Saturday, November 1, 2014

Make Every Day Meaningful

Make Every Day Meaningful
Realize, Record, and Remember Life’s Grand Lessons
Author: Randal A. Wright

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” James M. Barrie (Peter Pan author)

I found it. A book that motivates me to improve my journal writing so I can have roses in December.

Writers are often too busy writing for deadlines to write their own story. We have perfected procrastination, harsh self-criticism, and we get writer’s block. Sound familiar? “I can’t write my personal history because I am too busy, I’m a terrible writer and I don’t know what to write.”

Make Every Day Meaningful is the book I found while searching for a book about gratitude to review for November. Sometimes a book chooses you.

The gratitude chapter titled, “Learn to Be Grateful Every Day” includes inspirational quotes, personal stories and encouraging words. Wright observes that less than ten percent of attendees express gratitude to speakers, teachers and musicians who serve them in Sunday church meetings.

In his travels as a speaker and author, he rarely sees those who have spent many hours in preparation and presentation thanked by those they serve. A Sunday School teacher told him that only a handful of people thanked her during her almost five years of teaching.

“Over the years, I’ve had the responsibility of asking hundreds of people to speak at forums held for LDS college students. During that time, I have watched on multiple occasions as not one person approached the speaker afterwards,” wrote Wright.

I recently received a letter from Springville Mayor Wilford W. Clyde thanking for the many years I have written news stories about the city. This brief expression of gratitude from a very busy man prompted me to send a note to someone I noticed quietly serving. Gratitude is contagious – it’s spread by mouth and hand to hand.

Each chapter in Randal Wright’s book encourages the reader to “realize, record and remember life’s grand lessons”. Many people do this with a gratitude journal or other small notebook they carry with them. Some spend a few minutes at the end of the day to record those observations and lessons.
“Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.” Spencer W. Kimball promised.

Many times I have wished my grandmothers had written their experiences and thoughts for me to read and share with my children. These fastidious little housekeepers even threw away precious letters from other family members and family photos! I have their jewelry and dishes but I don’t have their memories.

I appreciated the encouragement to write my autobiography - a work in progress, and keep a better journal, but what this book really gave me were some practical tools and suggestions. The list of 600 memory cues, and three word-word summary suggestions are more helpful to someone like me than quotes I've managed to ignore for decades.

 It’s not too late to start or start again. Your journal and your life story may not seem like a bouquet of roses but your memories and life lessons are priceless gifts to yourself and your family.