This I Believe

Devin - Hobart, Indiana
Entered on February 23, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

Fail Now to Succeed Later

I believe that failures and mistakes are the building blocks of success. Without failure, one is unable to test his or her limitations. Achievement stems from learning from the mistakes and failures and using those as motivation to reach our goals.

I initially learned the lessons of failure during my first wrestling season in sixth grade. At that point in time, I wasn’t the most athletic member of the team, to say the least. I came everyday and was paired with the team captain, mostly as a practice dummy. Every meet that I wrestled in was an utter disaster. I never won, or came even close to doing so. But I looked at every loss as motivation and took every beating as a lesson. My parents taped every match and I would review them several times before the next meet, trying to discover my mistakes. By my eighth grade year, I had only one loss and easily won the city title. In high school, the level of competition changed, and my cycle of losses came back. I kept at it, though, and never even thought about quitting because I had uncovered that those small failures could lead to sweet successes. By the end of my senior year, after injuries and surgeries, success gradually found me and I was awarded with the goal I had been chasing for seven years—qualifying for the state finals.

In my first collegiate semester, I had partied too much and my grades suffered as a result. Taking the lessons learned from wrestling, I made sobriety and doing my assignments a priority because I have a larger goal in mind—employment after college.

The lessons in which I have learned over the years, this is the one I hold most dear. It might be cliché, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs and everyone falls off the horse when learning how to ride. What makes success is learning from past failures and building upon them. The only way to achieve a large goal is to fail along the way. This I believe.