80+ hour weeks and feeling trapped

Meet Matthew Pilling.

Matthew is kind of a trouble maker, the kind we love to keep around. Leave it to Matthew to crack the joke at Facilitator’s Conference that brings comic relief to any conversation (even the ones that don’t need comic relief). Leave it to Matthew to get you thinking deeper than ever about a concept you thought you’d already exhausted. Leave it to Matthew to be the token bald Canadian guy who makes sure everyone in the room knows that he is the token bald Canadian guy. Here is a man of tremendous talent, humility, camaraderie, and leadership. I’m thrilled to be introducing him to you as a Mindset Mastery Honors Graduate.

As he applied for graduation from the Mindset Mastery program, I had a few questions:

Q. Did you face a Terror Barrier during the course?

A. I did hit a terror barrier, when God told me that I was focused on the wrong goal. His plans involved doing some things I didn’t feel ready for or capable of doing at the time. But [as you will see below], following His plan was the best option and quickly showed that most of my terror was completely unfounded.

Q. What was your experience with the Phase 1 Inconsequential Goal?

A. Knowing that we were going camping… and that I was bringing my telescope, I decided to see a shooting star… I had considered making that my goal, and jotted it down as a possibility, but planned on using some of the time on our drive to decide for sure.

Notice, he wrote it down as a possibility. Let me say that differently: Matthew created the possibility by writing it down.

Well, this was our first time pulling a new trailer [so] I found that my mind was occupied by the pull of the trailer on our van. When we arrived at our campsite, I realized that I hadn’t yet decided what my goal was going to be.

Notice, he didn’t feel decided about the goal, but he also had not rejected it. Ponder that, and pay attention to your thoughts. Do you explore possibilities? Do you put them to paper (an exercise in getting clarity)? Do you actively and intentionally reject them, or do you leave them open ended? Dream big, and let the possibility live. Don’t kill them off. What harm is there in leaving them to blossom at nature’s pace?

We set up camp and marveled at the stars. The sky was so clear. Within moments, I saw a shooting star. I immediately thought that that was too easy or too coincidental to count. I hadn’t even really decided that that was my goal. But, I’ve pulled out my telescope hundreds of times where we didn’t see any shooting stars. We spent an hour or so looking at the sky, and in that time I saw five or six shooting stars. None of them were huge streaks across the sky, but I hadn’t specified that.

Bonus: As we were going to bed, I commented that I would love to see the Milky Way effect (hadn’t really seen it before). In the middle of the night, my older kids in the next tent over needed help. As I climbed out of our tent and headed over to theirs—boom—there it was.

God is good. He seeks out moments where He can show us that He is aware of us individually. He has so much to give us if we’ll just ask.

When Matthew let it FEEL easy, things started happening.

In the Mindset Mastery class, when I talked about my midterm goal of seeing a shooting star, I mentioned questioning if it really counted because I hadn’t fully set the goal and was out looking specifically at stars when it happened. Honestly, I had in mind that looking was squeezing too hard and that it would probably happen when I just let go and wasn’t expecting it.

[Our instructor] assured me that what happened counted because I had put myself in a place to receive. I heard his words and knew that he was right, but still let myself question if that experience would be enough for me to rely on in the future. I’ve heard others talk about how their inconsequential goal has actually become an anchor that has helped them work on consequential goals even years later, and somehow felt that there had to be flashing lights involved (kind of a silly thing to say since what I saw was literally a flash of light!).

Fast forward just a couple of hours–I was at my night job and my mind was completely occupied by the task at hand when I saw a much brighter shooting star than any I had seen when I was camping.

Fast forward a couple more days–while in Genius Bootcamp, I felt prompted to share a little bit about a business I am developing to coach MLMers. I wasn’t sharing to pitch my business, it was just to give some perspective about the help heaven has given me in that endeavor.

Specifically, the prompting said, “If you share what you are thinking right now, something good will IMMEDIATELY happen.” Moments after I shared, someone in the group messaged me privately to say that they are part of an MLM and could possibly use the kind of coaching I was talking about for their team… and I now have a safe space in which to test drive and refine my materials.

Originally, I had tallied up all of the successful leaders I know in a number of MLM companies and planned on approaching them and hoping that someone would give me a shot. Because I listened to a voice that would have been easy to write off, I now have a much better option than what I had come up with for myself. This person’s team are all familiar with Leslie’s principles. They invited me to move forward with their team, rather than me ‘talking someone into it’. ALL of the “What if no one will listen to my message?” and other similar questions have evaporated and blown away in the wind.

Shooting stars burn out quickly. And, you do have to be in the right place to see them. And, you do have to be looking up. But, if you are in the right place at the right moment with your eyes open, they are glorious. Whatever goals you are working on, inconsequential or not, do not discount any confirmations that God gives you. Take them. Trust them. Follow them in the moment they are given and great things will happen.

Unreasonable Requests

Matthew has been a tremendous contributor in our Mindset Mastery program participants group. So much so that he’s granted me permission to share some of what he’s written here on my blog as a guest writer. This post was one of my favorites, which turned into a full-blown article. Powerful, powerful thoughts about faith. Read it here:  Unreasonable Requests

Now back to Matthew’s graduation spotlight. I asked:

Q. How effective were you at being able to think truth in spite of appearances in assignment/lesson 18?

A. Even while writing out my fear, I noted that 1) it was very unlikely that it would happen, and 2) if it did, we would survive. My fear was that we wouldn’t be able to pay off certain debts and that that would affect our marriage, our housing, etc. While the exercise was cathartic, I really didn’t have any deep-seated fear that our world would fall apart. God is helping me create things, and I knew that He would have a solution for that situation, whether it matched my preconceived expectations or not.

