Very few of us are living the life we imagined 10 years ago. The difference is some of us are loving life and its unexpected changes, while others resent the surprises they’ve been handed.
When we are young, we don’t sit down and imagine our future as bleak, depressing and hopeless. We imagine great things, happy families, ideal careers and high adventure. With such expectations, we each set ourselves up for disappointment because nothing is ever perfect. However, just because we set ourselves up for disappointment does not mean we have to be disappointed; the choice is ours. We can either feel cheated when something doesn’t turn out as planned, or we can look at the way things did turn out and find the positive in it.
Because things rarely turn out the way we plan, one might decide that the best course of action is to have no expectations. But when we have no expectations, we by design, have no dreams. When we have no dreams, we have no hope, and when we have no hope, we have no joy.
There are three types of people in this world: The pessimist, the optimist, and the enthusiast. When we look at life enthusiastically, we realize there will be ups and downs and curves and cliffs, dirt roads, paved roads, and sometimes no roads. Enthusiasts take what they are handed and make the best of it. The pessimist sees life’s glass as half empty while the optimist sees it half full. The enthusiast ignores the argument, drinks the water and blogs about how great it was.
THE PRINCIPLE OF COMPENSATION
No matter how positive or enthusiastic we are, life will more than likely hand us something very difficult at some point. There will be tears. There will be heartache and disappointment. In those times, it is important to remember that the Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. Tears shed today will eventually be replaced with happiness. We need to trust that the Lord wants us to be happy. The very purpose of life is joy.
In the book of Revelation, John promises us:
“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin, an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared advice his mother gave him when he was young. When he expressed concern about things in his young life that were not going according to plan, she told him, “Joseph, come what may, and love it.”
THE GOLDEN RULE
When something bad happens and we approach it with a positive attitude, we change the energy around us and we attract positive things. The opposite is also true. When we react negatively, we change the energy and attract negative things. Have you ever heard someone who is having a good day say something like, “This day just keeps getting better and better”? Or perhaps you’ve heard the opposite from someone having a bad day, “This day just keeps getting worse and worse.” What people often fail to understand is that their very attitudes have a great deal to do with the direction their day is going.
The golden rule tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It’s important to remember to treat ourselves as we would have others treat us. We should treat ourselves with kindness and appreciation, and surround ourselves with positive energy. If we do this, we may not be living the life we wanted, but we will sincerely want the life we are living.
Joseph B. Wirthlin “Come What May, and Love it” (3:32, Source – lds.org)
Taking his immigrant mother’s advice to heart, Mormon motivational speaker Paul Sleem lives to teach the next generation what she taught him: “I’m a Mormon, Motivational Teacher, Grateful Son” (3:46, Source – lds.org)