This was a keynote for a youth group, but it’s just as important for adults to understand the principles it contains:
You were put on this planet with an inborn desire to find and accomplish your unique life’s mission – one that will become your passion, your purpose, your meaningful contribution to the world, and ultimately, your legacy. The world would have you believe that you are not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, or clever enough to discover and accomplish that mission. It would have you believe that your mission is not just impossible to identify or define, but even more impossible to complete.
Not true! Through humor and other surprises, this class will reveal secrets that can give you the advantage, insight, and empowerment you need to get excited about your future and stay on track, as well as the inner peace of mind and confidence that you can and will succeed at whatever you are called upon to do.
Get the downloadable PDF copy of the powerpoint presentation here: https://rarefaith.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Mission-Impossible-podcast.pdf
ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Rare Faith Podcast, where the solution to every problem is only an idea away, where the same activity with just a little more awareness, always yields better results. Award-winning best-selling author Leslie Householder brings some of her best information to this inspiring series of life-changing episodes that you won’t want to miss. Show notes for this episode can be found at ARareKindofFaith.com.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Leslie’s organization remains dedicated to helping families and individuals discover and fulfill their life’s mission through a focus on simple principles. Please let’s welcome Leslie Householder.
LESLIE: I am so overcome with amazement to stand in front of a group like this because of who I know you are. You are extraordinary and what blows my mind is that there are so many of you that are so extraordinary, and what I’m looking at is a glimpse into what our future has in store for the world because you guys are alive. And I’ve really wrestled with what to share with you today. My brain, I woke up this morning with a splitting headache because it has been working for weeks on what could I possibly deliver that would make the impact that I want it to make on you and your life, so that you’ll have the courage to do the things that will help you step into your life’s mission and fulfill it.
My topic today is called “Mission Impossible and Other Outrageous Lies”. There’s an old show on TV that was called “Mission Impossible” and it was always a secret agent would give an assignment. Your assignment is to do this… and every time it was “impossible” and the show was all about watching him achieve what was impossible, and you each have a divine mission and purpose to fulfill.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself again, as was announced. This is one of my books, I was a national bestseller with the book. By the way, when this book Jackrabbit Factor became number five on the list, we outranked the new Harry Potter for six hours. Give me a hand!
Outranking Harry Potter for six hours, good enough for me. By the way, this clip of me on TV being interviewed, just so you know, that was the most painful experience of my life to that point. It was a horrible interview, it bombed but we got a screenshot so people think I’m important, so it’s okay.
This is my family, I think some of them are here today. This is my proudest, proudest accomplishment. I used to dream about what it’d be like to grow up and be a parent and have a family of my own. I would literally just daydream about it and think what a cool thing that would be, knowing how important it is to have family values, knowing how important it is to teach my children.
Okay, I’m thinking about this when I was your age because I had gotten a glimpse of what it means to discover and fulfill your purpose, whether or not you know what it is. I didn’t know what mine was but I thought, oh my word, being a parent is going to be a huge responsibility. What am I going to do to teach my kids the things I’m learning right now? Because I’d go to school and my friends would just be floating along, doing their thing happy-go-lucky, with just these superficial concerns and for some reason, I couldn’t just live there and be at peace. I felt like there was something more I needed to learn, something more I needed to do, something I needed to figure out. So it became kind of like a treasure hunt, just looking for clues every day. What am I supposed to do, and who am I really? Why am I here? Who’s going to need me and how can I prepare for that?
There are two things that are going to get in the way, or are going to try to get in the way of you discovering and fulfilling your life’s mission. Number one is distractions. I’d like to just put it out there, who thinks they can come up with, what’s an example of a distraction that might keep you from finding and fulfilling your life’s mission? Right there, really loud.
LESLIE: Friends. Awesome, you’re right. Yes, way back there.
FEMALE STUDENT: Temptations.
LESLIE: Temptations, to do things that get you off the path. Right here?
FEMALE STUDENT: The media.
LESLIE: The media, oh, that’s a good one. Technology, what way? Distractions?
MALE STUDENT: Video games.
LESLIE: Video games. Cool, there was a hand right over here somewhere.
MALE STUDENT: Facebook, electronics.
LESLIE: Electronics, Facebook, right here.
MALE STUDENT: Bad music.
