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2 The Abundance Project: Unlocking Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness Edited by Jade Koyle The Abundance Project 2

3 Copyright 2014 By The Abundance Project ALL RIGHTS RESERVED No part of this e-book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system without the expressed written, dated and signed permission from the author. LIMITS OF LIABILITY / DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY The author of this e-book has used their best efforts in preparing this material. The author makes no representation or warranties with respect to the applicability or application of the contents of this material. The author shall in no event be held liable for any loss or other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. As always, the advice of medical practitioner should be sought. The author does not accept any responsibility for any liabilities resulting from the actions of any parties involved. This e-book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright laws and treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited unless written authorization is obtained from the author. 3

4 The Abundance Project: Unlocking Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness Table of Contents Foreword Introduction: The Abundance Project Do You Have a Gap in Your Abundance? (Take the Quiz) Chapter One: Your Barometer of Luxury Chapter Two: Educating Your Desires Chapter Three: Receiving Abundance Chapter Four: An Abundant Mindset Chapter Five: Action Inspires Action Chapter Six: To Plan or Not to Plan Chapter Seven: The Wealth Gap Chapter Eight: Beyond Wealth About The Abundance Project 4

5 Foreword By Dr. Joe Vitale Few subjects are as dear to my heart as abundance, and I was extremely pleased when Jade asked me to write the Foreword for The Abundance Project e- book. I think they re on to something here. One of the reasons The Abundance Project as a whole appeals to my senses is that I, too, have found that holding people by the hand in a process of personal growth is a big part of whether or not someone will achieve the success they want. We get literally hundreds of calls a day in my office from people who ve seen me in movies like The Secret, or have read one of my books, and want to know where they can learn more. The Abundance Project is a powerful force in this conversation. You ll find a lot of fresh, meat and potato ideas in this e-book, or skills of prosperity as they call it. It s full of down-to-earth practical wisdom, and I like that. It s something you ll need to act on the inspiration you receive and bring it into manifestation. If you ve read my books, you know that I agree with them that, next to inspiration from the Divine, God, the Universe, whatever you call it, taking action is of the essence. And for many people, this is a huge missing link. As a self-confessed bookophile with an abundance of books on this topic, I appreciate what they ve accomplished in this ebook. The Abundance Project covers a lot of ground in a short amount of space to bring you plenty of value. I even learned a turn of phrase I hadn t heard before educating your desires 5

6 about how to expand your purpose and power as you set out to fulfill your dreams, and I highly encourage you to sit down and do it right away. It will open you up to thinking big about what is possible for you. Why limit abundance to your own life when you can receive so much more and bless the world with it? Perhaps more importantly, why would you when, After all, isn t that really the way abundance works? Well, guess what? They re right. It is. And I couldn t have said it better myself. Expect miracles. Love, Joe Dr. Joe Vitale Creator of Miracles Coaching Author of way too many books to list here 6

7 Introduction The Abundance Project We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. Tom Waits How do you define abundance? It s a big question with definitions ranging from having an excess of money to having an abundant mindset about what you already have. To be sure, abundance is widely available and we re interested in helping more people get on board not only those who don t have it, but also those who do and simply don t realize it. Our desire is to add value to a conversation that will never be rendered obsolete by technology, no matter how much we advance. If anything, it s only going to get louder as we race headlong into the future at ever-increasing, breakneck paces. There s been a huge shift in interest towards the idea of abundance in recent years as movies like The Secret captured the attention of a larger and more mainstream audience, yet people were often left scratching their head. While The Secret raised people s awareness of the 7

8 importance of having an abundance mindset, its magical feel didn t always resonate with viewers. For example, the Law of Attraction was presented as a somewhat highly mystical concept when, at its heart, it s simply the notion that thoughts become things and what you're seeing in your life is really the result of who you are. Rather than magic, it s more on par with author Stephen R. Covey s (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) comment: You can t talk your way out of something you ve behaved yourself into. That s not to say there is no magic to life. If ever there was validity to fiction and science writer Arthur C. Clarke s statement, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, that time is now. Over the years, as we have helped tens of thousands of people to learn the skills for prosperity, we found that what they needed most was at the personal development level. Although we had plentiful information and resources to help people grow their skills for increasing income, it seemed that the majority of the issues and challenges people faced in improving their lives came down to their personal ability to receive abundance. This is where they struggled. As business owners, while they did need to learn about SEO, or how to do market research and pay-per-click advertising, their 8

