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In life, goals and hard work pay off - even after we aren't around

Posted April 25

Several months ago, I got the feeling I didn’t want deadlines for my articles anymore. I called my editor, and we decided I would just send something occasionally. Since then, I haven't written another article. It's an example that if you don’t plan time for things and set goals, things do not happen.

Setting goals isn’t the only way things happen. Motivational teachers and speakers will put all kinds of spins on the idea.

My friend and sometime neighbor Danny Southwick is a mentee of an accomplished woman, Angela Duckworth. She is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

When Danny found out she was writing a book titled “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” he told her about my husband, LeGrand "Grit" Young, who has lived up to his nickname in life. She contacted him, and inside her best-selling book, “Parenting for Grit,” she used the ideas she gleaned from many people in chapter 10, including Grit and me and our son Steve Young.

My brother, Bob Steed, sent a text to me saying, “I thought of you when my friend Sam Bracken was doing a speech on his new book 'Guts.' One of the statements he makes is you want to live with 'guts,' not 'grit.' Ha ha! I immediately thought of you.”

He continued, “Actually, what he means by that is, in his opinion, living with guts is living 'true' to what you are and what you want to do. Living with 'grit' is getting up every day and doing what you 'have' to do, but hating every moment of it. I told him after his speech that my older sister lives with Grit and loves it.”

I told him Grit and I were mentioned in a best-seller. And Duckworth, who wrote about us, spoke in Utah in March, and that same month Lloyd Newell wrote one of his "Spoken Word" messages for the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast that included a reference to her findings, taken from a Wall Street Journal article about her book.

I also told my brother to tell his friend we can meet and duke it out — guts or grit.

Sophie Rose Barton was a girl with goals. She went after life with pluck and perseverance. A talented musician, she played music venues around the state of Utah with her sister Tessa. Busy as she was, she also dedicated herself to sharing her music with the sick children at Primary Children’s Hospital.

Sophie died at 17 due to a heart arrhythmia, thus ending her influence on the sick children she brought so much joy to. Or was it the end?

In stepped our daughter-in-law, Barbara Young, Steve’s wife, who had a dream about using music therapy and had been researching the idea. Barb’s personal motto is “Change begins with you.” She shared her vision with Sophie’s mother Anne-Marie, our Young family friend from Connecticut. Now this vision is carrying on Sophie’s love for music and healing sick children.

The third Sophie’s Place was recently opened in the Forever Young Zone at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona. The other two are at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and Sutter Children’s Center in Sacramento, California. A fourth is to open soon at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

Sophie wrote a song carrying her message, “Shine On,” for Mother’s Day just before her passing. This beautiful girl now shines on through the joy and healing that takes place in the rooms named after her.

There are many ways we can focus on making our lives and those around us better if we’ve tried to live true to positive goals even if, in Sophie’s case, we are no longer around. Talent alone won't do it. What we accomplish in our lives, be it with grit, guts, pluck, stick-to-itiveness, tenacity — pick a word — they all mean working hard at something we want to achieve. Life is always more rewarding when we try to make a difference in this old world.

Email: sasy273@gmail.com

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