This I Believe

Richard - Irmo, South Carolina
Entered on February 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • 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.

A Positive Attitude Leads to a Positive Life

About ten years ago, I met a friend who would greatly impact my life. My friend was born with spina bifida and I first worried that her complications might keep her from being successful and content with life. As I got to know her, I realized that compared to her, I was the one who should be considered unsuccessful and dissatisfied. She’s been in a wheelchair as long as I’ve known her, but this wasn’t enough to hold her back. She has always kept a positive attitude and has never complained about her situation. She has accepted who she is and doesn’t get discouraged by any challenges that life has thrown at her.

She has given me a more in depth understanding of the phrase “always keep a positive attitude”. I believe that one’s mental attitude can greatly impact their success in life and in being a person.

As she entered high school, I worried once again. It was a huge building full of stairwells that covered three stories. The first day of school, her teacher tried to get her to sit at a table in the front of the classroom. She didn’t like the fact of receiving any special treatment and asked to just sit in a desk with her wheelchair beside her. As far as the stairs went, she just had a fun time riding the elevator with her friends. She had a million reasons to get down on herself, but she just looked past it all and continued with her life.

After seeing how she has dealt with to her life, I realized that I should quit complaining and moping around when complications arise. Instead I need to embrace those complications wholeheartedly and leap past them. Her experiences have opened my eyes to see the way I’ve dealt with my life. Now that I’ve looked back on these times, I’ve found that I was not enjoying my life and was extremely dissatisfied at those times. Seeing my friend deal with the hurdles in her life with such a positive attitude resulting in positive outcomes and joy has brought my own lifestyle into perspective.

I can’t say that I never complain anymore or feel sorrow for myself, because that would be flat out hypocritical. However, through her I have learned to at least try to change my mental attitude, and by doing so have more success and enjoy life on a higher level. So why deal with your problems with such a negative mindset and spiral downwards to self discontent? Why not embrace your troubles with a positive attitude and get by them while still enjoying your life? I believe that through keeping a strong positive attitude, joy and success can be achieved regardless of the situation.