9 abundance blocks were more personal than that and prevented them from being able to put the kinds of specific skills that we were teaching them into practice. Beyond that, we discovered that the personal issues went into mindset, limiting beliefs and how people sabotaged their own desires. They might, for example, create an intention to move forward with their business, but then their belief about how it won t work and how it can t work would end up being a huge stumbling block. We learned that most people were just a small tweak from success. They didn t need to make a 180 degree change. Just a small, one to three degree, change in course could radically change their results for the better. So we began doing more personal development training along those lines and, based on what we ve seen, holding people by the hand in a process of personal growth is a big part of whether or not someone will achieve the success they want. Even after working with over 80,000 students in various capacities, we ve learned a lot about what people need to make their lives and business flourish. We know that more people need personal help and coaching and they need it to be affordable. With that personal help, they especially need motivation and inspiration. And so, with that, The Abundance Project was born. 9

10 The Abundance Project will constantly be sharing new ideas and breakthroughs on achieving abundance. You can follow and explore the movement at and we invite you to join our newsletter or Facebook page to receive daily inspiration, as well as participate in free online events about achieving abundance. To join the conversation about abundance, and this book, please go to Not only will you find that learning abundance is easily accessible, you ll feel regularly inspired and uplifted. The Abundance Project brings the best teachers and mentors to its community so those involved will have the latest, greatest, and proven information available. We have relationships with many authors and speakers who have dedicated their lives to the areas of health, wellness, personal development, relationships, financial success and small business. The Abundance Project is like a hub where we can bring it all together. There s so much more abundance you can receive if you prepare yourself for it. Part of this is mindset and part of it is taking action in your life on the important matters. Sometimes this might mean correcting actions you ve taken in the past and working to repair those things. In all of this, you will feel more open to receiving the greater good that is available to you. The truth is there is abundance and plenty for everyone, including you not just financially, but in every way. And receiving abundance is 10

11 closely tied to living a life that attracts it and then recognizing it and giving to others as it flows in. Yet so many people live in lack and despair because they don t realize they can receive what they need and desire in their lives. In this ebook, we ll touch on some of the major issues around abundance, like the Wealth Gap, things that, from a macro level, we view as opportunities for abundance and receiving abundance. With this understanding, as you go through the process of creating and receiving more in your own life, you ll realize that the more you receive, the more you can to give. After all, isn t that really the way abundance works? Even with all its many faces, this basic tenet of abundance, tied into value, applies to all of them: if you are receiving, you also need to be giving. For example, in business, you give value and you receive value, monetarily and otherwise. In personal relationships, the value is forgiving and being forgiven, loving and being loved. While we often believe we have to have more of whatever we are wanting, in reality, when we can appreciate what we already have now, value it and have gratitude for it, we actually become open to receiving more. It becomes a way that we can actually improve our relationships by serving and loving one another. 11

12 Abundance is also about taking care of yourself everything from ways to raise your energy, increase your income in business or at a job, improve your relationships with your spouse and family, and enhance your health. Real abundance has no limits. You can reverse diabetes or correct irritable bowel syndrome. It s all part of abundance or, in other words, how you can move towards personal peace and happiness, and our goal is to bring the best of the best from the experts to help people in all of these areas. At the same time, we want to illuminate the notion that what you have and are right now is enough, even in the midst of desiring more, and show you ways you can educate your desires, to deepen and expand your reasons for and ability to receive. Going through this process allows you to bring clarity to your prayers (or however you communicate with God). Then, as you reach for inspiration on what you can do and prepare yourself to receive by taking action in your life, you are more aligned with truth. Think of it as your own personal mentor and coach, a place to come for help when you need it as move along the many stepping stones of abundance. 12

13 Do You Have a Gap in Your Abundance? (Take the Quiz) Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. Wayne Dyer If you feel like you have enough, you re a rare soul indeed. After consulting with thousands of individuals, we discovered that most people have huge gaps in awareness around their own abundance, so don t despair if you feel you re far from living the abundant life. Not only are you in good company, you re probably closer than you think and we ve got many ways to help you get there. An easy way for you to find out how you are doing at living abundantly is by taking our Abundance Gap Quiz. To take the quiz, click here. This short quiz, available on our website, is designed to show you what s keeping you from living a life of abundance. It offers a way to measure or notice your thinking, emotions, and behaviors as it relates 13

14 to this, and will give you some idea about where you are on the road to becoming a person of affluence in every respect. Regardless of where you are at this point, by increasing your awareness, you can enhance your ability to receive more of the good things in life. There is plenty to go around, you just need to learn how to receive it. If you haven t already done so, take our short quiz right now and find your abundance gaps: To take the quiz, go here: 14

