This I Believe

Ryan - Wylie, Texas
Entered on April 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

It’s five in the afternoon on a Friday. You have the option of going outside to play basketball or just sit and watch TV while vegetating. If you stink at basketball or are just not an active person, which do you choose? What if you perform well in sports, or there are no interesting shows on? The answer boils down to my belief: sticking to your interests.

A person’s interests stem from their personality, ability, and – to a lesser extent – their mood. For example, I’m reasonably quiet for a teenager; people often forget I’m around. As a result, I tend to choose activities that place little emphasis on communication. This eliminates most sports, since constant team contact is required for victory. My lack of muscle prevents me from performing feats of strength; that means no weightlifting for me. Whatever remains depends on how I feel; nothing piques my interest if I’m angry.

Let me sojourn back to my seventh grade days, when my dad urged me to try out for the football team. After making the non-varsity squad as a wide receiver, I quickly realized the mistake I’d made. Even at the non-varsity level, the team towered over me already. Every practice resulted in sore legs, and my knee even became dislocated for a week at one time. I never even caught one pass the entire season! After the season ended, I resolved to use the qualities I already possessed to determine what to do instead of getting pulverized on the field.

My interests reflect my reclusive personality: video games, reading, and some kitchen experimentation. If I stick with these activities for a while, my boundaries in these fields slowly expand. If I focus on too much, I’ll never delve into anything past the surface. Remember the phrase: “a jack of all trades is a master of none.” Exploring other activities is fine, but zero in on the ones you enjoy the most. Your interests determine you as a person. Rapidly altering your activities only leads to the life of a revolving door: always changing.