LESLIE: Bad music. All of these things are distractions to helping us discover and fulfill it. There’s another thing that will try to get in the way of you accomplishing, discovering and fulfilling it, and that is lack of resources. I have kind of scanned my brain for everything that could possibly get in the way, and everything I’ve come up with could be categorized into one of those two categories: distractions and lack of resources.
Distractions can be even the pimple, right? That’s a distraction. Where you wake up in the morning, you look in the mirror and instead of seeing Superman, you see the pimple. Well, that’s convenient for the opposition in all things to keep you distracted with that, right?
I want to talk today about what you can do to get past the distractions, to not worry about the lack of resources, and just take a deep breath and be at peace, knowing that you’re already on that path to discovering and fulfilling it. It doesn’t have to be a frantic search because I guarantee you life has a way of creating experiences for you that steer you in the right direction.
When I was 12 years old, I went to a youth conference-type thing and one of the… I don’t remember which speaker it was, but I was so inspired by the speaker I was listening to that, all of a sudden, a pimple didn’t matter anymore. Like you’re right, that’s so irrelevant to what I’m doing, and why I’m here and what I’m going to be when I grow up. As I sat there, I was so inspired by what had happened in that room that I thought, man, that’s what I want to do! One day, I want to be a speaker and change lives, I want to wake people up to something! At the time I wasn’t sure what that would be, but I wanted to wake people up and get them excited about their life, and who they are and what they can do, and that seed was planted when I was 12.
Another seed that was planted was I wanted to be a mom. So throughout my life, as decisions were brought before me, as I met new people and I just determined whether or not that would be a good friend to have in my world. You know, you realize that your friends are probably the biggest influencer in your life. So as you’re choosing your friends, pick those who are also searching for and committed to fulfilling a life’s mission. Because I promise you, there is nothing that this world can offer that will be more gratifying, more satisfying than you finding out what your “mission impossible” is on this planet. Finding it and having the courage to step into it, and take that step and fulfill it, because at the end of your life, you’re not going to look back and say “Oh, I had 442 pimples over my lifetime. You’re going to say “Look what I did, look at the legacy I left behind. Look at the difference I make in the lives of people.” You guys are in leadership training, how fortunate you are! I hope you understand how fortunate you are.
I remember when I was a newly married wife driving down the street one day, looking at all the street signs, the storefronts and everything and I was a little bit perplexed. I was trying to figure out what am I doing, how do we make ends meet, how do we provide for our family, how do we fulfill this dream of having…?
I don’t know if you know what kind of accomplishment it is to have a photograph of that many people looking straight-forward, not picking their nose. No I mean, how many of you are from a semi-large family or large family? Keep your hand up if you’ve ever had a professional photograph of your family. Keep your hand up if it was one of the most nightmarish two hours of your life. Yes? So when I said this is my greatest accomplishment I wasn’t talking about my family, I was talking about the photograph. I’m just kidding! We don’t do it very often. I don’t know if you can see this but she wasn’t very happy, but I think one out of nine isn’t bad, it was alright.
At the end of your days, you’re going to remember the things that really mattered. So it’s important to live and stay conscious of the things that really matter right now. Otherwise, you’ll get to the end of your life and you’ll be like, boy, I didn’t do anything that mattered, and you’re not going to want to live with those regrets. You’re going to want to say, I was courageous, I did the scary thing, and you know what? There’s this really cool power that guides and directs you to live and fulfill it.
Like I said, when I was newly married and I’m driving down the street confused. I hadn’t really had much leadership training. I was puzzled because I saw these storefronts and I thought, somebody taught them how to have a business. Where did they go to learn that? I’d been through the entire school system, graduated from college and graduated in education. So I’m looking at these people who are entrepreneurs, who are business leaders, who are community leaders, and I’m like, where in the world, did they figure out how to do that? I never sat in class that taught me that much, you know. I did conferences here and there but that’s what you’re getting. I didn’t know that those people came through the TGF system, I didn’t know that’s where they come from.
This is what’s so important to remember is that if you’ve got a life’s mission and you do, and you do – to trust that there is an unseen power guiding you to it. Those questions that I was asking myself as I was driving down the street, were not just random questions in my own head. There was something prompting me to wonder that, like “Hey Leslie, don’t you ever wonder how these people knew how to do what they do?” I don’t think that was my internal question. I think that was something, I think that was God asking me a question that would get me thinking, get me wondering.