15 Chapter One Your Barometer of Luxury You can't have everything. Where would you put it? Steven Wright A businessman took a trip down to Mexico. While there, he met a fisherman who would go out to sea in the morning, put his nets out and wait a bit, then bring them in with his catch for the day. The businessman said, Wow, that s amazing. You weren t out there very long. What do you do afterwards? The fisherman replied, I go down to the market and sell it, then go home, have a siesta with my family, do a few things around the house and go to bed. I enjoy life. Astonished, the businessman said, Just think what you could do if you put in twice as much time. You d make twice as much! The fisherman asked him, Well, and then what? Then you could hire employees and build a highly profitable, large company. And then what? Then you could retire with great wealth and stop working. What would I do then? 15

16 Why, you could spend time with your family, take siestas, and enjoy life. Puzzled, the fisherman asked, Señor, but isn t that what I am doing now? As the above story suggests, everyone comes to this world with a different luxury barometer, which means that the quality of life you are naturally drawn to will vary according to your background and experience. For example, we know someone who grew up on a farm and was very happy when he was around his tools. Growing up on the land, food and the hard work that comes with that life were something his family valued. Their luxury barometer is very different than those who are more visually motivated and, for example, may be uplifted by beautiful homes and surroundings. And, unlike our farmer, not everyone can appreciate animal, feed, dirt, and manure odors around them, however much they might benefit from those things. Unfortunately, humans tend to judge others based on their luxury barometer in both directions. Those who have less judge those who have more just as often as those who have more may judge those who have less. Yet, interestingly, in an abundance survey we completed, many of our contributors shared (and we agree) that 16

17 abundance means you feel like what you have however much or little is enough, and that you are using it to uplift those around you. In other words, it isn t so much the actual outer material wealth itself, but the inner sense of wealth that matters most. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of the luxury barometer, what we have found is that you still need to educate your desires. In other words, when you want something, you need to ask why. What is the purpose behind it? When you ask this question of yourself and become conscious about it, you may discover that you can do with less or without something entirely. Abundance is about becoming resourceful and being able to make the best of whatever you have. As someone wise once suggested, We should use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. In one example we know, a woman found a small table at a yard sale that she fell in love with, even though it was warped on top with paint all over it. She bought it for a song, took it home, and set to work restoring it. She dug in the corners with pins and needles and poured water over it as she sanded and smoothed it out. Little by little she shaped this little, insignificant table back into the beautiful piece of furniture it once was that would cost hundreds of dollars in a store. We re not suggesting you have to have an artistic eye or special talent here. A little bit of creativity and willingness to invest yourself in 17

18 something can go a long way in increasing its value. And it isn t about money. This family has plenty of that, but they believe in being resourceful. It s the same way they created a beautiful, luxurious home. Like the table, they put themselves into it. This is not to say that you shouldn t hire a craftsman who sells his art or services. If you value their work and want to pay someone for it, there can be a good purpose for that. When people buy things it employs other people. On the other hand, you can run into problems with this, especially as more and more products are outsourced. Americans have gotten used to getting things cheaper and cheaper, which can hurt people who ve invested their whole life into an art or craft. For example, a local saddle maker designs and tools beautiful, leather Western saddles that are so durable they will literally last for a lifetime. How do you compare this to a factory-made saddle from a mass production factory in China and what value do you place on it? The answer to this question is a function of your luxury barometer and whether or not you are operating out of an abundant mindset. Both buying from the craftsman and resourcefully creating it on your own can have a huge impact in the world. In one of his Portraits of Craftmanship television commercials, Ralph Lauren says, My goal is to offer the best in the world. The concept of making a product by hand with the expertise that s been 18

19 handed down to you through the years is rare in our world. The care and attention to detail is what you re getting. When you have an abundant attitude, you want to pay people for true value for the worth of things in your life. In turn, supporting others whenever possible becomes a way for you to feel more abundant. It s like an upward spiral. That being said, there are times when you simply don t have the funds and the solution will be to buy something less expensive. Sometimes you just have to get by and there s that is also a way to live abundantly. The bottom line is that you re responsible for your luxury barometer, however it gets measured. There s no right or wrong only differences based on unique preferences and desires. And regardless of your barometer for luxury, how you are making your current existence a peaceful and happy one is directly attributed to your ability to live abundantly. As a concept, abundance can be compared to pulling back the layers of an onion. As you grow and evolve, you experience it on many levels although, by its nature, it has no limits. Even in a world where much of the monetary wealth is in the hands of a relative few, bringing with it a number of political and other ramifications, you can choose the type of life you want to live. The decisions you make are tied in to your luxury barometer, which can shift as you educate your desires and get conscious about what you really want. This process allows you to follow a thought pattern to the end, to 19

