Chris - Hillsboro, Oregon
Entered on March 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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“I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.” This is a quote by Michael Jordan and is one I respect most because I believe in what he says. It’s something I think about whenever I do something whether it’s a sport, a test or a job. This doesn’t necessarily mean to go out and do something really dumb, but I believe it means to not be afraid to try new things and to not be afraid to fail. Everyone fails at something sometime in their lives. I was looking for a philosophy and I believe this quote is really what I thought described something that I’ve done and also something I should continue to do because it helps you think positive when you’re headed into unfamiliar territory.

Such as when you’re taking a course or classes for the very first time, don’t back down and quit, give it a try and don’t be afraid of failure. It happens to everyone. For example, my freshman year in high school, I played football for the very first time and I was scared every time we went up to practice with the JV team. They were bigger guys than me. I was just a 5 foot 6, 140 pound receiver going up against guys double my size.

They were large sweaty guys, and every time I got this thought in my head, “Oh my god they’re going to snap me in half.” I’d be practicing and you’d be able to hear every time one of them made a tackle. It sounded like a bowling ball knocking down pins. Every time I got lit up by one of these guys, it felt like two cars colliding, a Dodge Ram and a Mini Cooper. The impact was a quick hit like a car crash and then you felt no pain until the next hit. But I toughed it out and didn’t miss a practice all season.

I don’t regret putting on a wet, sweaty helmet after school and getting crushed by bigger guys because deep down I know I gave the sport a try and I loved playing every minute of it. I strongly believe if you were to use this quote as a little motivation, and kind of live by it, you would be very successful. If you put in the work, then you should get good results. When I practiced this past year during football season, I kept in the back of my mind that if I don’t practice hard, then the only person I’m cheating is me. If you don’t practice to your best ability, then the results you want won’t come Friday night. This was my motivation. Whenever I try something new or something you really love, think to yourself, “We all fail at something, but true failure is when you don’t give something a try.”