Optimism in a world of negativity

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An accountancy professor in the Marriott School of Management told students and faculty at the Tuesday devotional to keep a positive attitude and see the good in the world.

Jeff Wilks offered five points to having a positive outlook on life and staying optimistic.

First, he explained that righteousness does not mean perfection. He shared a humorous story involving his 10-year-old daughter discovering that her father was not perfect when he let a bad word slip. His wife gently explained to their daughter that although her dad was not perfect, he was righteous. Wilks used this example to explain that striving for righteousness is more important than being focused on perfection.

Second, he explained to students and faculty that no matter what struggles, challenges, or adversity they may face, to keep trying anyway.

[media-credit name=”Chris Bunker” align=”alignleft” width=”244″][/media-credit]”Never give up…do all things that cheerfully lie in your power,” Wilks said.

In his third point, Wilks explained the importance of keeping focused on Heavenly Father, and fourth, that it is Heavenly Father’s approval that matters most. He emphasized that seeking Heavenly Father’s approval instead of the approval of men builds a foundation that cannot be moved.

He lastly counseled the audience to find and remember the joy in their lives.

“The world is a good world,” Wilks said.

He said there is much to be happy and hopeful about, and that without these two attitudes, it is hard to see the world as Heavenly Father sees it.

Shaylee Jacobs, 19, felt the devotional reminded her of things that are important but are often forgotten.

“I thought it was really good for me to hear,” Jacobs said.

When students make it a practice to find and remember the blessings they receive, Wilks said it becomes easier to see God’s helping influence.

“Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are our greatest cheerleaders and fan section,” he said.

Alli Holdaway, 19, said this helped her to remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are on her side.

“One of my favorite parts was that Heavenly Father and Jesus are our no. 1 fans,” Holdaway said.

Due to his vigilant journal writing, Wilks explained he was able to easily find stories to share about Heavenly Father touching his life and the lives of his family members and friends. For this reason, he also encouraged BYU students to keep a journal to help record blessings.

Wilks concluded that when filled with gratitude, optimism and joy, the world naturally becomes a more positive place.

“After all, the gospel is good news,” he said.
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