Saturday, January 14, 2012

...With Abundance

This month the prophet of the world, Thomas S. Monson, taught us the ABCs of living abundantly. I'd like to share my own experiences and insight of how we can live "the abundant life" based off his three simple ideas.

A is for Attitude.

President Monson said "We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude."

I once got a temporary job working at a floral shop during Valentine's week. When I was hired so was another woman, who, after the busy week, would stay on and work the closing shift for the store. After the first day we both knew there was a problem. Our boss was a tough New York lady, who didn't mince words. She used harsh language and easily criticised. My coworker and I were having difficulty pleasing her, and finding joy in our work at the same time. Frustrated, my coworker walked out on the job, refusing to come back. Needing the income I stuck it out. I knew something needed to change though. I couldn't change my boss. I could only change my attitude. That job is now one I look back on as one of my favorites. Because I changed how I looked at the situation I eventually became great friends with my boss, and enjoyed day to day work.

B is for Believe

Believe in yourself, believe in others, and believe in eternal principles. There is power in believing and living up to that belief. We need to believe in our abilities and not let others persuade us differently.
I have a beautiful younger sister. About a year ago she heard of a scholarship program: a beauty pageant. She was interested in trying, but lacked the belief that she could succeed. We talked a lot about it. I told her to believe in herself and give it a try. The worst that could happen is for her to not be accepted, but it wouldn't change how beautiful she is, inside and out. The day of auditions came. I helped her do her hair and make up and brought her to the event. We laughed an had a great time. It was a fun experience for both of us. When we left she felt reassured. Whether or not she was accepted, we'd had fun. Soon after I left for my mission, but was excited weeks later when I learned that yes, her belief had payed off. She was in the pageant

C is for Courage

There are many courageous people that I have met in my life. One I remember the most didn't go climb a mountain, or rescue a damsel in distress, she had the courage to change her life. President Monson said in his address " Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I’ll try again tomorrow.'"
A friend of mine had been searching for the truth since she was eleven years old. I was fortunate enough to be around when she found it seven years later. She studied many religions but never found one that seemed right. When she learned that I was Mormon we started talking about my beliefs and before long she was meeting with the LDS missionaries. Kari had the courage to step out of the mold, to join herself to a new religion on her own. She made life changes. I can't even imagine the challenge it must have been. I recently learned how she continues to show her courage: although she faces challenges with the culture that tends to go along with the religion, she gets up again and keeps going. She knows it is true.
"Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve." Kari has shown this courage to me.

It is my hope, as President Monson says, that we may "remember these ABCs as we begin our journey into the new year, cultivating a positive attitude, a belief that we can achieve our goals and resolutions, and the courage to face whatever challenges may come our way. Then the abundant life will be ours"

To read President Thomas S. Monson's Message click here.

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