I spent a great deal of time trying to put my finger on exactly what I believe. Through all of this self exploration it became clear to me that what I believe is quite malleable. My belief structure has changed throughout my life from when I was a child and there was one basic rule, some things are right and some things are wrong. As I grew and matured, through the help of the NAVY, I realized that even a wrong decision can end up being the right one for you. This revelation led me to modify the theme from “This I believe” to a more accurate title of “This I believe, right now”.
I believe that each one of us is responsible for our own lives. That we can always change the path that we choose to walk down, when I was seventeen years old I made the wrong decision, I chose to step away from high school with nothing more than harsh feelings, thoughts, and words towards those placed in charge of my education. I realize now that not all bad decisions remain bad. I realized that if I had not done so I would have never joined the NAVY and found a way to better my life beyond the few opportunities provided to you by a small town in Texas. The decision to join the NAVY out weighed the list of unfinished tasks, wasted potential, and outright disappointment that I had stacked upon my shoulders throughout my first life.
In my second life I was a determined sailor who set out to start a trend by completing one thing in my life. I knew that if I could finish that one thing there would be nothing that I would ever have to run from again in my life. I spent 5 years in the NAVY I pushed myself to the limit and became not only a sailor, but a hard working, respected man. I served for 5 years on a fast attack submarine out of Groton, CT and then channeled those 5 years into a successful career for an engineering firm in Newport Rhode Island. Now I am goal oriented and can count all 1800 days until I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. I have spent many a moments contemplating where I would be if I had never joined the NAVY, given up on high school, or decided that I was smarter than my teachers all those years ago. I then push that aside and accept that I could not have done better for myself than the path I’m on right now.
I am certain that not all wrong decisions remain wrong forever, if you are willing to forge a path that will lead to self enlightenment, improvement, and growth. As I said previously this is what I believe, right now. I will have to see how strong my convictions are when my son is making his own “wrong decisions” in fifteen years.
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