モルモン

とは?

What of the

Mormons?

帰還宣教師から

From Returned Missionaries

Steve Albrecht

 

戻る

Excerpt from "Be As Good As You Can Be" by W. Steve Albrecht, new president of the Tokyo Mission beginning July 1, 2009


W. Steve Albrecht was a BYU professor of accountancy and associate dean of  the Marriott School when this devotional talk was given on

28 September 1999.

© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

The full text of the talk can be seen at

http://speeches.byu.edu/htmlfiles/AlbrechtF99.html

 

1. Self-pity

2. Lack of humility

3. Not being able to set and maintain priorities

4. Selfishness

5. Suffering from what I call the "intent" syndrome

No matter how talented and blessed they are, some people seem not to be able to avoid falling into the self-pity trap. We have all seen it before. In this trap people feel sorry for themselves. They start to feel that everyone has a better life than they do and that they have been dealt an unfair deck by Heavenly Father and society. They believe everyone has a happier family than they have, a better job than they have, are more attractive and more healthy than they are, and have more money than they have. Although self-pity always hurts a person, it is particularly problematic in the business world. Self-pity is a tool of the devil. It is one of his primary ways to induce discouragement, which can lead to hopelessness and unproductivity. And unproductivity is deadly when you need to be adding value every day.

Fortunately there is a quick remedy to this problem. If you ever start feeling sorry for yourself, the best solution is to reach out and serve others. When you think about and serve others, you forget about your problems and soon realize that everybody else's life is not better than yours. I know of a man who, although he suffers from a severe wound he received in Vietnam and could feel sorry for himself, spends every Sunday afternoon rocking crack-cocaine babies in a hospital. It gives him a perspective that his problems really aren't that terrible and gives him a sense of fulfillment.

A simple exercise I would recommend for all of us is to write on a piece of toilet paper all the ways in which we feel sorry for ourselves and the reasons why we can't be successful and happy. Then we need to go to the bathroom and flush that paper down the toilet and move on. We limit ourselves much more by what we think we can't do than by what we really can't do.

A second self-defeating behavior and, frankly, one I worry most about in you students is a lack of humility. You students are so sharp--you're smart, you're talented, and you're young. You are even good looking. You have everything going for you. It would be easy for you to forget to be humble. And, in fact, I've had a few friends tell me that they've met BYU students who thought they were better than others because it is so tough to be admitted to BYU and they made it whereas others didn't. I hope that isn't the case. The very moment you cease to be humble, you start on a road that makes you less valuable to others, less willing to listen and learn from others, and less fun to be around. And, as we said before, if you aren't continuously learning, you will limit your future options.

A third self-defeating behavior is the inability to be organized and set priorities. We all know what is important. For example, you know when you have tests and other deadlines. Yet many of us tend to be procrastinators--to wait until the last minute. One of the greatest predictors of success in the workplace and even in the family is the ability to set priorities and follow through with them. When you fail to establish priorities, you let yourself be driven by others--as if you were a floating log being tossed to and fro by the currents of a river. Being organized and being able to set priorities will become even more important in the future as you have to juggle voice mail, e-mail, pager mail, fax mail, land mail, and all other types of correspondence and communication at work and in your personal life.

Selfishness is the fourth of my five self-defeating behaviors. When you are selfish, you think more of yourself and your needs than of others. I know a man who, because of his selfishness, has lost his family, his job (several times), and his friends. He is a lonely man because he doesn't know how to think about anyone besides himself. No matter how talented or educated you are, if you can't be a team player and let others receive credit, you will not be successful in the future. Indeed, selfishness is a surefire way to failure in the business world.

The final inhibitor of success or self-defeating behavior that I want to mention is what I call the "intent" syndrome. It is a fact that we all judge ourselves by our intentions and judge other people by their actions. And, for most of us, our intentions are much better than our actions. I don't know about you, but I intend to get up earlier, work harder, eat less, exercise more, and be a better father and husband. I personally think this is one reason why there are so many divorces in the world--husbands judge themselves by their intentions and judge their wives by their actions, and wives do the same thing. Both think they are better than they are and that their spouses are worse than they are.

None of us is as good as we think we are, and yet we are probably not as bad as other people think we are. When we judge ourselves by our intentions, we tend to rationalize our shortcomings and give ourselves more credit than we deserve. We also tend to judge our colleagues and others more harshly than we should and ourselves too leniently. We also tend to do less at work and at home than we think we are doing.

One of my research specialities is fraud. When you talk to someone who has committed fraud and been caught, they usually say something like "I intended to pay that money back. I really did." We look at them and say, "You dirty, rotten crook. You stole money." You see, we judge these people by their actions; they judge themselves by their intentions. If you want to be successful, try not to let the gap between your intentions and your actions become too large. And don't judge others too harshly or give yourself credit for more than you are really doing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, some current business writers believe that it will be harder to be successful and happy in the future. I disagree. With the right kind of preparation and the Lord's help, just as we were able to bring Chad back to life, you will be able to succeed in the future. With your knowledge of who you are and what is important in life and by maximizing options, adding value each day, and avoiding these inhibitors of success, the changing world you face presents great opportunities, not threats, for you. With your background, training, knowledge, beliefs, and standards, you are much better poised to take advantage of future opportunities than are most others. Let me congratulate you for your values, for your commitment to the gospel, for your righteous living, and for your hard work. You have all the ingredients to be highly successful and happy. You will be great and, if you remember the things we have talked about, you will be successful and happy. Be grateful for what you have.

The other day I had a student in my office who said, "Professor Albrecht, I have five job offers and don't know which one to accept." He was discouraged about the decision he had to make and didn't know what to do. I told him to get on his knees and thank Heavenly Father for the five job offers and for being so blessed. I told him that there are many people who don't even have one job offer. We should all be thankful for what we have.

I want you to know that I love this university and love being a faculty member here. It was while I was a student at BYU that I developed my testimony of the gospel. It was at BYU that I decided to serve a mission, even though no one in my family had served. It was at BYU that I met and married my sweetheart and wife. It was at BYU that I learned the value of an education and set priorities for my future life. Indeed, much of what I am and much of the way I define myself, I owe to my BYU experience. I hope and pray that you have the same kind of experience at BYU that I did.

I love the gospel. I know it is true. I know that as the world changes faster and faster, you will find solutions for happiness and success in the gospel and in the lessons you will learn at BYU. I wish you all success in the future. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.