This I Believe

Lindsey - littleton, Colorado
Entered on November 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Everybody makes mistakes; it’s inevitable. However, the way one builds off these mistakes is what makes that person different. I believe you must motivate yourself to learn from your mistakes. Everybody has experienced this at one time or another, but not everybody takes that negative and turns it into a positive. Some just leave it alone, waiting for others to fix it, but what can you learn if you do not try again.

This is like the time when I was first learning to ride a bike. I was riding on my street, all padded up from head to toe, and my dad let go of the seat of my bike. It was like a ton of bricks just fell onto the ground. I was not physically hurt, but my little five-year-old ego took a beating. After this embarrassing event, I quit trying altogether, despite persistent encouragement from my parents and constant teasing from my friends. It was not until I was eight years old, riding in my school’s field day games on a three wheeler, that I realized what a total mistake I had made. I had just given up on something that takes time and patience to learn because I thought I could never do it. So the next weekend my dad took me to my local park, all padded up from head to toe, and I got on my bike. My dad grabbed hold of the seat and I started to peddle and I just closed my eyes and whispered “I won’t fall down. I won’t fall down.” I just kept repeating it over and over again. Well, I fell. But I just got right back up and started the same way. And I fell again. I got back on my bike and tried another time. And I fell once again. The cycle just kept recurring. Soon I got fed up. I knew I had to learn and I had to learn now. I picked up my bike with tears in my eyes and scrapes on my knees and my dad grabbed the seat and I began to peddle. “I won’t fall down. I won’t fall down.” I just kept saying it. Over and over again. I could almost hear myself know. It wasn’t until I fell into a huge pine tree and looked back at my dad, who seemed to be a million miles away that I realized I had done it. I had ridden a bike. How could it be that something that had seemed so hard before now seemed so easy?

It is this happy and sometimes liberating moment. This is the moment when you become conscious that you must get things done for yourself. You cannot do something unless you believe that you can. It doesn’t matter what others think or say, but what you do to motivate yourself to do the right thing and build off of what you learned. This I believe.