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Moving Mountains

3 Principles You Can Use to Overcome Your Challenges


While hiking a difficult mountain trail, you may begin to doubt if you can make it to the top, but the views are well worth it! Life’s challenges can often feel like steep mountains. To overcome challenges, you will need the “Three P’s”: a driving purpose, power to make it happen, and a plan to be successful. Having a purpose, power, and plan will provide you with the tools you need to make the journey.

Climbing with purpose

Establishing purpose is key to pushing through any hardships that might come during your journey. As you find yourself nearing “steep hills” like time management, feeling like you belong, financial difficulties, or whatever they may be, find ways you can connect your work to your core values.

crossing a river
You can find strength during challenges when you focus on your purpose.

When you connect your everyday tasks to your long-term goals, you will find greater joy each day because you know your purpose. Ethan Tunnicliffe (York, England) was attending his first semester of PathwayConnect when he met with his mentor, 1
Mentors are trained professionals who assist first-semester students in PathwayConnect by helping them stay focused on their purpose, directing them to resources, and developing a plan for success.
Bev Whiting. She asked him questions to help him understand his purpose and goals.

Ethan said, “It was a cool experience being led into my own mind through these questions. It was exhilarating to figure out [my purpose] for myself.” As you take the time to ask yourself what you want most in life, what it will take to get there, and who you are as a son or daughter of God, you will be able to find the motivation to push through your challenges.

The power of support

At the foot of every mountain, you may look at the miles left to climb and think, “Do I have what it takes?” You may struggle financially, lack the support of family or friends, or doubt if you’re capable of finishing what you started.

cartoon facing obstacles
The support of family, friends, and the Savior can give you power to face obstacles.

One of the most important concepts to understand in life is that you’re not alone. You have the constant love and support of Jesus Christ through the enabling power of His Atonement. As you exercise your faith in Him and choose to act, then you will be given the power you need to accomplish what you’re meant to do.

As a mentor who’s worked with many students, Kelly Taylor (Layton, Utah) explained how she’s seen the Savior support them: “Our Savior cares about each one of us, and He cares about the details in our lives. That means He cares about your schoolwork and that you have time to get it done.”

Not only do you have spiritual support, but there are people you can turn to in your time of need. From family members, friends, Church leaders, missionaries, or those in your gatherings, you can find a helping hand.

[Our Savior] cares about the details in our lives. That means, He cares about your schoolwork and that you have time to get it done.

Planning with faith

To face any obstacle, you must take the journey step by step. Once you know your purpose and receive the power to get there, work on finding actions to take now to make your plans a reality. The more you can break down large goals into smaller ones, the easier each step will be. Remember to create SMART goals. It’s important to measure and track your progress. If you have trouble following through with your goals, share your plans with someone you trust. Ask them to follow up with your progress and hold you accountable. As you progress, there may be times when you’re not sure what your next step should be. In times like these, act in faith. Heavenly Father will reveal the way as you rely on His guidance.

Reaching the top

cartoon climbing
Reach your goals by following your plan one step at a time.

At the end of a difficult climb, looking back to see how far you’ve come is thrilling. The view is breathtaking as you come to realize how your struggles and victories came together to form your path.

Carolina Galvis (Venezuela) was a student who faced mountain-like challenges in her life. Before she started BYU-PathwayConnect, she was alone in a new country and often felt lonely, overworked, and forgotten. But despite her challenges, she was able to get her degree. She said, “Completing college is something I’ve always looked forward to, and at one point in my life seemed impossible, but it is possible.”

You too can reach your goals as you take time to find your driving purpose, press forward with power, and fill your plans with action.