Embrace Challenge

I was talking with my wife recently about getting young people to put forth effort to achieve their dreams. She coaches volleyball and some girls are gung ho about getting better. Others are less enthusiastic. This current young generation has a reputation for being lazy and wanting everything to be handed to them. As parents it is completely up to us to instill the value of hard work and perseverance in the upcoming generation. I admonish every parent to assign their child, no matter what their age, responsibilities to contribute to the household. Take out the trash, walk the dog, do the dishes, whatever needs to be done. This will teach young people that life requires we live in community and help one another to make it through life.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”

Our God given rights and freedoms instilled in the Constitution are always in danger of be usurped by those who promise an easier way in exchange for freedom. America was built by people who faced adversity and challenge. They depended on themselves, family and friends to overcome the obstacles life threw at them. We must do the same. Our ancestors didn’t turn away because life was difficult. They faced it straight on. Mormon settlers trekked across rough terrain and hacked out a living in a hostile Utah environment. Other settlers made it all the way to California to build a civilization on the west coast. Even today, Americans in Alaska face life in a harsh climate to drill for oil or build businesses up there. So why do we do this?

Our Creator put within us all a desire to face challenge. We have an intrinsic urge to figure out a mystery, beat something that looks difficult, and feel the thrill of victory. This is what makes us better people. Without goals in our lives we shrink as human beings and waste away in complacency.

So embrace challenge. Take inventory of your life and figure out areas where you need to grow. Get a plan together on how to face that challenge and go after it. It’s a huge help to write down your goals and milestones to reach along the way and post it somewhere where you see it every day. Find someone to be an accountability partner or to do the challenge with you. Last summer, my wife and I did a diet together. It was a 3 week plan and I dropped 11 pounds. It was tough, being the plan was so strict on what you could eat, but we stuck with it and were successful.