were prepared to utilize a flow of water.  I’m sure it took many, many years to put those systems in place.

As you explore your talents and look for new ways to monetize them, just picture yourself digging ditches and building canals.  It’s so easy to think that a massive, sudden flow of money would solve all of your problems, but in reality, that gush could be just as devastating as a flash flood in a valley where the settlers are trying to create a system for a steady, constant supply of water.

You don’t want the gush until your systems are in place!

It dawned on me that after my husband took the leap toward full-time self-employment (when we really couldn’t predict exactly where the money would come from like we could when we had a regular paycheck), the more trenches we dug, the easier it was to have faith in God.

Isn’t that interesting?

Having put forth so much unrewarded effort for so long, in the face of scarcity, instead of saying, “I can’t think of a single place the money could come from,”  we could more easily say, “The water could come from any one of the hundreds of trenches we dug all those years!”

Compared to our first few years together, how much easier it now was to finally believe!  How much easier it was to have faith!  And faith is the critical element.  All the work in the world without faith can be just as useless as all the faith you can muster without work.

As they say, “Faith without works is dead.”  Truly without some personal effort, faith is meaningless.  Why? Because you demonstrate your faith BY working! You’re proving your belief in the abundant life by putting forth the effort to get those money-making systems in place.

And, when faith is low, work can help it grow, too.  This is why the unexpected cure for doubt in my opinion is: Education, and WORK.

If you can’t think of where to get the money you need, shift your focus to increasing your knowledge, and get to work finding some kind of meaningful services you can perform for others.

God did not bring you this far to fail now… stay in forward motion.  Your reward is waiting for you!

For a first-class education in the principles of prosperity, join me in the Mindset Mastery Program!

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For those who desire to maintain traditional roles

I stumbled onto an old message while looking for something else, and it’s prompted me to bring together in one place a few different conversations I’ve had on this topic. It’s not organized in any particular way, and my newsletter is already long overdue, so I’m going to just share it “as is” for now, and (maybe) clean it up later. It’s my blog, so I can do what I want, right?

If maintaining traditional roles in a marriage is not important to you, then check out some of my other articles listed at the right.

Otherwise, here we go…

Dear Leslie,

I am in need of some ideas in regards to the Law of Attraction and am hoping you will address this in a blog so it will be easy to find. I have read the forums and haven’t come across anything like this from the wife’s point of view. Two years ago, my husband and I started learning about the law of attraction. It was exciting and empowering and life changing. We have read and listened to much and changed much about our thinking and feeling. Yet, we continue to be stuck in the abundance of poverty including making things much worse than ever. Now, I know this is not an unusual comment for you to hear so bear with me for a couple of paragraphs.

My husband has been in sales and marketing for 23 years. He is good at it but has lost a fair number of jobs along the way. Since we started learning all this, it seemed that things would change but they haven’t. Just last week I had an ‘ah-hah’ moment during a discussion. For many years he would say in the midst of a good job, “I don’t like working for someone else.” Oh, my goodness, there it was. No matter how much we were changing, his overriding feeling was that he didn’t want to work for someone else and guess what? He now wasn’t! So the law was still in effect in spite of our learnings and changings.

So my big question, shared by several of my friends in similar situations, is, can one person’s thoughts or goals override another?  If one person is truly getting it, and yet the other doesn’t believe strong enough, how can things shift? I see many women start to get this and shift things majorly, yet they end up being the breadwinner of the family. This is not our intention or our goal, especially with children at home. So what I would like you to address if you can is what kinds of affirmations should the wife be making, what kinds of thoughts and feeling should we be generating? If a husband’s pattern is self-defeating or self-sabotaging, what’s a wife to be, do or think to make this work? Help!

I appreciate all you are doing and especially your take on it since we share the same religious values.

Sincerely,

Danielle T.

So I found that letter (which had been sent via snail-mail) as I was cleaning out some files, and I’m embarrassed to say that I’m not sure if I ever responded. But I no longer have this person’s contact information, so in case she reads my blog, I’m going to respond to it now.

The short answer is yes, one person’s faith, intention, or goal can override another person’s thinking (or lack thereof). Here’s how:

Your faith can be enough to cause something to happen, even if your spouse is full of doubt, depending on if YOU think it is enough. If YOU believe his or her doubt will have no effect, then YES your faith can be sufficient. See how it always comes back to how YOU think?

