7. The habits of health and learning.
The Spirit can speak more clearly to a rested mind and listening ear. At least, this has been my experience. Physical health is also fertile practice ground for self-control and righteous dominion over one’s body—a gift from a loving Heavenly Father. Couple this with a desire to constantly learn, through gospel and secular study, and you have the pattern of an effective Latter-day Saint who has a sharp mind and ability to serve the Lord more fully and effectively. As we expand our minds, the mysteries of God will be unfolded to us, our testimonies will be strengthened, and we will be better prepared to meet the world with confidence and provide for and teach our own families.
Spiritual and physical health take practice and consistency (the keys to a successful habit!), but they can also open up rewarding opportunities for increased energy to serve and increased confidence and love. Church leaders have reminded us of the importance of education for years. In 1992, then-Elder Russell M. Nelson admonished:
“Because of our sacred regard for each human intellect, we consider the obtaining of an education to be a religious responsibility. Yet opportunities and abilities differ. I believe that in the pursuit of education, individual desire is more influential than institution, and personal faith more forceful than faculty.
“Our Creator expects His children everywhere to educate themselves. He issued a commandment: ‘Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.’ (D&C 88:118.) And He assures us that knowledge acquired here will be ours forever. (See D&C 130:18–19.)
“Measured by this celestial standard, it is apparent that those who impulsively ‘drop out’ and cut short their education not only disregard divine decree but frustrate the realization of their own potential.”
Seven Habits highlight: "Feeling good doesn't just happen. Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It's all up to you. You can renew yourself through relaxation. Or you can totally burn yourself out by overdoing everything. You can pamper yourself mentally and spiritually. Or you can go through life oblivious to your well-being. You can experience vibrant energy. Or you can procrastinate and miss out on the benefits of good health and exercise. You can revitalize yourself and face a new day in peace and harmony. Or you can wake up in the morning full of apathy because your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone. Just remember that every day provides a new opportunity for renewal—a new opportunity to recharge yourself instead of hitting the wall. All it takes is the desire, knowledge, and skill."