Curb your Expectations

Kartikeya - Burr Ridge, Illinois
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humility

Whenever venture from home, I often notice the basketball hoop next to our driveway. It reminds me of a time when I may have been a bit naïve about my future. Back in fourth grade, I was unstoppable at basketball, nailing every hard shot that I took. I thought I would charge my way into the NBA and become the richest, most famous athlete alive. I was absolutely positive that my incredible talent would get me there; any extra work would merely be superfluous.

Now when I reflect about those times, I realize just how haughty I was. As I became a bit more mature, I realized how ridiculously difficult it was just to make it to the NBA. By that time, I was learning how much work it even took to get good grades in school (and avoid getting yelled at by my parents). I still kept a bit of that NBA dream in me, albeit it now meant more work on my part. I was not overly pleased with having to do this work, but I eventually got over the fact that life was not all fun and games.

Even though I was not a little kid, I definitely did not act like an adult. I still was unable to realize that plenty of other people were far better than me at basketball. I soon understood that I may not become Larry Bird or Michael Jordan. This revelation was like an elephant falling on my head. It hurt. I was, to put it lightly, perturbed by the chance that I would not become the next nationally known superstar. It took me a while, about six brooding months, to get over this.

As I came down from my imaginative stratosphere, I learned that I could not always expect everything in life. I could still have daydreams about being the league MVP, but I understood that to get there, it took work and maybe a bit more skill than I had. In addition, I did not have to stop making far-out goals, but if I believed too much in their inevitability, I probably ending disappointing myself. So though I have curbed my expectations, I still have not stopped aspiring for anything. I have worked hard to get straight A’s and now imagine myself being the youngest millionaire ever. Though I know that it may be a bit unrealistic, I am still going to try to shoot for that tough shot.