Golden Gate Course 3
In connection with this lesson I want you to make a list of the things that are standing in the way of your success.
You may wonder how I know that anything is standing in the way.
Well, as you want success and have not yet achieved it completely (else you would not be taking this Course) there must be something standing in your way. If there were not, since you are quite capable of achieving the fulfillment of your dreams, you would have achieved it long ago. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something outside of you is standing in your way. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”. “The kingdom of God is within you”.
Just as you should not look outside for the gifts that you need to bring you success, so you should not look outside for the things that are standing in the way of your success. It is not life or circumstances that prevent you attaining to the fulfillment of your dreams. It is something within yourself. This “something” may be a number of different things, or just one or two. So get out your notebook and resolve to find out. To help you, I will reveal to you the things which some students have told me stand in the way of their own success. Many of these have completely overcome the obstacles. A few have hold on to them, refusing to make the sustained effort necessary to overcome.
These latter students have remained “on the fringe” as it were, of their dreams, for ever disappointed. What a waste of living. Don’t be one of these. And I don’t think you will be if you have co-operated with these lessons up to now. Be courageous and make a frank list of all that stands in your way – for remember, nobody need see this list but yourself. Here are some of the obstacles to success:
1. Lack of persistence – giving up as soon as a setback occurs,
2. Emotional enthusiasm without a clear, steady purpose behind it. This kind of enthusiasm quickly grows cold.
3. Fears (of all kinds).
4. Doubts (of self as well as doubts of God).
5. Lack of faith in the reality behind this visible world.
6. Self-pity. (This includes the belief that one cannot get on without influence, capital etc.)
7. Envy. (A bitterness against those who have achieved success instead of using their lives as a chart to help your own life journey)
8. Jealousy. (Includes all the uncertainties and negative thoughts, frustrations and hate which turn life into a thing of deep, inward shadow)
9. Bad or quick temper. (Throws the whole life out of harmony and effectively prevents success).
10. Forgetfulness and lack of concentration. (Specially noticeable in those who are self-absorbed and selfish generally.)
11. Unfriendliness. (Includes aggressiveness and intolerance as well as fear, timidity &c.)
12. Lack of confidence (Saying “I can’t” so often as an excuse that it is believed)
13. Unforgiveness. (Usually one person in the life is unforgiven). Knowing that “until seventy times seven” is required, the unforgiving one feels guilty, and conflict results.
14. The desire to escape from life, (This results in hazy, dull thinking, a tendency to let everything slide.)
15. Depression. (Includes negative moods of all kinds.)
16. Self-indulgence. (Deciding that it isn’t necessary for you to make an effort.)
17. Airy-Fairy thinking. (Living in a fantasy world where all the good things float out of the sky and nobody has to do anything.)
18. Lack of a true, lasting desire for fulfillment. (That is, drawing back when it is realised something has to be put into life before something can be taken out)
Here are a few points to be going on with. Look them over, writing down in your notebook any that apply to you. Do not mind doing this, for no-one else need see the list, and presently you will be overcoming these obstacles.
“Obstacles melt from my path as I step through the golden gate to good fortune and fulfillment,” (Don’t forget to say this often.)
When you have finished going over the points I have given you, continue with your own thoughts. (You will need to spend two weeks on this list because it is vital that you should know what has been standing in your way up to now. Then you can see it does not do so in the future! So go over the list daily, seeing if any further ideas occur to you.)
Think back over your life, over opportunities you missed, positions in school or business you failed to get or keep. Ask yourself, “Why?” Don’t forget to look within – never without. Think back over friendships that petered out, over social events that “fell flat”. Ask yourself, “Why?”
Don’t let these thoughts depress you. Believe me when I assure you that a man or woman who has the courage to do this is a courageous and wise person. He or she deserves success – and will achieve it.
By the end of these two week, if you have been frank with yourself, you will have a wide knowledge of yourself – wider than you have ever had before. For not only will you know what you want in life. You will also know what obstacles are standing in your way. Thus you will be in a strong position. At the end of two weeks, when your list is complete, re-write them in your notebook, putting them in numbered order – the greatest obstacle to your success counting as “one”, the next as “two” and so on, (This list will be needed later on.)
Take time and care over it, list and write comments against it as they occur to you. Include obstacles that you had in the past and put in brackets a brief note of how you overcame them.
Obstacle No. 1., used to be one of mine I used to attempt all kinds of things, very enthusiastically, then after perhaps only a day or so, I would grow tired and forget it. Later I would come across the partly-finished thing and feel quite guilty, stuffing it hastily in a dustbin or putting it on the fire. One day, however, I decided this must end. I bought a large, second-hand Bible and noted the number of pages. I divided these by 365 to see how many pages I would have to read each day in order to complete the reading in a year. The very next day I started, read the first day’s pages and wrote the date at the end and, so on through the year. I completed that Bible in the one year. And at the end of the year, I had learned to persist. I had won, and the obstacle was gone Do this to your list. Include any you once had, with a note recording your victory. It will give you a “flying start” and help you to avoid it from now on.
Now, to counteract any negative tendencies make sure that you begin and end your list-building every day with this affirmation:
“Indwelling within me is the very Spirit of God. With God all things are possible. I shall overcome every obstacle and achieve Success.”
Keep your heart light, your hopes bright. If you have co-operated with these lessons up to now, you can be assured that you have every cause for optimism. The best is yet to come.