I’d like to show you most embarrassed moment. How many of you have had one? Oh, we could have so much fun passing the microphone around, couldn’t we? I would love to hear yours but I will share with you some of mine. I was 10 at the time and my family was living in Singapore. My dad had a job out there and so we were living there. When we were shopping one day, my mom and I, at the store to go pick up some new jeans. As we were in the store, it was kind of a new place which recently opened. It was in a mall, it was on the second floor, the second level. We walked in and there are no dressing rooms but I’ve got these pants I have to try on. So the store lady said “Just go back there into the closet.” Okay, so I went to this broom closet and I walk in, and my mom’s there and there’s no handle on the door so I need my mom to just sort of hold the door shut. As I turn around, I bend down to pull up my pants and my rear ends hits the wall behind me, and it flings open to the display window. Empty display window, no mannequin shared my space! Then, to make matters worse, I’m like, aaah, there’s no handle on that door either! It was just a flap which kind of flew open. So I ran out with them round my ankles, I’m like “moooom!” and I ran out into the store so she could quote that. It was awful, we laughed about it all the way home and inside I’m thinking, I am such an idiot, I am such an idiot, how is there any hope for my future?!
One of the distractions that you’ll face are feelings of inadequacy, feelings of I’m not good enough, who am I, who am I to make a difference. You don’t have to worry about that. You do what you feel like you’re inspired to do. You may not even realize it’s inspired. You just do what you know is right and step by step, one day you’ll look back and you’ll say “Holy cow, look at what I’ve accomplished!” and not only that, people will look at you and be inspired by your example.
I’d like to introduce you to Leslie. My maiden name was Robertson, Leslie Robertson, age 10. Can you see that at the back? This is a mug shot. I actually found this on Facebook. It’s a new post on Facebook as of last week. My sister, my big sister, bless her heart, dug this up and posted it on Facebook and tagged me in it for the world to see. I was with some friends and we were just being goofy, and I’d actually grown up thinking okay, my sisters have all the good looks, I’ll just have to be the funny one! So I decided I’d get a lot more personality so we decided to take some fun pictures, photographs and we’d get crazy. We decided to take mug shots like we’d been convicted of a crime and going to prison, and this is the picture they take before they throw you in jail. Why did I do that? I don’t know, I’m looking for who I am, right? I was aspiring to greatness there. Here’s another!
I love my sister. Like I said, I was the one that just had to be funny. Actually, I grew up with red hair and I know that in this world today, in this culture, that’s okay. The 1970s, 1980s, not okay, not okay. I was picked on at school because it was different. It was different, nobody wanted red hair in my world. I was the brunt of jokes, I was carrot top, all these things. Have you seen “Anne of Green Gables” or read the books? Carrot top! Oh I’m like, I love you Anne! I decided I’m going to marry a Gilbert who will give me children with dark, dark hair. They wouldn’t have to go through what I went through and if you notice, none of my children have red hair. I’m the only one, and my husband has brown hair and everybody else ended up with brown hair or blonde hair, but that was important to me because it was such a painful thing in my world. I thought I was the only one with this complex but I found out that everybody has inferiority issues. Everybody, at some time in their life, is going to feel like I’m not good enough because I have this problem, or I’m not good enough because that happened to me and I’m so different.
I’d like to share with you a story. I was 12 years old, I went to a play at the high school and it’s called “The Actor’s Nightmare”. It was a play, an enactment of this poor man’s dream. He was dreaming and in this dream, he was an actor and he found himself on a stage in a play where he was a main role character, but he didn’t know what character that was. So as Shakespeare’s going on or as some other play writer’s piece is happening, he’s looking around trying to figure out where do I fit in, what is my role, and he figures it out based on what the characters with him are saying to him. Like, for example, who would he be if a woman came up to him said “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?” Oh, I’m Romeo and so he’d jump into his role. Then he’d turn around and someone else would say something else to him from a totally different place and he’d be like, now who am I and what do I say?
He has to figure it out and then event after event after event, he’s trying to position himself to fit in. The reason it’s a nightmare, it’s because at the end (I’m not sure what the point of this play was, it’s never left me though, I’ve always remembered it) at the end, he shows up in this play where the executioner is coming to chop off his head and you hear him say “Okay, it’s only a dream.” I mean he’s figured out by now he’s in a dream. “Okay, I’m in a dream, I’m in a dream. This will end when, I’ll wake up when, when they kill me. Okay alright, we’ll get through this.” So they bring him in and he’s finally decided to go along with the world around him, whatever it throws his way, he’ll just adjust, he’ll just adjust, he’ll make do. So they get to the end and the executioner lifts up the hatchet, it comes down and he dies, and that’s the end of the play. But it’s never the end, right? So what happens next? The curtain comes down and you’re like, should I clap for this? Oh that was different!