20 see where it leads you, so that you can decide if that s the kind of a life you want to live. For example, if you want to seek for and control more wealth, you may have to live the kind of life they do and give up a lot in the process. This is for you to decide. It could very well be that your mission and calling is to amass wealth and use it to the benefit of others. Educating your desires around that type of life might be quite different than somebody whose primary desire is to provide for the needs of their family and have plenty of time together. We re not saying you can t have both, only that you should consider it in its fullness and decide beforehand the direction you are pursuing. Educating your desires simply suggests that if you re going to seek to amass wealth in your life, you should know what good it will do. It s much easier to achieve your desires if you re clear about them without conflicting intentions. Max Lucado, author of You Are Special, wrote, When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn't they matter most now? In the abundant life, we seek to understand truth as it relates both to the larger purpose of life itself and to our own, individual purpose. It s 20

21 about consciously considering who you are and what you can do on this earth so that you don t wait until your deathbed to figure that out. You figure it out now and live as if it s going to be the last day of your life. We each have an important value. We may not be aware of what that is on a conscious level, but we trust that God does know and is working within us to bring it to bear on the world. Your Barometer of Luxury: End of Chapter Exercise What is your luxury barometer? Describe the kind of life you want to live. Write it down and share it with your spouse or a close friend. 21

22 Chapter Two Educating Your Desires I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Steve Jobs Often when people talk about personal development and receiving, concepts like the Law of Attraction, unlimited abundance, and becoming wealthy and rich are the first ones to arise. It s easy to miss out on the purpose of why? Why do you want these things? In educating your desires, you ask until you know the answer. For example, perhaps you re seeking for wealth and fortune. If you say, The reason why I want this is so that I can leave my children a legacy, ask yourself what that legacy would be because, after a certain point, having a big bank account doesn t necessarily do you or them any good. In fact, unless planned with great purpose and care, you could damage future generations by leaving them with money and not the wisdom to use it for good. 22

23 In educating your desires you might ask, How am I going to reach out and bless others with this? If your answer is, I want to bless the people that helped me achieve that wealth, then you could ask, How can I do that? Will you pay them more? Help them have more skills and increase their ability to provide value? You work on this until you come to a point that you feel like you have a solid plan based on the true desires of your heart. Many desires are born in you and may be there because you have a particular mission or calling in life. But sometimes you may believe you re going in the right direction when, really, you re off track. In this case, you reach a goal and discover in the end that you didn t truly have the right desire. It s like a close race and you came in second. Walt Disney once said, I want to make money from my movies so I can continue making movies. He knew why making money mattered to him and how it served his greater purpose. But we could even ask Walt why he liked making movies. His answer to that question would be interesting, indeed. The point is that when you don t know why you are doing something, it s easy to fritter your time and resources away on lesser or conflicting intentions. While there are plenty of models for making money in business and economics, what if you want to help in areas where a model doesn t exist, like world hunger or a disease? 23

24 John Huntsman, a local philanthropist, is a great example of this. He established the Huntsman Cancer Institute and every year puts on a free fireworks display in southeast Idaho. Over 10,000 people show up to this fun and amazing patriotic experience. The only thing they ask is for people to donate to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Bill Gates is another example. He continues to give increasing amounts of his money in philanthropic ways that benefit others. Of course, not everyone at these levels does, but rather than judging that, you re better off spending the time to educate your own desires and motivations. Most of us can give so much more with what we already have. It may be a small amount, but it can be very powerful when used to bless others. And yet, most of us will never be on the level of Mr. Gates. That s ok because when it comes to making a big difference in the world, it s usually at the hands of many people rather than the money and efforts of one. And you don t have to just give money away. As the saying goes, Give a man a fish and you feed him for day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Teaching and investing in people is usually a wiser idea for long-term sustainability than simply handing money out. And it doesn t have to take much to create a system along these lines, whether it s providing for agricultural needs and food production, health and wellness, or business. Obviously 24

