This I Believe

Catherine - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I Believe in the Power of Failure

Success is important. Failure is essential. People spend their whole lives striving towards becoming the best. Time and energy is spent in the struggle of accomplishing goals and living up to expectations. But even though we all strive towards success, the impact that it makes on our lives is meaningless compared to failure. Failure is the source of realization and ambition. Without experiencing failure, the true satisfaction and fulfillment of success is meaningless.

Since the age of five, I have been playing the piano. Every year, I attend the Georgia Music Teacher’s Association Piano Competition which consists of a county and a state level. Normally passing the county level was never a problem; however, everything changed my freshman year in high school. During the few months leading up to the competition, I slacked off and rarely practiced. I made the assumption that I could make it to the state level with no difficulty. I went into my audition that year with confidence, assurance, and very little practice. When I found out the results of the competition, I was shocked and horrified and disappointed.

My failure hit me hard. Not passing the county level was a call back to reality. I learned the importance of preparation and hard work. But even though I failed, I learned more from failing than I would have from winning. While failure is a learning experience, success is only a satisfying experience.

The failures I have experienced and continue to experience have taught me the necessity of hard work, persistence, and dedication. Failing gives me the motivation to work towards the satisfying feeling of success. Failure gives me the motivation to work harder and never give up. My attitude towards piano has changed drastically. I realize that I cannot succeed in piano without the practice. Without putting in the necessary time to prepare, there is only a path to failure. Every day I come home from school, I go straight to my piano and practice, practice, practice. I plan on going to the GMTA Piano Competition this year and succeeding. If I hadn’t failed last year, I would still have my same lax attitude which would lead me to only more failures. So this year, I am ready. I am ready for success, and failure will not be blocking my path.

Failure creates ambition. Ambition creates success. Without failure, there is no success. The path to success begins with failure. While people exhaust all of their energy into reaching success, they do not realize that failure is the force that drives them to success. People live with the constant fear of failure even though the most important lessons in life are obtained through failure.