100%

Hannah - Ames, Iowa
Entered on November 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself, but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”

~Arnold Toynbee

I don’t believe in goals. I don’t believe in goals not because of a fear that I won’t reach them, but because of a fear that I’m limiting my potential. I believe in the impossible. It’s that belief that drives me. Some people may call it a goal, but I call it a way of life. I believe in giving 100%, 100% of the time. If I can achieve that, then I will surpass any specific goals I can set for myself.

I’ve been involved in sports my entire life, so the people around me are always setting goals. My teammates and coaches get so focused on beating a certain team or breaking a certain record that we forget why we’re playing the game. Why shouldn’t we beat every team? Why can’t we break all the records? I understand being realistic, but is that so impossible?

A problem I’ve faced with specific goals is discontent. I would set my sights on something I thought I wanted more than anything in the world. I would focus everything into accomplishing that dream. If I reached it, I never quite felt satisfied. It left me with a feeling of emptiness knowing I was slacking in other areas. If I didn’t reach it, I would be extremely disappointed and it would take me weeks to convince myself that I wasn’t a failure.

Now I face challenges with no expectations except to do my best. My belief in 100% has taken me farther than any other temporary goal. Again and again I surprise other people, as well as myself. Through the years my passionate attitude has not only led me through adversity, it has established a reputation that precedes me. Coaches trust me, and players follow my lead. There’s nothing more rewarding than children, or even your own teammates telling you that you are their inspiration. I have found through experience that reaching for the impossible isn’t so impossible after all.

Perhaps the most important lesson I carry with me is that success isn’t measured by accomplished goals, but by the things I dare to dream, and by giving 100%, 100% of the time.