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"The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments."
- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Communication and Relationship expert Matt Townsend Matt Townsend shares ideas for helping you follow President Uchtdorf's advice.
Stay in the PresentThe only way to truly treasure the sweetness of everyday moments is to actually be present in the everyday moments. One of the biggest impediments to being present is when we become consumed with the problems of our past or too anxious about what lies ahead in the future. These two distractions keep us from focusing on the "now"! Peace is only present when you are, and is only found in the now, which is why the prophets admonish us that "now is the time to prepare to meet God." A key to help us learn to get into the now is to notice when you are feeling stressed and pay particularly close attention to what you're thinking about. Usually it will be something from either the past that worried you or something that needs to be done for the future. There is no benefit to worrying about the future, for there is nothing you can do in the future. If you are worried about something, take a second and ask yourself, "What can I do about that problem right now?" Then begin to act on it in the moment. Action now over worry now will foster more peace. Learn to take deep breaths, relax, and meditate in order to keep your head in the space with others. Try to see the deeper essence of the person you are interacting with. See if you can feel their "Divine Spark" and that will usually remove the stress and increase the peace. The more you practice being present, the more present you'll be able to feel, and whenever there is presence, there is peace.
Live Out of Love, Not FearNothing inhibits a person's ability to treasure the sweetness of today more than when we begin to focus too much on ourselves, our own pain, our own fears and our own suffering. This self-absorbed paradigm keeps us from offering our best self to the world. It generates feelings of shame and fear, both of which inhibit us from sharing our voice, standing up for the needy, or offering our talents to the world. One of the fastest ways to eliminate fears is to increase our love. When we change our motives from a focus on ourselves, our images or our positions, we can begin to serve others out of love. Instead of worrying what could happen to you or your family tomorrow, find a way to serve and be with your family today. Instead of falling into a state of being overwhelmed about the community service project you volunteered for, shift your thinking to how many lives will be positively impacted by the service you give. Instead of obsessing on how your clothes fit or don't fit on your body, be grateful for your loving Heavenly Father who has given you a healthy body to serve others. For me, the real journey of life is much more about what you are able to give, than what you are able to get. When you begin to feel the love that your Heavenly Father provides, you will quickly understand that no other accomplishment you could ever have could equal the feeling.
Offer Your Gifts to the World"Top performance fosters independence of action!" People who are the best at what they do, tend to have a lot more independence, freedom and choices than those who perform at the lower levels. One way to maximize your independence is to maximize your own talents, skills and abilities. I would suggest that you start with the skills and talents you already possess instead of overwhelming yourself with a list of things you must learn. One gift which I believe most women have already been given an enormous advantage in, is the ability to nurture and communicate with others. Use your skills of attention to others, empathy, reading nonverbal cues and communication to increase your own sense of independence. These abilities give you a huge advantage in your relationships with others and can give you incredible insights and opportunities to create more interdependence. Use your communication skills to share your voice and opinions with others in a way that lifts instead of lowers. It is not enough to just know you have the ability or gifts to be a nurturing person. Real independence comes when you are actively using those gifts to "Be" the nurturer that you know you should be.
Always remember Him!All things reflect their creator! The number one way to treasure up the sweetness of everyday life is to simply remember who you are as a child of God. By reflecting and remembering that you have a loving Father in Heaven who is watching down on you, it creates sweetness and insight into everything that you experience in this life. When you are in the midst of trials and afflictions, you can always know that there is one who has gone before you and has prepared that way. That knowledge lets you overlook the immediate pains of life and instead see the blessings and beauty which life affords. By remembering your Heavenly Father, you will immediately move into the present, you will be filled with love to serve, and you will remember your gifts and see clearly ways to share them with others. Always remembering our blessings and the fact that we are children of God, not only helps us see how to handle our todays, but our tomorrows are filled with more hope as well.