The Widget Factory
By:  Aria E. Appleford 

There is a factory that makes the most amazing widgets.  The product is so terrific that everyone wants to work for the widget factory and it attracts workers from around the world.  Soon the factory is large and employs so many people that there is a need to create rules and guidelines for the running of the factory to make sure everyone is safe and gets along while they make their important widegets.  The leaders get together and meet with the owner and together they come up with some great rules which are printed up in a lovely binder and handed out to all the people of the factory.  Everyone agrees the rules are fair and that they will now have the perfect factory.


The years go on and the factory is thriving and generations of families of widget workers come and go.  Leaders come and go.  Some are terrific and some are not so great.  People start to forget how amazing the factory is and how lucky everyone is to work there.  They start to fight amongst themselves and because they no longer feel terrific about who they are and what they are doing, they look for other ways to feel important.  The rules, instead of being guidelines to ensure their happiness and productivity, become weapons.  Everyone starts to criticize one another and point out how they are not working properly or interpreting a certain rule correctly.  It does not take long before everyone is focused on the rules and the enforcing of them.  There is so much negativity and fighting and backbiting that no work is getting done.  The widgets are forgotten about, production slows to a crawl, and the factory has lost all reason to even exist.  People are left to fight amongst one another, they are unemployed and miserable but they are so busy being nasty it doesn’t even register with them that the whole reason for going to the factory every day no longer exists.  There are no widgets being made at all.  Yet, they still show up every day because it has become a habit.  They show up because they need to be there every day, enforcing meaningless rules, and being nasty.  They show up because they are married to the misery of their existence.


This is how some church congregations work.  They had a good reason for being there – the want and need to love one another and emulate the Savior’s example.  It was simple, “Love one another,” but they become so caught up in “rules” and in judging one another and being nasty, that soon the whole reason for them being there disappears.  Life is like that – the purpose is the glue.  It should never be forgotten in our day to day endeavors.  Everything we do should be held up to the light of that purpose to ensure we are on the right path.  No rule in any organization should be more important than the purpose.  So, in the example of the widget factory, production should have always been the focus – the rules only meant to aid in smooth production.  In a church, the focus should be in loving one another – not what someone wears to church.  Details are great to attend to, once everything else is running smoothly.


This if course, is the same for your personal life.  Often when people try to set goals with Silva and are unsuccessful, it is because they are too into the details when the purpose is not intact.  When you find you become agitated about your problems(worry)and cannot seem to settle on one – back up.  When you find yourself overwhelmed – back up.  When you find yourself defeated and depressed – back up. Find the reason, the feeling you are wanting to achieve and focus on the emotion.  Once you have that in place, you can worry about the specific details of certain situations.


So if my life was a mess and I was unhappy and there were a hundred situations as to why … I would not begin by focusing on them.  I would begin by looking at what I want in my life – a feeling of calm, happiness, peace.  I would meditate on that specific emotion until I was fully experiencing it in my meditation.  Then, as I became confident with finding that emotion in and out of meditation, all I do would be measured against that purpose.  As I worked on the specific situations with Silva – I would use those positive emotions to drive home the solutions.


This is a great way to live while you work through your life.  Remember that life is not just some equation that we solve and go home.  No matter how long we live and how much we know, new problems and learnings will appear.  This is the true beauty of life.  Therefore, seeking to solve the problems with the idea that the solution will be the gateway to eternal happiness will, in itself, bring us unhappiness.  Understand instead that you can learn to live your way to and through the answers.  Think of it like working and spending money.  Some people work their entire lives and save every penny – waiting for that magic day when they will have enough and allow themselves to “enjoy” it.  We all know plenty of these people who never make it to that day, or who, once making it, are miserable and unhappy.  They have no other interests and no-one to spend the time with.  Or, you can work and save a little and spend a little and live your life along the way so that when you do retire, you have both a nest egg and a life. 

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