Chew on that for a minute.

But, before you take that to the bank, I need to add a disclaimer:

Especially in a marriage, it’s important that we do not bulldoze our way to our dreams in spite of our partner. We need to be really careful about how we apply the principles, because it does not serve us to keep one law “well”, if doing so violates another. All of the laws can be kept in harmony, if we apply them in wisdom and order.

Your relationships matter. Your partner’s feelings matter. Your commitment to each other matters. Be patient and choose a pace that works for the both of you, even if it means sacrificing some of your wants. This is my advice to married couples who want to stay married.

As Thomas S. Monson advised:

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” 

__________

Stay at Home Moms

Here’s another question I received, in a similar vein:

Hi Leslie! I am really struggling with what seems to be two conflicting ideas. I come to you as one who knows about both.

Here is my struggle that often brings me to tears. As a Latter Day Saint woman I am struggling with the conflict of following the council of our prophets and apostles to be a stay at home Mom while wanting to follow my dreams and become a motivational speaker for teens and women. I feel I cannot have both according to the council, why? Because speaking would pull me out of the home. I have studied our leaders words and they are very explicit on mothers staying home to raise their children unless circumstances arise where the mother has to work. I too am passionate about mothers staying home with their children. I believe it is of the utmost importance. The reason this is a conflict for me is because as much as I love being a mother and staying at home with my children, I don’t get much fulfillment – which breaks my heart. I wish just being a mom was fulfillment enough for me! I wish I could love staying at home all the time. Day in and day out I often feel depleted, forgotten, and alone. I feel like I am becoming more and more numb. I have forgotten how to laugh, how to have fun, how to smile because I feel I am not “allowed” to follow my dreams because if I did, it would take me out of the home.

What I really want is to make a meaningful contribution in the world. I want something I’m passionate about, something that drives me forward, something I love to read, study, and learn about. Something that brings me excitement, makes me want to get out of bed, gives me a reason to get cloths on, do my hair, exercise, etc.

So the conflict in me often eats me alive. I cry because I want to follow a dream and a passion but feel I can’t and I cry because I feel I am bad or wrong because being a mother doesn’t feel like enough. I feel I am drowning in the monotony of every day life. And the conflict is, I want BOTH! I want to be a stay at home Mom AND I want to follow my dreams and start becoming a motivational speaker. But how can I do both? I know the brethren talk about seasons. Yes, I could wait till my kids are all grown but to me that feels like it would take another 10-20 years of drowning before I could actually surface. And who knows if I would ever surface after that much repression. Do I do both? Do I set boundaries where I am not out of the home very often? What is your insight on being a Latter Day Saint stay at home Mom and following your dreams and goals??

Thanks so much!!

Heather

Hi Heather – I have so much to say on this topic! I’ve kept your message flagged for a time when I could give it the attention it deserves but things are crazy right now with my 5th grader needing help with her speech for student council elections, my 15 and 18 y/o sons’ double eagle court of honor, helping my college son find a car to replace the one that just gave up the ghost, and helping my daughter get ready for her mission in a few more weeks. Case in point, I guess… I’ve needed to make a conscious decision to set business aside for a while and just handle what’s right in front of me. I’ll be back in full swing again soon 😉

In the meantime, look at it like shifting your weight from one leg to the other. Back and forth. You can’t walk without the swing. There is no such thing as balance, as Sharon Lechter describes it. If you’re perfectly balanced over your two feet, you can’t move at all!

Anyway, if and when you come to any conclusions of your own I would love to hear what you’ve deduced. This may be a great topic for another blog post… 🙂

Thanks for your understanding!

Leslie

Related: How to Establish a Shared Vision That Will Lift Your Family (Ensign magazine, March 2018)

Hey Leslie! I totally understand! And I am sure you have much wisdom on this topic. I am excited to hear what you have to say.

I love the analogy of balance. That is so simple and profound. That helps a lot. Thank you!

I talked to a friend about this subject as well and she is an lds mom who owns her own business and is a top youth speaker and even singer. She won the lds Pearl Awards several years back. You may know her from her music – her name is Jessie Clark Funk. Anyway, as I was talking to her she said something that helped me a lot. She said, we often think we have to do all these things, follow all these steps, listen to all the experts right now to “make it” in whatever it is our dream is. But we often forget that there is no set timeline. The timeline is what is perfect for you and your family and savoring the seasons you are in while preparing for the next. We can do all we can now, but we don’t have to bust our butt thinking we have to do everything right now. I don’t know what it looks like to follow my dream while still enjoying the season I am in, especially with a new 4 week old, but I am determined to have “joy in any circumstance” and to me that is loving being a mother as well as following my dreams.

