This I Believe

Annie - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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“My name is Annie, and I’d like to be your class president.”

When I said those words, I was not popular. I was not well known. I did not have a great speech, and I was terrified of public speaking. I knew I did not have much of a chance to win, yet I spoke those words regardless.

I spoke those words because I saw opportunities for improvement, and a vicious voice in my head forced me to pursue them. And even after I lost that election, the stubborn voice of ambition did not cease.

Ambition is a never-ending road, and I tread upon it with the full expectation that there is no final destination, no ultimate triumph. Even if I had won the presidency, it would have only been a rest stop on the road. Because of ambition, I cannot just sit complacently and bask in whatever meager glory I achieve. Too boring. Bigger and better things lie further along the road.

Ambition is as endless as human imagination. There is no end to what human beings will try to do. Innovation is nursed from the bosom of ambition. Every action begins with an idea. I started my campaign for president when I noticed how many students in my grade had no idea about anything the student government was doing. I was ambitious for change, and I tried to carry out my ambition.

Obviously, the fulfillment of ambition squarely depends upon the capacity of the person. That is why not all dreams come true; that is why I am not class president. Ideas do not spring to life, and without hard work, they are as flimsy as mere whims. Ambitions are not self-fulfilling, but they drive you to at least try.

Sometimes when I try, I fail, and that never makes me feel good. But even when I succeed, ambition can seem more like self torture than self motivation. That little monster in my head never stops tormenting me about pursuing more arduous tasks. In middle school, I was a class representative, but with such a creature screaming in my skull, I was never completely satisfied with being one tier below class president. It was one of the reasons why I ran for president in high school.

Despite the torment it brings, ambition still drives me. Ambition is why I made posters and campaigned during lunch. Ambition is why I faced my fear of public speaking and made a speech. Ambition drives my actions and defines my choices. In effect, it defines me.

And it is because of ambition, that insipid voice in my head, five months from today, I will stand on a pulpit, broadcast a speech, and run for class president again.