Monday, August 13, 2012



In my sophomore year of college, I read a very thought-provoking quote posted on the dorm floor's bulletin board.

"The secret to life is not doing what one likes, but learning to like what one has to do." (Dinah Maria Mulok Craik)

This is very true. As I was forcing myself through my exercise class today--I really dislike exercise of any sort--I realized that most of the time, I am doing what I have to do, not what I'd like to do. What I really like is the end result of the things I have to do, such as a stronger, slimmer, flexible body, a clean floor, draperies in the living room, a delicious meal.

I do enjoy the process of knitting as well as the finished product, but that, for me, is rare. Oh, and I like spending money and reading. But I can't, and don't, spend money I do not have and I try not to read when I have other responsibilities that are more pressing.

The thing is, I have learned that being an adult means that you exercise the self-discipline to do things you don't really like, but that benefit your family, or yourself sometime in the future.

College was not an enjoyable experience for me, and I was too immature to try to figure out how I could learn to like what I had to do. If I had just given myself permission to take some classes for fun, rather than zoom my way through just what I had to take to graduate, perhaps it would have been a better experience. Still, it was something I had to do--and I was able to support myself after I graduated.

I took upon myself obligations and responsibilities when I got married, and I have learned to like at least some of the things I have to do. I feel proud of myself when I hold my tongue and resist nagging my husband, and I feel happy when I see the stacks of clean, fresh laundry or the beautifully made bed.

Dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought with it obligations and many tasks I'd rather not do, but I am grateful to God for my health and strength and other blessings, so I don't begrudge the service I give in His kingdom.

Doing what one likes all the time does not bring happiness or self-esteem. Discipline, courage, and remaining positive when doing what one has to do, does.

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