This I Believe

John - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in ambition. In addition to exposing a good portion of the senior class to a level of stress not often experienced, the Honors Physics final project at our high school became the catalyst for many strong emotions, including disappointment, pride, and rage. It also inspired success, failure, apathy, and ambition. Everyone experienced a fair amount of sleeplessness, but I am certain that all groups began with some degree of ambition.

Ambition, or lack thereof, is what propels all of us toward our intended destiny, whether ultimately attainable or not. While the world may occasionally award those who refuse to achieve anything past sleeping in past noon, ambition plays the greatest role in influencing our eventual success or failure. Without it, we would have little motivation to better ourselves past our basic needs. Personally, I am thankful that our ancestors were ambitious enough to try building shelter in opposition to living out of caves.

Ambition and sacrifice coincide directly. Not everything is attainable without expending some amount of energy. Come to think of it, nothing is attainable without some cost. Without sacrifice, any ambition is worth about as much as the promises of an ambitious politician. Yes, politicians have to sacrifice something to achieve their goals, too. Might as well be their integrity. They won’t need it.

For senior high school students, the end of this school year is an end of a pattern of living under which we have thrived for most of our life. Yet even more so, it is a new beginning, for which the most ambitious of us have prepared for over the last two years. College is an entirely new experience, with much to learn and many expectations to meet. The education is also a challenge. I don’t know what to expect, except that I should be prepared to adjust to a new life in order to continue to pursue my goals, especially when that means I’ll have to wash my own clothes.

Though it is easy to affirm one’s rock-hard ambitions, that one will truly never forfeit on achieving a given objective, it is the unfortunate truth that not all dreams come true. In order to truly succeed, one must be flexible, and be able to flex one’s ambitions to suit an ever-changing environment. It is a lesson learned by many in the course of the physics project, which I feel prepared us for what may face us in whatever direction we travel once we graduate. I believe in ambition, and thus, I believe in success.