The curtain comes up again and it’s a whole new play – another hour, hour and a half play starts. Totally different theme, totally different topic but that they needed a dead body for their prop, so there he was. Is that twisted? So what I thought was fascinating was that he was a very important person in this play, and at every step along the way, he had to figure out, he had to improvise and pick up where the other actors were leaving off, to make a smooth transition to tell the story. In order for him to do that, he had to be conscious of what those different roles and the different plays were supposed to do.
Now there are going to be times in your life where you’re going through life and things happen around you, your friends are doing something, your family’s changing in this way. Stuff changes and you’re like… well, this isn’t what I thought was supposed to happen. This isn’t what I had expected, I don’t know what to do with this. What do I do with this? If you take nothing else from this class, I want you to know that as you stay relaxed, you’re going to be more inclined to know what to do. That inner voice that we all have is going to say it’s okay, this is part of the plan, there’s a reason for this. There’s a reason for this and you’re going to look back on it as something that shaped you and prepared you for the leadership role you will take in life.
In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth while the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists, which is why your education is not about memorizing, regurgitating. Your education is about problem solving. I went to college to teach math, that was my major and through that process, we were studying all kinds of math. About my junior year, it’s when I finally woke up and I realized that none of what I’m learning matters. It doesn’t matter what the square root of blah blah blah is. It doesn’t matter what the circumference of whatever is. It’s all about learning how to solve problems and you solve a problem in the math world and you come in to life and face a problem and you’re like, I solve problems, I can handle this! As you’re studying, as you’re learning education and topics that challenge you, stretch you, make you dig deep to find the real nuggets, it’s training you for life, it’s training you for your role. It’s training you to learn how to deal with change because that is the one constant you can depend on – it’s change.
So I’m going to give you a little challenge here. Like I said, the only constant in life is that there will be change, and it’s not always fun but it’s necessary. So when I was, like I said, I went into math, but it was when I was in sixth grade that, that path began for me and your life’s mission will evolve and change over time. My first passion and mission was to teach math and let me explain why. Math was my most hated subject. I could not stand math and let me tell you why that happened. That was my own fault, I made a poor decision in sixth grade, I made a poor decision. My best friend’s mother was a math teacher and so when we were told at the end of sixth grade, that if we took this placement test for seventh grade math and we passed with 70%, we could skip pre-algebra and go straight into algebra.
Like I said, I didn’t grow up with the same kind of education you guys are getting, but in that moment of being the high achiever, over-ambitious person that I was, I thought well, I want to skip pre-algebra but math was tough for me. So I took the test, and I was sitting next to my best friend and cheated off of her paper because I knew that she would do well. Her mother was a math teacher and I knew she understood math a whole lot better than I did, and it was just way too important to me to say I’d skipped math, I’d skipped pre-algebra to get ahead. To get ahead is a bad decision that I made but I think God knew that’s what I would choose, and even your bad mistakes that have been made can be turned for good. Let me tell you how this one was turned for good in my life.
When the test scores came back, we both got 69%. Surprise, surprise, right? Same score, mmmmm… Well, my teacher believed in me enough, she probably knew what had happened but she believed in me and thought that I could handle the change, handle the challenge anyway. So she let me skip that class which was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. That seventh grade year, taking a class without the foundation that I needed was hard, it was painful, I was always behind. I was like, why, how can you move that over there that doesn’t belong there, what’s going on? I didn’t understand and it was a struggle for me and from that point forward, I could not pull an A in math, in any math class. It was the one class I could not excel in and it really beat me up inside.
So by the time I was a senior, I had decided I hate math so much, I’m going to just take as much as I can in high school so I don’t have to do any of it in college. I’m going to test out of math, be done with it forever! That senior year, the last day of the class, last class of the day, and because I was a senior and I had all the credits I needed, but I just absolutely had to get this math test pass to get out of it in college, there were only five of us in the room. That’s how many seniors were willing to stick around for eighth period that year.
