If you think you are unimportant, second rate, and inferior to the others around you who are rich, pretty, famous, and happy, well know this, you are not alone. We all feel inadequate some time or another. And if we are really being honest, we feel inadequate most of the time. Bills that can’t be paid, tests we struggle to pass, pounds we can’t shed, and relationships we can’t quite seem to manage. Everybody has hardships, and many struggle. But that is ok. We live in a temporal world fraught with difficulty, but none of that really matters.


Admittedly, it’s not easy for any of us. And a wise father once told his children that those that seem to have it all and are blessed with an abundance have unique challenges of their own. I love the allegory of learning to play the piano. We are learning to become something far greater than who we currently are.



If you feel you have failed in your life’s ambitions, know that you are in good company. Many successful people overcame failure before they achieved success: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison are few of hundreds of examples. These people overcame tremendous hardship and failures by getting up one more time than they were pushed down. And we can too.


CS Lewis wrote regarding our value and potential, which for me sheds further light on the hardships that seem so prevalent in our world today and the important role they play in our personal development:



“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”


Learning from each other is a benefit we can adopt that prevents us from having to absorb lessons through hard knocks alone. And even still, our struggles may turn out to be our greatest asset.



“God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”  Vance Havner


Nephi was the younger brother. Moses needed a spokesman. The widow’s mite was greater than all that was cast in by the wealthy. Fulltime missionaries preach the most important message in time and eternity. Each week the Aaronic Priesthood administers what has been said to be one of the most important ordinances. A small boy from Bethlehem taught the ministers in the temple to their astonishment and confounded the learned.



Why? Because God’s ways are not men’s ways. What is important is that we have his support and blessings in our lives, and that we can do our best by trying to follow his commandments. And if we fall short, that’s ok, because of his Atonement we have been given the gift of repentance in our lives. And we will be evaluated by the Righteous Judge. We are already on the winning side. We just need to keep trying and accept his gift wrought in our behalf.


In him, we can have a perfect brightness of hope. And gratefully, that is what really matters.



20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. 2 Nephi 31:20

About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.

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