25 there are times when a family or someone may simply need money, some sort of short-term assistance to get back to fishing on their own. In those cases, you have to do what s immediate and best. Dire situations aside, for most of us, the problem is that we simply feel trapped in life. We feel trapped financially. We feel trapped socioeconomically. We feel trapped in relationships. To add to it, deep down we don t believe we can have our desires and point to all the reasons why. But what if you knew you could? What if you could see it differently? Even if you aren t in the elite wealth class, you can still declare your desires. This doesn t mean they have to be perfect." You ll always change and evolve over time as you educate your desires, so just begin where you are. Declare your desires in some way. You can write them in your journal or share them with your loved ones and friends, but start putting those desires that come from your heart out into the world. Once you ve done that, start taking action on and evaluating them: How can you educate them? How can you add more purpose? The more purpose you can attach to a desire, the more power you ll be given to accomplish it. For example, let s take the Christmas holiday season. As you probably know, in America, Christmas is the most consumer focused season of the year. With such a focus on What are you going to ask 25

26 santa for Christmas?, how do you bring purpose that will bring true joy? A good friend shared his story about he and his wife added more purpose to their Christmas of In the late summer of 2013, my wife and I were talking about our plans for Christmas that year. We wanted it to be special for the family but our value system rejects much of the typical Christmas traditions for making Christmas special especially the notion that you have the receive to be happy. We wanted to give our family a special gift this Christmas. One that would teach our Children the real meaning, like Jesus taught. We came up with the perfect plan. We would have special family meeting with the entire family (we have young children) and talk about the real purpose of Christmas and explain to them what their life is like compared with most children in the world. Many children don t have toys let alone a family and a nice home to sleep in. We taught them about children in Mexico who live in an orphanage no family to love them. We asked them what they think this Christmas would be like for those kids. It was apparent that they were getting it. We invited them to instead of getting gifts for Christmas - what if we give our gifts to these children? They said, Yes!. They were so excited to give to others instead of worrying so much about receiving. 26

27 As a family, we bought gifts for the children in the Mexican orphanage. Our family really enjoyed thinking of how happy it would make those children to open these gifts on Christmas. As you can imagine, when Christmas morning came, our children were left without the surprised and excitement of opening gifts. That s when my good wife and I came in with the real surprise. We sat down with our children and asked them how they were feeling. Their shared their happiness that they had shared their gifts with children who needed them more than they did. They also expressed some sadness for missing out on the usual Christmas tradition of opening gifts. We shared with them that although we had selected and purchased the gifts for the Children in Mexico, we needed to get them down there somehow. Our children had ideas about how to do that and then we told them that we were going to deliver the gifts. They were to each get dressed and in the car because we were going to Mexico to deliver the gifts. We had their bags packed already so we were literally on the road within an hour! The children were absolutely surprised and excited. We arrived in Mexico at our hotel near the orphanage by that evening. The next day, we went to the orphanage and our children were able to share their gifts with those at the orphanage. Our children held them, played with them, and just gave their love. 27

28 giving. That Christmas, our children learned that truly, we receive by Or, let s suppose you want to have a happy marriage because you want to feel fulfilled. Rather than getting stuck in the me, me, me of the relationship, you begin to educate your desire in this area, which leads you to consider the we instead of just the I. In this process, you think about the other person and their needs: What can I do to make my partner s marriage better? What can I do to be better for my partner? Your thoughts have now turned to being a blessing to your spouse. You can educate your desires in any area of your life. Simply name the desire, such as good health, and ask: Why do you want good health? Is it because you want to live a long life, go fishing and travel the world? Why do you want that? How can you add purpose in blessing other s lives by doing that? These are the questions that help you educate your desires and, at the same time, grow, transform and evolve. 28

29 Sometimes when you start trying to add purpose to what you are doing in life, you fall into the trap of judging other s desires. You think, Why does that person feel inclined to do that? I want to live my life this way and why don t my friends want the same? Rather than worry about what others are doing, continue to seek for inspiration, educating, sharing, and evaluating your desires. As you do so, you will realize a brighter and more abundant future for yourself and those you care about. Those around you will be inspired to add purpose to their path in life in ways they feel inspired to do. In this way, we can help each other along. At the same time, we ve seen people with wonderful desires they re trying to accomplish who appear to be on totally opposite ends of the spectrum, much like the businessman and fisherman in the earlier story two very different lifestyles. That s the wonderful thing about all this we each have our own personality, desires and blessings that we bring to life. Sometimes people come into this world with these desires already burning in their hearts and they become famous or well known for certain accomplishments. Others discover and learn their desires throughout their life. Either way, you don t need to judge your desires by what others think about, but by how you feel about it based on the inspiration you receive and the wisdom you have gained. You play a role in abundance, whether you re focused on putting a meal on the table for your family or helping other people put meals on 29

