Hannah - Ames, Iowa
Entered on November 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself, but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”

~Arnold Toynbee

I don’t believe in goals. I don’t believe in goals not because of a fear that I won’t reach them, but because of a fear that I’m limiting my potential. I believe in the impossible. It’s that belief that drives me. Some people may call it a goal, but I call it a way of life. I believe in giving 100%, 100% of the time. If I can achieve that, then I will surpass any specific goals I can set for myself.

I’ve been involved in sports my entire life, so the people around me are always setting goals. My teammates and coaches get so focused on beating a certain team or breaking a certain record that we forget why we’re playing the game. Why shouldn’t we beat every team? Why can’t we break all the records? I understand being realistic, but is that so impossible?

A problem I’ve faced with specific goals is discontent. I would set my sights on something I thought I wanted more than anything in the world. I would focus everything into accomplishing that dream. If I reached it, I never quite felt satisfied. It left me with a feeling of emptiness knowing I was slacking in other areas. If I didn’t reach it, I would be extremely disappointed and it would take me weeks to convince myself that I wasn’t a failure.

Now I face challenges with no expectations except to do my best. My belief in 100% has taken me farther than any other temporary goal. Again and again I surprise other people, as well as myself. Through the years my passionate attitude has not only led me through adversity, it has established a reputation that precedes me. Coaches trust me, and players follow my lead. There’s nothing more rewarding than children, or even your own teammates telling you that you are their inspiration. I have found through experience that reaching for the impossible isn’t so impossible after all.

Perhaps the most important lesson I carry with me is that success isn’t measured by accomplished goals, but by the things I dare to dream, and by giving 100%, 100% of the time.