Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Manly Man Training #11: Ask Yourself

Often, we as men, go about our daily lives just moving forward.  We don't ask a lot of questions, we don't second guess a lot, we just 'keep on moving on'.  We do tend to get side tracked or at least allow our appetites and passions to interrupt our purpose and goals.  Meals tend to be attended, electronic gadgets tend to be inspected and all the other usual suspects.  Unfortunately one thing that we don't often do is that we do not ask ourselves questions very often.  Certainly we rarely ask ourselves what we feel about things.  We probably do take the time to compare where we are at with our goals from time to time.  Our education goals or our career goals and hopefully we think about our eternal goals, but maybe not as much as we should. 

Maybe one of the corner stones should be to ask our self "What kind of man do I want to be?"  Ideally we think beyond the wants of this world but more to the hopes of the next world. So if you haven't thought about it in a while here is a chance to consider:  What kind of man do you want to be?

Certainly a Manly Man, that goes without saying since you are reading this.  But when you consider and determine the type of man you want to be, think about how that differs from the man you currently are.  What changes do you need to make and which ones are you willing to begin to make now?

It is entirely possible that you do not know the way to become the man you wish to be.  So how do you find out?
1. The first step would be to tell Heavenly father your conclusion and let him know what type of man you want to be.  He may offer some additional nudging that will guide you further.
2. When you feel His approval for the direction you are going ask Him to teach, guide and empower you to become that man. 
3.  Then keep your eyes open for the different ways that the Lord will instruct you.  You will begin to see parts of Sacrament meeting talks that have help and advice for you.  You will begin to notice that lessons are dealing with things that seem directed directly at your needs.  You will begin to see friends and family bringing up things that will help in your quest to be a better man.  The Lord will very often work through others to give you the help and encouragement you need, especially after you ask for it.  It is important that while we are making these efforts to improve that we don't miss any church meetings, or conference if possible.  We need to be in the right places to get the help that the Lord is offering.  He will be inspiring folks to give what is needed and if you aren't there to hear it then it was you not the Lord that fell through.  
4.  Once in a while take a moment to notice the changes that have occurred.  Sometimes if we don't do this simple and short step then we tend to think that nothing much has changed. 
5.  Finally note and implement the helps that come.  If you can remember them without writing them down then by all means write them down.  Manly men can write without losing their strength.  If you need notes to help you remember or help them sink into your heart and soul then do it.  If you need to listen to it fifty times if that is what it takes, do it!  If you need to make it part of your monthly fast then do it. 

Another question that sometimes helps and that we men are sometimes weak in is thinking about what others think of you and what will they remember about you.  Do you think about what others think of you very often?  As men we often tend to go by the mantra 'do what needs to be done and don't worry about what people think of you'.  That mantra helps us keep going despite naysayers and that has its place.  However, it is important that we care about what people think, especially when we respect their opinion.  Sometimes considering what others think will help keep us out of trouble and away from poor decisions.  It might help us focus some of our decisions as well by not just getting to the right goal but being able to set a better example while we are doing so. 

Steven Covey has advocated the idea of contemplating our funeral and while thinking about it consider having someone speak from our professional life, our church associations and our friends.  What would these people say about us, how will we be remembered? 

Finally, what kind of a Priesthood legacy are you leaving?  Are you a Priesthood holder in name only?  What is a Priesthood legacy you might ask?  What have you done to magnify your Priesthood?  Do you make yourself available to give blessings when asked willingly without rushing and do you encourage them to ask again as needed?  Do you accept and sometimes volunteer for opportunities to do Priesthood responsibilities including home teaching?  Do you support your leaders and friends in word and actions in addition to raising the right hand when they are sustained to callings in the ward?  Is it evident that you care about what you are doing or do you act bored and disinterested.  When you are at church are you alert and participating or unresponsive and withdrawn?

There is much to consider when we start thinking about what type of man ought we to be.  Of course you well recognize the reference from the words I chose and realize that we are to be like the Master (3Nephi 27:27).  Let's start working on it now.  And if we are already having some success in that area lets keep moving forward on that great and worthy quest of becoming.

Here's a great quote by Elder Richard G. Scott that goes well with what I've been trying to say: 
"I have come to know that there are currents of divine influence in our life that will lead each of us along the individual plan the Lord would have us follow while on earth.  They are identified through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.  Seek through the Spirit to Identify that plan and carefully follow the direction the Lord will provide.  It will come through answers to prayers and pondering on the counsel of others who are worthy.  Align yourself with it.  Choose willingly, to exercise your agency to follow it.  Do not be overcome by concentrating solely on today, its challenges, difficulties, and opportunities.  These things are the relatively insignificant surface winds and waves of today.  Such preoccupations must not totally capture your interest and attention so as to consume your life."

1 comment:

  1. It can be hard to check in with yourself along the way of life since we live in such a busy world and all seem to have so much going on. But I like this because it points out how important it is to check in. And in order for that to be helpful we do have to ask ourselves where we are trying to go/who we are trying to be in the first place! :) it sounds silly to think of taking a trip without having chosen a destination or having planned a route - it's the same with choosing a destination but not planning how to get there. That's basically what happens if we don't decide the kind of person we want to be and figure out how to get there. Good thoughts!! Even though I'm not a manly man I like this training! :)


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