Do the Challenges Ever Stop?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sixth Grade

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

Fast forward to college.

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

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

You got married and added a spouse to the picture.

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

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

You start having children.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It seems that life will only get more challenging.

WAIT!

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

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

Challenges are important because they help us build confidence.

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

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

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

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

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

Let me help you find peace, by learning the laws and principles that are dependable and sure. Click here to join me in the Mindset Mastery course – as you allow me to walk you through each lesson and corresponding challenge, your life will never be the same.

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When Things Look Bleak

I was in a slump. On the verge of some pretty exciting things, but attacked by new thoughts of concern.

I had set some lofty goals, and as the target date was approaching, things appeared to be bleak, like the feeling in this photo above. It took all my energy to continually push aside doubtful thoughts that the changes I wanted to realize were still possible for me.

For days I was plagued with questions:

  • “What if it doesn’t work out?”
  • “What if I miss my goals?”
  • “What will I do if the resources I need don’t come through?”

Each time an anxious thought came into my head, I rejected it. But just rejecting it wasn’t enough to leave me with burning faith, either.

I was losing sight of my objectives, and felt weak in my ability to apply the principles of prosperity I teach.

“Oh, give yourself a break, Leslie, you’re just pregnant.” I’m acutely aware of my emotional state when hormones are all wacked out, and I learned to trust in God’s mercy in spite of myself. I believe He can bless me even when I’m not perfect (thank heavens) and I’ve learned that because I choose that way of thinking over the more typical, “I’m not worthy of His blessings” mentality, He is then able to send the blessings, by law.

Still, even though I have in the past been able to believe in my goals in spite of myself, that week was especially tough. Hope was fading, and I struggled not to give up.

So I turned to two of my closest friends for support, and to help me fix my thinking. I knew that it was my thinking that needed fixing, even more than the circumstances around me (the lack of evidence that I would succeed). It was my thinking that needed fixing, and my success depended on it.

Marnie’s advice – “Dig into gratitude for what you have and what you know is coming. Also, depression isn’t such a bad thing because it makes you willing to change, helps you see contrast. Also, the whole [law of] rhythm thing: something great’s around the corner. Refocus spiritually. Doctrine and Covenants 6:33-37 really helped me get through [a similar slump]”

(The reference she was talking about reads: “Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail… Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”)

My husband’s comment: “God hasn’t brought us this far to fail now….”

That comment struck me like a ton of bricks. It made me think back to all of the miracles He has performed for us, and it would be absurd to think that He would bring us this far, only for us to give up on our dreams and fail to accomplish the worthy things we’ve set out to do.

Suddenly, the struggle seemed like a waste of time and energy. No longer did I feel like I was IN the struggle; I felt like I had just set it aside as something I chose to have nothing to do with.

I found a quiet place and took Marnie’s advice to think on all the things I have to be grateful for. And you know what? It wasn’t just a nice exercise, it was literally an action step that helped me get back on track. Because I have a growing understanding of the laws of success, I knew that to take a half hour or an hour to allow myself to feel gratitude to God for all He has done, even to the point of tears, was to put myself in harmony with Him again, and prepare myself to receive the blessings He wants to send me.

Positive Thinking Tip: Reflect with gratitude on your current blessings and previous victories.

No matter how far we come in learning these principles, we will be challenged our entire life to continue exercising those “muscles.” They can atrophy if we let them. Once again, I became excited about my dreams.

It’s true: we can make of our life anything we want it to be!

Above all, the only things that really needs fixing when things look bleak are our thoughts.

0795_Leslie-author-FB-sq-rotated-flippedGet your thinking right, and everything else falls into place.

Download a free copy of The Jackrabbit Factor or Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help With Your Money Matters, and I’ll help you make the transformation, one step at a time.

If you’re ready to put what you’ve been learning to the test, join me in the Mindset Mastery course and participate in two powerful experiments using these principles. Discover for yourself the power of your thoughts as I coach you step-by-step through how to use them with intention to make significant changes in your life. The first experiment in phase one is a practice run so you get a feel for how it works. The second experiment is phase two, where you apply what you learned in the first phase to something more difficult, important, or meaningful. With this practice, you’ll gain the confidence you need to apply the principles to any life change you desire.

Learn more and get started now at www.ProspertheFamily.com

See you on the inside!

Leslie

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Think Prosperously, Behave Frugally

Here is a question from one of my readers that I thought was worthwhile to share with  you.

Question:

How do you think, especially speak, feel, and act as though you are rich, and…

A. not spend money you don’t have?

B. still give positive responses as though the money is here now to people asking you to do things you don’t have the money for???

How do you “feel” like the money is here now, when you see something you want to buy, and can’t responsibly do that?

My Answer:

You can accomplish the “feel” task during a quiet moment of meditation – a finite length of time. Sometimes I’ll just go lay down for a nap and let myself daydream and feel the abundance I’m hoping for, and allow my mind to experience its reality, even if it is just for a few minutes. That’s planting the seed, and turning it over to the subconscious.

