In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I wanted to share something publicly that I never have before.

Many of you have heard my story of struggle, especially between September 2007 to August 2009. I want to share with you my journal entry on Sept 28, 2008 that I hope will be useful for all of us. I wrote this with the thought “What have these experiences taught me that no amount of money could have bought me. So here is what I felt inspired to write one year before my life and finances turned around….


I feel compelled to capture every lesson I have learned from my experiences of financial hardships. Once this is captured, I can more easily move forward with greater financial prosperity than ever before experienced.

  1. A knowledge that I have never starved, been homeless, or died.
  2. I could have taken a temporary, easy way out, but refused to give in.
  3. Grateful for what I still have
  4. Health to still have choices in the situation.
  5. Friends and family’s encouragement.
  6. Faith to move forward despite objection of friends & family (love that one)
  7. Ability to determine what’s important without money in the way.
  8. Recognizing the importance of tracking every dollar.
  9. Recognizing pride when blessed with money.
  10. Understanding what expenses are really productive.
  11. Seeing the importance of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  12. Service and gratitude is key to success & financial prosperity.
  13. Temple service is always FREE!
  14. The things I desire most are not dependent on money, but money can amplify it.
  15. Sanctifying experience of humility.
  16. Power of prayer.
  17. Promised blessings of tithing.
  18. Seeing the the Lord ALWAYS gives us what we NEED to survive or continue moving forward.
  19. Increasing non-attachment to money.
  20. Temporary financial situations do not determine self-worth.
  21. Understanding that I cannot judge others without condemning myself.
  22. Focus on improving my spiritual, physical, mental, and social life.
  23. My persuasion of others is best when I am humble.
  24. Discontent + faith = Solutions (Gotta remember this one another blog!)
  25. Power of introspection to know who you are.
  26. I can be more financially free even when money is not available.
  27. Recognizing the importance of stewardship.
  28. Importance of using resources to build Kingdom of God rather than justify pride.
  29. Importance of using resources towards Soul Purpose.
  30. Don’t do investments only to get money.
  31. The only way others can understand a situation is if they have been there.
  32. Grateful for a Heavenly Father that leverages people’s experiences (another very good one about how one person’s experience can bless others).
  33. Grateful for Lord’s perfect timing & wisdom.
  34. Awareness to see more solutions.
  35. Increased creativity to solve problems.
  36. Willing to be human.
  37. Greater emphasis on the leveraging capabilities of each dollar.
  38. Greater focus on the long term
  39. Greater patience.
  40. Greater trust in the Lord.
  41. Value spiritual impressions.
  42. Greater faith and power to persevere thru adversity.
  43. Greater empathy for others’ situations.
  44. Greater ability to help solve others’ financial problems.
  45. Increased love of others.
  46. More optimistic, yet realistic outlook of future.
  47. Greater wisdom as spiritual power increases.
  48. More temple visits every month.
  49. Better communication & relationship with Lyndsie and the kids.
  50. Willing to listen to others more.
  51. Value blessings received when tried to the point of almost breaking.
  52. Learned value of taking action immediately.
  53. Learned the importance of asking questions.
  54. Ability to question what I think to be true.
  55. Greater trust in the Lord than men.
  56. Increased value of relationships.
  57. Reflecting light of Christ is more important than sales skills.
  58. People are more attracted to me because of my increased strength and faith – Great leader.
  59. Greater faith in my God-given abilities.
  60. Better game plan developed on how to use resources.
  61. Amazing lessons for those affected by my situation.
  62. Better listener.
  63. Better focus on what is productive.
  64. I understand myself more.
  65. I am willing to let others see my weaknesses and strengths.


As we can see here, these experiences molded me into the person I am today. Although it may not be a financial hardship, you might be experiencing some challenge that is testing you to your limits. For what little comfort it may be, remember that you don’t usually know the end from the beginning and that this challenge you are dealing with right now could be more beneficial than it seems.

When I wrote this, I imagined that others would read or hear it and be inspired to act as if anything is possible. Today, I am making sure that that vision comes true.

What have tough experiences taught you to be thankful for?