Ability, Motivation, Attitude, and Confidence

Samantha - Ava, Missouri
Entered on February 20, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

There are four words that characterize my life: ability, motivation, attitude, and confidence. Sometimes I try to understand why I am living the life I am; why I have chosen the path I have, and why I have succeeded at some things and failed at others. These are all aspects of my life I may never know the answer to, but in some way or another, these four factors have made a significant contribution.

Growing up, my perceptions on living have changed. When I was younger, ability determined my life. I was very good at gymnastics; therefore, I would inevitably grow up to be a gymnast. Also, swimming came naturally, so my dream was to be an Olympic swimmer. However, as I grew older, I began to realize that unfortunately, just being good at something did not determine my path in life or my success.

The biggest obstacle and prerequisite of life that I have had to face, and am still facing today is motivation. There are many nights I try to convince myself that sitting on the couch watching my favorite TV show will make me happier, thus helping me accomplish other things that need to be done. I can say from experience that deduction is not effective. Motivation leads to action, which in turn produces results.

Next on my journey of growing up, I realized that attitude also plays a role in accomplishing life’s goals. While running a two-mile route one day during track practice, I realized something. It is immeasurably easier to do something when you want to. Obviously, I am not the first person to come up with this supposition, but at that point I realized that I might be able to use it to my advantage. From then on, I tried to convince myself that I wanted to run, and was consequently much more successful. Beyond this, in other everyday tasks, I have found that a good attitude makes every task more easily accomplished.

Finally, an important attribute for success in life is confidence—having faith in my abilities. In the end, when I have worked as hard as I could at something, and have done everything possible to make something turn out the way I want, I have to believe in what I have done and be confident it is enough. This accurately describes my position now in the college admissions process. I cannot join any more clubs, my grades are final, my test scores are in, my essays are written, and my applications have been submitted. Now, I wait.

I believe ability is what I can do; motivation determines if I do it; attitude determines how well I do it; and confidence tells me I can do it. These four words have shaped my life and will no doubt continue to do so.