This I Believe

David - La Grange, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Positive Mistakes

I believe that people’s failures do not always hurt them, but rather these failures can help them become better people. Mistakes that people make are often seen and interpreted as negatives, black marks against them. People fail to realize that many of these experiences can be corrected by trying again and again. I think that mistakes and failures are signs that people should keep working harder, so that they can succeed and achieve their goals.

I believe that failing on a first attempt at anything should be expected, and that succeeding should be more of a long term goal. Failing never feels good at the time it happens, but it really does help in an odd sort of way. It forces people to persevere, to keep trying, no matter what the obstacle, and it builds character in people, giving them much self-confidence.

I am not saying that success is a bad thing, but quick success gives people false hopes. They may be led to believe that what they achieved on a first attempt will always happen. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Many great success stories started in failure. The classic example of Michael Jordan not making his freshman high school basketball team shows that being successful takes time and lots of hard work. So making mistakes and failing can be good things, if you use them in a positive way to make self-improvements.

I have made mistakes and failed many times in my life. When I was younger, I used to think that whenever I did something wrong, I would get yelled at or punished in some way. It really made me believe that I had to do everything right. As I got older, I learned from many experiences that mistakes were acceptable.

A lot of my mistakes have come during sports. In football, it is very easy to make a mistake and slip-up every once in a while. I can still remember our second football game of the year and we were winning by six with forty seconds left in the fourth quarter. The other team had the ball and they threw a sixty yard touchdown pass to win the game. I had messed up my coverage on the play in the secondary, so I felt that it was my fault that we lost our first football game as LT players in two years. I got yelled at quite a bit, and I felt that I had let my teammates and coaches down. I took it upon myself to learn from that play and not make the same mistake again. I am glad to say that I did not and that the season was a complete success.

From all of the mistakes that I have made during my life, I have learned many things that have helped shape me into a better person. I wish that everyone would share my belief that some failures are achievements just waiting to happen.