This I Believe

Lauren - Alamo, California
Entered on February 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I Believe in a Positive Attitude

I believe in a positive attitude. My mother once asked my eight-year-old cousin, “Tanner, are you happy all the time, some of the time, or none of the time?” Tanner responded, “I’m always happy”.

When Tanner’s parents got divorced, Tanner never seemed to live in a stable household, or stay in a stable school. His father, Tanner’s best friend decided it would be best for Tanner if he lived with my family. Tanner was split away from his brother and his father to live in a more anchored environment.

When I heard Tanner’s reply to my mother’s question, I thought that he is still happy and still keeps a positive attitude even when he is in a difficult position. I can tell that Tanner believes in a positive attitude even though he is only eight because of how he reacted in his unfortunate position of moving across the state away from his family.

Last year, when I was playing volleyball, I wasn’t being given playing time. A girl with a negative demeanor was playing every game. I reminded myself of Tanner’s answer to my mother’s question: “I’m always happy”. I realized that this is the perfect time to get better. I put a positive spin on my difficult situation rather than complaining to my coach. I worked hard and pushed myself to focus more than the other players on my team. As my teammate with the negative attitude was in an irritable mood during practice, I was busy winning over the respect of my teammates and my coach by cheering them on. By the end of the season, I was playing in every game.

I understand that positive attitudes not only make myself happy, it makes others happy. Tanner’s happy demeanor inspires me to be positive in my life. Through sports, I realize that one person with a positive attitude can change the entire attitude of the team. With a positive team, you are more likely to succeed because everyone is focused and working towards one common goal. Once you lose those positive outlooks, the players start playing more like individuals than like a team.

It can also work the opposite: one person with a negative attitude can spiral a team into losing. A coach once called an old teammate a “bad seed”. Her bad attitude during the game killed the team. They ended up losing the match.

I believe in not being the “bad seed”. I believe in a positive attitude.