Posts Tagged 'words'

Five Lessons

English: Illustration from Lessons in Geography.

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There are five lessons that I must pass on to my family. Primarily, it is my hope to mold my life until I can be a good example of these five principles for my wife and children. As I approach a personal mastery of each lesson I will be better equipped to help those who look up to me in their efforts.

Each lesson contains specific benefits to our spiritual, mental and physical health.

The Power of Words

Words have a powerful impact in every part of our personal lives and the lives of those around us. They can change attitudes, control actions and influence others. The benefits of verbal self-mastery are unquestionable.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Speak only the truth. Ask the questions you want the answers to. Choose your words carefully before you open your mouth. Do not blurt things out. Negative speech of all kinds should be avoided. An entire lesson can be taught with a simple, well-planned and well-placed question.

By controlling our tongues we become masters of our minds, bodies and spirits. We can be a great support for those around us and we can be powerful teachers. Our speech should be uplifting, enlightening and wise.

The Importance of Honest, Hard Work

Working hard, doing work the right way and learning to do it with a good attitude are essential in life. Work is an eternal principle.

It has been shown that doing work the hard way is excellent exercise for our brains. Learning to be efficient is different from taking shortcuts. You should work as hard as required. Be honest about your work. Proper planning and care can ensure success with any task, regardless of how hard or big it may seem at first.

If you do not understand the goal your work could be in vain. Ensure that you communicate clearly and ask questions until you fully understand your task before you begin working.

Any change, large or small, that you make around you should make the world a better place. If it does not make the world a better place, fix your change so it never happened. If you can’t fix it, try to make it better and get help if you need it.

Putting Away Childish Things

It is important to enjoy each stage of life to the best of your ability. Childhood is a great time to have fun and focus on the few responsibilities you may have.

Maturity doesn’t happen by accident. As we pass from one stage of life into another we must seek out ways that we can grow. By reviewing past stages of life and identifying behaviors and possessions that are childish we can work to put those things behind us.

True friendships mature with us and get better with age. Other relationships can stunt our growth and work against our efforts to become more mature. Do not work to prolong a relationship with someone who is a hazard to your physical, spiritual or mental health.

The Benefits of Simplicity

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

We must learn to distinguish between needs and wants, and we must balance our lives. It is necessary to have some entertainment and comfort in life, but these things must be enjoyed in moderation. Too many physical belongings, regardless of their purpose, can distract from what is truly important.

Get your priorities straight and shed any physical possessions you may have that do not truly enhance your life. My father taught me to ask three questions before buying anything: “Do I need it? Do I need it now? Can I live without it?” Asking these questions prior to acquiring anything can help us avoid amassing clutter in our lives.

Cleanliness, order and simplicity give clarity, peace and focus that cannot be experienced amidst clutter and chaos. Our brains cannot generate order in a messy environment and the spirit of God cannot abide a disregard for cleanliness.

The Blessings of the Gospel

Never cease seeking out truth. Many differing ideas exist surrounding our existence and our brains are hardwired to seek meaning behind life.

It could all be for nothing in the end, but when the end of our life does come, which would be worse? Living trying to obey God only to die and cease to exist, or living as though there is no God only to die and come face to face with Him?

If for this reason alone, never stop trying to live the Gospel and seeking spiritual health. You will find that there are numerous benefits to living a life centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Should you one day choose to follow another faith, I will still love you. However, I encourage you to trust in my faith for a while and see if you can gain a personal conviction of its truth as I have. My personal testimony of my spiritual beliefs is something I treasure above all else in life.

 

Edited on January 16th, 2012 to include a line about changes we make in the world. Also included some minor paragraph edits.

Premature Magnum Opus

Nearly a month ago I announced a new project. I had been toying with the idea in my head for several weeks at the time, and finally decided to do it. I had a plan. I designed and wrote out the details. I never got the first piece finished.

I started it, but didn’t finish.

This actually isn’t very uncommon for me, but it was not supposed to happen. I know what went wrong, and now I’m trying to recover from the wreck that was my great project.

The idea was to interview people who I found attractive (not on the outside, but inside) and write about each one revealing their beauty in my writing. It pains me to remember that I had some wonderful ideas on how to do this. I had parts of the essays about certain people written already in my head. I had all of the details worked out for what the essays would be like. I should have written all of that down. Lesson learned.

I failed to write down those particulars, but I didn’t fail to begin an essay. The plan was to write essays about three or four people I already knew to get the project jump-started. Being the social klutz that I am, I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of my wife by leaving her out, and I really wanted to write about her anyhow, so I made hers the first essay. For fun, I went ahead and did the interview with her (so she could help me test the questions). I took notes. I got an idea. I started writing.

What I wrote was ridiculous. It was horrible. Here was my dearest, most beloved among all mortals, and I was writing an essay about her that even she wouldn’t like. What was I thinking?!? Where had I gone wrong?

Yesterday it occurred to me that what I was trying to write was my magnum opus. My wife is my eternal companion, my greatest lover, my best friend, the most beautiful, significant person in my life, and I was trying to put my thoughts and feelings for her into written language. I may write well, but not that well. Not yet. In my fear of offending her through omission in the project, I actually blundered the whole thing. I tried to do what I am not yet able to do.

Now, a month after the project’s inception, I have the beginning of an essay I can’t use and the train has wrecked. I have long since forgotten the taste of the project in favor of other, newer ideas. I already have plenty of troubles with the thoughts and ideas that race around in my mind, avoiding capture and dodging my view. While I don’t believe the ship has sailed for this project, it will certainly have to simmer in the background for a time while I attempt to let my subconscious reconstruct the ideas and rekindle the energy I’ll need to pick it back up.

When I do begin again, I will begin with someone I can write about at my current skill level. Perhaps another close friend, or a complete stranger. When I get the train going again I will be prepared to accept my limitations and there will be essays to read. I’m sure my wonderful wife will understand, and she will have something to look forward to down the road when my skills have advanced and I feel that the time is right. Someday I really will write my magnum opus. Someday those words will come. Until then, I shall have to write about people who mean much less to me; people for whom I have the words to write about them.


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