30 their table. Abundance in these terms is about preparing to receive it and then giving to others. You don t have to wait to arrive to start living abundantly, just start receiving and giving. This is how the circle works. Zig Zigler gave powerful insight on how giving begins the cycle of receiving when he said, You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want. Some of the most amazing givers we ve met were not necessarily well off. They didn t have all the time in the world to give, they didn t have all the money, they didn t have the best relationship and still they gave from their hearts. For example, one of our friends was going through bankruptcy because his business partner had run off with all the money. His life was in turmoil and the business struggled as his customers stopped trusting him. All this affected his family relationships, as well, strained from the financial hardship. Yet he continued to give and to live abundantly. Today he has recovered and is doing very well in all of those areas. He and his family now travel together, living in different parts of the world and doing service for their church and community wherever they go. It s amazing to see how this has played out in his life. Yes, there were hard times but, throughout it all, he continued to live abundantly and everything in his life is so much better as a result. Ultimately, educating your desires brings many kinds of blessings and, in the process, you ll find yourself operating from a foundation of 30

31 deep purpose that not only can strengthen you through tough times, but benefit your life and the world around you tenfold. Educating Your Desires: End of Chapter Exercise What do you feel inspired to read and study to educate your desires? Write down what you will study and when you will set aside regular time for it. 31

32 Chapter Three Receiving Abundance Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV) Jesus said, Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you. Even if you don t read the Bible, you re probably familiar with this scripture. Yet who hasn t had an experience of asking for something and not receiving it? What does it mean? It may simply mean you have to prepare yourself to receive it in some way and that, once you do, it will eventually come. It could also mean that what you re asking for is not the best thing for you. As James said in chapter 1 verse 4, Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. In other words, there s a wisdom going on behind the scenes you may not fully understand as to timeliness and what is best. As Garth Brooks crooned in his famous song, Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. 32

33 Most often, though, it s just a matter of preparing yourself by aligning your desires with inspiration, asking for it, and then letting go until it comes. It may call you to be patient, to continue to be faithful and work towards it. If you don t do those things, you may never receive it. Or, perhaps worse, you do receive it but don t realize it because you don t have an attitude of gratitude or you weren t prepared. If you don t feel grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you d be happy with more? This goes back to educating your desires. We ve found it to be true too, unfortunately. We technically cannot receive if we don t see the blessings when they arrive. When it comes to receiving, we also need to keep it in context with life. Everything in life has an opposite joy and sorrow, light and dark, happiness and sadness, wealth and poverty and usually when you go through them you distinguish them as good or bad. This experience is bad, you think, I shouldn t be here. The truth is it s just a natural part of life and, as such, it s best not to get overly dragged down when you re going through the opposite. Life is too full of irony for that. You may look back on a certain experience and find peace in it, even the traumatic ones like the death of a loved one. You see it in a positive light although it felt bad at the time. 33

34 It doesn t change the fact that it happened, but now you see it differently, This is what it helped me to become who I am and this is what it helped me to learn. Dr. Joe Vitale, in his book Miracles Manual, Volume III, gives a great illustration of this: [I]n my book, The Attractor Factor, I talk about a pretty harrowing, traumatic experience I went through when I was betrayed by my therapist and best friend. It sure looked bad at the time. I also talked about the author, Kurt Wright, who said, and I am paraphrasing because I do not have the book in front of me, Have you ever noticed that a year, two years, or five years after some bad event happens to you, that you saw the humor in it or the positive reasons for it? Almost all of us can have that experience. We can reflect back and see that at the time it was an aggravation, but then later, when the thing is long gone and the wounds have healed, you actually tell it as a funny story, or you tell it as a story where there is an insight or an observation that changed your life. But Kurt Wright went on to say, If that insight was available from a five-year distance, wasn t it also available in the moment it happened? 34

35 Think about that. If we can find the positive in the negative years from now, it means that the positive was available in that so-called negative at the moment it happened. What you re being asked to do here is to have trust. Trust that everything is working out for your highest good, even when it does not appear that way. This perspective offers value and can make your life a whole lot more enjoyable. Being able to stop and look at what s happening from an objective viewpoint makes a difference in the way it feels and often in the way it plays out. This also works in day-to-day, mundane activities. For example, imagine the clutch goes out on your car and you re towing it through crowded and busy streets when suddenly the rope breaks. This happened to someone we know. He tells the following story: My wife was towing me and, while we were driving, I began reflecting on other times in my life when I was growing up and this kind of situation didn t go well. I was thinking how pleased I was that this was going okay as we pulled up to the next stop sign. When my wife took off, suddenly the rope snapped from the slack. When she came back, she thought I was going to be mad at her. I just smiled and said, Isn t it nice we can tow the car home and if something goes wrong, it s not a big deal? 35