So I was in calculus, in math that year and took the placement test. I had to get at least a three out of five on the test to skip out of math in college. I just prayed for the three, please, please just give me a three! I had taken a history test and gotten a four, I had taken an English class and gotten a three. Passed those okay but I’m like, oh just please let it be better than a two, anything better than a two! So I took the test and that summer when we got the results back, I was shaking. I was like, please let me be done with math. Oh I don’t want to have to take this in college! So I opened the envelope, I pulled it out it was a five! I collapsed, my knees buckled beneath me, I fell to the floor and I cried like a baby!
I couldn’t believe it, you mean I actually understand it? I was doing the whole test with this inner concern and lack of confidence that I am so bad at math, it would be a miracle if I pass! When that test score came back and told me that I had achieved the perfect score on that test, I’m like this feeling, that feeling I felt of victory, there is no feeling like that I’ve ever felt before. It was because I had conquered an obstacle, I had slayed a dragon in my life, and that feeling of victory had no words, but what came out of that was – I can’t give this up. I can’t give up math and so I became a math major.
I didn’t know that my biggest weakness spawned from a bad choice would lead me into my mission to that point. I decided that how much better would it be to learn math from somebody who struggled with it, who soaked pillows with their tears for it, than to stand there with a teacher who’s like, “Well yes, it’s like this, don’t you get it?” “No, I don’t get it!” So I felt like I was a very valuable contribution to the school that I taught at. I taught at a public school because I knew I was coming at it from a place of pain, and a place of understanding and compassion for the other students who struggled with it.
So think about what you struggle with. As you’re finding your life’s mission, trying to figure out what that might be, don’t just look at what you’re good at. Look at what you struggle with. If you struggle with self-confidence, you’ll figure it out and maybe you’ll be the person who inspires the next generation to overcome those feelings of inferiority or lack of confidence, mentoring people with what you’ve learned. It’s a powerful process.
A little bit of my world that I went through that process… how many of you have spend any time in geometry? Alright, then I’ve got some questions for you. What are these?
LESLIE: What kind of lines?
LESLIE: Parallel lines. Super-duper, good job! How many points are on the line?
AUDIENCE: Zero, infinite.
MALE STUDENT: Infinite.
LESLIE: Infinite, right? Because at any point along the way, there is a point and if you have two points, how many points are between it?
MALE STUDENT: Infinite.
LESLIE: Infinite. For those of you who are in geometry. you should know that. If you’re not in geometry, it’s kind of cool stuff, but this line is made up of an infinite number of points. If you think about it on a computer and you’re drawing on Microsoft Paint or something, you want a line and you can zoom in really, really close and see that it’s made up of points. Well, in geometry any two points has another point between it which means it goes infinite, kind of mind-blowing. This is what I learned in high school so there’s infinite number of points. How many points exist in the intersection of these lines?
LESLIE: How many points exist at this one spot where they cross?
LESLIE: That was a clue, right? This one spot, they cross. Exactly one, not two, not more than one, not less than one, exactly one. That’s one thing about geometry is you have to be so precise in your language.
So here’s what happened when I got to college, I took a class called Non-Euclidean geometry. Oh my word, if you want to have a mind-bending experience, take Non-Euclidean geometry in college. What this is, is they change all the rules on you and they say alright, we’re going to change the rules and with these new set of rules, you’re going to have to prove some things, so it’s an experience in logic. For example, if I were to go back to regular geometry which is called Euclidean geometry because a man named Euclid was part of the beginning of it all. Then you’d say, okay suppose you have two lines in the same plane, the same plane meaning the same flat surface. Okay, so this wall is a flat surface, we have two lines in the same plane that are not parallel. True? Okay, so they are not parallel and I say, alright if it’s true that two lines in the same plane that are not parallel have one intersection point, then how many intersection points are there with three non-parallel lines? I don’t have a diagram to show you this but if I put it right through here, how many is it?
LESLIE: If I put it right through here? How many is it?
LESLIE: So there can be two possible answers, right? Is it possible to have only two points? Three non-parallel lines, can you have only two points of intersection?
LESLIE: How? So that’s what I’m saying, three non-parallel lines. So if you have three non-parallel lines, your options are either only one intersection or two intersections, true? In the same plane so we’re in two dimensions, alright. So you see how these kinds of questions test your logic? They test your logic and so in a new world, in this Non-Euclidean geometry they threw at us some curveballs.
