This I Believe

Vincent - Bellaire, Texas
Entered on April 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe that the mind is a powerful thing. Meaning, if I put my mind to something, then I can achieve anything. I have realized that I can change an entire situation if I set my mind on doing so. For example, a few years ago I took steps toward becoming a confirmed Catholic. As a result of this, I had to attend several retreats, which I had no desire of doing. On my first retreat, in particular, I was upset because instead of going to a party and hanging out with friends that weekend I was forced to go on a retreat. I had this mindset of how bad the retreat was going to be and how much I wanted to be somewhere else. After the first day on the retreat, I realized that I was stuck there, and there was no way I could get out of it. I decided to make the best of it, and the results were as much a surprise to me as to anyone. After this it seemed as if my experience was a dirty window that had just been cleaned, allowing the brightness of the retreat to shine in. I began to enjoy the retreat and learn more as the days went on. When it got to the last day, I had a kind of sick feeling in my stomach because I didn’t want the retreat to be over. I took a lot more away from that retreat than I would have if I kept a closed mind. Recently, I was, unfortunately, about to see the same thing but in a negative sense. While staffing a church retreat, I noticed that the participants were having the same initial reaction as I had had. They were not happy about being on the trip and were constantly being yelled at by several authority figures. Although many decided to clean the dirty window in their minds and open up, there were a few who insisted on having a bad attitude. Those few participants who kept a closed mind left the retreat feeling like it was a useless waste of time when they could have gained a lot of knowledge just by having a positive attitude. I have seen first hand how having a positive mindset changes a bad situation to good, and how a negative mindset can turn a good situation bad. Another time when I have used my mind to change a situation is when I work out with my friend. I work on pushing myself hard to really receive the benefits of the gym, but many times I look at the weight that I am about to use and I get a bit nervous. I say that I can’t do it, but my friend reassures my by saying “Yes you can! That weight isn’t anything.” I then tell myself that this in no big deal and I focus on lifting the weight. I put my mind over matter and I do it, simply by telling myself that I can do it. This I believe.