Feb 8, 2013

The BYU Magazine is True :)

This week our BYU Magazine came. I look forward to this magazine coming with all my heart. The minute it comes I try to find a place to hide so I can inhale every word on every page. In all the years since my hubby graduated from BYU and, as alumni, we started getting this magazine I have yet to be disappointed with an issue. There is always a fabulous article that I think I need to rip out, put in a page protector, share with everyone, and save forever and ever. There is always something in each issue that makes me long to have endless discussions around a campfire, don't all monumental discussions happen around a campfire? So many times an article in the BYU Magazine has led me on a hunt to find a recommended book or watch a you tube video or google a person to learn more. I always walk away from reading it with a quest to need to know more about something.

When I got this issue, I have no idea why, I started reading it from the back page and not the front page. Weird huh? I always scan over the lists in the back of BYU Alumni who have recently died. I have no idea why I do this the chances of me seeing a name I would recognize are teeny tiny. Then there are some page long articles about BYU alumni who have discovered something, achieved something, or learned something. This time one of these short articles caught my eye because the title was, "Want to Be Happier? Disrupt Yourself." Gosh darn it, I do want to be happier. I think about this fact every minute of every day actually. I am constantly wondering what is the right thing for me to do to find where happy is for Jennifer. So you know I HAD to read this article because who would not wonder how disrupting yourself could make you happier? The woman who the article is about seems to be one of those people that never ever thought she couldn't do something. She has a ton of courage and after starting on Wall Street as a secretary over the course of fifteen years she eventually became an equity analyst. She talks about decisions she has made through the years that have disrupted her life, changed her course she was traveling on, and how she assumed that most women were doing the same things she was. But then she found out that this assumption was simply not true. She discovered that many women do not dare to dream at all they do not even think it is their privilege to dream. I can not do the article justice here but it has really been on my mind for a week now.Whitney Johnson's challenge to me to "rethink the fundamentals of my life and figure out what I was meant to do....DISRUPT my status quo." Do I have enough courage to do it? She wrote a book called, Dream. Dare. Do and I have been looking for a copy of it and, of course, I googled her and watched a video of a talk she gave.So far I have not found anyone who wants to play "talk about it to death" with me :)

I continued on in my reading of my magazine using the bizarre from back to front method. I could spend pages and pages telling you all about what I learned. But I will just mention the article about Mitt Romney that starts on page thirty. This article is a summary of an address that Mitt Romney gave in 1999 and it is about success and oh, so much more. It starts with him talking about success and how when you are young everyone tells you your success is up to you but he says he is not convinced it is totally up to you. It is a mix of so many things he says...your choices....the mental equipment you are born with ( love that..."mental equipment")....serendipity(my favorite word....Mitt Romney believes in it :)....and even our loving Heavenly Father has a place in the mix of the factors that determine our success. This was all interesting and I underlined it all but what really got me was later in the article when he talks about a time in his life when he and five partners in a firm that he had founded were, "at each other's throats."  He says that it seemed that "they all wanted different things from their lives and from their business." They finally meet with a "team-building consultant-psychologist"... yeah, who knew those existed? This person told them that "if they lived their lives in conflict with their core values they would experience stress, ill health, and deep regret." Wow! When I read that it socked me hard. Yes, words can sock :)

 I have been thinking ever since then about what my core values are and if I am living my life so that I am true to them. Who wants regret, stress and ill health hanging around any more than necessary? Who even realizes that the reason they possibly have those things in their life are because they are not living in a way that is true to their core values? This consultant/psychologist guy sat Mitt and his peeps down and had them each make a list of the top five or six people they most admired and respected. Then they had to write next to each of those names five or six attributes that they thought of when they thought of that person. Then when they were all done with that they could look at those attributes that were listed most frequently and ta-da have a list that represented their core values. So guess what I have been working on? Yeah, my lists. It is taking longer than I thought it would to figure out who I respect and why. But I am excited to discover on paper staring back at me what my core values truly are and then to figure out how to construct a life around me that is true to those values so that Mr. Regret, Mr.Sickness, and Mr.Stress can't find me. Do you love that I am doing this when I am 44 years old and I have seven kids and a husband staring at me? Yeah, definitely good times :)

So here's to another issue of BYU Magazine. It gave me a framework for figuring out the answers to a few questions I had been asking for the last two years....bless it's heart....I am so glad someone is writing this magazine just for me mother of seven in Massachusetts :)

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