This I Believe

Andrew - Dowagiac, Michigan
Entered on October 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Four Rules

Accomplishing a much desired goal is something that is a great feeling to everyone. To get this feeling you must set goals for yourself. To make sure you are able to accomplish these goals you should discipline yourself. A good set of rules to discipline yourself by is the one’s told to me by my father. He told me these rules when I was 10 and had me memorize them; it is probably one of the best things I have ever memorized.

The rules are as follows

1. Have a good attitude and move

2. First things first

3. Focused concentrated effort

4. Actions are based on values, consequences are based on principles

Have a good attitude and move is probably one of the hardest ones to follow even though it doesn’t seem like it. For example so many things are done poorly or not as good as they could be because the attitude someone had when they were doing it, others have ideas that sound fun but never get off their butts to accomplish their ideas. A great man who followed this rule was Thomas Edison who tried many different times at many different things, but after every failure he kept a good attitude and tried another way with a positive attitude so he could accomplish his goals.


First things first is a matter of priority, not necessarily what you want, but what needs to be done. An example of this might be you might need to unload the milk and other dairy products in the car before they spoil even though you really need to talk to your boy/girlfriend on the internet. Even though you want to do one way more than the other I’m sure you know what really needs to be done first.

Focused concentrated effort is harder for some than it is for others; it is more of a self-discipline rule. A key instance of this for most students is probably home work. There are so many other things that students want to do other than study. I am an awesome example of this, so awesome that I been named the procrastinator by my parents. Through my hard study and research I have found that the reward for staying focused along with first things first is much greater than the punishment for not doing that which leads me right into my last but not least important rule……………..

Actions are based on values, consequences are based on principles this rule could be referred to as the final all encompassing rule. It means that when you look back on almost anything you do, you can evaluate whether your values (or wants) were in line with principles. When we act based upon what we want and if that is not in line with principles then we probably won’t be happy with the consequences. An illustration of this is telling someone you like them, if you never tell them you like them (action) they will never know that you like them and they might be just as shy as you, but you believe its better to not try rather than get embarrassed (value). Unfortunately that way you never get that o-so special person (consequence) so the moral/(principle) is don’t give up hope, if you follow the rules, it isn’t allowed.


These are the rules set before me to follow and it is how I got where I am so far. The easy part is getting them though it is the following through of them that is the hard part. If you do choose to follow these rules however, I can almost guarantee you success in anything.