"Your Best---it's all He asks"
Just because my Full-Time mission is over does not mean I can’t continue to write on this blog. I would like to continue to write and share advice, lessons I learned being a “Returned Missionary”.
I returned from my mission in Salt Lake City 43 days ago and life has been a whirlwind. I have learned many lessons and today I would like to share with you one of them.
Comparing. Comparing against another is one of the worst things any human can possibly do. I see too much of that. Not only in the world but even on missions. On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I decided to go to my family’s ward and then leave after sacrament meeting and go to my own ward. I sat there listening to the talks. The couple that spoke touched my heart. They were talking about not comparing against another. Too many mothers compare against the “other mothers” around them and think they are not the best. I sat there and something hit me. I realized that the past few weeks I have been comparing myself against “the others”. I would have thoughts…you are not good enough or you are not like “them”. I would beat myself up about it but I did not know how much it was affecting me until today when my Heavenly Father reminded me. As I drove for 15 minutes to my church building, I had a tender moment on the road with my Heavenly Father. I was reminded of an experience I had early in my mission.
It was my first month or so in the mission---one of those rough days and weeks where I wondered, “Am I going to make it through?” One night I was in the bathroom washing my face and feeling like I could never measure up and kept saying, “I am not me”. I remember looking in the mirror as I dried my face and I took a look at myself and I heard the words, “You are still, David. You will be okay.” I learned that Heavenly Father still knew me and that I was still me and that I would be okay. I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, I can do this. I don’t need to know everything right now and I’ve got to do MY version of best.” The wife that spoke talked about this concept of, “Do YOUR best, not someone else’s best.” All of you that are preparing to serve a mission, or are a newly returned missionary, or simply chasing your dream… don’t compare.
This brings to my next point: “It’s okay to be different.” When you get home from a mission everyone asks you the same questions over and over…so buckle up and enjoy the ride. They are just simply excited for you and your life but sometimes your plans may be different than the typical BYU boy or girl dream. When people ask me what I am doing for school I say, “I am going to start in the fall doing the BYU-Idaho Pathway program here in St. Louis.” The responses I get are almost identical to the responses I get when people ask me, “Where did you serve your mission?” When I say, “Salt Lake City, Utah.” I get this surprised look and then an, “Oh…cool.” I learned to laugh silently at people’s reaction. It is quite something to watch.
One of my dreams and hopes is to be a motivational speaker and writer. I have been reading articles and watching and learning from other motivational speakers the past few days. Something this one person said really hit me: “Don’t try to be better than everyone else but be different.” What makes you, you?
To summarize, don’t compare yourself and don’t compare others. Even those that seem to “have it all” still compare themselves to their version of “the others” so just avoid comparing. If you feel like you are being compared, don’t let those thoughts dwell in your head. You have better things to think about. Be happy and be you!