This I Believe

Carolyn - Wilmette, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

“Do or Do Not; There is No Try”

I believe in the old adage, “Do or do not; there is no try.” Although this quote is mainly applied to sports, I believe it can also be applied to everyone’s life. Why bother to do something if it is not done well? Similar to the clichéd quotes about “Always doing one’s best” and “Giving one hundred percent.” These ideas still hold true today. For if you care about your actions, you really will put one hundred percent into them, even if they take up time you don’t have.

An example that relates to giving everything your all is one that relates to sports. Say you are on a varsity sports team at your high school and you and your teammates work very hard all season and push the limit everyday, even on the easy days, and then make it to the state finals. However, you decide that you’ve had a long enough season and don’t want to spend the few extra weeks preparing for possibly the biggest game in your high school career. By slacking off, not only have you wasted all the time you’ve previously spent practicing, but you’ve wasted also the time your teammates have spent preparing and training with you. Failing to keep up your efforts shows everyone that you are selfish and are only in things when they are easy and you aren’t pressured; this is the attitude of a quitter.

Your actions and works are a reflection upon not only yourself, but also upon your family, your upbringing, and your education. If you do not work as hard as you can and research every available book on your topic when writing a research paper, you are telling your teacher and whoever reads that paper, that you don’t care about your work and other people’s opinion of what you do. It also shows that you were just being lazy and didn’t want to be bothered to take a few extra minutes to proofread what you have written. You are a bad representation of your parents and their values, such as patience and determination, that they tried to instill in you as a young child; values that should remain with you for the rest of your life. By not doing everything to the best of your ability, you are not living up to all their teachings.

If you go into something with the attitude that you will try, you may be setting yourself up for failure without even realizing it. You are telling yourself that what you are about to do is not all that important. If you don’t succeed, then, well, there’s always next time. More likely than not, though, there will not be a next time because you will tell yourself that you already failed once, so why fail again. However, if you go into something with the attitude that you must succeed or die trying, than you might succeed. And if you don’t, you will be more determined to succeed the next time.