Thanks for your willingness to answer my questions and help me in this. I appreciate your perspective very much!

Thanks again! Heather

Heather, did you ever read my super long post about when I felt conflicted with goal achievement and marriage? The details aren’t exactly like yours, but the principle and feeling is very similar I think… I’m realizing I probably won’t ever get around to writing my whole collection of thoughts on this, but much of it has already been written so maybe the following can help. I realize it might not give you the answers you need, but it might spur some new thoughts that can bring you there, if this conflict is still a concern:
https://ararekindoffaith.com/the-hardest-thing-ive-ever-tried-to-write

Hope this message finds you well! Leslie

Oh my word Leslie! Thank you for sharing that blog post with me. I finally read it and you put words to the huge ah ha’s I have had this year! It makes me want to giggle and gasp because it is now a second witness to what I have been experiencing and what I am coming to understand is true!A few years ago I got deeply into the self help realm reading books, going to a bazillion Kirk Duncan events, attending all sorts of classes and in the process wanted to start a business with a friend all in the name of, “dreaming big” “living my purpose” “serving others” “following my dreams” etc. I was deceived into believing that I am powerful enough to make anything work and to create my life however I want it. While that might be true, just as in your post – it doesn’t mean I should. Well, during that time of lots of self help stuff, I became more and more confused, my vision and clarity got darker and darker. I couldn’t understand why. Especially when I would even wake up at 5am (I am so not a morning person) and study my scriptures and exercise and go to the temple weekly. I realized it was all to gain the things I wanted in my life rather than a desire to come closer to God. So needless to say, my spiritual practices were anything but spiritual. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t feel light, peace, or even a fraction of the Spirit from my spiritual practices. After about a year of going through all of this I paused. I looked at my life and realized it was not better off with me going after my goals and dreams. I was more miserable, more depressed, I felt I had lost the spirit for quite some time, I couldn’t feel gods light or peace. I was lost and in the dark. I felt that I was literally a reflection of the scripture “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” 

I had lost myself in the pursuit of finding myself through growing my skills and talents and going after my dreams. I had never felt so lost. Ever! I couldn’t understand why. I was doing all the things the prosperity experts told me, why was my life so dark? Why were my relationships with my loved ones more distant? Why wasn’t things happening for me? Well, I realized that I quite honestly didn’t care what God wanted me to do because I was too excited about the life I was going to create. So, he let me alone and let me trod down a tough path until I was desperate enough to truly let go of what I wanted and then turn my heart to him. 

I, like you, stopped listening and attending anything that had to do with prosperity training. I let go of everything and didn’t even want to look at it or touch it. I had to find out the truth and I needed so badly the Lords light and peace back into my life. So I left everything alone for almost another year. It wasn’t until early this year that I started to pick things back up with a totally different mindset. One with more caution and much more aware for gods plan for me. In fact, your stuff is the only stuff I trust enough to pick back up. So I did. And I see prosperity principles in an entirely new light in a way I could never see them before. 

Anyway, I too felt that I had to be a martyr and give up on me and that my dreams just weren’t important. I cried about that a lot. But as I said before, I also cried a lot because I wanted to want to be ok with just being home and being a stay at home mom. But I just couldn’t, so that’s why I reached out to you for help. 

In the weeks of pondering and searching for answers I realized that as members of the church who have made temple covenants, I think we are a bit different from the rest of the world in that we covenant to serve and follow God. Thus it hit me, “my life is not mine, it is the Lord’s. I have made that covenant” so in a way I am not free to just say what I want my life to be like. I have an obligation to be a tool in his hands so therefore what I want ISN’T as important as I wanted it to be. But that is the beauty of it all, giving up what we want to serve God is really one of the highest form of joy. I never experienced that until I completely let go of what I wanted and let him direct me. He directed me to do something I was terrified of and literally fought him a year on, and that was having another baby. As you know, I gave in again to what he wanted (you saw my giant belly). The minute, no! the second I gave in I felt immediate peace!! And now, here my baby is, 2 1/2 months and I am so full of joy I can’t even express. God knew what I needed and wanted more than I did! In fact that statement has gone through my head any time I started to want to achieve a goal, “God knows what you want more than you know what you want.” It’s so true!

