by David DeFord
The popular vision of The Good Life
When you envision The Good Life what do you see? In your mind’s eye, do you picture yourself lounging on the beach in front of your winter home somewhere in the Caribbean? Do you visualize servants taking care of your every whim? Or do you see yourself on an African safari with dozens of porters singing as they carry your elaborate gear through the bush?
Many picture The Good Life as the extravagance of always receiving service. They associate it with wealth, power, and fame—no worries. This view represents a life immune from the pressures of life—one continual vacation.
When my kids attended school, they looked forward with great delight to their summer vacations. They saw it as three months filled with. No homework, no stress, no responsibilities, and no worries. At the beginning of the vacation, they basked in the freedom of a nocturnal existence. They loved the freedoms of movement and choice. However, after a week or two, they began to feel under-stimulated. Soon, they slipped into deep discontent. Summer vacations always failed to lived up to their promise.
Many of the “successful” people described above feel this discontent. Once they have filled all of their selfish yearnings, they realize that they still feel lacking. They try extreme measures to add stimulation to their lives. Most of these measures subject them to severe addiction, divorce, and depression.
If The Good Life does not consist of wealth and leisure, where can we find it?
Living The Good Life equals living a good life.
Happiness at home is the foundation of The Good Life. Our view of the whole universe gets its basis from our feelings at home. If we feel content and secure in our families, we’ll feel the same in the world. Our home life affects our self-confidence, our ability to learn, and our trust in our fellowman. A poor home life will create major distractions from our successes in other areas of our lives.
We make our greatest contributions to the world at home. By rearing our children into productive and contributing members of society, we multiply our positive influence.
We can enjoy The Good Life by making our marriage and family our highest priorities.
Recently I saw a motel chain advertising slogan that urged, “Live to Be Served.” What a terrible philosophy! Living The Good Life comes not from personal indulgence but from contribution. As we serve and lift those around us we enrich our own lives. By doing so, we add greater meaning and significance to our lives. Shallowness disappears. Our life’s experience deepens. Our lives matter.
Opportunities to serve others await us in our homes, in our places of work, and in our communities. If we seek them actively, the needs of others will become evident.
Our attitudes, energy levels, and endurance are affected greatly by the quality of our health. Unhealthiness will limit our progress toward The Good Life.
We can improve our health through quality activity, proper diet, and by seeking professional medical and emotional help when needed. We must proactively improve our health. Good health only endures with deliberate action.
Want to live The Good Life? Live a good life.
"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." Woodrow Wilson
"A desire for bigness has hurt many folks. Putting oneself in the limelight at the expense of others is a wrong idea of greatness. The secret of greatness rather than bigness is to acclimate oneself to one's place of service and be true to one's own convictions. A life of this kind of service will forever remain the measure of one's true greatness." Richard W. Shelly, Jr.
"Greatness after all, in spite of its name, appears to be not so much a certain size as a certain quality in human lives. It may be present in lives whose range is very small." Phillips Brooks
"The time is always right to do what is right." Martin Luther King Jr.
"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." Will Rogers
Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes
by Gordon B. Hinckley
In this national bestseller, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, has created a classic look at the values that can change our world--and how to stand up for them. Drawing on anecdotes from his much-admired life of faith and service, as well as examples from American culture today, he examines ten virtues that have always illuminated the path to a better world: love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness and mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism, and faith. He then shows how the two guardians of virtue--marriage and the family--can keep us on that path, even in difficult times. Standing for Something is an inspiring blueprint for what we all can do--as individuals, as a nation, and as a world community--to rediscover the values and virtues that have historically made us strong and that will lead us to a brighter future.
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