And Along Came a Spider

Some time ago my eleven year-old daughter came home from orchestra practice simply devastated. She had been the first to arrive, and as the others filed in, nobody chose to sit by her. She sat at the edge of the room, the only student with an empty chair at her side.

She felt rejected and alone.

So the next day, as I dropped her off, I encouraged her to hold back and let some of the others sit down first, and then make her choice to sit by someone she’d like to get to know better. “Find someone who might be having a bad day, and BE the one to make a friend.”

I encouraged her to have a prayer in her heart, picturing herself with an abundance of friends, and reminded her that choosing to be positive and confident would help others want to be around her.

So she pulled herself together with an intention that things would be different this time. She agreed to pray in her heart and try to think more positively.

But what happened next surprised us both…

When I picked her up from school, she was excited to report that she ended up right between two girls that she was excited to get to know better.

How did it happen? Not the way we thought it would.

Contrary to my advice, she still showed up earlier than most; and out of habit decided to sit in her regular chair on the edge of the room. As a few of the other students filed in, the pattern threatened to repeat itself.

(That’s the power of subconscious thoughts right there…)

However, just then, she noticed a scary spider on her music stand. Creeped out, she took her folder and tried to push it off.

Instead of successfully getting it out of her space, it fell onto her leg. She jumped up and shook her pants, and wasn’t sure where it ended up. Assuming it was still at her chair, she decided that it would be better to move.

It took her out of her comfort zone and into another chair. One of the girls she’d like to know better came in and sat right next to her. Before long, a second girl took the empty chair at her other side.

Admittedly she said she thought the answer to her prayer would show up in the form of an idea, or an added measure of courage to do or say something uncomfortable.

But no, it showed up as a spider.

This micro-experience captures the essence of how God so often deals with us. When we ask for things to be better, he doesn’t just make things better. He creates conditions in our life that make us get out of our comfort zone and put us somewhere else – somewhere, where the blessing we’re asking for can finally be received.

Sometimes we get moved out of our comfort zone and still fail to receive the blessing. This can happen when our thoughts are not inclined to look for the hidden benefit in our adversity.

It would be like my daughter getting out of her regular chair and into another, and being so upset by it that she doesn’t even notice the potential friendships on either side of her. By her response to the hardship, she could have completely denied herself of the blessing that the change contained.

In that case, the girls that flanked her could have picked up on the downer-energy and might have been inclined to just ignore her.

I’m grateful that she was thoughtful enough to give credit to God for sending a spider, because it prepared the way for her to receive the very thing she was hoping for all along.

My dear reader… What’s your spider? What ugly thing has showed up in your life that’s opposite to what you’ve been praying for?

It’s there for a reason.

(To watch additional clips from this event, click here)

A Hardship is always a blessing in disguise. Pay attention to how it “moves” you.

I’d like to help you make sense (cents) out of your setbacks. Are you ready for a better future? Click here to learn more about the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program. Originally published September 22, 2009


Be Inspired; Be Inspiring

Positive Thinking Tip: stay motivated through inspiring stories, then share your own inspiring story with others

I received an email the other day that was SO appreciated; here’s why:

Even though I may have “written the book” on it, I still have to learn and re-learn the principles over and over again. (Yes, it’s true.)

This is why:

When I stop practicing them, I begin to doubt them. When I decide to apply myself to them again, I have to get back to that innocent, child-like faith – and it’s not always so easy to do.

So to hear a story like this (below) helps me remember to keep it simple, and just trust. I hope that my sharing it with you will do the same for you:

Hi Leslie,

Thanks so much for all of this amazing stuff. You probably hear stories like the one I could tell all the time, but at the end of last year, to put it in a nut shell, our family found ourselves in a financial quagmire, once again. My usual reaction to finding myself there, once again, is to be angry and resentful and hurt because the first time we were here was way back when we were a young family and my husband was going to school and someone in our family borrowed a large sum of money from us, never to pay it back. I always go back to that, if only they had… What victims we are.

