This I Believe

Daniel - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on January 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope, work

As I have lived my life, I have faced many tough obstacles. When I was going through a tough event, thinking positive helped me the most. Thinking positive can help anyone to go through any situation, no matter how tough or difficult it is. Even though I feel down, I always convince myself that I could be worse and I concentrate on what were the positive parts about that event. If I just go along with the flow and just start thinking negatively, I would make the matter go even worse.

In 7th grade, I played the clarinet in band. I was 6th chair back then. I felt very disappointed in myself. I practiced so much for the audition and I thought I could be at least 3rd chair. However, I did not let the negative thinking so inside my head and I started practicing even harder. Imagine my disappointment when I challenged 5th chair and I lost. I went home and I wanted to quit clarinet. However, I kept on practicing, telling myself that one day, I’ll become 1st chair.

Then there was a jazz band audition around the end of 7th grade. Mr. Millard, the band director, told the clarinet section that he would take the best two clarinetists. I really wanted to make into the jazz band and started practicing three hours a day. It was extremely painful and hard. But the idea of making into the jazz band helped me to go through it. I gave my best and on the day the results were posted, I was really hurt. I didn’t make the jazz band.

When I saw the result, I said to myself, “This is it Daniel. You can’t get better. Just quit before embarrassing yourself.” But I corrected myself and told myself to think positive. I told myself, “Hey, you are the 6th chair out of 12 clarinetists. You aren’t the worst player in the band. You can improve if you keep on practicing.”

When I started 8th grade, I told myself, “This year, I am going to be different. It is a fresh new start and I practiced really hard during the summer for this year. I am going to be great!” On the day of the audition, I kept telling myself I will do great. When the result was posted I was proud and happy. I got 1st chair. I went from 6th chair to 1st chair. I told myself, “See? I can do it! I just have to keep believing I will do great!” If I just thought negatively during 7th grade about being 6th chair and not making jazz band, I would have never achieved 1st chair in 8th grade.

I pushed the negative thoughts away and started thinking positive. I would have probably quit clarinet in 7th grade if I kept thinking, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t get better. This is my limit.’ Obviously, 6th chair was not my limit and I was very happy with myself in 8th grade.

I believe that no matter what situation a person is in, that person should always concentrate on thinking positive and push the negative thoughts away. This will dramatically improve one’s life and will help him do deal with any situation, no matter how tough it may be. This I believe.