I Think I'll Be Delightful Today

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(This is an excerpt from the book I Hope You Know How Much I Love You: And Other Advice for a Happier Life.)

I met a woman full of grace on a cruise ship. We were traveling with a small LDS tour, and we got to know everyone in our group. Her name was Donna, and whenever she had the opportunity to speak, she talked about how much she just loved being with her husband. I thought it was very sweet at first, but after a while, after repeatedly hearing her express about how much she just LOVED to travel with Ken, her husband, I, along with probably a few other men, started to get a bit curious.

What is it about this guy? we thought. Is he really that fun to be with, or is he just trying to live up to his wife’s expectations? So I decided to hang out with Ken. And I found out that Donna was right. Ken was pretty fun to be with. But here’s the question—was he that way on his own, or because his wife described him that way? And the answer is—“Who cares!” If you have a husband who is delightful to be with, who cares why!

I started to examine my own behavior on the cruise, and I began to wonder if I was a delightful travel companion, or if I let myself get stressed when we were late getting back, or late leaving the room to meet the others, or late with our luggage, and so on. Anyway, I decided then and there that I was going to try to be more like Ken.

Now, as I approach the bathroom mirror each morning, I try to say to myself, “I think I’ll be delightful.” I don’t know what will happen today, but I can choose to respond delightfully to anything that does happen, good or bad. I learned that idea from Donna and Ken. My wife and I have discussed this at length, and it has become a perpetual goal in our marriage. I want my wife to enjoy being with me, and she wants me to enjoy being with her.

I have often assembled a notebook with a dozen or so goals I had for the year, and at the end of each month I would check my progress. After that cruise, one of my monthly goals became to “be delightful.” I decided to let my wife, Kim, determine if I achieved it or not. That’s pressure. But it’s positive pressure.

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