So, in regards to wanting so much to fulfill my dreams AND be a stay at home mom I realized I can do both. How? By changing my mindset. You see, with all the trainings I went to I was taught to think big, constantly think about it, envision it, make a vision board, etc. Basically, put all your focus into this thing till you have created it. So it caused me to believe that I can’t achieve something unless I am constantly working on it and thinking about it. Not true! A good friend who is also a successful business owner said to me, now may not be your season to totally jump into your dream but in the meantime, hold on to it and start digging in. Read about the topic, study it, but most of all have fun with it. Enjoy it! 

The next profound thing she said is, YOU HAVE TIME! You don’t have to accomplish it by any certain time, if it brings you fulfillment just by thinking about it, that is enough because eventually you will be called to do something and when the time is right it will be shown to you and then you can take off! 

That advice has literally changed my life! The realization that I have time!!! That just because it’s not up on my vision board or I’m not networking or whatever, doesn’t mean I’m not working on my dream. In fact two things you guys said at the bootcamp that has made a huge impact on this very thing is “Dreaming big doesn’t have to be big to the worlds standards, it can be big because even a small change is a big deal!” That has impacted me so much! That I don’t have to dream about 1 million dollars, I can take the small baby steps toward my dream and that could be as small as just smiling a real smile when you see strangers. And then the other thing that was said at bootcamp was, “you don’t have to know your dream or life purpose to start working on it.” That was so profound to me. 

So as I let go, and I move forward. I am a happy camper. I trust in God’s plan and timing and I also know that God will grant my dream if it is wisdom in him and if I am obedient.  But if not, then I know God will create something even better than I could imagine. 

So, what I am saying is yes! I have received my answer to that dilemma. And I am continuing to receive answers.. But seriously, that blog post is almost identical to the journey I went on! So crazy! And perfect for the answers and clarity I have been seeking. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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Stephanie’s Graduation Spotlight

“Weekly hiker wannabe, tortilla chip addict and aspiring housekeeper, Stephanie loves reading and deep conversations, avoids cooking when she can, may or may not play drums when feeling so inclined, excels on the shooting range, and has spent 26 years prepping her 7 kids for the counseling they might need from her imperfect parenting. Like you, she hopes that all her broken, but best efforts, will be enough in the end.” (Bio from her blog, JustWalkingEachOtherHome.net)

Stephanie is warm and personable. I love the way she greets her readers:

“If you and I weren’t just communicating through the computer screen, I would offer you some creamy hot chocolate… I actually don’t like hot chocolate, but the rest of my family does. And I want you to feel like family. 🙂”

And now, I’m pleased to present Stephanie now as our newest Honors Graduate!

It’s been fun watching her go through the Mindset Mastery process, and to see how she’s faced and overcome some tremendous challenges along the way.

Keep reading to find out how she earned an all-expenses paid week long vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with her husband.

You did it, Stephanie!!! Way to go!!

Let me back up first, and explain a little bit about what it’s like to complete the program. To achieve HONORS status, a graduate must achieve a total of at least 303 points. But I’m not sure I’ve EVER seen a graduate earn as many points as Stephanie did – coming in at a whopping 443 points.

In her own words:

Day 1 – November 21: “I am loving spending every day listening to a podcast or reading from one of her books. We just received our workbook and course today. I am SO excited to get started. My children have already noticed a difference in me, wondering why I’m so happy. When you wake up in a place of already dreaming your new dreams, how can you be in a lower vibration?”

Mid-course – January 9: “I am LOVING this program! My husband and I have been working on it together, and it has been amazing! Our paradigms are changing, and we are SO excited for the future! My husband lost his job the week before Christmas, and we are certain this means that we are moving towards our big dream! Because of the smaller things we have seen while applying these principles, we have a greater degree of faith and hope for the future. The loss of his job is just evidence that God is ordering our lives.

“I wholeheartedly recommend this program! The pieces are finally coming together in our understanding with Leslie’s simple and clear writing. I am so grateful to Leslie and Trevan for being vulnerable and sharing their experiences with the world so that we can learn from the good and the bad. This simply gives the rest of us an opportunity to spend less money and less time to learn how to move forward in a monumental way. Thank you!

