This I Believe

Steve - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on October 12, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

My life lessons come from unexpected places.

For example, some of my greatest beliefs about successful living have been shaped by the game of racquetball. The popular game is played on a small, indoor court between two, three or four opponents. It began, for me, as nothing more than a means of regular exercise, but eventually taught me valuable lessons about living. This I believe:

* I play better when I am encouraged. In life, too, I do better when I am encouraged and praised, rather than criticized, condemned or judged.

* When I occupy a small space with other people, such as a racquetball court, I need to learn how to share. Sometimes is means just getting out of the way. I believe that planet earth is becoming one of those small spaces.

* The only way I can get better in the game of racquetball is to practice. And I believe the only way I’ll ever learn to improve my relationships, learn courage or be happy is to practice.

* I play better when I pay attention. But when I lose my focus, I lose games. Likewise, I believe that if I am easily distracted by the problems of yesterday or my worries about tomorrow, then I can lose my way in the present.

* There are always people who play the game better than I. But I believe I am happiest when I remember that my job is not to be THE best, simply to be MY best.

* My attitude counts. I believe that when I have confidence in my eventual success; when I visualize it and work toward it, I am more likely to succeed.

* My losses can be lessons. When I lose a game by an embarrassingly wide margin, I am learning to thank my opponent for the free lesson. I now believe that my failures are not always problems; they are often lessons to learn from.

* The game is never over until the last point is scored. I have witnessed victories snatched after one battles back from almost insurmountable odds. I believe that can also be true with life.

* Racquetball hard work. But it is also fun. I am learning to believe that my fun should never become merely work, and that my work can become more fun.

* Finally, the only way to score in the game of racquetball is to serve. I believe that is true in life, also. I am happiest and most satisfied when I serve others.

This, I believe.