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In fact, the practice is so well regarded, there's a Center for Journal Therapy dedicated to the mental health benefits of regular journaling, both in therapeutic and personal settings. It's not just what you write about though. How you write plays a role as well. This University of Iowa study showed that journaling about stressful events helped participants deal with the events they experienced.
The key, however, was to focus on what you were thinking and feeling as opposed to your emotions alone. In short, you get the best benefits of journaling when you're telling your personal story, not just writing about your feelings on their own. It's a great example of how telling your own personal story can make a huge difference in your well being. The creative benefits of keeping a journal are also well documented. You've likely heard that the best way to get better at writing is to just keep doing it. That's true, but the benefits go deeper than just crafting better sentences.
For example, regular writing can help you learn to process and communicate complex ideas effectively. It can also help you memorize important information, and brainstorm new ideas. In other words, writing about your experiences not only helps you process them, it helps you see opportunities that may not have been apparent at first glance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson - Wikiquote
It also helps you learn to break down complex experiences into relevant, useful bits of information organized coherently. Even if you don't think anything special has happened to you, the very act of keeping a journal can help you brainstorm. How often have you caught yourself writing about something that seems dull on the surface, but led you to a spiderweb of other thoughts, ideas, and memories as you were processing it?
Regular writing opens the door to those opportunities every time you sit down. Regular writing can be functional, too, and serve as a reminder of mistakes you've made, accomplishments you're proud of, and great moments you want to remember. For example, keeping a work diary can serve as a track record of mistakes and successes. That written record can come in handy later when you're feeling down, but they can also help you right your personal ship when you're feeling lost. Pick up your work diary and look back over the things you did really well with—you may be able to pick out a pattern of things you want to follow, career-wise.
Similarly, those achievements and awesome moments don't just boost your self-esteem, they give you great justification for a raise or promotion when it comes time to talk to the boss about an increase. You don't have to be a creative worker to appreciate looking back over the things you did well, and the things you need to work on.
Seeing your own mistakes before they're pointed out to you is a great thing, and documenting your achievements makes sure they're never overlooked. Regular writing can apply to more than just work, too. Keeping a journal is a great way to build better habits, as it forces you to be aware of your actions and behaviors.
Widely attributed to Emerson on the internet, this actually originates with "What is Success? As soon as there is life there is danger. Actually from De l'Allemagne by Madame de Stael. Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door. Variation : If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he builds his house in the woods the world will make a beaten path to his door.
Investigations have failed to confirm this in Emerson's writings John H. Also reported as a misattribution in Paul F. Boller, Jr. Note that Emerson did say, as noted above, "I trust a good deal to common fame, as we all must. If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods".
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. This phrase is found in remarks attributed to Charles A. Beard in Arthur H. Possibly confused with a passage in "Illusions" in which Emerson discusses his experience in the "Star Chamber": "our lamps were taken from us by the guide, and extinguished or put aside, and, on looking upwards, I saw or seemed to see the night heaven thick with stars glimmering more or less brightly over our heads, and even what seemed a comet flaming among them. All the party were touched with astonishment and pleasure.
Some crystal specks in the black ceiling high overhead, reflecting the light of a half—hid lamp, yielded this magnificent effect. Then you receive an alert that a friend has posted something on Facebook, and you just have to see what it is. So many times we get distracted when we should have acted.
Distractions rob you of time that could have been invested in doing good. The ability to focus helps us avoid distractions. I know you all enjoy taking tests. So, tonight I am going to give you a quick test of your ability to focus. You will see two teams: one wearing white and one wearing black. They are going to pass a basketball, and I want you to simply count the number of passes the team in white makes.
How many counted 21? All those who got it right at 21, raise your hand. Keep your hand up if you also saw an elderly woman walk, then moonwalk, across the floor. Now, keep your hand up if you saw a ninja warrior replace one of the players wearing black. Did you see players on the team wearing black put on hats?
Now take another look, and focus on something you did not see the first time.
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Our focus in life is so important. As this test demonstrates, we typically find what we are looking for. If we are focused on the things of the world, we can miss a whole spiritual world that is all around us. We may not be able to recognize the spiritual promptings that the Holy Ghost is anxious to give us to direct our lives and to bless others. The best way to avoid distractions is to have our focus firmly set on our purpose and be anxiously engaged in a good cause.
After the meeting, we asked the bishop if he recognized anyone from my list of people we had taught and baptized. Not a one. He explained that he had been a member for only five years.
I went through my list with him without success until we got to the last name: Leonor Lopez de Enriquez. Their sacrament meeting is next; they should be here shortly. We only had to wait about 10 minutes before Leonor came walking into the building.
Living with Purpose: The Importance of “Real Intent”
Although now in her mids, I recognized her immediately, and she recognized me. We shared a long, tearful hug. As other family members entered the building, we shared hugs and tears. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my son standing with two full-time missionaries who were wiping away their tears with their ties. One of the daughters was married to a counselor in the stake presidency.
Another daughter was married to the bishop of a nearby ward. We learned that Leonor was a much better missionary than we were. Today, her children thankfully recall her tireless efforts to teach them the gospel: the importance of tithing, temples, and scripture study, of prayer and the faith to trust in it. She taught them that small decisions, over time, result in a full, righteous, and happy life, and they taught those things to others.
Add it all up and there are more than people who have come into the Church because of this one wonderful family.
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That is one of the many reasons why the Lord wanted me to go on a mission. It all began with a simple conversation over lunch. I often think that if Dr. But his focus was on others and on furthering the work of the Lord. He planted a seed that has grown and has brought forth fruit and continues to compound, or multiply, exponentially.
Inspired thoughts produce good deeds; good deeds produce other good deeds, and so on, eternally. The idea that small, simple but purposeful acts can have dramatic consequences is well supported in the scriptures. Alma taught his son Helaman:. Just as the Lord uses such things to build you up, Satan uses them to distract you and lead you slowly, almost imperceptibly, off the path.
We live in an instantaneous world. We want to go directly from planting to harvesting. Alma gave Helaman counsel that is excellent for us today. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey.
The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. But I testify that doing these things consistently and with real intent not only makes a difference, it makes all the difference. First, as we partake of the sacrament, too often we just go through the motions. As you watch this video, notice the focus that is placed on remembering, and consider why that is so important:. Elder Jeffrey R. This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you: this do in remembrance of me.
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And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you. As we always remember Him and keep His commandments, think how the compounding effect of always having His Spirit to be with us would impact every area of our lives. Imagine how it would influence our daily decisions and our awareness of the needs of others. There are countless ways we can keep our promise to always remember the Savior in the course of a day.
How will you always remember Him?
Praying and studying the scriptures are the next two small and simple things that I would like to stress. Prayer and scripture study naturally go together. When we study the scriptures and the words of our modern prophets, it primes the pump of personal revelation. The examples and warnings found in the scriptures educate our desires. This is how we grow to know the mind and will of the Lord. Prophets past and present have pleaded with us to do small and simple things like praying and studying the scriptures.
Most of the consequences, positive and negative, will come later, over time.