I learned something very quickly while serving an LDS mission. Well, I guess I learned a lot of things very quickly, one of which being that most people don’t want to be taught about the Gospel.
However, those people who did want to be taught, I learned more from them then they did from me, and not in the way that you might think.
I will venture an idea, and that idea is that the root of all decisions can be traced to a person’s desire, and the root of all skepticism can be traced to one’s fears.
Every decision we make is influenced by what we desire but is slowed down by what we are afraid of.
I will use myself as an example. I just finished a semester at College and was planning on staying another semester, however, thoughts of going home for a semester have been lingering in the back of my grade stricken mind for the past week.
Home?! I don’t want to go home. I haven’t taken a break from college in two years and I am going strong. Why would I go home? I reflected on a reason I would go home and it goes something like this; I have indeed been externally successful these past years. I have had good grades and amazing job experiences. However, I have not increased my internal being.
Progressing myself from within is my true desire in this instance. However, I have a fear, and that fear is that I will slow down my pace, or maybe I will miss out on some opportunity that can enhance my future, or maybe….no, I can’t focus on my fear.
When I would teach people on my mission, I noticed that those who focused on their fears surrounding spiritual improvement, did not spiritually improve. However, those who only focused on their desires, made the necessary commitment to improve themselves on a spiritual level.
This principle can be applied to any time I need to make a decision in any aspect of life. I would suggest to always make the decision based off of what the true desire is.
Fears and concerns will always arise within the stage of decision making. It is at this recognition that I remind myself the difference between convincing and persuasion.
Convincing myself is me focusing on my fears. To convince is to win over an interpretation of an idea. There is no further understanding. If I convinced somebody that jogging is good for them. They would believe me and that’s that.
Persuasion is focusing on my desire. It is the winning over of the idea to the point of changing behavior. If I was to persuade somebody that jogging was good for them, then they will change their behavior, and jog.
If ever I find myself in the process of trying to make a decision. I tend to at first convince myself but then remember my true desire and persuade myself that by choosing one thing and acting, it will bring me closer to my desire rather than farther from my fear.
It is a change of mindset and very helpful in decision making.
Therefore, because of my desire to internally grow rather than externally, I have decided to take a break from college this semester and keep my parents company for the Summer.
No doubt a big decision for me to make but I have found it necessary due to the components of decision making I have discovered for myself. Desires should always trump fears.