This I Believe

Katlyn - Orondo, Washington
Entered on February 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The Ingredients of Success….This I Believe.

At a Christian camp this summer, I was subjected to my worst fear, heights. Standing sixty feet above the ground, my eyes were moistened with fear, my legs were uncontrollably quivering and my hands were gripped with panic. It was our cabin’s turn to conquer the HIGH ROPES COURSE. Subconsciously, I knew that within fifteen minutes, this would all be over. Supportive friends below me kept reassuring me that I could make it across this wooden course. Yet, I felt as if I had already failed by repeatedly saying, “I can’t.” My thoughtful counselor, directly behind me, reminded me of a bible verse that helped me scale the wobbly, potholed steps. “I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.” Even as I reached the first platform, the “I can’t” voice kept deafening my ability to hear the encouraging words. The cheering from my friends was drowned out from my perpetual crying. Eventually, I repelled off the last platform to safer ground. At first, I somewhat regretted the overwhelming fear, but I soon realized that I had disrupted my comfort zone, failed at first, then learned from my failure in order to succeed.

I believe in the two core ingredients of success; the willingness to fail, and the strength to persevere.

Being enrolled in Pre-Calculus my junior year of high-school, presented a challenge for me. I constantly had difficulties with the assignments and started to doubt myself. Always being an “A” student, I was extremely dismayed when I received a 38% on the Pre-Cal mid-term. This failure haunted me for days. Not only did I receive the worst test score in the class, I had also dropped my grade from a “B” to a “D+”. My teacher gave me one week to prepare for a retake. From previous experience, I knew that failure was a significant component to success. With frequent assistance from my friend, I fought the triumphant battle. The morning after I had retook the mid-term, I realized that learning from my failure, and working hard paid off. I ended up with a 98% on the retake, one of the highest scores in the entire class.

Throughout life, we will all hit an obstacle that stands unyielding. In order for us to have a successful outcome, we must embrace first-time failure, learn from it, have an enduring faith, and an adamant determination. Kristy Yamaguchi, a five-time World Champion Figure Skater, was born clubfooted. Ever since birth, doctors ordered remedial casts for her feet. Encouraged by her mother, Kristy took up skating to strengthen her legs. She constantly struggled, but she was able to overcome her deformity through an unwavering determination. Through Yamaguchi’s perseverance, failures, and her steadfast confidence, she became the gold medalist at the 1992 Winter Olympics.

Winston Churchill says that, “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your determination.” I believe in the two core ingredients of success; the willingness to fail, and the strength to persevere.

This I Believe.