I could feel it coming, but I had no idea how bad it would be. I suspected that the flu would interrupt my plans to attend the area New Year’s bash where I could mingle with old friends and meet new ones. But that was before last night.
In the wee hours of the night, my budding flu added a stomach component. I began to experience the worst that the stomach flu could throw at me. I’ve had stomach flu before, but never anything like this.
I usually feel better after vomiting because it expels from my body whatever foreign entity was inside. Not this time. I vomited repeatedly, feeling no better after each episode, only to go back to bed for maybe an hour before starting all over again.
And let’s not forget the nausea, diarrhea, and general exhaustion because I can’t keep even the softest of foods within me. With no energy and lack of sleep, I’m pretty worn.
On the bright side, maybe I’ll lose a little weight from all this. And that got me thinking.
It all comes down to one question
See, I’m feeling pretty bad, worse than I have felt in a long, long time. And yet I can see beyond my problem. As bad as I feel, I’m trying to find something positive to engage my focus.
While that’s good to note the silver lining, it’s hardly satisfactory. I want to go beyond the cloud altogether. I want to make a dent in the universe.
Regardless of our background or current situation, we’ve all had good and bad in 2014. So what? Did you emerge from it all a better person? Who in your sphere of influence is better because of what you did in 2014?
I look at myself a year ago when I shared my philosophy on life and this LDS singles blog. And I compare that man with who I am now at the start of 2015. The man I am now is more than the man I was then. Note the path from here to there wasn’t a straight, upward line. It had lots of downs as well as ups. But the general trend is upward.
Take for instance the number of posts. In 2013, my dedication to post each Wednesday wasn’t constant. But in 2014, I wrote a blog post for each of the 52 weeks of the year. And one of them was published each and every Wednesday of 2014.
If that seems insignificant to you, consider the literal thousands of page views this blog garnered in 2014. That’s a pretty extensive influence for keeping one seeming small decision consistently and diligently. And 2015 promises to be even better.
Leave proof that you actually lived
In my upcoming book I extol direction over position. That just makes for better assessments. Sure, you’ve had some bad things happen to you in 2014. So what? What will it mean when you look back 5, 10, or even 50 years from now?
Within the last 24 hours, I’ve felt the inside of my body torn to shreds. But 5, 10, or 50 years from now, the pain I feel now won’t mean anything. As hard as the experience is to endure in the moment, once the moment passes, so does any semblance of meaning. What then was it all worth?
In life, it matters less where you have been and more where you are going. What’s your direction? Are you determined to encounter great things in 2015 and beyond? Are you dedicated to making a dent in the universe?
If you were to die today, what proof would remain that you actually lived?
If your focus is buried amidst the pain of lost dreams and failed life experiences, stop looking in your rear view mirror. You can’t drive your life forward unless you’re looking forward. As pressing as they may seem to you right now, no one will care about your bad experiences in any number of years from now because we all have bad experiences.
What makes you unique is not the bad you receive but the good you give. And when you aim to put a dent in the universe, you’ll leave lots of proof that you actually lived.
This year, I’m making a different set of resolutions for 2015. I’m not saying don’t make the usual laundry list of lose weight, get a better job, etc. I’ve got some of those in my mix. But all my goals, both for 2015 and beyond, tie together to support a greater vision of the person I ultimately want to become — someone who will make a dent in the universe.
And that life is definitely one worth living.
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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