End of Course: “Wow!! What an amazing journey I have been on. The last couple of months have been like a dream. As my husband and I have learned these principles, we have experienced so many blessings. I have re-written my story on a number of occasions. I have found lost articles. I have attracted things that I have needed. I have improved relationships. I have taken steps toward my big goals that are huge for me. I have qualified for an all expenses paid vacation with my husband. I have attracted new customers and new distributors to my business. I have had experiences that I have visualized. My home has become more ordered than it’s been in 5 years. I’ve been given household items I have needed that I hadn’t even written down yet. I have found a huge stack of clothing in a thrift store that were exactly the size and colors I wanted, and all for the prices I had visualized. I have a new story of success I could share on a daily basis.

“I am simply overwhelmed with the abundance and blessings that have come our way as we’ve obeyed the proper laws of thought. I have loved the lessons of Mindset Mastery. They are clear and succinct. The exercises have truly helped me to internalize the principles.

“The Phase 1 goal was a wonderful preparatory exercise to build believability and to propel me forward in understanding. The Phase 2 goal was rather terrifying, but all the tools for success were included in the training along the way, and it was a success!

“I am so grateful for the help along the way as I posted in the private Facebook group and got feedback from fellow students and from Leslie, herself. This course has been a game changer. I recommend this wholeheartedly, without reservation to anyone who is willing to dream big and learn that they can live big as well!” 

Now, you may remember that I have talked about Stephanie before:

Such as in the post “These Laws Affect Everything!!” or the one about the UPS man, “What happens between point A and point B“. Powerful stories, both of them, inspiring the rest of us (including myself) to test and prove the principles again and again.

But what I have NOT yet shared is her Phase 2 goal experience:

According to Stephanie, it ranked 9 out of 10 in terms of difficulty / believability. (It’s important to identify how difficult it feels to the participant, no matter how difficult it may appear to anyone else, because what is easy for one person can easily be terrifying or completely unbelievable to another person. The purpose of the program is to help each participant achieve something that is expressly difficult for him or her. Then, by applying what is learned through that process, the participant is ready and equipped to face, conquer, and achieve any goal they choose to tackle in the future. It sets up a pattern for success, which can be repeated again and again throughout one’s life.)

Here’s what happened:

Q. What did you rank your Phase 2 short term goal, in terms of difficulty, on a scale of 1-10?

A. 9

Q. What was your goal? Did you accomplish the goal?

A. To get 10 new preferred customers in 2 weeks. I DID accomplish the goal.

Q. Please describe your experience.

A. I had a couple other goals I wanted to do for my Phase 2 goal, but when I tried to move forward, I couldn’t feel the peace. The only one that brought peace was to get 10 new preferred customers in 2 weeks. My purpose for this were multi-faceted:

1. To qualify for an all-expenses paid week long vacation with my husband in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

2. To re-qualify for my monthly product so I wouldn’t have to pay for it.

3. To inspire my team to apply these principles so they can get their product for free as well.

The deadline I set was 2 weeks… the day before my team training, where I would teach them these principles.

Nothing happened for the first week or so. I was reaching out to people, but nothing. Then a friend set a goal and decided to offer a $25 discount for new customers. This was inspiration for me to help me move toward my goal, and I began to offer that to prospects.

It wasn’t until the day before my presentation that anything happened.

[Did you notice that?? Two weeks to complete the goal, but it only STARTED to come together on the last day!]

But it came out of nowhere …someone …had a son who wanted to try the product, and I was able to set him right up as my first new customer. So I had one. And I chose to keep believing.

I went to the training, and on the way there, I expressed gratitude for the journey and for my new customer and for all the other customers I’ve gotten along the way. I also asked the Lord to make up the difference for anything I was doing wrong with the visualization, as I was doing the best I knew how.

A thought popped into my head. The Law of Gestation! 2 weeks just wasn’t quite long enough for this goal. But the second thought that came was a reminder of my 3 purposes for the goal. And all three of them could still be accomplished if I signed up 9 more customers by the end of the month. I had 4 more days! I felt a renewed hope, and a renewed faith.

I couldn’t do anything but believe on Sunday. Monday I touched base with a few prospects but I was gone all day cleaning the temple.