Then when you’re back to life as usual, behave responsibly. Say no when an irresponsible purchase is tempting you. Determine the difference between an irresponsible purchase and one that may lead you to the solutions you are searching for.

If you have planted the seed, then you will be led to opportunities, and there may be a twinge of fear in taking advantage of them, but it is a different kind of fear than the kind that accompanies frivolous purchases. Deep down, if you have a clear vision of where you ultimately want to be, you’ll know the difference. If it’s the kind of fear that prevents your progression, then it is worth facing. If it is the kind of fear that protects you from making a mistake, then pay attention to it.

How can you know the difference? If you spend the time visualizing and feeling like I’ve suggested, then when the fear comes, you’ll know in your gut which kind it is.

Out of all I’ve just said, the part that most people will NEVER do is to take the time to daydream, visualize, and FEEL, and approach it like a task on their to-do list. Do it, then check it off, and watch for the opportunities to come. Do it, and notice how much more clearly it is to discern a distraction or trap from an opportunity.

When you get confused or fearful, do it again, check it off, and move your feet forward, expecting clarity to come as you go.

Be smart with your spending, only live abundantly in your mind, enjoying the “experience” of virtual prosperity, but then live life as normal. In time, circumstances will re-arrange themselves to open the right doors and bring you the right opportunities, until reality can reflect the images of your thoughts.

Optimism will lead you to financial solutions, but be smart and live responsibly in the here and now.

Above all, stick to sound principles. We got caught a big debt trap even several years after learning these principles, because we got too excited about changing things too quickly. It was a painful lesson to learn, so now I discourage you from using credit to purchase my trainings or products. I’ll tell you instead to read The Jackrabbit Factor FREE, and do what it teaches to obtain the money you need.

I strongly advise you to give 10% to charity and save 10% of your earnings as well, no matter what you make. If you can’t, then get another or better job, or cut back on your lifestyle. Yes, I just said that.

Build a solid financial foundation. Do the hard things now on the way to your dream. Establish sound financial habits that will follow you into prosperity. If you are careless with the little money, you’ll be careless with the big money. It happened to us. It’s pretty much a law of nature: human nature.

Pay attention to the market trends and don’t get caught up in the frenzies. There will always be ups and downs. And ups. If you missed a window of opportunity, just put your life and house in order so that you’ll be ready for the next one. Practice delayed gratification.

You might be surprised to know that we are not paying for our children’s educations – we’re teaching them that they will need to earn the money or get scholarships. We are teaching them to avoid debt like the plague, even for their education. So far so good. I hope they stick to it, even if it takes them longer to finish. I tell them to sacrifice, work, think long term, and watch the opportunities come. I believe God honors and blesses those who practice wisdom.

He also lets us do stupid things, so trust me – be wise. Be the weird one in your circle of friends who doesn’t have all the luxuries, because you’re working a long-term plan. As the old adage goes, the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

All the while, practice the principles of right-thinking. Have faith. Think optimistically. Create a vision for where you’re going. Trust in the Law of Rhythm, and the Law of Polarity, and the Law of Vibration, especially. Read all about these laws FREE, here.

When you’re out shopping with your kids and they beg you to buy something, don’t say, “I can’t.” Instead say, “I choose not to spend my money on that.” Speak to empower. Even if you can’t afford it, your mind will hear and feel the response  “I choose” differently than “I can’t.” And it time, you’ll see the effects. When the words you speak are in line with correct principles, your life can’t help but begin to move in a better direction. Originally published September 12, 2006

Related: To Debt or Not To Debt. Learn how the way you feel about the purchase can also affect the overall outcome.

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"Perfectionism" and Prosperity

RareFaith-perfectionism

We live in a time when life comes at us faster than it ever has in the history of the world. We get stressed, overloaded, and overwhelmed. Under these pressures, it is hard to remain calm… the state of mind necessary to live in harmony with the universal laws of success. Often we get discouraged and lose faith, simply because we spend so much time beating ourselves up for our flaws.

To qualify for the blessings we’re praying for requires a calm and confident state of mind. But when we’re disappointed in ourselves, it is tough to have faith. The problem is, so long as we’re not perfect, there’s always something to be disappointed about. So what do we do about that? How can we have peace of mind when we’re so imperfect? How can we achieve prosperity so long as we fall short of perfection?

Do we have to THINK, BEHAVE, and DO everything perfectly in order for the blessings to come? No.

In my book, Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Money Matters, I talk about how I had a perfectionist mentality for many years, until, after I married and had children I discovered to my dismay how literally IMPOSSIBLE it is to be perfect, even when you give it all you’ve got.

For a simple example, I’d make a commitment to study a certain amount each day or week, and I’d sit down to read… just as a baby in the other room would wake up and start to fuss. Or, I’d get the kids to bed and open my books just to hear some crying and then one of the toddlers would throw up.

It seemed that something always got in the way of my ability to make a commitment to myself and keep it. I had gotten pretty good at “self-mastery” before starting a family, but all that changed after the first baby. No longer did I have much say in how my time would be spent, even with all of my good intentions of living a disciplined, structured life.

