This I Believe…

Meghan - Canfield, Ohio
Entered on February 15, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in SMOG: signal, mirror, over-the-shoulder, go. This is probably the one thing I learned from Driver’s ED; a handy, little acronym that has proven quite successful when changing lanes. The steps are pretty self-explanatory. Firstly, you alert the other drivers as to which direction you are merging. Secondly, you examine each of your mirrors and keep the other drivers in check. Thirdly, you physically need to look over your shoulder to become aware of the infamous “other driver”. Finally, you merge.

While SMOG is incredibly useful out there on the road, it also outlines a few beliefs that I aspire to live by. I believe that SMOG, in the metaphorical sense that is, will take me wherever I want to go in life. The breakdown is as follows:

Signal: I believe it is essential to have goals or dreams. No matter how crazy or wild or out there they may seem, I don’t limit myself. I want to see everything, travel the world over, become a doctor and help people, and live somewhere where the sun always shines. I love that about myself. I love that I love to dream, even if some don’t come true. After all, a few wrong turns will only lead to the right one.

Mirror: I believe that self-reflection is necessary to grow and change and to become the person I want to be. It is one thing to be evaluated by others, but evaluating myself is challenging and rewarding. If I let others shape my personality, than who am I really, other than a blend of my peers? I live my life by my own standards, rather than by the standards of others.

Over-the-Shoulder: I believe that I need to look after myself because there will be times when I do not have somebody else to rely on. This may sound somewhat cynical, but in the long run, having independence is necessary to excel. I honor independence. It is a strong quality and it gives me the power to control my own life. It’s great to have those few whom I can count on, but it is equally as great to know that if those few cannot be there, I will not fall.

Go: This is probably the most important belief by far. When I have an opportunity, I slam on the gas and just go! I pretend the break doesn’t even exist. I don’t let anything stand in my way, even the fear of failure. Failure is one of life’s greatest gifts. When I fail, I learn. When I learn, I grow. When I grow, I change. Change is so important. It is inevitable, it is scary, it is life, it is wonderful, but only if I “carpe diem”and seize the day.

I know I’m still a fairly inexperienced driver, but nonetheless I find SMOG to be essential both on and off the road. Whether you’re trying to get through traffic, or get through the more difficult obstacles of life, having a vision and seeking out opportunities will always take you where you want to go. Just remember; it’s not simply enough to envision the life you desire, you have to work at it, examine yourself, and seize the moment. Seek out every opportunity and go for it! In conclusion, drive safely and SMOG on friends.