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Blocks to Prosperity

"The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance."
- A Course In Miracles

There is a lot of financial advice about how to be prosperous and become a millionaire, including

  • You need to own real estate
  • You need to payoff your mortgage
  • You need to have your own business
  • You need to check your FICO score
  • You need to save a few dollars a day

However, life sometimes is not about what you need to do, rather what you need to undo. If you are striving to find prosperity you can end up trying every get rich quick scheme out there and have no luck.  Rather, you many just need to find your blocks to prosperity in order to allow it into your life, because prosperity (as with love) is "your natural inheritance".  Why would your creator want anything less for his children?

It may sound kind of silly on why someone would block prosperity.  However, this is usually an unconscious decision.  The decision may have been planted as early as one's childhood, for example the belief that money is evil and will corrupt you (e.g., "money is root of all evil").  By hearing this, the child may learn that it is better to avoid money and thus make unconscious decisions to avoid having money (e.g., through spending).

The goal of this section is to make you more aware of your unconscious thoughts so that you can consciously determine what thoughts are serving your greater good.   Below is a sample of thoughts (past, present and future) that may be blocking you from prosperity. 

Past Thoughts

  • Beliefs
  • Most of what we first learned about money comes from our parents and relatives.  Some of their beliefs may be influencing us to today without us knowing it.  How many of you have heard one of these beliefs, and just shrugged it off without thinking of its potential meaning?

    Potential Meaning
    Money is route of all evil If you have money, you are neither good nor spiritual
    Money does not grow on trees It is a struggle to have money; it only comes from hard work
    A penny saved is a penny earned You need to hoard your money and watch every nickel and dime that you spend
    Easy come, easy go Saving money is too hard, so why try
    We can not afford it We are broke
    It is never enough You will never get ahead; you are doomed to poverty
    The tax man cometh We work so hard and the government just takes what ever we get
    Money makes world go around Those with money are powerful, thus we are weak because we have no money
    Money talks and .... The most important thing is to have is money
    Born with silver spoon in his mouth He is so lucky to be born into wealth and I wish that I had just a little of such luck

    Would you actually say, "I will never get ahead".  Some would not because it is a defeatist attitude.  Yet, we perpetuate many of our family and society's more subtler money beliefs without admitting to it.  It is important to find the hidden beliefs in your family's money history.  Once you understand what it is, you can consciously change your thoughts of how you see the world.  Instead of carrying around an unconscious defeatist attitudes, you can change your thoughts and beliefs to:

      • I will do what I love and the money will follow
      • I can enjoy my money and save for retirement at the same time
      • I can be prosperous no matter what my background or education achievement is
      • There is more than enough money to go around
  • Role Models

    Role models have two influences on us; they show us what we can do and what we can not do.  Have you noticed how much attention is made when a child is the first in his/her family to go to college?  If college is not in the family history, many children do not feel that it is right for them.  So, being the first to go to college is breaking the mold and is celebrated.  Some children are lucky enough to have role models (e.g., parents or relatives) that will show them that anything is possible.  A child needs role models to recognize that there are limitless possibilities in this country.  If their parents are not appropriate role models, children may need to look for someone else from their community who has achieved similar dreams to what they want to achieve.  The key is to broaden a child's sense of possibilities rather than limit them based on what their immediate family have or have not achieved. 

    However, some people today believe that America has change from the land of opportunity to a land where generations are doomed to a life in poverty, believing they can only achieve what their role models (parents) have achieved.  This is a a harder model to break when a child has seen their role models fail.  The belief in failure starts to become ingrained into their psyche. Breaking away from family history is possible.  It takes a conscious decision on which role model one decides to follows.  Unfortunately, some of today's role models for our teens are usually not role models such as doctors, engineers, teachers and architects who were studious in school and worked hard to get ahead rather they choose role models that do not follow a good example (e.g., those who rather look good than be good).  So, choose your role models wisely.