Let me give you an example, there’s something called Taxicab geometry. How many of you have ever heard of Taxicab geometry? Cool, very cool. So imagine you’re a bird looking at a city and the city is divided up into blocks, kind of like they have in Salt Lake City here. Say you’re a taxi and you’re down at one corner of one block, and you have to make your way to this other point somewhere over here. In Euclidean geometry, the shortest distance between two points is a?
AUDIENCE: Straight line.
LESLIE: Straight line. In Taxicab geometry is that the case? The shortest distance between two points has to follow the terrain and the map of the streets. So if each block is one unit long, then it might be one, two, three, four, five, six… six units to get from one point to the other when really, it’s only four units long. So these are the kind of things that my brain trying to work out, here we go. In Non-Euclidean geometry, they’d say that basically it would say alright the new rule, and they can make up whatever rules they want from day to day. They weren’t just giving me a new set of rules that would last the whole semester, they were saying, okay today the rule is that there are exactly two points on every line. Well if that’s the rule, how many points are between the two points on that line? None. If every line has exactly two points, then how many points exist between them?
LESLIE: Zero and I’m like, well… but, but the number’s infinite! No, new set of rules. Aaah, I feel like I’m in the Actor’s Nightmare! So what I found out is that in Non-Euclidean geometry parallel lines meet, parallel lines. They can meet in one place, in two places, in three places, whatever rule they decide to tell you and so, here’s your question. Here’s your question, there exists… first of all, in Euclidean geometry, how many lines exist in a plane? How many lines exist in a plane? How many lines can be drawn on a flat surface?
LESLIE: Infinite. How many more in three-dimensional space?
LESLIE: Bigger infinite, is that what you mean? Bigger infinite. Alright so, here’s the new rule: there exists in the plane, only let’s say exactly two lines, there exists exactly two lines in the plane. Alright well, and let’s say there exists exactly two points on every line. How many points are there in the plane?
LESLIE: It could be four. What else could it be?
MALE STUDENT: Three.
LESLIE: It could be three because they might be intersecting. What else?
MALE STUDENT: Two.
LESLIE: It could be two if a line doesn’t have to be straight. What I found out is that in Non-Euclidean geometry, these weird twisted descriptions of what points and lines can do is more our real-world experience than Euclidean geometry is. These are parallel, do parallel lines meet? No but visually we’re looking at Non-Euclidean geometry here. So if you’re trying to do the impossible in your world, to complete a mission that seems impossible, you’ve got to disregard the things that kind of put your mind into thinking structures that limit the possibilities.
So say your mission is, it’s your job to make parallel lines meet and you’re like “well, you can’t do that!” and I say, “well, look right there, there’s a railroad track.” You say, “well, that’s not part of the rules” and I’m like, “why not!” So, let’s see where this slideshow goes. Blessed are the flexible, for they shalt not be bent out of shape.” You’ve got to stay flexible, you’ve got to stay fluid, you’ve got to stay ready to adapt to whatever comes your way.
I remember when I was your age and the dream was painted in my world to grow up and have a family, and everything was going to work out beautifully and perfectly and there were other friends of mine that were in that same class. Well, some of those girls didn’t grow up to get married. They wanted to but it didn’t work out for them yet, maybe. Some of those girls wanted to have children, that haven’t been able to have children. One of my best friends when she was 35, which I know sounds really old to you, but it’s not very old to parents. When she was about 35, her husband had an aneurysm and died at work. She’s a widow, she’s my age and she’s a widow raising her family by herself. Was that part of the plan? Not in her world, that was not part of her plan. My friends who couldn’t have children, was that part of the plan? No, not in their minds.
So life’s test is about becoming flexible, finding and fulfilling your mission, and being ready and prepared to adapt to whatever life throws your way because the experiences you’re given are there for a reason. They’re there to shape you and to help you become all you can possibly be. So what Non-Euclidean geometry did for me was it taught me problem-solving. It taught me that I needed to have an objective, I needed to have a purpose and I needed to identify what I had going for me. I needed to have gratitude for what I had, I needed to be able to brainstorm, learn from others, make an effort and I needed to keep moving.
You’ve got to look to the horizon. If you want parallel lines to meet and you’re looking at a…, you’re standing over a railroad track and you’re like these can’t meet, these don’t meet. I’ve been given this mission impossible to make these parallel lines meet and they don’t, so you look to the horizon and they already have. You’re going to find out that will happen in your life too. The world wants you to think you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough and that’s a lie.
