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When Our Plan Does Not Materialize...

What Do We Do When Our Plan Doesn’t Go According to Plan?

As I drove some of my nephews and nieces home after a fun afternoon, I heard my eleven year old niece say from the rear seat, “ I have it all figured out, auntie.” Oh, boy, I thought as I grinned. This particular niece of mine is smart, headstrong, meticulous, charming in spite of her bossiness, a deep thinker, and a young person who wants things her own way and she is not afraid of letting you know it.

“What have you all figured out, honey?” I asked still grinning.

“What I want to do in the future,” she said. “ After eight grade, I will transfer to the Da Vinci academy to study art. I will get a scholarship to UCLA and get my Bachelor of Arts there. I will apply for a job at Pixar, because they do animation, then I will buy a house and get a puppy!”

I have been thinking about this since that evening. Not only because of what that encounter reveals about this precious child, but also because at one point or another in my life, I too have made


Most of us have. We have dreamed grand plans. If we are sincere with ourselves, we have to recognize that at least once in our life, we realized we were destined for greatness, in spite of our present circumstances. We knew. Other people could sense it in us. And, most importantly, God knows it. We were not sent here to fail, but to succeed.

Yet, seldom have I met people who can truthfully say that life has turned out exactly the way they envisioned it, they planned it, they dreamed it, they anticipated, they imagined it will be.

Most of us, suffer disappointments, learn to settle, assimilate or reconcile with less than perfect circumstances, at least for awhile.

From my own personal experience, I know the pain of disappointment, the hardship of unfulfilled dreams, the grueling hours of sacrifice devoted to working on reaching a goal that took, or has taken its sweet time to come. I have shed tears, many, when what I thought I desired most never came to be.

Challenges are real, and they are for our good if faced with courage and determination to get to the other side. It is right to have goals and plan for them, but it is also needful to prepare for when those plans do not materialize as quickly as we envision them.

So, what can we do while we traverse this life wishing for something we cannot have at the moment? Do we become bitter and resentful? Do we succumb to sadness and self-annihilation?

Again, from personal experience I have learned some lessons.

I have learned to wait patiently while I work hard towards my goal. Some dreams take longer than others to become reality.

I have learned to surround myself with friends and loved ones who can bear me up when the going got too tough for me to keep going.

I have learned to cast away my fears and hold on to my hope. If when I made my plans, I knew I could reach them, I prayed for Heaven’s blessing, I received confirmation, and knew they were right. Then, they are right now.

I have learned that there are more people rooting for me than there are against me.

I have learned to hold on to my goals and dreams when they are worthy, and not to go under while pressure mounts.

I have learned never to give up.

I have learned to trust in God’s timetable and in my own strength.

I have learned to “ ...cheerfully do all things that lie in (my) power, and then...stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed.”


To my precious precocious niece, and others like her or me who dare to set goals and make plans, I say...Right on! You can do it! Do not give up! When more tempted to surrender, remember that success is just around the corner! You were born to be great!

You are of Royal lineage! Your dream is doable, is reachable, is good, and is Yours!

This is just my opinion...

As a single woman, a Mormon and a western/ Chinese doctor.

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