But not this time. This time I said, God can provide. And he already has. I already have so much to be grateful for. Is God not able to get us through the next couple weeks until payday? We’ll be fine. And we were. More than fine. We’ve had a series of small but amazing miracles, where we not only had what we needed to get through that crisis, but God went above and beyond basic needs. We would be talking about something we needed, or even just wanted, and then almost immediately, it’s given to us. The girls need church shoes. The next week my grandmother sends me a check FOR church shoes! The kids would really enjoy a playset on our property. Someone gave us one. I could really use a dehydrator for all these tomatoes from my garden. My visiting teacher calls me up and asks me if I want the old one that had been sitting in her garage… On and on.

I told my dear friend about all these experiences, and she said that I was setting myself up for prosperity, (and my reaction was, no, God is just showing his hand right now, but he’ll stop once I get the message and I’ll go back to struggling, but I’ll have more faith. You don’t go through life having playsets and dehydrators fall out of the sky every time you ask for it… do you? Right around this time, at church, we had a Sunday School lesson about prayer and a story was read from the manual about a man who prayed for a microwave and was given one the next day, and the general response to that story was, “no, that’s not how it usually works; when we ask God for something, he usually says no.” I sat there, in silent awe, thinking of the shoes and playsets that seemed to be falling out of the sky for us, and wondering, why not? Maybe it does work that way!)

Anyway, [my friend] said I was doing just what you had talked about, and that I needed to read the Jackrabbit Factor. And I did, and that’s it exactly. How amazingly true, God does want to bless us! That’s what the scriptures say! That’s what the prophets tell us! The sweetest part, though, isn’t really the material physical stuff, it’s knowing that yes, God is faithful. How could I have ever doubted that, in my choice to respond to my circumstances with anger? I didn’t realize it at the time, but by wallowing in despair, I was basically telling God I didn’t trust him, that I didn’t have faith in him. I never realized that before. I wish I hadn’t taken years to learn this, but I guess I went through what I needed to go through. I probably wouldn’t have put much credence in these ideas if I hadn’t experienced what I did this past year. Anyway, I want to keep doing this in my life, really trusting God, really having faith that he will do what he says he will, what he says he wants to do for us! I’m so excited about these ideas, and as I continue to receive blessings, I just had to share with my little bit of prosperity with [my friend], by paying for this course for her too. Sorry for the long email, just wanted to say thank you, wanted to share this amazing experience with someone who would know why this was happening to us. Thank you for putting all this information together to help me stay tuned into this abundance frequency.


Thank you Andrea, you made my day.

Remember, be uplifted and inspired by other people’s stories, but when you have a story of your own to share, it really does make a difference to make that effort to share it with someone else.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s another example. This one came in last night:

Thanks for caring enough to share your wealth of knowledge with all of us at the bottom of our staircase to success.

You have changed me and my wife (who suffered from severe depression for years) and the way we think forever. This will be your legacy in the world: the one who changed the way the world thinks today.

Much love and respect, K & E

PS. You have truly saved our lives. You have changed our lives from suicide cases to success cases.

So let your light shine – even if you don’t think anyone needs what you have to offer. Start small. Keep it simple. As you serve others, you’ll be more inclined toward feeling positive about yourself.

Do you know someone who needs a pick-me-up? Trust me, EVERYONE can use a pick-me-up.

I hope you’ll share the FREE information I’ve gathered with everyone you know. Simply invite them to start with the 19 Rules of Prosperity.  You could be a powerful tool for connecting people who are at the end of their rope, with a lifeline that inspires them to take one more step and ultimately see things take a turn for the better, quicker than they ever thought possible.

Are you ready to share a story of your own? Want to read what others are saying about the principles of positive thinking? Visit our Forum. There are some fantastic stories in there, so come on over.

Be inspired – and be inspiring! I want to hear from you.

All the best,



The Twenty-Minute Challenge

I don’t know her real name; she went by “Cinnamon.” She was a red-headed freckle-faced camp counselor for Academy for Girls at BYU when I was only twelve. Our days were filled with powerful motivational talks from the most popular speakers on the circuit, and our evenings were jam-packed with activities from field games to a fabulous show at the Sundance Theater.