  • Resistances

    Too many times people are holding themselves back from reaching their dreams, even though they may not recognize it.  Being comfortable in what is, is easier than moving forward to a future that is uncertain.  Even if someone wants change, they can find it hard to move forward because of habitual thinking.  Newton's 1st law of physics states objects at rests tend to stay at rest due to resistance.  So what resistances do you have?  Part of it is in your language, using phrases like:


      • "I can't" - many learn this in school due to getting frustrated in math or foreign language class.  It becomes "I can't do math" or "I can't speak Spanish".  In finances, it is "I can't reduce spending or I can't save or I am not good with money".  However, if you really needed to, how many of these things are you really incapable of accomplishing when looking back at the situation?  Usually, very little.  There are ways to cut spending or save, just as there are ways to learn math or Spanish.  Yet, when we say "I can't", it is giving up control of the situation and becoming powerless to change your circumstances.  So watch your words and say things like "I choose to ...." instead.


      • "Yes, but ..." - with all the financial advice out there, one would think that it would be easy to save for retirement, however many still are not saved what they should have.  One of the many reasons is because many believe that their situation is unique.  One of the favorite sayings that I hear when giving suggestions is "Yes, but ...".  This is where the advise may sound good, yet the listener is thinking of reasons why the advice will not work in his/her situation.  "Yes, but" is resisting change instead of working towards change.  The reasons that people give when they say "Yes, but" may be legit or may be just be an excuse.  Yet, if you do not challenge your beliefs, the changes that you desire will not occur.   Again, watch your words and use things like "In my situation, how would that be applied ....."
  • Victim

    Playing the victim is about playing small.  Playing small means that you do not believe that you can change your life.  As with any beliefs, what ever you believe is what will show up.  If you believe that change will not happen because you are incapable of change, then your inaction will continue you down the path you are on.

    A few months ago, Oprah did a show on the working poor.  In her message board, there are a lot of stories on how it is to be poor.  Yet, there are few stories about what people are doing to better their lives.  They are waiting for an increase in minimum wage and universal health care.  To want to change the minimum wage or have universal health care is good goal to strive to.  Yet, changes like these are years in the future (possibly several years).  The question is what can be done now to change how they live on what they have like sharing resources (e.g., sharing a list of charities that provide food, clothing and shelter).  Yet, these types of messages were far and few between.  Because people sometimes rather relish on how bad they have it (playing the victim) rather than making changes.   Unfortunately today, there is not a Robin Hood to save the poor.  We need to take the first step in making a change in our own lives.

  • Do you believe in you?

    Do you believe that prosperity is "your natural inheritance"?  Is there some hesitation or a small part of you that does not believe this?   If you are struggling with debt, part-time jobs or mounting medical expenses, you may believe that this struggle is a part of your life.  If you believe this, then you will continue to struggle and nothing will change.  A rule of the universe is what we think about will expand.  So, if you are saying that "I can not get a better job", then a better job will not show up for you.  If you do not believe that you have the skills valuable enough that will make you a valuable employee to a company, why would they hire you? 

    Think about it in terms of what your gift to the world is, whether it is a skill, knowledge or energy.  If you believe that you have something to give to the world, then you open yourself up to receiving prosperity.  And, the key is everyone has something to give to this world, we just need to find it in ourselves.  However, if you believe your are doomed to dead-end jobs, then you remain closed (resistant) to prosperity.

  • Hoarding /Wild Spending

    I have been hearing more and more stories about how people who are trying to avoid debt are cutting up their credit cards, avoiding shopping or are making a game out of how little they can spend to pay off their mortgage to become debt free.  This is in response to years and years where Americans have freely spent and thus got themselves into serious credit card debt. Thus, the backlash to this wild spending spree is to live meagerly and pay off all debt (including mortgages) as quickly as possible.  The two ends of the spectrum (not spending and spending wildly) are setting our country up for even greater money woes.  We all know how spending wildly can create burdensome debt.  And, getting rid of credit card debt as quickly as possible is admirable and a desirable goal.  However, if we all stop spending including those who are not in debt (or those with manageable mortgage debt), we will create a depression that could (will) rival the Great Depression. 