Finally, one day I surrendered in despair. I realized I had become a cranky, sloppy person with the utter inability to finish anything I tried to start. Anything that did get done was done half-shod. I collapsed in tears and expressed to God how sorry I was that I was such a failure. I was devastated and confessed that I was doing the best I knew how, and that as poorly as I was doing, it was all I could do.

For the first time in years I felt Him really smiling down on me. It was as if He was saying, “FINALLY you realize your dependence on me! NOW we can proceed!”

Everything changed after that. How does this lesson apply to me now? I still have all the interruptions that come with family life… even more now than ever. In fact, a paper airplane just hit me in the head and I’m not even kidding.

I don’t have time to plan, prepare, and execute much of anything as perfectly, professionally, or impressively as I should. Let’s say I’m selling something, and if doing the presentation poorly could cost me the deal, I have two choices. I can either think “oh, dear… I did such a bad job” or I can think, “that’s just going to have to be good enough.”

Which mentality will bring success? Which mindset leads to prosperity?

Now that I know my best is never going to be good enough, and now that I know that God understands and is okay with that (so long as I really try), I rely on Him to make up the difference for my inadequacies. When I’m trying to do a good job and I blow it anyway, I think of Him and pray that He can make something useful out of my less-than-perfect efforts.

So long as I have believed that, I’ve seen miracles.

So then, do we have to THINK, BEHAVE, and DO everything perfectly in order for the blessings to come? No. We will not live the principles perfectly, no matter how hard we try. BUT, we can think of God when we come short, and pray for mercy.

Let me give you an example. Years ago, my husband and I made the mistake of trying to purchase multiple investment properties at the same time. The underwriters on every one of those deals became uneasy when they realized what we were trying to do. The first home went through relatively easily, but the second was more tough. The underwriters kept coming back with more unexpected hoops that we had to jump through, including having us show larger amounts available in certain accounts than what they had originally requested, as well as proving that those funds had already been seasoned for so many months, etc…

Each time we managed to jump through one hoop, they came back with yet another and another and another. Originally they only needed to see X amount in the bank and 3 months of payments in reserve. Then, seeing us as a risky investment, their requirements increased to something like X times two and 6 months in reserve, which eventually turned into a required 12 months in reserves plus a letter stating we weren’t accruing more liabilities, even though they already knew we were. It seemed as though they had long since decided not to extend the loan and were hoping we’d just give up.

After meeting their newly imposed requirements over and over, it eventually became impossible to do the next thing they asked. We were so weary that we were ready to just let it go. We had done all we could do. Then a simple thought came to mind: we don’t have to come up with all that extra money and we don’t have to do everything they are asking… all this would take is for one person in underwriting to simply have a change of heart.

Suddenly it all seemed so simple, because it was going to be so much easier for us to pray for one person’s heart to change, than to pray for another $40,000 (or whatever it was – I can’t remember) to show up in our account by the next day, WITH proof that it had already been sitting there for several months, which would have been impossible to do.

Having finally come to peace with giving it our best and letting go of the outcome, we emailed to let them know that we would not be providing them the proof of the additional unexpected funds they were requiring.

The next day, our loan officer called and said that there was only one final token request (something insignificant), and it would be a done deal. There was no more mention of the large sum of money they had wanted before. It all finally went through.

The point? “You need not run faster than you have strength.” When perfection is impossible (and it always is), God can make up the difference if you will ask for His help and then believe in Him. Do your best to only ask for those things that would be in your best and highest good, and then trust Him. (More on that…)

A woman prayed: “Dear Father, I’ve been doing really well today… so far I haven’t yelled at the kids, cussed, thrown anything around in anger, overeaten, overspent, or overlooked my responsibilities… I haven’t watched too much TV, nor driven too fast. I’ve been good natured and cheerful to everyone around me… But Father, it’s morning and time for me to get out of bed. From here I’m really going to need your help.”

That’s what it comes down to: reliance on that higher power. If you choose to believe that somehow, God makes up the difference between your efforts and what’s required, then it’s that very belief which puts you in the right state of mind to receive the blessing… even when you don’t “deserve” it. In all honesty, none of us really “deserve” it. Only by the grace of God are we even breathing. So, to reach our goals, what does He require? Belief. Belief that He has a way to make up for our failings, and asking Him to help.

So, believe you can achieve your ideal life. Do what you can, and then when needed, say to yourself, “this is just going to have to be good enough.” Can you see how thinking this way is in harmony with the laws of success? If we think we aren’t doing well enough, and if we think that our inadequacy will prevent us from succeeding, then we’re right. Trust God to fill in, believe that He will, and you can succeed.

I just got hit in the head again. I’ve tried to edit this article as I’ve gone along, and now that I’m at the end I really should run through it one more time to make sure it comes across the way I wanted it to, and make sure the sentences are readable and flowey, but a precious little 5 year old has been trying to get my attention for more than two hours, so… it’s just going to have to be good enough.

Originally published February 7, 2005

Added August 8, 2015: Those of you who have been following me for a few years know that those real estate investments didn’t go so well! So yes, be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it. Here are some related follow-up articles that you may find interesting:

Gurus are Human
Human Empowerment, In Perspective

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