To end our lesson I reproduce here an article from our magazine of years ago, which many students found helpful:
The other day I was thinking that many people – and students as well sometimes – are too much affected by outside circumstances, to the detriment of their ‘inwardness’. If we develop an abundance of inward peace we are not cast down into the depths by various incidents in life, nor are we influenced by the weather. Yet a few of you reveal this tendency sometimes. I get letters telling me of disappointment felt because my postal packet was delayed. We always post packets at set times each week and never fail, but mails may be held up in transit. So do remember this and not rob your spiritual power with depression. Of course the very fact that you look forward to the lessons and magazines so much is a good sign – it proves you are interested and co-operative. But don’t let it distress you if something your are expecting is delayed. Make it an opportunity for some special thought building and resolve to gain something really valuable in the way of self-conquest. Thus you can turn what would be a negative occasion into a positive one.
This week I have had letters from two students who are already beginning to ‘tumble to’ this. The first wrote, ‘I usually receive your magazine on Saturday morning but this week I didn’t. Depression started. I thought to myself, “Bernard has forgotten all about me. What is the use? And so on and so forth. Then I realised my mistake and changed my thinking so that I felt happy again. Later I went downstairs just in case there might be something, and there lay the long envelope. I pounced on it and rushed upstairs to read it. Today, although it’s raining I am on top of the world, Your magazine is like a life-line. As I study it my wisdom opens out. I realise that I can change my moods and by thinking, make myself a new life. I learn that God wants us to have the best, not second best.” I think this student will achieve much for the interest and the desire to overcome is there. All that is necessary is to hold on in faith when things go wrong – maybe they are really going right only we can’t quite see it at the moment!
The second student wrote, “Many thanks for the first lesson and magazine which arrived today. I felt strangely excited, I often get depression, especially during cold weather, but with this quiet excited feeling I expect to remain hopeful during the summer. I am having more than a straw held out to me. It seems more like a rope ladder.” Don’t you think there is something remarkably alike in those two letters? One speaks of a ‘lifeline’ and the other a ‘straw’ and a ‘rope-ladder’. However, there is indicated in both, the tendency to let outside things break into the ‘inwardness’ and all of you who have experienced the same thing will realise how very easy this is to do.
But do try to establish that deep inward peace and sureness of God’s Love and His blessings, so that outside things will just be like waves washing against the rock of your inner calm. Particularly is this necessary in regard to the weather. In this country, where we get so many wintry and wet days, we cannot afford to put our hopes of peace and happiness in the ‘hands of the seasons’ remember that, long ago, when I was ill for years (before I discovered the natural way to health) people used to ask me how I was, Sometimes I was able to say, “Much better thank you”, Usually they would remark, “It must be because the weather has improved”. I replied, “But my inside doesn’t know what the weather is like”.
That fact is, our “inwardness” is unaffected by the weather or by outer incidents of life. In this inwardness we can always enjoy peace, strength, calm, because this is our temple where the Spirit of God dwells. See then, how foolish it is to think that the weather matters. Why, if one is specially happy it is usual to remark, “I don’t care if it snows!” And that is how we should always be. The Master came to show us the way to live. He said, “I came that your joy, might be full”. Could any of you imagine Him being cast down and unable to help those who gathered around Him so hungrily, because it happened to be raining? Or because it was too hot or too cold? And He said that we were to follow His example and try to live as He lived, He constantly brought us up, as it were, beside Him by saying things like “Your Father and My Father”. And, “Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my brother”.
So let us all try to arrive at a state of balance. It can be done. And think of the power it will give us. Instead of being cast into the depths by waking up and finding it is raining or cold, or thrown into a state of misery because a letter we expected did not arrive, or a friend did not keep an appointment, we can abide in a state of peace just because God is and we are His, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” This lesson is quite a challenging one, but I want it to he a satisfying one too. In considering the obstacles, do so exactly as you would do if you had taken a car to a garage for an overhaul and they had listed what was needed to put it in good, running order. What we are doing, is putting in “good running order” so that you can travel smoothly and successfully reach your destination (or desire).
Keep telling yourself of the rewards of correct thinking, there’s nothing so cheering as this. Here is a story of one of the rewards a student had. What he wanted, was to sell some machinery that he had no further use for. It was taking up room in the attic of his house, and he very much wanted the money to convert that attic into a playroom for his children. Until he sold the machinery, there wasn’t the space, and until he sold it there wasn’t the money to convert the space. He began by offering the articles to dealers, but it was specialised stuff and none of them was interested. Then he advertised it in trade papers, but had no replies. He was well aware that it was valuable equipment and would be needed by somebody, so he started to thought-build for a buyer. Every day he went over it in his mind, imagining a person contacting him, inquiring about the details, being delighted to find it and buying it at the price he asked. He wasn’t put off when nothing happened, but just went on thought building in happy expectation.
Then one day he got a telephone call from a couple of hundred miles away. The man ringing up said he had just seen the advertisement in a trade paper. It was an old one that he was using to clean off grease from his workbench. He’d been wondering how he could possibly get hold of one of the machines, which was manufactured abroad, and was electrified to catch sight of its name on the screwed-up paper he was working with. After an exchange of names, addresses and references, the machine the man wanted was crated and dispatched, and soon after, paid for. Our student was thrilled of course, but there still remained the rest of the equipment to sell. Zestfully, he continued his daily thought building. Then suddenly he got a call from one of the dealers. Was the stuff still available? “Half of it”, he was told. “I’ll take it”, replied the dealer. “I’ve had an enquiry for every item made by that particular firm and my customer will pay your price.” Our student said he was “thunderstruck” And it all worked out smoothly. The machinery sold. The buyers delighted. The attic cleared. The money available. The playroom made. “And now my kids are romping up there”, he wrote. “But their hearts are no lighter than mine and they are no more excited I’m thrilled, and almost moved to tears, that I have used my mental tools as you have taught me, and had this tremendous success. The sale of that machinery was seemingly impossible, but With God, all things are possible’.”
Change your thoughts and you change your circumstances.
You have twenty six more weeks to practise prosperity-thinking. By then it should be a habit.