When the Going Gets Tough, THe Tough Gets Going

Does it ever seem that you set a goal and do everything you can to accomplish it but it just doesn’t work out? 

Why does this happen?

Throughout our lives, we set goals for everything. For our work, school, athletics, hobbies, and interests. The new youth program has really supported and encouraged this way of living. When we set goals we are more determined to accomplish things and are more actively participating in life. As outlined by the new youth program there are several steps we should take when making and working towards completing a goal. We have to determine what it is we want to accomplish. Set up a plan for how we want to accomplish it. And then act on that plan. Throughout this process, we are encouraged to rely on our parents, family, friends, leaders, and especially our Heavenly Father for help in accomplishing our goals. 

So why when we set out to accomplish these goals, designed to better ourselves, do we not always succeed? 

Sometimes the simple answer is that not everything goes according to plan and we need to taste failure so we can continue to grow. But sometimes we aren’t supposed to succeed for a greater reason. Maybe Heavenly Father wants us to succeed at something greater down the road. 

As long as we are willing to rise up again and continue on the path, … we can learn something from failure and become better and happier.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

What’s important is that we have to trust in God’s plan and turn to him when we need help.

As I was reading the New Era last month I came across a story about a girl who competed as a track athlete through high school. She worked extremely hard to be able to compete in states but despite her hard work and long hours of practice she was never quite able to make it. At first, she was very disappointed and disheartened by her apparent failure but as she looked back on her high school career she realized how lucky she had been to make new friends and grow friendships over the years. 

Reading this story reminded me of my own journey to compete in states this past fall. At the beginning of the cross country season, I was far from the top of the line-up. As time went on I worked extremely hard and was able to individually qualify for states and be one of the top five runners for my team. Two weeks before states I pulled my hip flexor. I could barely walk, let alone run, without extreme pain. I was heartbroken. Everything I had worked for was seemingly over. This scripture came to mind,

And it shall come to pass that power shall rest upon thee; thou shalt have great faith, and I will be with thee and go before thy face.”

Doctrine & Covenants 39:12

I knew I couldn’t give up that easily. During the weeks leading up to states, I rested and did everything I could to be able to run. With a brace and a stubborn will, I was able to run at states but not as well as I wish I could have. The injury kept me from the coming indoor track season which was disheartening, but because I wasn’t doing indoor track I was able to secure the spot as lead attorney for my school’s Mock Trial team. 
Despite not being able to achieve all my goals on my terms, I was blessed in other ways that I would never have had the opportunity to experience. 
We can’t always see the big picture but our Heavenly Father can. We need to be able to put our faith in him and reach out to Him when we need encouragement or reassurance. We would be wise to remember the words of Nelson Mandela

I never lose. I either win or learn”

Nelson Mandela

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