A Goal With Patience

Kyle - Glendale, Arizona
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

We live in a “right now” world. Everyone including myself wants things to happen quickly. We go to fast food restaurants and complain about wait times when all we are doing is sitting in our cars. We want that promotion, that great girlfriend, the dream vacation, the huge lifted truck or souped up sports car all right now. However, if we just wished those things here and got them would we really appreciate them? Since I was young my mother has always told me that I can be anything I want in the world. However I believe that success takes patience and a little more than just wishful thinking.

During high school I really only had one main focus and that was football. Yet as my high school days grew to a close I knew I had to turn my focus to something else, and the choice I made was firefighting. I had some very influential coaches who were firemen and hearing the excitement and love they had for the job made it an easy transition for me. I had heard stories of people trying for years and years to become firefighters and never succeeding. Maybe it was the challenge that enticed me but I knew that this was my goal and I would do whatever it took to accomplish it. For the past two years I have buried myself in the career, trying to learn as much as possible. I have put in countless hours volunteering with the local fire department in order to soak up as much knowledge as I can. This summer I even took an interview class specifically designed for fire department interviews.

Patience has never been one of my strong suites but my current path has taught me just how important it is. I took my first fire test with the City of Tempe and scored near the top out of 2,000 participants. This led to me getting a first round interview with the city. I was very aware that barely any one gets picked up their first testing process but that didn’t shield the hurt and disappointment I felt when I read the letter saying I hadn’t passed the interview process. My firefighter mentors told me not to worry, that I was young and had plenty more testing processes to come. In the end I chalked it up as experience and focused my attention on the next step. In my following test with the City of Glendale I passed my first interview and received a second interview. Although I didn’t get hired after that, I had moved one step closer to my goal and proved to myself that this experience building idea was really working.

I wondered if I had been hired so quickly, would I really have valued the great opportunity that had been handed to me? I know that someday I will be a firefighter. But I have come to realize and believe that repeated failure with renewed effort only strengthens the mind and makes our ultimate goals that much more rewarding.