    Prosperity is about living in balance, not swinging from one side of the pendulum (spending widely) to the other (hoarding).  This is because extreme spending and extreme saving is based on our belief that there is a limited resources; so we either need to hoard (keep our share of a limited pie) or spend to get what we can get what (that it will not be there if we wait).  Prosperity is about being open to what the universe provides both receiving and giving in balance.   Unless we are in proper balance with giving and receiving then prosperity will continue to be elusive.


  • Fear & Worry

    Fear and worry are wasted energy, arising out of uncertainty of the future.  No one knows what their future will hold.  Sometimes we have control of the future and sometimes we do not.  And, as Wayne Dyer says, if you can control it, why worry because you are in control.  If you can not control it, why worry because you can not control it.  So why worry? 

    We can move forward through the fear with our future or hold ourselves back.  At times, fear may appear to stop us from walking down a dimly lit street in the middle of the night which is good because we sense an potential negative outcome and take a different direction to avoid it.  So, you decide to take action and take a different path.  Yet, did you avoid the street out of fear or instinct?  I say instinct because worry and fear are the emotions that continue.  For example, it does not take you 10 minutes trying to decide whether or not to walk down the street.  Not deciding what to do is fear.  Instinct is the initial warning and your gut telling you to take a different path.  So trust your instinct and move forward either on the current path or a new path.  Don't let worry and fear hold you back paralyzed trying to make a decision because waiting 10 minutes or 10 years by the street with worry and fear is just hold you back from your dreams. 

    In finances, worrying about retirement distracts us from what we can do now to save for it.  Because when you are worrying and fearing the future, you are doing nothing to change it.  Worry and fear can be destructive.  If you decide to travel down the dark street, a potential perpetrator is looking for people with fear.  A person walking with his/her head down out of fear has a higher probability of being victimized compared to a person walking with his/her head held high.  Same with finances,  those worrying about the future are more likely to fall victim to con men and high priced stock brokers.  So, trust your instincts, plan for what you can,  and move through your fear and worry.  There will always be some fear or worry.  However, do not let it hold you back from reaching your dreams.

    Now, you may be asking should I quit my job tomorrow to become self-employed or to become an actor, if that is my dream?  Maybe or maybe not.  For me, it took 2 years of planning and waiting before I made the final decision to quit my old job.  During that time, I was getting prepared by creating an emergency fund to support my transition.   I also wanted to give my job another chance to see if I could be as passionate about it as I wanted.  For me, I find working with people rewarding.  So, I looked for opportunities to be mentor at my prior job and then assisted and taught at personal growth workshops on the weekends.  As I became more dissatisfied with my prior career and being drawn more to personal growth courses, I felt more assured of my choice to change careers.  For me it was the right choice.  Others may find a new found passion just by recommitting to their current career with a little bit of spice (a piece of the dream) thrown into their weekend.  It is a personal choice.

    The morale is that you do not need to decide to quit your job tomorrow to follow your dreams.  Many find it rewarding to work their 9 to 5 job to support their family (one piece of their dream) and then work or volunteer at night pursuing their other dreams (e.g., for potential actors, this is can be community theater in the evenings).  Yet, don't just dream about your future and stay stuck out of fear.  Take action by planning how you can accomplish your dream which may happen by recommitting to your current job instead of constantly thinking about "what if" or jumping off the cliff without a parachute (e.g., emergency fund). 

  • Wanting
  • There is a difference between a desire and a wanting.  A desire is a target that you are shooting for.  A wanting is trying to fill void (a part of you that does not feel complete).  In having a wanting, you are confirming to the universe that you are lacking and are incomplete.  The universe will pick up on this sense of lack and expand what you are thinking about.  The universe does not fulfill your wants (a place of perceived lack).  It does however fulfill your dreams and desires.  This is because the universe does not recognize desperation (wants), it rewards intent (goals and dreams).  If there is a little piece of you needing something to make you happy, then you are coming from lack and prosperity will continue to allude you.   However, having a desire and not being attached to the outcome (because you are already complete) will be rewarded.  Therefore having a goal/desire to be prosperous or find your life partner are great goals however do not want either or your goal will slip through your fingers.   Think about it this way, would you respond better to someone who is desperate and pleading or someone who is determined and confident?

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