When my children were young I used to teach them the principle of filling up their gas tanks – our bodies and minds are like a car that is always running. In order to run we need gas in our tank. Even when the car is in idle and not driving forward it needs gas in the tank so the car doesn’t die. It is an absolute necessity. For our bodies we fill our tank with food and water. But just as important is how we fill the tank of our minds. If we fill our mind tank with negativity and discouragement that is what we will run on. On the flip side if we fill our mind tank with inspiration, motivation and encouragement then we will run our lives on those.
It’s important to remember that even if we fill our mind tank once with positive things it is constantly burning through the gas we put in it, which requires that we keep a constant stream of new gas coming in to refill the tank before it gets low. The gas is burning every day all day and constantly getting lower in the tank, so the incoming supply needs to be coming in constantly. When we are not conscientiously putting in positive gas the default is to pull in the negative, so it’s critical we make a concerted effort to continuously fill it up with those things that will keep us on the right track.
For me this refilling of the tank comes from a combination of religious meetings on Sunday, trying to serve others throughout the week, listening to positive talks, reading positive books, keeping inspirational quotes around my work space, etc. If I let these activities slip I definitely feel a negative difference in how my life is going. Time and experience on this has taught me to really value the importance of keeping my gas tank full.
Every six months there is a General Conference put on by the LDS Church in which there are four hours of inspirational talks on a Saturday and the following Sunday that are broadcast worldwide for anyone who wants to listen. These two weekends each year are my very favorite weekends of the entire year because they give my tank a massive inflow of positive inspiration on topics from Overcoming Trials, Kindness, Charity, Being Grateful, Valuing Family, Putting our Priorities in Order, and a ton of other amazing topics that don’t just apply to people of one religion- they are topics that are helpful to anyone trying to fill up their gas tanks with positive motivation and inspiration. I listen to the entire four hour block and then I tape the talks so I can re-listen to them again and again throughout the six months until the next conference is help. I love having them playing as I get ready in the morning because they always put my head in the right frame of mind to start my day off right. They keep my tank full.
If anyone is interested in downloading and listening to any of these talks they are provided free to anyone for download at https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/04?lang=eng
You can watch individual talks, listen to them, or download them. In a day or two you will be able to also download the printed text from the talks as well. I think three of my personal favorites so far from the last two days are Sunday Morning Session – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk on Gratitude and the power of gratitude in our lives. Also from that same session Elder David A Bednar’s talk on how to handle and appreciate the trials in our lives and use them to our advantage. And finally from that session the talk from President Thomas S. Monson on Kindness and the importance of being kind to others in life.
The truth is that every one of the talks, from every session, is amazing and inspirational. Whether you choose to fill up your tank with these talks or other motivational talks the importance is to remember that your gas in your tank is constantly going down and you have to make a daily effort to fill it back up with those things that are going to be positive motivators in your life. The impact on your success if you can do that will be tremendous.
Well, the afternoon session of conference starts at 2pm MST today and can be watched live at https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch?lang=eng (multiple language translations available), so join me if your tank needs filling :). Otherwise enjoy downloading the talks later.
Have a great week and keep those tanks full!