Everyone kept saying, “Can we talk on the first of the month?” Or “Can we talk next week?” It was almost comical.

I asked the hard question – seeing if they could bump up our conversation because my goal was attached to the end of the month.

On the 30th of the month things started coming together.

I began to hear back from people, and they began to set up appointments to sign up as customers the next day.

I felt impressed to write Leslie to ask if she knew someone with anxiety/depression. What followed blew me away! She offered to have me share an experience about the prosperity principles, and she would include it in her newsletter. Then she said she would include my story at the bottom to help people with the anxiety struggles. I feel so blessed for her kindness, generosity, and connections. I could see that God was ordering my world.

After my interchange with Leslie, I felt inspired to post on Facebook that if anyone had been lurking in the shadows (who had already seen my video and knew my story) and wanted to try the vitamins, I would give them $25 toward their first order. I had 3 people sign up from that.

On the last day of the month I was on the phone from 10 a.m. until 6:30. I shared my story, answered questions, and signed up customers. I had 8 people signed up, and at the very last minute my husband and I were called by our church for a meeting. We were gone for 2 1/2 hours at the prime time for me to find my last 2 customers. Instead, I went without dinner until 9:15, and got home at 9:30.

I felt like a pregnant woman in transition. I was emotional, exhausted, and ready to quit. I just wanted sleep.

As my husband went into the store to get us food, I recognized that my vibration was low, and that I wouldn’t be able to get inspiration until I increased it. So I visualized my goal again, felt gratitude, and the peace returned. But at this point I also surrendered. I told the Lord that it was okay if it didn’t happen. That I had already qualified with Cabo and was super grateful. And it was enough. But then I ended with, “It may or may not happen, but I choose to believe.”

My cousin’s name popped in my head. I texted her as soon as I got home, and she said she was ready to try the vitamins! We were on the phone at 10:30 p.m.!

I only had one to go – and the contacts on Facebook were not panning out. I was only 10 points away from the free product, and I had the idea to sign up my son to buy something that would qualify. I kept holding out a little longer in case something else came through. When it didn’t, I pressed “submit.”

I went to bed feeling concerned that maybe I had blown it.

Thankfully when I woke up in the morning, the Lord was able to teach me!

I met every goal. Cabo. Free product. 10 customers. And having a story to share with my team!

And where I was paying every new customer $25 toward their order, I only had to pay $22 when I signed up my son. And I actually get the product!

The biggest lesson learned this time, is that I seem to attract what meets my PURPOSE for my goal, even when the goal isn’t met in the way I think it should be. This happened in both my Phase 1 goal and Phase 2 goal. So I want to be more clear in my purpose and focus more on that in the future!

I had originally wanted to get my customers before I did my training, to help others learn these principles. But it didn’t happen. I only had 1. But I was able to be grateful for the 1 customer I did get, and for all the other customers I’ve gotten over the last 19 months. As soon as the gratitude was there, I was told in my mind that the reason it didn’t happen in that timing was because of the Law of Gestation. When I realized I could still meet the PURPOSE for my goal, and had 4 more days until the end of the month when it had to happen – I just felt grateful, and believed it would come to me.

Stay tuned, because Stephanie is preparing to conduct trainings for youth groups, adults, and businesses to teach the principles of prosperity. She is currently working on the Mentor Training program. You can follow her by signing up for her mailing list at the bottom of her blog: Just Walking Each Other Home

Again, Stephanie, my hearty congratulations.

PS. Funny story

As I was preparing to process Stephanie’s graduation application, she was going through some old emails and came across a conversation from 2007, more than ten years ago (!!) where a friend talked to her about me, and my books—a conversation she didn’t even remember having! She realizes now that she just wasn’t ready back then. Click here to read more about that.

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Prosper By Degrees

Originally published Jun 8, 2012

When my husband and I learned about the principles of prosperity and began to consciously live by them, we experienced dramatic results, tripling our income in just 3 months. But the ‘good fortune’ wasn’t going to last forever.

Trying to be super-smart with our new-found wealth, we anxiously invested it in a number of wrong places. A combination of inexperience and haste led us to invest poorly, and get in over our heads to a dangerous level.

Add to that the fact that we had involved ourselves with business people who eventually slipped into hiding or went to jail, and perhaps you can get a glimpse of how quickly a fortune can be lost, even with the best of intentions.