I remember feeling encouraged and motivated to live more Christ-like during the
morning lectures. I thought about how I could treat my brother better, or be more willing to help my mother. I thought how I should read my scriptures and giggle less during Sunday school. There were so many things to change about myself, and the words I heard solidified a desire within me to live the gospel of Jesus Christ more perfectly. I wanted to be different, like the people the speakers talked about. I wanted to be just as happy as the best of them.

However, as much as I wanted to change, I think the permanent conversion didn’t happen until something changed my heart. That’s where Cinnamon comes in. While the speakers were fantastic and their words contributed greatly to my confidence and desire to do right, Cinnamon is the one who led me to a “mighty change of heart.” I write this now because I want her to finally know what her evening devotional did that night.

The lights were dim, and all the girls in her group gathered into one dorm room in Deseret Towers. She sat at the front of the room and played some beautiful, inspiring music. We had been rowdy before, but in time settled down to listen reverently to the song. I think more than anything we were curious about what she was up to. The other evening devotionals had been chatty and upbeat…but this one was different.

When the song was over, she talked about prayer. To be honest, I don’t remember a single thing she said. I suppose it was her testimony that God hears our prayers and wants us to communicate with Him. Finally, she issued a challenge. She challenged us to return to our dorm rooms, speak not a word to our roommate, turn off the light and pray to our Father in Heaven for twenty whole minutes.

I think it was the morning lectures which softened my heart enough to listen with faith to my counselor and take her challenge seriously. I returned to my room, said nothing to my roommate who turned off the light, and knelt down by the side of my bed.

“Dear Father in Heaven, I thank thee for this day, for the chance to be here at this camp, for my family, for the church… um… I thank thee for trees…” (I knew I’d be there a while and run out of things to say if I didn’t start getting specific about things I generally never mentioned.)

Eventually I ran out of things to be grateful for, so I started into my “request” segment. I had learned as a child the four parts to a proper prayer: the opening where I address Heavenly Father, the thankful part, the asking part, and the closing in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. So I continued, “Please bless me to have a good night’s sleep, and to have a good day tomorrow. Please bless my family back home…”

I asked for everything I could think of. If my memory serves me right, I peeked at the clock and realized I was probably only halfway through the twenty minutes. What else was I going to say to pass the time? Well, with nothing left to say, I simply began to imagine myself kneeling before Heavenly Father. I had run out of words, so I spent the next few minutes trying to picture myself actually being with Him. It took a lot of concentration, and it was easy to be distracted by other thoughts, but I wanted to meet the challenge in an honest way. I intended to keep the prayer ‘open’ the whole twenty minutes.

Soon, something happened. I felt a warmth come over me, accompanied by a new awareness that I had never experienced before. I was aware that someone had actually heard my thoughts. Not only were my thoughts heard, but they were received with joy, and an outpouring of love was sent down from heaven. In an instant, my Heavenly Father revealed to me through His Spirit that He is real. He wasn’t just “God;” the being who heard my prayer was my Father… my DAD.

I had a DAD in Heaven! He was there! He knew me by my name! He loved me and rejoiced that I had taken the time to reach Him with a full purpose of heart. It felt like I had been sent away from Him to Earth-camp, and had finally decided to call Home. He had been there all along… but now I knew it.

I had a brief family reunion with DAD that night. I poured out my heart to him, this time with meaningful, heartfelt expressions of gratitude and joy. To talk WITH Him filled my spirit to overflowing. Now, more than anything in the world, I look forward to returning Home to Him, for I “get it;” I know who I am: I’m His long lost child, finally found. I am literally His daughter, one who is cherished and loved in the Royal Courts on High.

Since then, I had the good fortune of becoming, like Cinnamon, a counselor at Academy for Girls. I issued the same challenge, and have issued it again and again to people whom I care about and who struggle to feel their value. Many times it touches other’s lives as it touched mine. Cinnamon, I want you to know the challenge lives on, even twenty years later. Thank you, from all of us who have come to realize who we really are: that we are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us.

I truly believe He waits anxiously for THE big family reunion. Now I know that each time I pray, it can be just that for me.