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The Key to Being Content.

By Bill Baxter, DTM .
Winner of Division C International Speech Contest--1996.

What do you suppose would happen if you were to base all of your self worth on obtaining one unachieved goal in your life, rather than focusing on all those that have already come to past? Answer: The five D's!
They are:
 
DISCONTENTMENT
DEPRESSION
DISCOURAGEMENT
DISILLUSIONMENT &
DISAPPOINTMENT.
 
Any of these sound familiar? So what is the key to being content?
Learning to count your blessings on a day to day basis, and focusing your self worth primarily on those, instead of basing your self worth on obtaining unachieved goals and successes.
Fellow Toastmasters, honored guests, and dignitaries, this is a three step process, which I would like to cover tonight:
 
STEP NUMBER ONE-- Make a list of all the good things that have happened in your life, from the day you were born, up to the present. Example: "Lets see now, if I were to go back as far as I could remember, it would have to be...the second grade. I was the all school winner in the All School Spelling Bee". Write it down! "In the fifth grade, I was Student of the Month three times". Write it down! "In Junior High School, I made Honor Society seven times. The rest of the time I was Honorable Mention." Make a note of that! "In High School, I was a Varsity Three-Letterman in Football, Basketball, and Baseball--the three major sports yet!" Document that! "I was Valedictorian of my High School Graduating Class". Write it down, and keep going and going until you've reached the present. You will find, that the more you do this, the more you're apt to sit back and ask yourself: "What am I doing, wasting my time basing all my self worth on one lousy little unachieved goal in my life, when I got all of these good things that have happened in my life?" This of course, brings us to.....
 
STEP NUMBER TWO: Ponder on the list of blessings you have made, and begin to redirect your self worth onto those blessings. Example: Back in the 80's, I was quite obsessed with finding "Mrs. Right". Finding my bride-to-be was the unachieved goal I was basing a lot of my self worth on; and, it led up to those five D's that I mentioned earlier, unit one day, I realized: "My self worth isn't based on whether or not I'm married or single!" And so, I began to focus my self worth onto all the good things that had already happened in my life; and the more I did that, the less of an obsession finding the right woman became, until eventually, the obsession was gone! Naturally, the human desire is still there, but the obsession is gone, and that's step number two.
 
STEP NUMBER THREE: Put those unachieved goals, successes, and failures in their proper perspective. Example: "Let's see now, I've been pondering on this list of blessings that I've made, and do you want to know something? I've got a lot going for me! I am an Okay guy! And, whether or not I ever obtain any more unachieved goals in my life, has no bearing on that. All the failures that have happened in my life, or will happen in my life, have no bearing on that. True, it is okay to try and better myself every now and then; but if I do obtain anymore unachieved goals in my life, fine! If I don't, as Doris Day once sang: 'Que Sara! Sara! What ever will be, will be!'"
 
You see, what happens when a person bases his entire self worth on obtaining one little unachieved goal in his life, rather than focusing on all those that have already come to past, is simply this. When he does obtain that goal in his life, it becomes a very shallow victory. And so, what that person will end up doing is basing his self worth on obtaining another unachieved goal in his life, then another, then another, then another! It is an unending cycle which leads up to those five D's that I mentioned earlier. Until one day, that person will sit back, begin to count his blessings, and put his self where it belongs.
The reason why "Religious People" often find a lot of joy and contentment in their lives, is because a lot of them identify themselves as being "Children of God" or "Heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven"; and they feel that since they have these, they don't need anything else. Anything they obtain here on Earth is just added gravy.
 
So, how about you?" Do you find yourselves wrestling with those five D's? Again, they are:
 
DISCONTENTMENT
DEPRESSION
DISCOURAGEMENT
DISILLUSIONMENT &
DISAPPOINTMENT.
 
If so, make a list of all the good things that have happened in your lives, those blessings, begin to refocus your self worth onto those blessings, and than put those unattained goals, successes, and failures in their proper perspective. You do this, I guarantee that you will have a lot happier outlook on things. The decision, however, is yours; but my friendly advice to you would be "Go for it!"

 
Mr. Toastmaster. 

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