In the wake of our poor decisions, needless to say, we were left with a big mess to clean up. But no worries – we understood the principles that had brought us the wealth to begin with, so we would just practice them again, and turn things around in short order.

Or so we hoped.

But we discovered that sometimes the consequences of our decisions have a more far reaching effect that can’t be turned around with just a snap of the fingers, so to speak. Turning a corner like that is something like turning a massive cruise ship around. You might get the rudder turned in the right direction, but it can take some time before the effects are noticed.

We had erroneously believed that we could “make” those bad decisions into good ones somehow just by “thinking right.” While it may be true that in every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit, that doesn’t mean the adversity will go away with right thinking. It only promises that something good can be born from it.

In a determined push to create another massive financial breakthrough like the first, I locked on to the vision of a quick rescue, another big windfall. I’d seen them before, experienced them more than once. Many, many times we had used the principles to produce tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in a short period of time, so that’s what we were running for.

But something was different this time. For some reason, the mental discipline and goal setting strategies weren’t paying off like they had in the past. It seemed that something was preventing the blessing. The formula wasn’t panning out.

In time, I stopped trying so hard, out of sheer exhaustion. I started to accept whatever was, just as it was. I decided to find peace and happiness even in our mess, and begin focusing again more completely on my family relationships.  It seemed I no longer had real influence or control over our finances (since I kept failing to meet my goals), so I directed my attention to the little things in my world over which I could make a difference.

It was during a Sunday School lesson at church that I had my next great epiphany. The class discussed a story about two groups of people who lived more than 2000 years ago, comparing and contrasting their experiences:

The first group was led by a man named Alma. Alma and his people were devout believers who worshiped God and were diligent in keeping the commandments.

The second group was led by a man named Limhi. Limhi and his people relied just a little too much on their own strength and wisdom. Both groups were in subjection to the same oppressive government.

When the government sent an army to destroy Alma and his people, they were warned by God ahead of time and were able to escape.

When the army came to attack Limhi’s people, they were given no warning.

Limhi’s people tried three times to deliver themselves from the oppression, and each time, they failed. Eventually, they began to reevaluate their approach, and decided that they needed to pay more attention to the commandments, and rely on God for their success with patience.

The record then states:

“…the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of [their oppressors] that they began to ease their burdens; …The Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage [yet]… they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger.”

That description – that the Lord did not see fit to deliver them, but allowed them to begin prospering by degrees – was my answer.

I had been expecting a big miraculous rescue, and was dissatisfied with anything less. I had thought I was being obedient to the commandments of God all along, but recognized I could do better.

What I feel that God wanted me to learn was simple: to not run faster than I had strength as I had been, but to take it at a pace that I could maintain throughout my life, so that I don’t burn myself out and become completely useless to Him.

So I slowed down and began to envision Him opening doors and preparing the way for long-term success. I lost interest in anything that promised big, quick bucks, because we had already experienced that kind of success. Instead, I became increasingly interested in principles that would allow us to rebuild on a more solid, long-lasting foundation.

It’s just a matter of getting back to the basics. It’s making smart choices, and sacrifices. It’s being smart with what we have, and anticipating gradual improvement. It’s watching more closely how we spend our money, and watching for evidence that we are being prospered by degrees.

We started noticing and celebrating each little bit of evidence, and realized that were were being prospered by degrees. I stopped lamenting the lack of a massive windfall, and started being grateful again for every simple blessing. The growth has been gradual but consistent. Our good fortune has been added upon every day.

When the needed rescue doesn’t come by one miraculous windfall,  look for evidence that you’re prospering by degrees.

It’s been a humbling process, but one that I am grateful for. I know we’re wiser for the experience, and that it will make a big difference for our future. Our family is already much happier, too, because I’m finally living at a pace that I can maintain.

Read The Unexpected Cure for Doubt

There’s time to build your life right. There’s time to build your business right. There’s time to build relationships right. Looking for shortcuts can become an addiction. As you slow down and prayerfully live receptive to God’s guidance, you’ll find that there is no greater shortcut than that.

And when that guidance says, RUN!” then by golly, you’d better run!

But sometimes we run when we’re really supposed to stop and take the time to sharpen the saw, and reconnect with God.

Originally posted June 8, 2012

Read more details about our experience here. And as always, I appreciate your comments!

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