There’s a wonderful story of vision, persistence, and belief that I love. It whimsically conveys what’s possible when we have faith and take action. And it’s more than a delightful tale. It is illustrative of a profound and powerful truth.
The Snail, the Squirrel, and the Cherry Tree
There once was a very small snail who began climbing up a tall, barren tree in the middle of winter. This wee snail had to keep moving in order to keep from freezing. After a while, a bushy-tailed squirrel peeks out of a nice, snug hole in the mature tree and sees the snail inching its way up the trunk, still far from any of the tree’s bare branches. The squirrel, quite puzzled, inquires, “Where are you going, little snail?” The snail glances over, smiles, and says, “Why, dear squirrel, I am going to get some cherries.”
Given the little snail’s predicament, the squirrel wasn’t sure whether he should be amused or alarmed. So he simply says, “Don’t you realize it’s the middle of winter? There aren’t any cherries on this tree – none at all!” Undeterred by the obvious, the snail neither slackens nor slows his determined snail’s pace. He merely turns once again toward the inquisitive squirrel and calmly replies, “Ah, yes. But by the time I get there, there will be!”
- 1 The Secret
- 2 The Law of Attraction: Hocus-pocus or Legit?
- 3 A Fascinating Observation from Facebook, and a Challenge to You
- 4 The Power of Gratitude
- 5 When We Ask, We Are Answered, When We Seek, We Find
- 6 The Heart of the Matter
The Predicament vs. the Possible
I was taught to listen for what was being said beneath the words being spoken. My clinical pastoral counseling supervisor would say, “Look beyond the obvious, to the significant.” Undeterred by the obvious, that little snail was being drawn by the significant. The squirrel was baffled by the snail’s predicament. But the snail was spurred on – not by what was happening – but by what was possible. I bet the snail in the story was envisioning rich, ripe cherries, bursting with sweetness and warmed by the sun. He held in his mind a perfect vision of what was to come, which enabled him to continue.
To achieve any worthwhile goal, it takes intentional thought, detailed vision, heartfelt commitment, and disciplined persistence. That’s why in every proverb, motivational quote and inspirational meme about success there is some element of what it requires to make progress and achieve results. Many of my favorite law of attraction quotes and law of attraction affirmations capture this spirit beautifully.
Have you seen it? I still vividly remember the first time I watched the movie, “The Secret,” based on the book of the same name by Rhonda Byrne. The movie revealed a definitive piece of a fascinating puzzle. It wasn’t so much that the information was new, although some of it certainly was. Those interviewed in the movie presented ideas, both familiar and fresh, in a compelling new way.
Interestingly, there were a couple of Scripture passages I’d studied in seminary that I simply couldn’t understand. Their meaning eluded me. Those immediately became clear and deeply discernable. Other things made perfect sense, too. I started studying with Bob Proctor (featured in the movie, The Secret). Bob is a wonderful mentor, motivational speaker, prosperity teacher, best-selling author, and businessman, whose teachings continue to challenge and stretch my thinking.
From the time I started studying with Bob, I began appreciating things differently and operating on a whole new level. It was, as Bob likes to say, a result of shifting my paradigm. One of his trainings, in particular, was eye-opening and life-changing for me. You can learn about it from Bob here.
One of my favorite clergy colleagues gave a rousing sermon many years ago on belief. He made a compelling distinction and a provocative point. As believers, we may be skeptical, but we are simply not allowed to be cynical. I’ve thought a lot about his point since then. Healthy skepticism keeps us open, asking, seeking, inquiring. But cynicism shuts down possibility and denies discovery. Cynicism is antithetical to the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction: Hocus-pocus or Legit?
The movie, “The Secret” is based largely on a book by Wallace D. Wattles entitled, “The Science of Getting Rich,” or SGR. It is sometimes called “The Law of Attraction Book. In a way, I think the title is both limiting and unfortunate. After all, the book is about so much more than what we think of as material wealth or getting rich. SGR looks at the way our universe is designed and ordered. And about how it operates, elegantly and irrefutably, by law. One of my favorite Law of Attraction quotes from SGR is,
“The purpose of nature is the advancement and development of life. Every individual should have all that can contribute to the power, elegance, beauty, and richness of life.”
