Attitude Epiphany

Claire - Erie, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I have been told many times by my parents and teachers that attitude is everything, but every time I hear those words all I can think about is how annoyed I am for being told the same idea again and again. People generally only tell me that attitude is everything when I am not happy and feeling pessimistic, when I need to be reminded of the concept. I never usually think about what I have been told because it becomes lost in the confusion of anger and frustration. The only time that I have found these words to make sense is when I am in a good mood and feeling calm. During these times I realize, not only do I believe that attitude is everything, but I also believe that it can change everything.

As a senior in high school, I have decided to take several challenging courses, and in turn, I have created stressful situations for myself. Going into the first paper of the semester for my English class, I thought the writing was stupid and a waste of my time. As I started to write, I found that I couldn’t type a single word of introduction or for the body of the paper; I was beginning to stress. Once I realized that I would never get anything done in my current state, I forced myself to brainstorm on paper. As I continued to come up with thoughts, my mood changed, I was beginning to feel more confident. Upon receiving my graded paper, I found the results better than expected. My experience in English class showed me that my attitude can affect my performance on assignments and in turn the level of stress I feel on a particular day.

For the past three years, I have been a member of my high school swim team. Swimming the core sets at practice is sometimes the toughest demand on a person, both mentally and physically. When I start a set with the thought, “There is no way in the world I can do this!” I generally don’t make the times and become frustrated. But when I go into a set with an attitude that allows me to think that the set will help me in the future, I can make it through the set without becoming frustrated or feeling completely inadequate. More recently in water polo, I found that when I let one part of practice get to me, like a couple of bad passes, I have a bad practice overall. When I am in a game, however, I have a change in gears, my head begins to think, “okay so you screwed up, now fix it,” and I do, or at least I try. By going into sets, races, games, or even just practices I have found that a good attitude can go far and only help me in the long run.

Whether I am in school, playing a sport, or just living my life, I have found a good attitude can take me a considerable distance away from where pessimism and stress take me. By saying I believe attitude can change everything, I mean that when I am feeling optimistic and happy I can perform and live life to its fullest, and when I am negative in my thinking I only bring myself down and hurt my changes to progress with life in general. Now that I have reflected on my experiences, I see that in order to believe that attitude is everything, a person cannot be told, they must discover it on their own.