This I Believe

Cole - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on September 17, 2006

While the American dream still lives, it now, more than ever requires hard work, responsibility, accountability, loyalty and preparation to reach your life’s goals. Although America is still the land of opportunity, in reality nothing is going to be handed to us. A person must work hard in order to benefit from the vast opportunities this country offers. I believe in the principals of hard work, responsibility, accountability, loyalty and preparation.

Whether one desires to become a doctor, a professional athlete, a businessman or woman, a lawyer, a trash man, a newspaper reporter or one who delivers newspapers, this country offers it all. Each of us has an equal opportunity to succeed in what we choose to do with our lives, but those who are the most successful are the ones who take advantage of the educational opportunities and who are willing to work toward their goals.

Success should not be measured by how big your house is or how nice a car you drive, but rather by what you have done to help other people, to help your country, and how you live your life. Often times, the perception of success is how much money one makes or one’s title, when the true test is how much one likes their profession and how much they accomplish in furthering that profession.

Preparation is one of the keys to success in everyday situations. One needs to lay a foundation through training and studying and then follow that up with hard work and a never-say-quit attitude. Preparation helps us teenagers on tests and in sports; the better the preparation, the fewer surprises and the greater success we will realize in our activities.

In life one must understand that there are going to be hard times and ups and downs and mistakes will be made, but one must accept responsibility and learn from mistakes. One must be responsible for taking actions necessary to accomplish the tasks at hand.

Accountability is another important attribute in a successful person. A person should willingly accept the results of their actions and they should not blame others for unintended outcomes. We need to be accountable for the actions we initiate, the results and the consequences.

Another important trait of a successful person is loyalty. A person should be loyal to their family, their employer or employees and to our country. There is no other country in the world that offers the freedom and the opportunities that we enjoy in America. However, being loyal does not mean one should not question a decision or an action that you do not agree with. However, you do not turn quit on someone or turn your back on your country because things did not go your way. This is one of the ironies of this great country. She gives her citizens the absolute right to disagree with her, and she protects that right for you.