Wise words for all of us, Matthew.

I continued:

Q. If you had difficulty with anxiety or other troubling emotions, how did you deal with them?

A. The biggest thing for me was prayer. I’ve always believed in prayer and have had numerous faith-confirming experiences with it. I’ve been raised to believe that God loves us, wants to hear from us, and wants to grant us the desires of our hearts. But, several references from scripture talk about wrestling with God or pleading our cases before Him. Both of those conjure feelings of neediness or desperation for me. And, I’ve bought into that. I think, prior to MM, I had grown to believe that successful prayer required a Herculean effort, that we would have to either strong-arm an omnipotent being or succumb to His will. That process didn’t feel faith-filled for me.

As I came to understand the stick-man model and recognize that a lot of the process involved managing my thoughts and emotions throughout the day, and not just when I was approaching God in prayer, I came to a bit of a parity. I knew that prayer was an important pillar of my faith, but I felt like my focus was shifting away from prayer and more into thought work. Not that I stopped praying, but my prayers didn’t have the same energy. And, that concerned me.

Was I stepping into realms that fall outside of the safety of God’s plans?

Was I relying more on myself than on Him?

Because of that concern, I presented my question to the Weekly Forum and the answers that I was given were phenomenal. To hear that others in the group, people who I respect deeply, had had similar questions along the way was somehow comforting. Because of the thoughts that were shared there, I came to realize that, if I am to become a greater co-creator with God, I will, in a sense, have to rely more on myself and less on Him. But that doesn’t mean cutting Him or prayer out of my life. We always rely fully on Him, but as we become more like Him, He will put us in charge of greater things and require us to engage greater thought and faith in the process.

I now find that my prayers have shifted. I still thank God for all that I have and continue to ask Him for the things that I need. But, things that I need are not presented in a needy, whiny way. Rather, I spend more time confirming with Him that the desires I am focused on are the right things to be focused on and then asking for His help in maintaining the proper thoughts and feelings to bring them to pass. It is a subtle change, but it has definitely made a difference for me. I no longer feel like the entitled child approaching God with a list of “if I have been good enough to be on the right list” desires. Instead, I am a co-creator with Him.

Q. What was your goal or intention for the Phase 2 experiment?

I started this process thinking that my Short Term Goal would be to come up with the money needed to pay off some debts that I wanted to get rid of. It was a goal that was important to me that I have wanted to tackle for awhile. But, as I started writing out goal statements and future visions, something wasn’t gelling for me. Frustrated, I questioned whether I just wasn’t putting enough effort in, or if God wanted me to bear that burden a little longer to learn something from it.

As I dug a little deeper, I soon found that God had greater plans. He had already put it into my heart that I would be creating a coaching program. It turns out He wanted it sooner than I had thought possible. I went to work, using what little time I had between two full time jobs to piece things together. But, it soon became apparent that I would need more time than that schedule afforded me. I would need to find a new job–something to replace both current jobs and radically change my schedule.

That’s when the terror started to hit. Not having a bachelor’s degree, I’ve often found that the jobs that would pay what I was making between the two jobs were just out of reach. I also knew that I should be spending every spare moment working on my coaching program, but now I would need to pour time into searching out jobs, re-vamping my resume, and all of the fun that comes with that process. Quite frankly, while the idea of cutting back to one job thrilled me, the process did not. The dread of wading through job postings and interviews brought a ton of negative energy with it. I knew that that negative energy wasn’t going to help me, but I didn’t know where to go with it.

As I knelt to pray about it, a thought came to my mind to look at job postings for a specific local company. I followed that thought. They had a job with a schedule that would be ideal for me, and possibly had the income potential that I was looking for, but I wasn’t sure I had the experience that they would want. I felt that I should reach out to a friend who works there. He told me to apply immediately because they would be closing the posting soon. So, that same night, I revamped my resume and applied. A week later, I was in an interview. While, based on the job posting, they agreed that I didn’t have every quality that they were looking for, they felt that some of my experience filled other gaps that weren’t included in the job description.

I now work for that company. While we don’t make quite what I was making before with the two jobs, we make enough and there is some motivation to expand my coaching business. And, I went from working 80+ hours every week (2 shifts a day, Monday-Friday), to working 3 nights a week (three 12-14 hour shifts). I used to leave my house on Monday morning and not really see my family again until Saturday morning. I now see them daily and have time every weekend to be with them.

God is good.

He knew how trapped I felt. He knew how much I dreaded the job search process. He helped me find what is a perfect job for our current conditions, send out ONE application, have ONE interview, and completely changed our lives in the process.

Excellent report, Matthew. Thank you for demonstrating how the principles can be successfully applied, even when life feels too overwhelming and busy to do anything about it.

Congratulations, Matthew! Keep up the great work!!

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While Matthew’s website is still a work in progress (I’ll post it here when it’s ready), he is already passionate about and actively involved in coaching leaders in Multi-Level Marketing companies. It’s not about helping them learn to follow their MLM’s system, it’s about helping them more fully integrate their own personal purpose and mission into their business. With this approach…

He sets his clients apart in a “sea of same” and has the tools and insight that gives them greater clarity, increased confidence, and more predictable results.

Matthew is also an avid cyclist, and he has joined us on the Rare Faith Program Facilitator Track to help us deliver Mindset Mastery and Genius Bootcamp classes to others. Browse his articles and learn more about what he’s up to here.

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Leslie Householder
Latest posts by Leslie Householder (see all)

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