I wonder what was running through Eli Manning’s mind when he walked to the huddle before he made that famous pass to win the Super Bowl of 2008. How do you think that he controlled his emotions, considering the thousands of boisterous fans hollering and cheering at him? Eli Manning showed no fear, no sign of weakening at the awe of the nation watching him, and he delivered the most skillful pass I have ever seen in the most complacent manner I have ever seen. He and his New York Giants prevailed because of his incredible mental strength.
People crumble under pressure. Ordinary people that encounter extraordinary circumstances crumble. Those that can overcome these situations become extraordinary themselves. The key to overcoming these obstacles is mental strength. With the power to control one’s own mind, keeping it calm when it yearns to be tense, keeping it strong when it feels like it will be crushed, one can achieve success beyond limits.
The epic of my life in particular is yet to begin. My life is no more exciting than any other average teenager, but despite this, the value of mental strength has become clearly evident to me. I remember standing at the pedestal of my school-wide spelling bee in the fourth grade. The bee was a pretty big deal back then. Hundreds of peers were watching, and I promise that if even a slight amount more of fear encapsulated me, I would have wet myself. I thought of the words my teacher had told me before the bee began. “Don’t be scared. Just keep your mind calm.” I had one word left. If I spelled it correctly, I would be the champion of something equivalent to the Super Bowl for me then. I remember looking out when I walked up to the daunting pedestal. I saw my friends, my teachers, and my parents. When I think back to this event, I imagine how much mental strength a fourth grader would need to accomplish this task. I did it, though. I held on with the strength of my mind, kept it calm and composed, and won. Everyone clapped for me as I smiled until my mouth hurt.
I know, however, how trivial a fourth grade spelling bee is in the big picture. But if such an insignificant accomplishment can require such mental strength, one can imagine how much mental strength a real, adult situation would require. Job interviews, financial issues, life-and-death struggles, and even frustrating bosses can require tremendous amounts of mental strength. I have witnessed these struggles in my life. My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, for example, and the way she had continued to live life like she used to was the greatest showing of mental strength I have witnessed. This is just one example of a situation requiring mental strength, however. But if one can truly overcome such obstacles through the strength of their mind, they will achieve great success. I’m sure Eli Manning would agree.
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