Focus on the highs, not the lows

Gordon B. Hinckley called for more optimism:

I come to you tonight with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we try to “accentuate the positive.” I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good… (Be Not Afraid, Only Believe)

Today was a beautiful day in Utah! It was the kind of day I wait all winter for. With a motorcycle and no skiing or snowboarding skills, I spend the whole winter watching for sunny days on the Apple weather widget. Today the readout called for beautiful temperatures all week. (You better believe I was out riding today!) The only downer is the low temperature on Wednesday — a chilly 24°:

But why focus on the lows? Flip over that widget, uncheck the box, and then it’s warm days all week!

I realize my selective ignorance about the weather doesn’t make it any warmer, but I do believe that where we put our energy and focus matters. Optimism is a mindset of gratitude, focusing on the positive around you instead of the negative.

7 thoughts on “Focus on the highs, not the lows”

  1. hey richard! i just stumbled upon your blog after not seeing it for a while and wanted to say hello!

    also, thanks for all of the motorcycle rides during my tenure at byu – to the tanner building, to/from my car, to wendy’s, so fun.

  2. While I like the idea of an optimistic widget, doesn’t D&C 38:30 promise “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear”? I like to think I am a positive person, but I also can’t think of anything worse than only looking at my high temps and consequently not bringing a jacket. As a motorcyclist I would think that you would be a tad more meteorologically responsible…
  3. Nice post Richard. I like the idea of “looking a little deeper for the good”; often when I analyze things I notice myself becoming critical which seems the easy route to take. It requires more effort to think creatively and look for the good. I like your example of President Hinckley. About a year ago Richard Hinckley spoke at a BYU devotional and offered a great insight on prophets & optimism:

    “I would like to make an observation. As I have thought about this subject, it has occurred to me that all of our modern prophets have been optimists. That certainly is true of President Hinckley. Virtually every time he speaks, he leaves us with a sense that the future is bright, and we feel optimism, hope, and the desire to do a little better. He manages to do so even while warning of the dangers and pitfalls that beset us and even while, at times, chastising us.

    Everything we do in this Church requires optimism. The building of temples is a sign of great optimism. The creation of new stakes and new missions; the opening of new areas to missionary work; the building of hundreds of meetinghouses every year, year after year; the tremendous humanitarian effort we carry forth; the continued support of this great educational institution—all are signs of great optimism.”

  4. I think your comment, “Optimism is a mindset of gratitude,” is very insightful. It seems when I’m generally ungrateful everything has a pessimistic, negative spin on it. When I’m grateful, it’s easy to overlook the negative in anticipation for more good that’s sure to come in the future.
  5. This is one of those talks where it’s very apparent to me of the prophetic mantle he held while he was here on earth. When you read his words and then go back and look at the date he gave it “September 9, 2001” it’s amazing how important those words became a mere two days later and on through today.
  6. Good message. I’m also really impressed by the Accu Weather GUI. Simple, informative, attractive. The 7-day graphic tells the reader just what they need to know. And the select dialog is simple – right to the point. Great design.

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