36 Going through that experience actually allowed me to change that situation forever for myself. Instead of being a contentious and a difficult situation, it was a good one. I m grateful for the life experience I ve had that helped me. Without it, I would have just reacted and not been prepared for the situation. These kinds of potentially stressful situations happen all the time. They re endless, but the results can come out quite beautifully and wonderful instead of having a negative experience. Ultimately all truth, all the good of life comes from one Source. Regardless of the name you give the Master of this universe, it s important to come to know who that is and what knowing that means for your life. And while you can receive truth in different ways, for example, through reading the good books or seeking inspiration through prayer, pondering or meditation, it will most often come to you in small and quiet ways, as gentle as the lapping waves of the ocean. It might even come to you as an idea from a comment someone makes during a conversation. It could be an unrelated comment, yet trigger a thought or feeling in you. The answers you need can come to you in the most surprising and subtle of ways. This is the voice of inspiration and, if you watch or listen 36

37 for it, following where it leads, it begins a cycle of receiving and taking action. As you take action towards your desires, the key is to believe that things will work out if you continue on the path of pursuing truth truly being open to it and attaching yourself to it. The ups and the downs and opposites will eventually smooth their way out but, in the meantime, you trust that it s important for you to experience them. The more familiar you are with the opposites that inevitably you ll encounter, the more you can decide what leads to the ones that you like, that that are good for you and work, and those that clearly do not. Understanding opposites is a big part of recognizing truth and something you want to consciously pay attention to throughout your life. You can be enlightened in many ways about the truth and distinguish everything that s good in a very easy way: If it inspires you to love and serve God, the Master of this Universe, to care for your fellow beings, and care for the abundance and blessings you re already given, then it s inspired by God. On the other hand, if it causes you to reject any or all of that, then it s not. The simplicity of this guideline can help immensely in your dayto-day life when things aren t going the way you think you want. You just have to remember which direction you re headed to put yourself back in the way of good things, the way of abundance. And, the more 37

38 you can do this, the more you will receive and want to reach out and bless others. Still, as you step on to the path of abundance, undoubtedly you ll notice there are times in your life where you re able to pray and receive a clear inspiration about what to do and go do it, and other times when you feel inclined to do something but aren t sure if it s just in your own head. Is the uncertainty coming from your ego or is it a message from God? Learning to hear and act on God s messages to you will lead to greatest possible breakthroughs in your life. When you re in that situation, the best thing to do is to fill your mind with as much knowledge as you can about the issue. Seek the right answers from people you trust. Pray for help to understand it. If you ve made a decision you feel is the best thing to do, take that to God and say, This is what I feel I need to do. After you ve done these things, be aware of whether it feels like a priority to you. Are you constantly forgetting it or not feeling drawn towards it? If that s so, you probably need to let it go for now. If, on the other hand, you make a plan and continue to feel a desire to move forward, then as Nike said, Just do it. Don t delay. Start taking action and pay attention to inspiration along the way. In spite of the fact that the guideline for discernment is simple, living it is not always easy and having a perfect answer is rare. In reality, 38

39 most of the time you ll need to sift and filter through many thoughts, fears, doubts, and conflicting desires that create fear and resistance. Often you ll need to make a choice first and work through the inner turmoil as you go. This is why it s valuable to seek as much wisdom and knowledge before making it as you can through all the means available to you. It is in this process of choosing, in discerning those truths that are good and those that are not that will ultimately help you to become all you can be in this life. Learning to become something is important to the cycle of receiving. As you grow and gain by choosing and attaching yourself to the good things of life, those truths can then bless you. Stretching to live by true principles will guide you not only to abundance, but to your true joy. As Stephen Covey pointed out, Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution. There are many secrets to an abundant mindset and the ability to choose what is good for you is a part of it. The realization that truth shows up in various forms but ultimately comes from one source and that you have the ability to easily discern between good and bad allows you to quickly learn truth, hold onto it and live it. In fact, the more you do it and are willing to actually begin to take action now as opposed to waiting, you ll find it can actually put you in to an abundant mindset where you can easily receive your desires. Receiving Abundance: End of Chapter Exercise 39

