Part of overcoming our challenges as LDS singles and enjoying life more fully comes from engaging the five-step process I outline in my book. By gaining an awareness of the habits that have held us back, we can make conscious choices to move closer to our righteous desires.
People generally seem interested when I talk about that general concept. But they have differing responses when I get into the specifics.
A conversation remembered
Some don’t want to figure out anything on their own. They want the answer handed to them. Some even want a cherry on top.
I recall one conversation in which a young lady asked me, “What is the one habit holding me back from getting married?” I tried to explain to her that there isn't just one thing but rather a list of things that require attention, and without knowing her better I really couldn’t get more specific.
Hey, the whole of our interactions was a few emails and one phone call. I could get very specific about the process, but her question was about the application of that process to her specific situation. That required me to know her better than I did.
We’re all unique enough that my list of changes to make will be different from your list of changes to make, because my truth about why I’m single is probably different than your truth about why you’re single. We both need to face our own truth, but the actual steps we take to apply that common element to our lives may be quite different.
I can give you the tools and teach you how to use them, but you have you build your life. You must own your life.
Memories make teaching moments
The memory of that conversation has stuck with me and from time to time slowly extends itself out like a turtle coming out of its shell. The question asked is a common one. "OK, so what's the one thing that I need to do in order to . . . . ?" It seems like an intelligent question to ask, but I've got a serious problem with it.
You see, it's really not that intelligent at all.
Run with me for a moment. The assumption behind that question is that there is only one thing that you need to change in order to transport your world into a new and higher dimension of existence. What sense does that make?
I've got more imperfections than Swiss cheese has holes and certainly more than most people. But I can't believe that the vast majority of people have one and only one thing they need to change to overcome their obstacles.
Here’s what makes more sense to me. We all have a huge list of things we can do to improve. Somehow, my experience taking notes in Conference comes to mind.
A better question to ask would be to know everything you need to do. With that answer, you could then step back and take a more holistic approach towards making the changes in yourself you need to make. I outline that process in my book.
Engaging a process that helps you understand yourself better, understand better why you do what you do, understand better the terrain of LDS singles life, and provide you with tools to mark a better path is truly liberating. You may have a lot to do, but having the confidence that comes from knowing you are on your way makes the journey so much more joyful.
Don't get overwhelmed
If you find yourself overwhelmed like I was when I took notes during Conference, then scale back. Instead of asking for everything, inquire after the one or two things that you need to be working on right now. When you apply the five-step process correctly, you will not feel overwhelmed. You will feel a great sense of freedom. And you will feel much better about yourself and your life, irrespective of your circumstances.
No matter how much improvement you need to make, we all need to practice what Elder Oakes described as “the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime” as we each journey on to eternal glory.
Never assume that your list of improvement items has only one element. Understand what you need to do right now and live in the moment. Then you can walk by faith and your journey will be much more enjoyable.
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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