Consider thisNov 14, 2022 11:39AM ● By John Waterbury
If someone were to ask you to list some of your favorite motivational statements that make it possible for you to remain positive and optimistic, what would be your response? If you were to teach a class on how to remain stable in the midst of the confusing challenges of life, what would your top 10 principles be? And if you were to give a talk on problem-solving and life-management skills, where would you begin?
The world seems to be under attack right now, and unless we’re prepared to step forward with confidence and self-assurance, it would be easy to be overwhelmed by the confusion and darkness. With this in mind, I want to share some basic ideas that may be useful in managing the uncertainties of life. The more prepared we are, the greater our success will be.
To begin with, begin every day with a fresh start. Regardless of the mistakes or missed opportunities of the past, every day is a new beginning. When we look at the world this way, the odds are in our favor that we’ll find a way to move beyond our old patterns. Define yourself and be true to yourself. So where do we start? We get to choose our course. Decide to be proactive and don’t settle for less. The truth is that we have to practice to become the person we want to be. Expect to make a difference. If we expect to fail, we will. Whether we think we can or can’t, we’ll be right. Decide to live a life that matters. Start with little things and build. We’re in the midst of mortality. Accept that mistakes and down-times will occur for everybody. Remember, practice, practice, practice. Examine your life, define your life, and live your life. The world will accept whatever choices we make, so make the best choices now. Attitudes are more important than circumstances. We can move beyond what we used to settle for; we can rise above our old fears; we can create new attitudes. Don’t try to repress your old negativity by yourself; turn it over to God. He knows what you’ve been through and He knows how to convert it into something beneficial. When your past makes you sad, depressed, or angry, ask yourself what God wants you to learn from it. Look for guidance. His Grace is sufficient. Everything is purposeful and preparatory. Everything! Focus on what you can affect. Don’t try to change everything all at once. Success is based on “line upon line, precept on precept.” Take back your power. Let the past pass away. Give yourself permission to move beyond it. Others have been prepared to be brought into your life to assist you in this transition. The choices of the past will lead to something better, but only when you’re ready to move on. Identify your thinking errors, challenge them, and replace them with something better. We don’t have to stay stuck.
Literally, we can begin now to create a brand new ending to our story. For as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland wrote: Be peaceful. Believe in God and in yourself. You’re doing better than you think you are (end quote).
Brothers and sisters, may we all find joy in the journey.
John Waterbury is a retired Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has lived in Utah since 1984 when he moved to Bountiful with his wife and four children. Since then, he has written a weekly column for several years for the Davis County Clipper titled “The Dear John Letters” which was also used throughout the intermountain West focusing on addiction and mental health problems. This new column will focus on mental health and life management issues. λ