Tag Archives: #challenges


Challenges come your way each day — most are small, but some can be larger than life itself. You handle the small challenges without much effort or thought. However, during the course of a hectic day, too many small challenges can wear you down to the point you become frustrated. This can make any large challenges that arise seem almost impossible to process — molehills appear as mountains.

When you reach such points during the day, there may not be any friends or family available to help you — sad situation, but often times very true. Such moments can test your resolve to continue moving forward — to go beyond your perceived limitations. This is when the “Quit Monster” shows up and starts using you as a punching bag.


You’re tired.

Your tank is empty.

You want to quit.

You pause briefly.

You breathe deeply.

You remember…

It’s not about you.

People depend on you.

You must keep going.

You reach deep inside…

Because you care.

You find the will.

You take the first step…

Then another—and another.

You keep pushing.

You ignore the pain.

You will not be denied.

You soon realize…

You’ve got this!

Even though your family and friends will not always be able to help you during many of your daily struggles, there is someone who can help — someone who is always watching over you. If you have faith and believe in Him, present your requests to God…

With His Help, You’ve Got This!

Have Faith, Believe and Be Blessed!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2019

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels


Given a choice on the size of our BUT challenges in life, most people would likely choose small because small BUTs don’t usually pose too much of a problem for us. We notice them, but we just keep moving on with life as usual. Such BUTs seem to be more like an irritating pinprick rather than a life-changing event.

However, BIG BUT challenges are very different. Some can be so BIG that they cause us to make life-altering adjustments—they can even pull us down into a deep depression if we are not careful.

I am confident everyone realizes that I’m not referring to the size of derrières. Instead, I’m taking dead-aim at the simple-three-letter word used in the middle of sentences that begin by making you feel wonderful about yourself and then proceed to kick you with a mid-sentence BIG BUT.

It’s amazing how BIG BUT challenges can often crush our hopes and dreams in life if we’re not careful. Trying to rebound from such BIG BUT challenges can be a very difficult task for many of us. Life can be very cruel at times.

Here are two simple (not life threatening) examples illustrating how two individuals handled their BIG BUT challenge.


John tried out for his high school varsity baseball team when he was a freshman. Up to that point in his life, John had made every team he had ever tried to make. His confidence was running high this time for good reason, so he naturally thought making the varsity team would be no different.

The final-cut day of tryouts arrived. The coach approached John after practice ended and with a solemn expression said, “John, I know you have worked hard during practices and you have a lot of potential, BUT you did not make the varsity team this year. I hope you will work hard and try again next year.”

The first part of the coach’s sentence had John’s heart pounding in anticipation of having made the team. Thoughts of being a starting pitcher on the varsity team danced in his mind. Then, that all-powerful-ego-deflating BIG BUT came swooping down out of nowhere and kicked his dream in the dirt.

John struggled a long time trying to bounce back from the disappointment that followed the coach’s BUT-kick. Unfortunately, he eventually gave up on his dream and never played baseball again. John let his BIG BUT challenge defeat him. 


Bill Jones, was a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) in college and dreamed of becoming a pilot when he graduated in 1971. His goal was to serve his country as a fighter pilot. Bill easily passed all of the required written course work and looked forward to the opportunity to earn his wings. He faced one last obstacle in his efforts to continue on the long path of making his dream a reality—pass the physical examination.

After Bill’s examination, the Detachment Commander summoned Bill to his office the following day. Without any hesitation or empathy, the Commander said, “Cadet Jones, you are an outstanding cadet with great credentials and have done well in all your course work, BUT I must inform you that your eyesight does not meet minimum acceptable standards to become a pilot in the United States Air Force. Your application to continue flight training has been denied.”

Bill couldn’t believe what he had just heard. He was in shock realizing his dream of soaring with eagles had been BUT kicked from the sky before he ever even had a chance to spread his wings and soar.

Fortunately, Bill had the mental toughness and character to recover from his BIG BUT challenge and continued his education. He became a successful aerospace engineer and went to work for the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. He was instrumental in designing systems that helped land astronauts on the moon. Though Bill couldn’t get off the ground, his efforts helped others soar to new heights.


I could go on and on giving more examples of BIG BUTs because I have received many of them in my personal life. Most were extremely difficult to process. I reached a point in life where every time someone threw a new BIG BUT my way, I wanted to scream. I viewed the small word, BUT, as a giant killer of dreams!

My personal BIG BUTs in life taught me that I couldn’t let them defeat me the way they did John in his challenge above. I reached a time in life when I started believing I had only two practical options—attempt to do better the next time I tried or move on with my life and start pursuing different dreams. It’s just that simple!

Even though future BIG BUTs may hurt me to the core of my being, I now treat them as nothing more than aggravating detours in life. Either they show me a new path to my original dream or they open my eyes to other opportunities or new dreams that are also worth pursuing.

In summary, the best advice I can share about BIG BUT challenges in life is:


May your BUT challenges in life always be small!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels


Life is full of opportunities and how we choose to handle them makes the difference between wearing a smile or a frown.

Many of our opportunities present huge challenges and are difficult to carry to fruition. However, there may come a time in life when an opportunity is well within reach, but we choose not to explore the possibilities that exist beyond the surface. We may feel the reward is not worth the effort required or we may simply be too lazy.

This short tale about a pile of boulders in the middle of an old farmer’s field is a good example.



Year after year, an old farmer plowed around the boulders in the middle of his field. Each year, he talked about removing the huge boulders to increase his production. Unfortunately, all he did was talk and never took the time to remove them.

The young farmer who owned the adjacent farm offered to help him remove the boulders on many occasions, but the old farmer just kept plowing around the boulders—for fifty years.

The old farmer became too old to continue plowing the field and realized it was time for him to retire. Unfortunately, the only tangible asset he had was his boulder-laden field. Once again, he thought about removing the boulders, but decided it wouldn’t be worth the effort and chose not to remove them.

One day, the young farmer approached the old farmer and offered to buy the field. The offer was more than the old farmer thought the field was worth, so he sold it to the young farmer. He wished the young farmer well and was glad he no longer had to plow around the boulders.

The first thing the young farmer did was start removing the boulders from the field. One by one, the boulders were loaded onto a truck and hauled away until only one bolder remained—the largest one.

When the young farmer lifted the last boulder, he noticed there was a hole in the ground beneath it. The hole appeared to be the entrance to a large cavern. With flashlight in hand, the young farmer crawled through the opening and began exploring the cavern.

Near the rear wall of the cavern, he discovered a large-locked chest. It was too heavy to lift by hand, so the young farmer used his tractor to pull the chest out into the field.

When he removed the lock and opened the chest, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The chest contained numerous gold relics—vases, necklaces, urns, and medallions. On top of the gold was a note that read:

Life is full of opportunities and those who are willing to remove the boulders from their field of dreams are likely to reap the greatest rewards. Bill Smith – 1792

As the young farmer celebrated his newly found fortune, he paused and thought about the many times he offered to help the old farmer remove the boulders from the field—he smiled.


There are many morals presented in this story. I’ve listed a few of them below. Can you add some others to the list? Please take a moment to share your thoughts.

Morals of the Story

One man’s loss is often another man’s gain.

An opportunity that appears to have no value on the surface may be the best one you have.

Just talking about doing something doesn’t get it done.

Being old does not mean you are a wise person.

There may be more to reap than what we sow.

Have a great day, and remember, remove the boulders from your field of dreams. The results may surprise you.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

Thanks to Tom Foster at HUGEFloods.com for giving me permission to use his photo.