This I Believe

Peichen - South Bend, Indiana
Entered on April 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in being fully prepared for the challenges I encounter in my daily life. As I am fully prepared for daily challenges, I have a better chance of achieving success and earning more payoffs. How did I learn this? I learned these years ago from my shrimping experience.

When I was small, I always went to catch shrimp with my friends. We prepared shrimp tackle, one pair of boots each to walk on stones covered with moss, special rain coat, shrimp hooks, nets, sinkers, bobbers and different kinds of lures. Preparing the lures was essential to catch shrimp; my friends and I liked to dig for worms and toss them in a can for bait collecting, or sometimes we bought a can of biscuit dough and rolled up for a bait. I liked the worms better because I knew as I used a worm for bait I could catch more shrimp although holding a wiggly worm made me feel sick. Besides preparing the bait, we needed to look at the weather forecast in order to select a nice day and a safe place to catch shrimp. After all the preparation, we hiked a few miles to a place on a hill. We needed to follow all the water safety rules and pay attention to the tide. After I threw my line in the water, we waited until we knew there was something down the stream worth catching. Recalling the wonderful hours in my youth, the happiness of shrimping was found in the moment as we brought a shrimp up to the surface. Until that moment it was still possible for a shrimp to escape. I realized that all the preparation time was worth it, although compared to the time I had to spend preparing the joyous moment of catching a shrimp was so short. What I finally learned was that the way to overcome challenges and not miss chances in life is to be fully prepared.

As I grew up, no matter what I was doing, studying or working, I always prepared myself to face challenges. How do I prepare myself? First, I set up a long-term goal as a challenge just like I would set a goal of catching a large volume of shrimps, and then I build some steps to achieving it, such as I would make all the processes before I go forth with shrimping. I know that there will be difficulties waiting for me just like holding a wiggly worm, the image of myself achieving my goal will help me overcome the difficulties. Life is challenging; although preparations are made, there still are many things outside of my control due to unexpected accidents and misunderstandings, etc. I understand that even with preparation I can’t pass through every single obstacle just as shrimps escape at times. But I believe that I can learn something from obstacles and use the experience to prepare for future life challenges.