40 Think about two or three people you can give value to in the next week. Write it down below and take action on it in the next week. 40

41 Chapter Four An Abundant Mindset Instead, I have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger. Stephen Covey Everyone is capable of living abundantly. No matter what the situation you re in at any given time in your life, you have the ability to know what abundance feels like and can go to that place mentally. When you can get to that point of peace about it regardless of present circumstances where you feel like you're there but you're not it allows you to be content with where you are today. It's like a blessing from God showing you're heading in a good direction. It s a confirmation that you will continue to receive more and have the ability to give more as you pursue this course that you're on. The interesting thing about an abundant mindset is everyone has to work it out for themselves. Your parents may or may not have lived abundantly, and the good news is it doesn t matter. Everyone has to do their own work there are no free rides. 41

42 That doesn t mean we can t learn from others. There are wonderful books and audio programs, authors and speakers who ve devoted themselves to sharing the abundant way. For example, books like The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale or Acres of Diamonds by Earl Nightingale have resonated with hundreds of thousands of people over the years since they were written. When you read books like this, you begin to realize a different perspective on life. Without awareness, you may not be sure what it feels like to know if you re on the track to abundance or not. A friend of ours said: When I started reading these I actually started feeling a change inside of me. Instead of having fear about the future, worrying about it, I felt a confidence in it and started taking actions. I had ideas about a business I could start and went to a few guys to talk about it. They didn't help me start that business, but they hired me. I got a good job that ended up being part of my career for the next 10 years. I grew up and developed and gained a lot of experience. They were a big part of helping me with all that. And they always believed in me. Now we re partners in another business and it s a continuation of the experience that I had then. 42

43 We ve continued to be able to develop relationships together, to grow and trust each other and our vision. We still have desires to do better for the company, as well as for those people that we're helping. There will always be moments of doubt, despair or worry, particularly when there are delays in your personal life or in the economy in general. It can feel like you re locked in or stuck. But as you grow in an abundant mindset, you ll begin to feel an abiding contentment that everything's going to be okay and that things will all work out in time. You ll be led forward into action and as you take that action, you ll feel your way forward until you get there. And it can work out much faster than you thought it could. Keep in mind that reading or learning from others doesn t mean you want to absorb their desires. Going back to the story of the fisherman, this is where a deep understanding of your own luxury barometer comes into play. What are your true needs for yourself and your family? Who do you want to help in your future desires? What kind of a difference do you want to be able to make? What are you doing to line up your actions with your desires? 43

44 These are the sorts of questions that determine what sort of income you need, as well as the relationships you need in your family. Do you want to be a very industrious and productive family? Or, are you going to be focused more inwardly with your family? Like the individuals that comprise them, families are of all kinds of variations. They don t all have the same needs and desires. It s a wonderful thing about life that we have so many differences. Of course, all those differences can pose a challenge. The best way to handle this is by counseling or talking with each member of your family about whatever your desire is and what you re doing. If you're a single parent, talk with your children. If you're married, you and your spouse and your children to the degree that it makes sense would counsel together. Sometimes this can mean spending the emotional exhaustion and pain to discuss things that, in the past, you only talked about in the heat of the moment, and may have caused aggravation or arguments. Thinking about things in terms of your goals and talking about them ahead of time supports everyone. Instead of being focused on the problem in a negative way, it becomes an opportunity to improve by taking action on it together. This doesn t mean everyone in the family has to be involved in the same activities at all times. It simply means that when the family understands and agrees that, This is the direction we re going and how 44

45 we plan to do this, everyone feels supported, which in turn will propel you faster. You ll be able to mentally bear changes together with ease. Instead of fighting against them you're working together. For a single parent this is especially important because it's sometimes hard for kids to get what's happening. They don t always see the big picture and this is a chance to bring them in on it. They become part of a bigger discussion. But be forewarned kids will hold you to it and they re very good at this. If you re not following through, they ll ask humbly, "Why are we buying a new car when we were going to make extra payments on the house? When you bring your family into the conversation from the beginning, they'll understand when you have to make sacrifices, like doing homework late at night as you work on your degree, hold a second job or start a business on the side. They ll also serve as reminders to plan holistically and not run yourself into the ground. Too much of anything can wear you down to the point that you don't believe you can keep moving forward. One family we know would have an annual executive retreat where the husband and wife would go away for a few days, come up with a plan, then come back to the family and work together. Another family creates a two-page document that says, These are our desires and intentions for the next year. This guides how they ll proceed and carry forward. Including the people you care about and who count on you by 45