This I Believe

Sydney - New Orleans, Louisiana
Entered on September 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

Staring down at the paper in my hands sent emotions rushing through me. I took a deep breath and tried to think straight. After a few minutes, my head finally got its grasp around one strong emotion, disappointment. I saw the red x’s covering the paper and all I could think about was how I could have done better. I should have studied a little while longer. I should have tried a little harder. No matter how long I thought about it, I couldn’t shake my feelings of regret. It took me a while, but I finally realized that sitting there tormenting myself over what was already done was a waste of my time.

Robert Pirsig once said, “The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality.” Why spend should I spend time worrying about the past or even the future? The only thing I can affect is the present. I can reminisce about the past or dream the future as much as I want, however it doesn’t do a thing to alter the present. As stated in the quote, the past and the future don’t matter nearly as much as the present does. For the moment I’m in now, the present is the only tangible thing my actions have any influence on.

I admit that I, like many others, have spent too much of my time worrying. I used to worry about everything, especially the things I couldn’t change like the past and the future. I would find myself constantly wondering about my future or beating myself up over the things that I did or should have done. I finally came to the realization that this is not the way that it should be. If anything, I should be worrying if I’m making the most of my life by taking advantage of everything which is presented to me at the time. I should be thinking of what I can do now instead of thinking about what actions I should take in the future. For unless I grasp opportunities and take action, I’m only wasting my time.

What I did in the past or what I will do in the future, are both determined by my actions in the present. What I do in the present becomes my past and lays the way for my future. Therefore, by focusing on the present, I am actually affecting my entire life. Also, by spending too much time worrying about the past or the future I am losing time in the present to do anything which changes my life in any dramatic way. I believe that I, as well as everyone else, shouldn’t worry over the past or the future but rather live in the moment, for it’s the only point in time we have the ability to control.