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‘It’s not in my best interest!’

Aug 4th, 2009 by Dr. Elia | 0

Several months ago I ran into a dear family friend, and I have to admit that I was surprised by the way she looked, and said, “You look different.” She replied by telling me that she had lost over 30 pounds! After a little chit chat, I asked her how she was able to keep all that weight off, and she told me something that really made me stop and think. She said that she had made the decision not to eat anything unless it was in her “best interest!”

A few weeks later we hosted an event at our house. It was a big feast with lots of food and even more dessert (notice that dessert doesn’t count as actual food in our home!). Towards the end of the meal, and like a classic guy, I totally forgot about our friend’s dieting routine. There was one huge piece of cake left and I offered it to her. With a smile, she politely declined by saying, “No thanks, it’s not in my best interest!”

It hit me how simple and profound that statement was — that we have the agency to say no to anything that is not good for us. Another way it could be phrased is this: when a decision between a short-term temptation is at odds with long-term best welfare, she chooses her long-term welfare. This principle is most commonly known as self-discipline, but viewed through the consciousness of building a better future, one decision at a time.

Where else might we be able to use the same principle? Actually, any time we give into the “natural man,” we are weakening our spiritual self. From the youth to adults, we can use this phrase to decline any “offers” from those who would seek to entice us. Keep in mind that most people in our lives are not necessarily looking out for our own best interest. Without realizing it, most people are looking out for their own best interest most of the time. This can include siblings, spouses, other relatives, doctors, and many other well-meaning people in our lives.

Sometimes, even our friends unknowingly might tempt us with things that are not in our best interest. For example, a young man is invited to a friend’s house to watch a movie; it’s PG-13 but somewhat inappropriate. How would he respond?

What I love about this simple saying is how empowering it feels to say it. More cake anyone? NIMBI!

Would you like a drink? NIMBI!

Something inappropriate on TV or the Internet? Again, NIMBI!

It helps you think about the consequences of potential actions and verbally become more proactive. By choosing the right, our lives are in alignment with our values. By consistently being vigilant and becoming aware of what is in our best interest, we can fulfill our potential. As we bypass the traps and temptations of this world, we have an opportunity to become an example to those around us. In some small way, we can become beacons of light and honor our Savior!

Since we all have areas that we need to make some improvements on, how can we best make use of this wonderful little phrase? When might this be applicable in your lives? Can you envision a situation or circumstance when you’d be able to say it to someone? More importantly, how could you say that to yourself without judgment, but with a smile, just like our friend?

I hope we can make this part of our daily lexicon. It will bless our lives and maybe even give others permission to do the same. “It’s not in my best interest!”

What a lovely phrase!


Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

"Am I Too Churchy?"

Mar 20th, 2009 by Dr. Elia | 0

Dear Dr. Elia,

My husband has accused me of being “Too Churchy”. I must admit that I am a “Molly Mormon”. I don’t try to be but that is who I am and what he married 20 years ago. I rely on PRAYER for answers, I serve others regularly in and out of my home. I fast every month, attend the temple alone, conduct family prayer and scripture study by myself. Read my Sunday Lessons and TRY to be prepared. His attitude is that you can still get to heaven without listening to General Conference, missing church or other activities to go camping or vacationing, not attending the temple and just living good. He has totally missed the boat! Our religion is my whole life! I am trying to pattern my life after the Savior, trying my best to do what is right. I feel like Nephi when he built the boat and there was constant murmuring from his brothers. He knew what he had to do. What can I do? I want our marriage to be a Celestial one and to our home to reflect the life of Christ through word and actions. I don’t want to have such negativity in my home. Our children are at a tender age now but will grow up to see their father’s attitude. I want them to be strong in the gospel and have a strong testimony of Jesus Christ. I want them to pattern their lives after the Savior’s life. WHAT CAN I DO to help our marriage?

“TOO CHURCHY”

Melinda


Dear Melinda,

You bring up an interesting topic that unfortunately seems to afflict quite a few LDS couples. The idea that doing what you believe is necessary to be a true follower of our Savior makes you, as you say “too churchy” seems rather odd. Your best comment is when you say that “our religion is my whole life!” Being a member of the LDS faith by definition makes you live your religion on a daily basis. This is NOT a Sunday only kind of church.

The main issue afflicting your marriage is lack of spiritual intimacy! I would encourage you to have a heart to heart discussion with your husband. You can also do it in front of a third party like your Bishop, if you think it will have a more desired outcome. The success of the discussion will be greatly influenced by the tone and spirit in which it will take place.

Spiritual intimacy involves a mutual desire to grow individually AND as a couple spiritually. Having a meaningful scripture study and a heartfelt prayer would be a good place to start. Read your Patriarchal
Blessings together becuase there are treasures waiting to be discovered for both of you! It is important for you not to come across as self-righteous or holier than thou! Since you have no control over his behavior, the best approach is one of love, patience even long-suffering as it says in the scriptures.

You might want to ask him about your children. Does he want them serving missions and getting married in the Temple? If not, then tell him not to change a thing because they will most likely follow the path of least resistance. If however he’d like for them to do those things then it will fall upon him to make some significant spiritual changes in his own life.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear a word you’re saying!” Kids spot hypocrisy a mile away…so how does he want to be remembered by his kids? As for you, stay true to your values. Be strong, faithful and continue to choose the right! You will never regret it…besides by doing so, you will fulfill your stewardship as a mother. As for your husband, at some point in his life, he will need the Savior’s help. Eventually life will bring him to his knees. Perhaps the death of a loved one or an illness, or a major financial setback or any other kind of loss. I hope and pray it doesn’t come to that…I hope he chooses to do the right thing without pain causing him to reconsider his relationship with God.

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.
303-523-6396
www.LDSCoaching.com