For small gains to aggregate, there must be a consistent day in and day out effort. And although we likely won't be perfect, we must be determined to mirror our persistence with patience. Do that and the sweet rewards of increased righteousness will bring you the joy and peace which you seek.
- Michael A. Dunn, 'one percent better', General Conference, October 2021
This is one of the addresses that really hit me. There are many things in my life that I need to get better at. And sometimes that can be overwhelming and daunting when viewed from an aerial perspective, seeing everything at once...which is what I tend to do in most cases.
I blame a couple of things for that. One, is this whole pervasive attitude of instant gratification. Technology has taught us that whatever we desire, we can find it at our fingertips and we can have it instantly. That does not work in most cases. I want to lose 35 pounds, but it will not happen instantly. I want to run a marathon, but it will not happen instantly (in my case maybe not in this life 😊), I want to be a spiritual giant, but it will not happen instantly.
The second thing I blame is my impatience. When I can't see progress, I get discouraged, and sometimes I give up altogether. This is what, I believe, "endure to the end" partly means...that I learn to be patient while still persisting on, despite the lack of seeing progress. I need to trust in God's word, that if I head forward in the right direction, irregardless if it's pitch black around me so I see nothing, I will make it. As long as I'm holding on to the iron rod, the scriptures, the word of God...I will eventually reach my ultimate destination, my ultimate goal....eternal life. I need to trust that, trust Him.
Same principle applies to every worthwhile goal in life. Instead of tackling the entire 100%, I work on 1%. Then, when I've conquered that, I move on to the next 1%...until 100 of the 1%'s has been conquered.
The beauty with that is joy and happiness aren't waiting for me until after the entire 100% is conquered, but joy and happiness and peace and strength will be found along the way, even from the very first 1%.