A secular General Conference talk (sort of)

From time to time, I hear members of the Church (particularly within the Bloggernacle) grumble about the ‘simplistic, standard’ answers given time and again over the pulpit and particularly in General Conference. You know: pray, go to church, hold family home evening, pay your tithing, stay out of debt, keep the commandments, etc. Of course, the same talks also point out how easy it is to stop doing these things, and how life doesn’t function quite as well.

Which is why I found this article by James Altucher, entitled “How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps”, so interesting. Altucher is a “hedge fund manager and author” (quoting from Wikipedia); I know nothing about his professional success or his writings, and just happened to stumble upon his post from a link I found elsewhere. First, he sets up his problem statement:

My ONLY Three Goals in Life

A)     I want to be happy.

B)      I want to eradicate unhappiness in my life.

C)      I want every day to be as smooth as possible. No hassles.

That’s it. I’m not asking for much. I need simple goals else I can’t achieve them.

There’s been at least ten times in my life that everything seemed so low I felt like I would never achieve the above three things and the world would be better off without me. Other times I felt like I was stuck at a crossroads and would never figure out which road to take. Each time I bounced back.

When I look back at these times now I realize there was a common thread. Each time there were four things, and only four things, that were always in place in order for me to bounce back. Now I try to incorporate these four things into a daily practice so I never dip low again.

And then he talks about the four elements of that daily practice: physical; emotional; mental; and spiritual. Go read the article to find out his details of each. There’s nothing breathtaking about the advice, and I might have a few disagreements with some of his suggestions under ’emotional’ — but then again, I might not; I might just say it a little more nicely. 😉

He then describes the results:

The Results

A)     Within about one month, I’d notice coincidences start to happen. I’d start to feel lucky. People would smile at me more.

B)      Within three months the ideas would really start flowing, to the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas.

C)      Within six months, good ideas would start flowing, I’d begin executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything together.

D)     Within a year my life was always completely different. 100% upside down from the year before. More money, more luck, more health, etc. And then I’d get lazy and stop doing the practice. And everything falls apart again. But now I’m trying to do it every day.

Its hard to do all of this every day. Nobody is perfect. I don’t know if I’ll do all of these things today. But I know when I do it, it works.

Familiar sounding pattern, isn’t it? Much of life is expecting or hoping for shortcuts and good fortune. As Altucher points out, as scores of LDS leaders have pointed out, what really works is daily consistency in doing the right things. When we do that, doors open — maybe not right away, and maybe not in the way we expect, but nevertheless they open.

Food for thought.  ..bruce..

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