Stick to it.

Peanut butter has a delicious tendency to stick to everything on the inside of your mouth. Lint seems to want to cling to your clothes. Certain tunes have a habit of getting stuck in your head. Body fat has an unkind tendency of hanging on to various parts of your physique. On the other hand, you have a difficult time adhering to an regular exercise routine and a sensible approach to eating. While other things seem to be able to stick to you quite naturally, why does it appear so unnatural for you to stick to these lifestyle essentials? Many people the world over ask themselves the very same question when the struggles to hang on to healthy habits persist.

Hopefully, I can offer some reassurances that you may yet pull yourself from these sticky situations which disrupt your steadiness. The mistakes of the past often deflate the air from your wheels of wellness. Those times where you may have felt as if you have taken a step backward can actually prove to be for your good. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”–George Bernard Shaw  It is easy to preach no matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up, but hard to stay committed. You need not let this trouble you any further. “Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty. It’s been said that opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”–Thomas S. Monson

So, I will preach again. I encourage you to keep getting up, keep getting dressed, keep showing up, and most especially keep working no matter what. “Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you.”–Dieter F. Uchtdorf  Habits are not formed in a day or a week, but you lay the foundation for them each day and each week by working at them with a sincere desire and real intent. “Stick to your task until it sticks to you. Beginners are many, but enders are few.”–Thomas S. Monson  You can be an “ender”. You can be numbered among those who endure the vicissitudes of life. So, with a catchy song stuck in your mind pick up where you left off. The next time you get stuck in a traffic jam and are munching on a spoonful of peanut butter ponder the wisdom in these words by Will Durant. “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do.” Have faith that you will repeatedly choose the right.

photo credit: NIAID Peanut ButterToast via photopin (license)

Spring Will Come

Spring will comeAs we rapidly approach another changing of the seasons, I am once again reminded of just how inevitable change, itself, is in our lives. Oh, we may not like it. In fact, some have an outright disdain for its harsh realities. Despite the unpleasant nature of what may be ushered in with each turning of the pages of the calendar of our life, no amount of wishful thinking, complaining, sheer desire, use of the “force”, or any means of defiance can prevent its arrival.

“Winter is the bane of my existence”, I vividly recall one of my students boldly stating. Indeed, deeply rooted within many, may exist perfectly valid explanations for such reasoning. Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a mountain-sized problem which carries people to the summit of sadness. At the peak of despair, it then promptly, and without concern for safety or compassion for their suffering, drops them down the other side. This plummet into depression may seem to last forever. However, this free-fall does not have to result in a catastrophic splatter at the base.

How do I know that this too shall pass? How do I know that there is a permanent parachute attached to your back ensuring a safe landing? How do I know that there is hope and happiness ahead? Well, for one, through the very existence of our ever trustworthy friend who I’ve already alluded to, Change, we can be sure that we will not be stuck in time or abandoned in some desolate place for all eternity.

I also know that all such challenges which we must endure during any season of life are for our benefit, for the Lord, Himself, has declared it. “And if thou shouldest be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murders, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. “ Our literal, living, loving Savior continues with this encouragement and these promises. “Therefore, hold on thy way. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, (I will add, Mother Nature), for God shall be with you forever and ever.”

Being a seasoned golf instructor and addict, along with my fitness training duties, I am personally acquainted with the let-down that always comes at the end of Autumn. I fully understand what the onset of Winter can do to me. I will, once again, miss the color green terribly. I will, as in every year in Northeast Ohio, long for the smell of freshly mowed grass and for the sight of beautiful blossoming buds. “I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”–Joshua Graham The seeming doom and gloom of this season will not linger longer if we keep our eyes fixed on what glorious blessings are shortly to come. “Each of us will have our own Winters–those times when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We will all experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again.–Joseph B. Wirthlin But, I testify to you that Spring will come! No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Spring will come!

“We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. Fear is nature’s way of warning us to get busy.”–Dr,. Henry Link In that spirit, I would counsel all who deal with S.A.D. to some degree or another to keep themselves busy. Through your devastating and almost all-consuming depression, you can find hope. If you can look beyond your own troubles, you will always see a Light. This Light gives everlasting life to all who come unto Him, who is the Light and Life of the world. As we serve others, as He did, in the midst of our personal struggles, we will find a sweet release from our troubles. I have found this to be the key to unlocking the massive door of darkness, doubt and discouragement. Of course, I am going to encourage you to exercise, eat healthy, and attempt to get sufficient restful sleep. These time-tested ingredients are necessarily unchanging in a world around us that is ever in a state of flux. Do something for someone today, and I promise you that you will begin to feel better immediately. Hey, Spring is only 108 days 10 hours 47 minutes and 30 seconds away as I finish writing this! Hooray! We can make it! We must! “If we are to fill the world with light, we must first face any tattered remnant of darkness that remains in our own souls.”–Jeffrey R. Holland

photo credit: kurt.stocker Hot love via photopin (license)

High Hopes for the New Year

I hope that you find some value in these quotes!

“We must accept finite disappointments but never lose infinite hope!”–Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.”–Dale Carnegie
“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”–Orison Swett Marden
“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”–Vaclav Havel
“Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blest. The soul, uneasy, and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”–Alexander Pope
“He who does not hope to win has already lost.”–Jose Joaquin de Olmedo
“To be without hope is like being without goals. What are working towards?”–Catherine Pulsifer
“Hope is the last thing ever lost.”–Italian Proverb
“Hope is outreaching desire with expectancy of good.” It is a characteristic of all living things.”–Edward S. Ame
“If we expect change, we must act on our hope every day until we have accomplished what we wanted.”–Christopher Goodman
“You can’t just wait until the last minute before you start to think in a positive way in hope of helping yourself out of a negative situation. It would be like waiting until after you are severely dehydrated before you finally start to drink water.”–David A. Hunter
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”–Helen Keller
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness.”–Desmond Tutu
“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”–Bernard Williams
“Hope is like the sun, which as we journey toward it, cast the shadow of our burden behind us.”–Samuel Smiles
“Let your hope, not your hurts, shape your future.”–Robert H. Schuller
“Survival was my only hope, success my only revenge.”–Patricia Cornwell