I only met Harry Browne once, and it was probably almost 20 years ago. But he taught me a lesson I apply virtually every day of my life; a lesson that is one of the most powerful tools for manifesting success that I know. (Side note: You know how people often say if you can just get one great idea from a book, seminar, etc., it’s worth it? Trust me, there’s more truth in that than there are circles in a box of Cheerios.)
What was the gist of the lesson you may wonder…
The importance of asking better questions. Harry believed in limited government and he felt one of the ways governments usurp control from the people is getting them to ask the wrong questions. Because if you ask the wrong question, the answer is really irrelevant. (And sometimes dangerous.) When you take this lesson and apply it to your own success and prosperity, the results are mind-boggling.
You woke up this morning, just like I did, just like everyone who reads this post did. And when we all did so, the universe asked us a question. But most of you weren’t listening…
You never heard the question, because you were asking one of your own. Probably the wrong one, or a series of wrong ones. Most people ask questions like:
If you’re in a bad place in your life, you ask questions like:
Whether it’s tragically or magically, I’ve been in both those categories over the course of my life. I woke up and started asking those kinds of questions, oblivious to the question the universe was practically shouting at me. The same question the universe is shouting at you every morning.
What is that question?
Now that’s a much better question to ask. Because that question, and more importantly the way you answer that question – can set you free from the bonds of limiting beliefs, negative expectations, and yes, even physical pain, addiction, and disabilities. Here’s the question the universe asked you yesterday, today, 20 days ago, two years ago, and is going to ask you again tomorrow morning:
How much prosperity are you willing to accept today?
Please don’t shrug that off as superficial, simplistic, or naive. It’s the truth of our world. And yes, I understand we all come from a different place. Some of you are paraplegics, others are alcoholics, some of you were victims of incest, and others face systemic oppression. Some of you are prodigies born with readily apparent genius, and some of us have our gifts buried deep inside us, still looking for a way to be expressed. Some of us have loving, supportive families and some have been left to fend for themselves. Some of us live in places of economic opportunity, while some of us reside in soul-crushing dictatorships.
But in the reality of the universe we all share, we are all equal in one respect: The single most important element that determines how much prosperity we each experience. Because if I had to distill my 30-year study of prosperity down to the most essential lesson I have discovered, it would be this:
You don’t manifest the prosperity you deserve. You manifest the prosperity you think you deserve.
When you face daunting circumstances like becoming addicted to drugs, being physically or mentally abused, or suffering from oppression in society, it forces you to make a decision about yourself and your inherent worth. It forms your self-esteem (or lack of it), and the expectations you set for yourself and your life.
Some people fall prey to an addiction and decide they are a weak, powerless person, unable to conquer it. That clouds the questions they ask every morning. Others decide their addiction doesn’t define who they are, and they ask the questions that lead them to overcome it.
Some people are abused and buy into the lie that they created or deserve the abuse. Others somehow recognize they are worthy of love, respect, and human rights, and ask the questions that lead to liberation.
Some people are oppressed and believe they truly deserve to be so. Others (like Mandela, MLK, and Gandhi), decide their temporary circumstances are an aberration and they ask the questions to defeat the circumstances.
If you are addicted, weak, or oppressed and believe that’s who you really are, you simply don’t believe you’re worthy of health, freedom, joy, success, or prosperity. And once you buy into that bullshit, you stop seeking those things. You stop asking the questions that could lead you to them, because you’d feel like a fraud if you somehow did achieve them. I titled one of my books Accept your Abundance, because of a different lesson I learned. (Another one of those “if you get just one great idea from a book…”) lessons. It came from a book by Emilie Cady who taught me:
You can’t be treated for prosperity. You have to be open to receive it.
So if you can get just one great idea from this blog post, here’s a pretty good one. The lesson is not that you’ve made mistakes up to now. The lesson is not that you missed your opportunity. The lesson is not that you’re a flawed individual. The lesson is that even if you didn’t hear or answer the question the universe asked you this morning, that question is still available to be answered right now…
How much prosperity are you willing to accept today?
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