I am starting to realize that a lot of people are confused when the LDS church says to live a full, hearty, happy life. They are confused because too often they run into a supposed stumbling block: keeping the commandments or living a happy life.
"How can I do both?" a person asks themself.
What I have realized is that people are confusing which boundaries to test in their life. The commandments and church doctrine are what they are. God is no respecter of persons. Those are not the boundaries to push, although many would call that into question.
The boundaries in your life that you are told to push are the very boundaries you have set up for yourself. You can push yourself beyond your limits without compromising your beliefs. It is done by setting realistic goals, acheiving those goals, maintaining an objective perspective of your current situation, and not being afraid to call yourself out on something.
Pushing yourself beyond your personal limits will always require personal sacrifice. The greatest victory one can have is to conquer one-self. You want a better job? Most people get a higher education. They commit to long hours of study, do loads of homework, deal with less-than-perfect professors, and pay more-than-reasonable prices for textbooks. Most college students that graduate do so with a mountian of debt. But more often than not, it's the one with a college degree that lands the career that pays the big bucks.
Another example of pushing yourself beyond your limits is in relationships. People love to be loved, but it seems nowadays they love being in control more. This could be attributed to several factors, but that's not what I'm getting at. People are less willing to go out on a limb for someone else's trust and love, and instead hold back emotions and thoughts that otherwise would be shared openly with confidence.
Pushing your own limits in a relationship does not mean comprimising your own standards for the other, but rather breaking down mental blocks and walls you have previously put up before; allowing a person you care about to get to know the more tender side of you, as opposed to the more intimate side. That, I believe, comes with marriage.
I laugh at the concept of dating sites, because it's too easy. It's SO convenient actually, it can conveniently give a person too much control in a relationship with another. You can go to someone's page and view their profile and learn all about them in 5 minutes! The greatest cliche line is "You don't know me!" well... thanks to Facebook and Twitter, you probably are a lot more "known" than you think you are. But I digress.
To sum up, pushing your own personal limits - defying the odds, doing the impossible, does NOT (nor should it EVER) involve compromising what you believe to be right or wrong. Conquering your own world has everything to do with getting past yourself, YOUR own limits, your own weaknesses.
Finally, I believe the best way to do that is recorded in the Book of Mormon, with which I will close (Jesus Christ is the one speaking in this verse)...
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27)