Sunday, May 11, 2014

If You Believe, Do Life Your Way: Escape to Freedom

 During tough times, here is how to remain encouraged.

Many years ago, I decided to not work for anyone, ever again. I made that decision after working for Rhodes Furniture Company that went out of business after 120 years. Some of you remember me from that company. After the business closed, I spent my 401K on living expenses over the following  years. That money represented my life's savings.

Although, I've always had some kind of business on the side, including my writing, the job was something I fell back on when things were financially difficult.  Suddenly, I realized that I could not sustain myself unless I made changes. I had to make a decision. So, with only $154.00 left from the 401K, I made the decision that corporate America could not be trusted and that it was headed to the dumps and I wasn't going down with it.[At the time, the major investment banks were in trouble in the mortgage industry as a result of ripping off the country, led by Lehman Brothers]. I don't want to think about what I lost in the stock market, pursuant to the financial crisis. That's another story.

As of that day (having made that critical decision), I never worked for anyone again.

My point is that we can have life our way but there is a definite price to pay. If one is to succeed, one must consider the risk/reward ratio and make a decision. I did. I considered my talents. Ok, I told myself, I have language skills, writing skills and I am a decent editor. So, what do I do?

I decided to tutor Spanish and edit books which, consequently, led to award winning titles, including Randy Austin's book, Wizard's Refrain, and many books by world  renown artist such as Barbara Sykes and Dr. Crespil.

After saving several thousand dollars over six months, I bought a moving truck and started a moving company. This was not something I really wanted to do at the time but life had scared me for reasons I will soon explain. Fear can be a powerful motivator if faced by faith. Fear speaks to what can go wrong. Faith speaks to what can go right, not in spite of fear but because of it. Healthy fear acts as a warning. It is not a suggestion of quitting, it is a sign that reads: Approach with Caution.

 I did. I bought the truck, I invested $200 into flyers for tutoring and bought an ad for $5.00 to solicit editing jobs. Each effort became profitable but not before the trials I am about to share with you.

I hope you will see that the things we fear most cannot happen unless we fail to act, faithfully. It is action and attitude that validates faith and that measure of faith will not only replace fear but it replaces what fear produces. Fear produces no action or non-decisive actions by way of a poor attitude. Fear has no vision and therefore one cannot plan properly based on that notion. Faith replaces this phenomenon with planned, directed action. As I mentioned in the upcoming book, Dancing with God, faith is the first step toward creativity.

When we read the 6th chapter of Hebrews we learn of all the wonderful things faith produces. In fact, Enoch, by faith, walked into a most high dimension. By faith, Abraham saved a nation but more importantly, by faith the favor of God and the entire universe was bestowed upon them. By faith, one can build a small empire with a couple hundred dollars. Its been done more times than I can count.

So, it was by faith that I stepped out with only $150.00 remaining from my 401K...and I did tremble.

I accepted the cost of my dream by breaking it down into little pieces, poco-a-poco. It does not take a lot of sophistication to pull this off. The act is simple. The brilliance of simplicity is this act of faith. For example, I accepted what was to become my new reality by writing down the tradeoffs.I had to also create a new belief to support the new tradeoff. This is a critical step to achievement and nothing of value can be accomplished if the belief is separate from the action. That's why this article is entitled: If you believe...

 So,  I would, step-by-step trade one reality for another. For instance, I realized that by taking this leap of faith into the unknown that I would not be able to buy a new car, again, for sometime. No problem!

Change your beliefs and change your reality.

My immediate new belief became: One only need reliable transportation; after all, people I know who have several kids do not buy cars until the kids grow up anyway; therefore, any reliable car with fuel economy would do. I don't have rich friends, therefore, that was my reality, my new belief.

NEW CAR                                          Used Car no problem!

Another trade off: I would not be able to buy another house soon. I had to sell the other one to prevent foreclosure; so, I rented a one bedroom apartment - a far cry from a five bedroom home on an acre of land. No problem! I had a new belief about that, also: reduce expenses and pull yourself up, financially.

