Ah, New Year’s Day! Time for strings of parties. Time for all those resolutions most of us won’t keep past a couple of weeks — if we’re lucky. And time to reflect on what we’ve actually accomplished over the past year.
As I think back on 2015, I see I’ve been greatly blessed. Yeah, there were some less-than-stellar moments. I’m still the walking construction zone I’ve always been, and not everyone has used their agency as I would have liked. But I’ve also had some really outstanding moments, ones that for many years I thought I would never have.
That’s what I love about New Year’s Day. No matter what we have experienced, we all have a chance to start over. And we all decide what we’ll do with that opportunity. We can give up and surrender to pessimism and despair. Or we can get up and embrace optimism and hope.
I say it’s time we get zesty.
You can always choose
No, I’m not talking about Mama Capri’s to-die-for lasagna. I’m talking about attitude — one that won’t make excuses, won’t accept surrender, and won’t take any prisoners. That attitude is a choice!
Agency is perhaps the most misunderstood and underappreciated gift outside of the Atonement. Perhaps we make so many choices all the time it’s easy to take for granted our ability to choose.
Too often we think about how others have used their agency against us. We focus on their choices which we cannot change but which have left us empty, forsaken, and in need.
But that’s where agency becomes a truly glorious gift. We can make choices of our own. No matter our past, we can always choose to reach for the positive option. And there’s always a positive option. We can always get zesty.
Choose your best life
Many singles don’t want the life they have. They want instead what they conceive as their best life. But how can you have your best life without the best attitude? Attitude influences everything from how you feel to how others perceive you.
If you want your best life, you first must embrace your best attitude.
And that can’t just be a superficial face lift. You have to believe so much your best life will come to you that you just exude confidence. You don’t doubt it will happen, and no one who knows you doubts it either.
How do you ride that train if you aren’t already on board? The answer may sound ridiculous, but you just choose it.
Own it all
If you told me ten years ago I could turn my life around just by choosing to believe my best life will come to me, I would have called you an idiot. But that was before I owned my life.
Taking responsibility for how your life has resulted will empower you to act rather than be acted upon. And acting with intention — out of conscious choice rather than habit — opens the doors of belief wide open. You start to realize all belief, even and especially the belief your best life will come to you, is a choice.
And the glorious gift of agency gives that choice to you.
I remember when my life had hit what felt like rock bottom, and I hungered after real. That hunger led me to question everything in my life, including what I believed.
I came to a moment of decision. Is it true or not? If it’s really true, isn’t it time I start believing? Do I really have to wait for my life to work out before I believe it’s all true? Realizing belief is a choice, I simply choose to believe.
I chose to believe my future is what I make of it, not what my past dictates. I chose to believe God is real, loves me immensely, and really does want to bless me just as immensely. I chose to believe my best life was just ahead of me.
And things started to turn around for me. I started feeling better about myself and my future. And then new opportunities in my career and my dating life began appearing. There’s still challenges, of course, but overall life just seems to be getting better and better.
And all of this was just waiting for me to get zesty — to start living with intention to reach for the positive choice. Once I chose to believe, the true joy of living began unfolding for me.
We’re all God’s children. What happened to me can happen to anyone. So choose to believe. Embrace the new year with zest and confidence. Get zesty, and live in confidence your best life will come to you. Then watch it happen.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing 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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