Stephen Covey often said you don’t want to exert yourself climbing a ladder only to find it leaning against the wrong wall. He said this to teach the importance of priorities. We need to move ourselves towards what matters most.
The same analogy holds true with how we think. We need to think about ourselves and our world in ways that move us towards what matters most. Otherwise, we’ll spend countless amounts of energy in unproductive ways only to find ourselves no closer to the blessings we seek.
This is very true for LDS singles. Too many of us obstruct our own paths towards the blessings we seek. Defunct, old ways of thinking about ourselves and our world keep us feeling very much like that hamster down at the local pet store — always spinning our wheels but never really getting anywhere.
Many of the negative emotions many LDS singles experience are completely unnecessary. If you feel trapped in a negative reality, consider your focus. Your reality always comes from your focus. And your focus comes from the way you think. Change the way you think, and you can be happy regardless of your circumstances.
Happy in how we’re thinking
Many LDS singles don’t think that way. They believe their reality comes from what they have rather than how they think. They believe they can be happy only when they have a special someone in their life.
Is it really lack that creates unhappiness? Or is it the way we think about happiness? I’ve known many people on my mission who were happy yet had very little in terms of this world’s goods. I’ve also known many singles who had nothing in terms of a special someone who were very happy. And I’ve known many marrieds who had that special someone and were very unhappy.
Clearly it’s not having that brings happiness. Happiness comes from giving your all to the right things. It’s not in getting but in giving. It’s not in having but in how we’re thinking.
Happy before and after the blessing
But why then go through all the emotional turmoil of dating to get something you don’t really need to be happy?
LDS singles understand that marriage and family are parts of Heavenly Father’s plan, blessings He wants all of His children to experience. These are some of the right things to which we need to give ourselves.
The problem comes in thinking we can’t be happy until we have the blessing or we can’t be happy unless we’re moving towards the blessing. Of course, we should be doing what lies in our power to achieve eternal blessings. But we shouldn’t obsess over it to the point where we hang our happiness in the balance of having versus not having.
That sort of binary thinking will never bring lasting happiness. Lasting happiness comes when we give ourselves to the right things. Those right things include our discipleship, the friends and family we do have, and our personal ministries.
Happy without the special someone
Can giving ourselves to these things help LDS singles be happy without that special someone? I answer with a resounding YES! It really is all in how you think about it.
If we truly have faith in Christ, then we’ll do two things:
With these two items in place, our focus is directed outward on what we can do, what we can give, and how we can serve. Without these two items, it’s far too easy for the natural man or woman to direct our focus inward on what we want, what we can get, and how we can be served.
When you reject defunct, old ways of thinking and adopt better ways of thinking, you can have a better focus leading to a better reality. You can partner with the Lord in fulfilling a personal ministry. When you make the conscious choice to give your all to the right things — to what matters most — you can be happy regardless of any circumstance in your life. That’s the path to lasting happiness. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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