I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was ten years old. It took me so long to learn that I outgrew the bike that had originally been bought for me to learn on. It took three or four teachers about three years to teach me to ride. Part of this, was that I didn’t believe that I could balance on that narrow construction of metal, plastic and rubber. But the bigger reason that I didn’t learn until I was ten was that I didn’t really want it bad enough. The day I learned to balance, I remember thinking that I CAN do this and lo and behold, I did it.
I believe in the power of determination. You can have all the skill in the world, but if you don’t want whatever it is bad enough, you aren’t going to achieve it. I have experienced this in learning to read, backpacking, my Eagle Scout project, and music. If you are determined to achieve something the only thing that can stop you from reaching your goal is you.
Everyday presents new opportunities to learn, but it is only by approaching each day with enthusiasm and determination that we get the most out of all of these opportunities. One of the best decisions of my life was learning to play the piano. Through it, I learned to read music and gained a new appreciation of the intricacies of the sounds that inundate our culture. I have since learned to play two more instruments and love the constant challenge to improve.
While in the process of inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “I have not failed. I have just found 1,000 ways that will not work.” It is on this spirit that the United States of America was founded and this spirit that will keep our country around for centuries to come. It is on this spirit that we will discover cures for cancer and AIDS. It is on this spirit that no one will have to live in poverty. Join me in getting up, brushing ourselves off and getting back up on that narrow construction of metal, plastic and rubber. Join me in making a difference in the world today.
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