Again, two things will get in your way: distractions and lack of resources. Here are some people that are kind of meandering and wandering through life, not sure what they’re supposed to be doing, their heads in a box.
So in order to find it sometimes, you have to think outside of the box. Whatever you are called upon to conquer, whatever you are facing, whatever you will face, there is one principle you can depend on and that is, that no matter what you are called on to face, you already have all that you need to accomplish it, to fix it, to solve it. “MacGyver” is another old show.
LESLIE: Was he brilliant? He was known for his brilliance because no matter what problem he faced, he would use whatever was in his immediate surroundings to solve the problem. Powerful, powerful principle. I also want to show you that sometimes your biggest challenges become the seeds for the greatest inspiration. Turn the slides back on again.
This, here is a dog whose arms, front arms are missing. I’m not sure if he was born that way or they had to be amputated, but he is missing his front arms. As you can see, the people just feel so sorry for him, they’re so tender-hearted towards him and the poor dog was just laying there. This is a true story that one day that dog and the caregivers for this pet, they bring his food and his water and he just lay there and one day at their home, there was another animal that came up and stole his food. So not only is he missing his front limbs but now he’s been robbed! He didn’t like that too much, something welled up inside of him and he jumped up and started chasing the animal on his back feet, and now he goes around walking like a human.
Because he was so blessed or because he had it the worst? He was blessed to discover what was possible because of his handicap, because of what went wrong in his life. I’ve had to learn that things don’t go always as I planned. Things don’t always go exactly how I think they should go but every experience woke up something new inside of me that I did not know existed. Here’s another picture of him just walking around like a human.
This dog has gone around the country, been on TV and inspired a lot of people who were in a “woe is me” state of mind, “life is hard” state of mind, things aren’t fair, things aren’t right, I didn’t have, I don’t have, I don’t…, I’m missing something in my world, I can’t accomplish my mission because I lack something. If you feel like you lack something, count your lucky stars because it’s going to wake something up inside of you when you accept the mission that seems “impossible”. Now there’s something that I had not planned on sharing with you but I want to make sure I do that before we’re done, but for this next little segment I want to have a little game with you.
MALE STUDENT: Gasps.
LESLIE: Here, do that louder.
MALE STUDENT: Gasps.
LESLIE: Thank you. One thing I’ve discovered as I’ve gone through life and faced challenges and not known what to do, and my brain has been wracked with confusion and I don’t know where to go, what to do, what’s next for me. I would pray for help, I would pray for guidance and feel like I don’t feel like I’m getting anything, I don’t know what the answers are. I feel like I pray and nothing happens or I pray and I don’t get any answers.
Again, when I was 12 at that same conference, my counselor challenged me to do something, she challenged our whole group. She said, “When we’re done with this devotional tonight, I want you to go back to your rooms, turn off the light and have a conversation with your Creator, with your Maker for 20 minutes, 20 minutes.” At 12 years old, I’m thinking 20 minutes is an eternity, how will I ever do that? I was up for the challenge, I like to get challenged so I thought alright, I’m going to do this. So I went back to the room and I turned off the light. My roommate was there and we turned off the light, and we both knelt down and kind of went inward and started communicating with our Creator.
I’ve been taught that there was a God. I’ve been taught that there was an unseen power that was there to help me when I needed it and I accepted that and you know, I’m not saying one way or the other way here, but I accepted that but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t know if that was really there to help me but during those 20 minutes, I spent first, alright well I’ve been taught I should be thankful for this stuff first. So, thank you for my house, thank you my family, thank you my friends, thank you for this conference. I looked at the clock, right? Is it over yet? Oh, 30 seconds! Um, thank you for grass, thank you for the wall, thank you for clouds, um… just trying to fill time, right? Filling time, knowing that I get to start asking for stuff first but I’d better fill all the time I can with gratitude and I thought of anything I could possibly think of and ran out.
Five minutes were up, time to start asking for things. Um, help me to have a good day, help me to sleep well, help me blah, blah, blah. So I just kind of went through my checklist of requests and I checked the clock again. It’s been like six minutes so I thought now what? My mind went absolutely blank, I couldn’t think of another thing to say and so all that was left to do was just imagine what if I really was talking to somebody. What if there really was something out there that cared about me? What if, what would that look like? I tried to imagine myself, there I was kneeling, I tried to imagine myself kneeling in front of what an image of God was for me and after a few minutes, something shifted inside that said, oh there really is something there. I really felt something new that I’ve never felt before and it was overpowering.
