Music and the Spoken Word

Is Your Life on Autopilot? - Sunday, June 3, 2018

For many years, modern airplanes have been equipped with a feature called “autopilot.” When a plane is flying on autopilot, its direction and altitude are controlled automatically, without the pilot needing to constantly control its every move.

Autopilot is a helpful feature on airplanes. But life is not meant to be lived on autopilot.

Unfortunately, our days can sometimes become so filled with routine or mundane tasks that we find ourselves going through the motions of life without experiencing much of its joys. When life is on autopilot, we get things done but feel no sense of accomplishment; we survive but do not truly live.

So how do we break out of this holding pattern? How do we grab the controls and take our lives to new heights? A good place to start is to decide on a destination. Where do we want to go with our lives, and is our flight path leading us there? What do we consider most important, and what are we willing to sacrifice for it? This may require a course correction, a shift in how we use our time or spend our energy.

Most often, it’s not a total reroute that we need—just a few fresh habits or activities to break up the old routine. For you, it may be keeping a journal, taking up painting or gardening, or going on a regular walk—not because you need to get somewhere or even because you need exercise but just because. Or maybe you feel inspired to take an old friend to lunch or check in on a neighbor or do something kind for a stranger. Look not for big events but appreciate the small, simple acts that give life profound meaning.

Yes, you may experience some turbulence as you pilot your life to a higher altitude. It’s not easy to change old habits. But remember that you are the captain, and your life will only reach its destination with you at the controls.

Henry David Thoreau said it well: “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability … to elevate [one’s] life by conscious endeavor.”

1. Walden, or Life in the Woods (1893), 142.
June 3, 2018
Broadcast Number 4,629

Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg
Ryan Murphy

Brian Mathias

Lloyd Newell

Let There Be Light!
Gilbert M. Martin

Awake and Arise, All Ye Children of Light
Welsh tune; arr. Mack Wilberg

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
American hymn tune; arr. Dale Wood

Unfold, Ye Portals, from The Redemption
Charles Gounod

Hold On, from The Secret Garden
Lucy Simon; arr. Ryan Murphy

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
American folk hymn; arr. Mack Wilberg