The book explains each of the Natural Laws, all of which work with the predictability of gravity. There is ample evidence to support this worldview. We can cite and experience various manifestations of these laws. The study and application of them have transformed countless lives, including mine. This is neither capricious nor some hocus-pocus. Of course, like anything else, believing and disbelieving, choosing to be skeptical or cynical, trying something new or poo-pooing it, is a personal choice.
As someone committed to life-long learning, growing and advancing, I love what the Apostle Paul says in Romans 12:2,
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We can renew our minds, and in so doing, experience transformation. But it is always our choice.
Zig Ziglar put it this way:
Follow the Formula
Wallace D. Wattles has written,
“The scientific use of thought consists in forming a clear and distinct mental image of what you want, in holding fast to your purpose to get what you want, and in realizing with grateful faith that you get what you want.”
It explains how “Ask and ye shall receive” becomes operative.
There is a formulaic process, Wattles explains,
“By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action you receive it.”
When somebody isn’t experiencing success with this approach they’re probably getting hung up on the receiving part. And they stall at the receiving stage because they forgo the action which necessarily precedes it. We must combine disciplined, focused thought with relevant, personal action. Let’s say that something is appealing. But if there isn’t a burning desire keeping us focused and motivated on achieving or acquiring it, there will be no receiving. As it states in the I Ching:
“Genius is the ability to receive from the universe.”
Studying the Law of Attraction brings that genius ability into our awareness and shows us how to tap into it. One of my favorite Bob Proctor affirmations is:
“I am ready to receive what I want, and I am acting now on the people and things in my present environment.”
This readiness is absolutely essential. As Napoleon Hill explains it,
“No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it.”
A Fascinating Observation from Facebook, and a Challenge to You
What do you spend your time thinking about? How do you spend your time & money? The answer is a telling reflection of what you most value.
A friend recently posted on Facebook that she had eye surgery and her vision was corrected so she now has 20/20 vision in both eyes. She is deeply grateful and commented that it was the BEST thing she has ever done for herself! WOW! How marvelous is that!?! Yet, the first comment on her post reads, “Was it expensive?”
Really? REALLY?!?! “Was it expensive?” Granted, I am a keenly visual person and cherish my eyesight, as well as one who believes in investing in self-care in order to enhance one’s joy and value to others. So, my first thought was, what a self-limiting question. Some things are expensive; others are priceless.
If an investment changes your life and is the BEST thing you’ve ever done for yourself, I put that in the priceless category. How about you? Why do so many people think in terms of scarcity, lack, and limitation? Yes, one response is that we need to be realistic. I understand that. But I think it’s more than that. I believe many people don’t realize we live in an abundant universe. That we choose our thoughts, which determine our feelings, which in turn lead to our actions, thus giving us the particular results we experience in life.
We Are Meant to Be Exuberant
If you aren’t exuberant about your life, please realize you DO have the power to change. If you feel like there is a cloud of not-enoughness around your head, you can change that, too! A simple shift in your perspective can change everything. I challenge you to feel the difference between these two questions:
- “Can I afford it?”
- “What do I need to do, in order to afford it?”
The first question is based in fear, lack, and not-enoughness. It comes from scarcity thinking. The second question is based on actionable faith and abundance. As Napoleon Hill so beautifully stated it,
“Close the door of fear behind you, and see how quickly the door to success opens in front of you.”
You have the power to change. The defining question is, “Do you have the desire and the will?” Another example of changing our perspective and our questions to reflect a change in our desire and our will is illustrated in these two questions:
- “Is it hard?”
- “Is it worth it?”
If I can do it, anyone can. This beautiful quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi expresses it well,
“If God can work through me, he can work through anyone.”