It filled me with so much love and acceptance of who I was – red hair and all, pimples and all – that it shocked me because I realized the way I looked at it was, here I was at this conference. I’d been sent away from home for two weeks to go to this event and all of a sudden, what I had imagined to be this ominous God figure suddenly became like a dad in my mind and it was like I had been sent away to summer camp and had just decided to call home and somebody actually answered. It was realizing that I do belong to some big divine family and I do have an important mission to fulfill and all of a sudden, all those distractions that were keeping me from being awake to it just kind of diminished and vanished, and it changed me. It changed everything about who I was and it changed my decisions. When I was with friends and they wanted to do something that wasn’t right, it changed because I knew there was something more important that I wasn’t paying attention to until that point.
So I challenge you, I challenge you to take the twenty minute challenge sometime. Sometime, do that. Set a goal on what date you’ll do that by and get started with that. It’s a powerful way to get rid of the distractions and to build that self-worth because once you feel what I felt, you will not feel unimportant. You will feel very important and you will know that nobody can say anything to you and have it affect or change who you really are.
Another thing I found out is that the best way to get answers when you’re looking for direction, and you’re looking for advice or counsel from within that will steer you in the right direction, is there’s two ways to ask a question. The question might be what am I supposed to do today? Or it could be, should I call George today? What’s the difference between those two questions, in the way the format of a question? One is what should I do today? The other one is should I call George today? What’s the difference between those two? What is the difference between the kind of answer you would get? One is specific, second one gives you agency. Alright, the kind of question that you ask will determine what kind of question, or what kind of answer you get back.
MALE STUDENT: Yes or no.
LESLIE: Yes or no. Listen to that again. The first one was what should I do today? and the second was should I call George today? If God is going to answer me with the first one, how many words or impressions would He have to give me to get the message across? One or a lot, or many? Many, many words, many impressions, something, maybe a picture in my mind. With the other one, all I need to do is get a yes or no and I have a very clear answer. So did anybody learn anything this morning so far?
There is a book called Illusions by Richard Bach and there’s a story in there where he talks about these creatures that live at the bottom of a crystal river, and at the bottom of this crystal river these creatures are trained to cling to the plants and weeds on the bottom of the river, to hang on so that they don’t get washed away and dashed upon the rocks in the river. That’s how they were raised is to cling to the plants below. There’s one creature that decides, you know what? I want to know what’s downstream. I want to know where this river is going and so he told his friends, “I’m going to let go. I’m going to let go and I’m going to let the river take me where it will.” They said, “Let go? Let go? And this stream, this current you worship will send you and dash you against the stones and you’ll die sooner than you’re bored” and he said, “But nevertheless, I must do it.”
So he let go and he let the flow of the stream carry him down the river, and he was dashed against the rocks and he was beat up and bruised, but when he refused to cling no more, when he didn’t go back to clinging to what was “comfortable” but he allowed himself to get carried away in the flow, soon enough the river lifted him above the rocks and he soared downstream to wonderful places and beautiful, beautiful scenery, and the creatures downstream that didn’t know who he was, looked up at the surface and saw him go by and said, “Look at that, a creature like ourselves, yet he flies!”
I leave that with you because I want you to know that to find and fulfill your mission is easy and it will take you places, the best places you could possibly go when you let go of your fears, when you let go of the need to fit in. You’re leaders, you’re dreamers, you don’t belong with the creatures who cling to the bottom. Let go, let go and trust. When something in your heart says it’s time to take that leap, take that leap and trust God to carry you. You might be dashed against the rocks to test, to test you and see if you’ll cling back again or if you will refuse to cling no more and let it carry you, and one day, people will look at you and say a person like ourselves, but look how they fly! Thank you.
This concludes today’s episode of the Rare Faith Podcast. You’ve been listening to Leslie Householder, author of The Jackrabbit Factor, Portal to Genius and Hidden Treasures – Heaven’s Astonishing Help With Your Money Matters. All three books can be downloaded free at ARareKindofFaith.com. So tell your friends and join Leslie again next time as she goes even deeper into the principles that will help you change your life.