Home                                                  Apartment no problem!

I would not be able to eat out as often as I liked. My new belief was that I needed to learn how to cook so that I could save money and entertain socially, without going out to spend money. I became a good cook.

Restaurant                                            Cooking no problem!

I could no longer afford my golf memberships at two different golf clubs for a couple grand per year which is cheap for good golf. I had a new belief about that: when going into business one needs to cut expenses, deeply. I should not reward myself with memberships if I don't have a home of my own. That was good motivation for making my comeback, besides, I had a notion to write about golf and teach others my hobby: building putting greens. During my spare time, I wrote a book called How to Build a Putting Green, having no idea it would take care of me financially, for the following two  years.

Golf memberships                                                    Write and play $20.00
                                                                                  county courses no problem!

It's worth repeating that behind each trade off is a new set of beliefs. As man thinketh, so is he. I once believed that my new home, cars and the trimmings equaled success. It equaled an illusion for others to view. It actually equaled misery because I was not living my dream: to write, play golf and teach Spanish. So, I began believe that success is happiness, not stuff.

 Each morning, I told myself that life had changed for the better and that one must pay a price for what one wants. Sometimes, my beliefs waned under pressure, but I prayed and thanked God until I began to believe more competently. I constantly reminded myself that fear of failure is normal. I said, daily, "the greater the fear the greater my courage develops." My mind was made up. The greater the obstacle the greater the reward. The greater the opposition the greater God demonstrates his superior presence. The battle before God is like protecting a little brother, you don't step into the fight to help until the little brother throws the first punch. If you think he will not win, then help him. I believe God actually does that.

The greater the fight the greater the victory. I can accomplish all things through Christ who strengthens me.  This exercise of auto-suggestion is imperative toward counteracting the negativity of others-of people who dare dream. If you don't do it, you will not succeed. Life MUST test your beliefs. Having accepted my trade offs and having embraced the beliefs behind them, I became subconsciously immune to negative thinking. I replaced every thought with a contrasting prayer which disputed the thought and wounded it. The thoughts were vaguely there but had grown weak by my new beliefs which were true and the truth does set you free. It is a multidimensional escape to freedom.

I believed that if God had not wanted me to manifest my dream then he would not have given me the talent to manifest that dream. Say that when you pray and look beyond yourself that someday you will be able to help others along the same path: that's why God is listening to you and not your selfish desires - that you may help others.

During the process of rebuilding I heard nearly every excuse there is as to why I should not have succeeded:
*You'll starve to death without a job.
*You don't have enough education. You should earn a Masters.
*You don't have enough money.
*You don't know the right people.
*You don't have a name of notoriety.
*You wife will divorce you.
*You'll become homeless.

Well, here's what I believed back then and yet believe: so what? No one I know has enough money. I'll work with what I have and concentrate on the Masters later....if at all. Contacts? Few people are born with them.

 It is not enough to believe, one must counteract the former beliefs with truth. The big name deal? I never wanted fame, just happiness. No problem! Homeless? Oops! It actually happened. It was temporary and worth it. I never stopped pushing. The greater the problem the greater the unseen blessing. I tried to believe that last statement as I said it, but it was very difficult. Under pressure, I lost my sophistication and stepped into the brilliance of simplicity. Either my beliefs about life were true or they were not. In any case, I needed to know. Either God was going to help me or he was not. I chose to believe God would.

God did.

It's that simple.

Here' the moral of the events. If you are to live your dream, you must confront the tradeoffs, speak the underlying new belief and speak to the fear so that it does not become your fear. You must develop an opposing belief to fear. When fear speaks argue by the tongue of faith. The point of words is to create something and/or to reject something.

So, you have it. Change your beliefs and change your reality as you escape to freedom.

Don't be alarmed by this challenge because you don't have to employ any of this. You have two other options: Get a job you love or die unhappy. Will you escape to freedom?