My challenge to you, should you choose to accept it is this: Invest in yourself, believe in yourself and your God-given gifts, talents, and abilities. Then commit to stretching beyond any self-limiting beliefs and become more. Because the more we become and the more we have, the more we can offer our healing gifts to a hurting world.
The Power of Gratitude
Thankfulness is one of the big, fundamental concepts for Christians – right up there with love, joy, peace, and forgiveness. 1Thess. 5:18 states:
“… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
This is a fascinating dynamic. Whenever those of us in the Judeo-Christian tradition are called or commanded to do something – it is always predicated on being for our own good. In God’s economy, anything asked of us is actually and always ultimately for us. It is designed to accrue to our benefit when we honor it. And this verse is not directing us to be thankful when bad things happen. We are giving thanks in and through everything, not for everything. It’s an important distinction and makes aspiring to it doable. This call to give thanks in the midst of everything took on additional meaning when I learned about the power of gratitude from Bob Proctor, who states it this way:
“Gratitude is an attitude that hooks us up to our source of supply. And the more grateful you are, the closer you become to your maker, to the architect of the universe, to the spiritual core of your being. It’s a phenomenal lesson.”
Gratitude Is Essential to Joy
It has been through my study with Bob Proctor, and Scripture, that I have come to much more fully understand the power of gratitude. I write about it in my second Amazon bestseller, Winged Gifts of Grace: Wild birds & Spirited musings for Life’s journey. One of the essays is, “In Life as in the Dictionary, Gratitude Always Comes Before Joy.” One of the things I share in the essay is a singularly unique, You’ll-Never-Be-The-Same-Again divine promise. It is a natural principle, one of the laws of the universe, and while I go into some detail, the essential, transformative power of it can be expressed in just these eight words from the essay:
“Gratitude changes absolutely everything – because it changes us.”
Sometimes we think that if only we could have what we most want, then we would be truly happy and subsequently, we’d feel appreciative and be grateful. But it turns out that our ordered and elegant universe doesn’t work that way. It is the same as believing the old adage, I’ll believe it when I see it. Turns out that we see it when we believe it. The order of things is important.
When We Ask, We Are Answered, When We Seek, We Find
I believe that Bob Proctor and his teachings are the answer to a couple of my fervent prayers. Because I had prayed for a deeper understanding of God’s will and the laws of our created universe, as revealed in scripture.
As mentioned above, one of the Scripture passages studying with Bob helped me finally understand is in Luke 19.
The message in the parable seemed so unfair, so wrong, lacking compassion and even cruel. Its message was nothing like the God I know, and whose mercies I have frequently experienced. It turns out that I was looking at the passage from a humanistic perspective.
The universe is ordered and elegant, based on laws, and when we observe them they are designed to work to our greatest good. Scripture has lots of stories, similes, parables, and metaphors – but to think they are sentimental rather than literal ensures we are missing way more than we are gleaning.
From Confounded and Chagrined, to Convinced
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 19, there is a story of Jesus with his disciples. They were heading toward Jerusalem when Jesus told them a parable. There once was a nobleman who went into a distant country to obtain a kingdom. Before he left on his journey, he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas – which was the currency of the time. A mina was the equivalent of about one hundred days’ wages. He then instructs them in verse 13 to “buy and sell with these while I go and return.”
The Curious Command to “Buy and Sell”
Once the nobleman acquires the kingdom and returns, he summons the ten servants to whom he’d given the money. He questioned each, wanting to know how much money each one had made. The first servant said, “Lord, your mina has made ten additional minas.” The master was pleased and said to him, “Well done, excellent bond servant! Because you have been faithful and trustworthy in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.” The second one came, and similarly, he had made five more minas with the master’s one mina entrusted to him. His stewardship merited him charge over five cities.
We Are Meant to Live in Faith, Not Fear
When the third slave came he returned to the nobleman his original mina, which the servant had kept safe and wrapped in a handkerchief. He explained that he was fearful of the master, saying he was a hard and severe man. The master was angry and condemning, acknowledging the truth of the servant’s allegations. The master then questioned the servant demanding to know why, given his harshness, the servant didn’t at least put the money in the bank so it could make some interest.
