This I Believe

Bryan - El Paso, Texas
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“Life’s Lessons”

“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift”. When I first heard this quote from Steve Prefontaine I thought “wow yet another shallow quote, another old cliché like “give a hundred and ten percent or leave it all on the floor”. As the day passed I suddenly realized it was much more than a quote, it was one of life’s many values. To never settle for anything less than your best, always strive to do better in whatever it is that you do. Never sell yourself short because the minute you do a life of mediocrity sets in.

As a kid, I always remember my mom struggling to have enough money for rent, food and all the other basis necessities a mother and her child need. She used to always tell me to never give in and never settle for anything because I was capable of so much. To work hard and appreciate the things I have because I alone earned them. Whatever she did all of her heart went into it and she never complained she just did what she had to do to support us. She always felt she was capable of so much more and vowed to someday finish high school and go to collage for us to have a better shot at life. This was a very valuable lesson I learned at an early age and has helped me significantly throughout my life. Nothing comes easily in this life and it is a constant battle to overcome daily occurrences, but with determination and a strong will to succeed, it helps cope with daily life.

Sophomore year, I was in almost every pre AP class you could imagine, from math to biology, on top of being on two baseball teams and cross country and track. I was constantly bombarded with homework and deadlines< up late at night trying to cram last second homework in, losing lunch periods tying to catch up with the rest of the class. As the year went on I thought about dropping every single one of those classes and just settle for the easy way out. I had a serous talk with my mom and my counselor and decided to stay in the classes and use my time more wisely instead of procrastinating in the last few minuets. From that point on I decided I was not going to quit and just tough it out. I ended up finishing the year and passing every single one of those classes I had once hated. In doing so I bettered my self as a person by not giving up and giving my all those classes. I finished that year with so much confidence and so mush pride. If I had just given into the pressure and dropped the classes, it would have started the bad habit of quitting things in the face of difficult situations, and that is not the mentality I want for myself or my future kids.