This I Believe

Brad - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Learning From Your Mistakes

Motivation, determination, and persistence: that is what is needed to succeed in wrestling. In my mind, persistence is the most important of the three. I understand that most wrestlers will not be the Olympian that they dream of being, but going through their lives knowing they didn’t give 100% of themselves is simply unacceptable. My motto for life is to never settle for less than my best. In my opinion, the best way to excel is to learn from your failures. While it may be easy to say you will persist, it is much more difficult to master the skill.

I have learned throughout my life that no matter what, failure is always creeping up behind you. For most of my young life, I let failure control me. Whether it was in my schoolwork, at home, in sports, or while courting girls, failure halted me more times than not. And every time I failed an endeavor, I accepted it and moved on, never even questioning the cause of my failure. But over the past few years, I have learned that I do not have to accept failure, not let it control my life, through the sport of wrestling.

Ever since my seventh grade year, I have been on my school’s wrestling team. Early on losing was a frequent occurrence for me, but over time I have learned from those “mistakes.” I have looked at a loss as a mistake and not a failure because you cannot do anything about a failure, but mistakes can be fixed. Wrestling is a sport in which perfection is almost dire to have in order to be victorious. But perfection is not just going to fall into your lap, you must work hard, show grit, and expand your knowledge all at the same time.

I am now a senior in high school and just beginning to master the skill of learning from my “mistakes.” In wrestling, people get into habits, develop a certain style and become predictable. Only the excellent wrestlers are capable of changing up their styles without seeing any drawbacks. I am working on being unpredictable and being multi-dimensional, and I can already see the differences in my win and lose columns. I have nothing to thank for it other than my ability to learn from my mistakes.

Wrestling has taught me many things about myself in wrestling and in life. But the most important is to learn from my mistakes. My wrestling career is beginning to blossom and my life is changing because I am finally understanding the meaning behind this concept. I am not dwelling on flaws, and my everyday life is really showing an upside to it that was never present in the past. I learn new things daily and am becoming a more well-rounded person for it.