At this point in the parable, the nobleman, now king, instructs some bystanders to take the mina away from him and to give that one to the servant that has ten minas. Those gathered were incredulous. They exclaimed that the other servant already had ten minas!
Then in verse 26, Jesus instructs his disciples,
“I tell you, that to every one who gets and has, will more be given; but from the man who does not get, and does not have, will be taken away even what he has.”
The third man, who had the little he’d been given taken away, made decisions based in fear. He said he kept the mina saved, “For I was constantly afraid of you because you are a stern man…” When we grow and invest, we will reap results. We are not to complain about results we didn’t get because of actions we didn’t take. We are not to live in scarcity and fear but in faith and abundance. As Wattles states in SGR:
“What God wants is that you should make the most of yourself – for yourself and for others.”
The Heart of the Matter
It seems part of human nature to want to share one’s joy, encourage others if we can, and respond when someone asks for help, support or guidance. While that wasn’t the reason I went to seminary, it was the reason I did post-graduate work in pastoral counseling. And then I began learning about the laws of the universe.
Sharing my discoveries and things that are proven to help explain and enrich life is something I love to do. It is one reason why we started this website. Several people over the years have asked how I can be so positive and so joyful, given the tragedies and betrayals I’ve experienced. I address part of that question in, Broken Ground of the Soul: The Healing Power of the Psalms.
The book begins with trying to make sense of a senseless loss and ends up being a multidimensional treasure map back to joy after suffocating grief and mute incredulity. As Napoleon Hill has observed:
What I know with certainty is that we can learn, grow and expand our awareness. And in doing so we can directly and dramatically impact the quality of our lives. We are regenerative by design. We can apply the life lessons we have learned in a way that enhances how we experience daily life going forward. And you and I do not have to wait, as expressed by Rhonda Byrne, from The Secret:
“Every single second is an opportunity to change your life, because in any moment you can change the way you feel.”
Realizing We Are Vibrational Beings Is So Empowering
One of the most life-altering and enhancing things I have come to understand through studying with Bob Proctor, and others, is that we are vibrational beings, and everything is energy. Everything, in reality, is actually vibrating at a particular frequency.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to walk through life with a cloud over their heads, while still others seemed to live a charmed life no matter what they encounter or pursue? I believe the Law of Attraction explains why.
This Will Give You a Jolt and Could Make You Positively Magnetic!
Our thoughts actually have an electrical charge, while our feelings have a magnetic charge. In any given moment, what we’re thinking and feeling is broadcasting our electromagnetic state of being. Thoughts are the language of our brain, while feelings are the language of the body. The energy and force of your thoughts and feelings operate by the same laws as an electrical or magnetic current in our physical world. The more focused you are and the greater your desire, the more potent these signals become.
Once we realize how this works, we can be intentional about what it is we’re sending into the world – and subsequently what we’ll be receiving in response! It’s crazy, wondrously predictable and programmable.
If you’d like to know and understand more, this program, 6 Minutes to Success with Bob Proctor, was pivotal in my awareness. Learning, understanding, and following it has enabled me to attain so many of my goals. If you feel as if there is more for you, but it always seems just beyond your reach, this could be your answer.
My all-time favorite training is based on Bob Proctor’s more than 50 years of research into what enables or prevents people from being successful. The ideas that are fixed in our subconscious mind and determine our behavior, control whether or not we will be successful. Because paradigms don’t want to be changed, it’s difficult to do by yourself. What Bob said to me and what I have experienced, is that in 6 minutes a day this training program can change your paradigm one step at a time. When you change your paradigm, everything in your life will change.
6 minutes to Success is simple and effective and it won’t take a lot of your time to do it. You receive a short video each morning which will get you thinking and taking action throughout the day as you achieve your goals. These are just the messages you need!
As Napoleon Hill states,