Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life is Tough...And That is AWESOME!

The following is in response to a conversation I had with my son about how life is hard, and sometimes it seems like when you are working really hard at accomplishing something and it doesn’t go your way, you feel like giving up.


Dear Son,

I can understand and feel your pain.  I’ve been there many, many, many times myself.  You struggle and work to achieve something of worth and value and for some reason, you fail.  It’s even worse when it seems that everything in your life is failing at the same time and it becomes very easy to say “why try anymore?”.  You want to throw in the towel and give up.

Believe me when I say that I’ve experienced this a lot throughout my life.

But let me tell you this…and if you don’t remember anything else I’ve told you…remember this quote: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

It’s important to remember that because life is tough, life is going to knock you down, life is going to hurt, I can guarantee that life will hurt you a LOT…and that is awesome!

Why do I say that? Because every time you get knocked down, you have a choice to make.  You can choose to stay down, give up and give in. You can even take the low road and blame other people for your misfortune, wallow in self-pity and let it destroy your faith and confidence…OR you can choose to rise up, stand on your own two feet, look life in the eye and say “is that all you’ve got?”  When life knocks us down, we get to determine our fate, our destiny and we get to show what we are made of.

So what are you made of?

I hear a lot of people complain that life is hard and I always think to myself “why would you want it easy?”  What would you learn, how would you grow, how could you get stronger if you were never tested? Of course most people want it easy…that is why there aren’t more Olympic champions, professional athletes, successful businessmen, Navy SEAL’s, successful writers, fast runners, inventors, etc… in the world.  Because becoming exceptional takes WORK, it takes EFFORT, it takes the determination to never, never, never give up.  Words like: sacrifice, pain, heartache, diligence, discipline, etc…are words that are a part of daily life to those who choose to rise.  Those same words strike fear into the heart of those who would rather not.

There are surely going to be times when it seems overwhelming to continue to try.  Giving up would surely be less painful, right?  Maybe…but probably not… because I know you, I know your personality and I know that giving up would lead to a lifetime of regret.  Regret is one of the saddest words in the English language. The pain that accompanies regret is something that will sting for a long time.

Sometimes our best effort will not result in what we want.  We work really hard and still don’t quite achieve our goal.  That can be a hard thing to deal with.  It’s times like that when we have to step back and say “yes…but look how far I’ve come?”  Look at what you have achieved.  You may not have reached your goal, but you did something amazing.  You worked hard, you made some friends, you learned discipline and achieved far more than those who didn’t try.  You gave it 100% and that is something to be proud of, and something that will serve you throughout your entire life.

Faith is knowing that Heavenly Father does love you and knows what is best for you.  Usually we can’t see his purpose until later.  He knows what we need and when we need it.  Learning to trust that is part of the test of this life.

I wrote a quote at the top of this letter…do you still remember it? If not, go read it again.  Do you know who said that?  It was Nelson Mandela.  Now you tell me, do you think that there was a time while he sat in prison when he felt discouraged?  Do you think he ever thought to himself “why should I bother trying?”  Of course he did!  Joseph Smith did, Mormon did, Even Jesus Christ appealed to his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane that if there was another way, could he try that? Remember?


Life is hard.  It is especially hard to those who would attempt great things.  Would you want it another way?  Life was hard for Jesus Christdo we deserve to have it better than him?  Why would you want to?

I know that you will rise and not let life beat you down.  I know that you will stand with courage, square your shoulders and with conviction and a smile on your face say “Bring it on!”.  That is who you are and that is who you will always be.

And that is awesome!

I love you.