I believe discipline and focus are essential to success

Gabriel - Syracuse, New York
Entered on August 31, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Whether it be making a sports team or getting a “good” grade in school, I believe that you always have to be committed. If I reflected back on my experiences, I’ve witnessed how my levels of focus and determination have affected my outcomes, especially when it came to playing high school football.

I was about 16 years old when I joined my high school’s varsity football team, the Grand Street Campus Wolves. At the time I was not much of a motivated individual and I more or less felt like I had no real fire to do things. Football was by far one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever faced in my life time. I remembered at one point questioning my ability to continue on with the season because football was such a physically and mentally demanding task. It required so much of my time, effort, commitment, and dedication that I really had to discipline myself to work at it. During the off season in the summer, I was in the weight room every single day for about 3 hours, and then I ran drills outside for another 2 hours. Monday through Friday I would commit 5 hours a day to football, it was tiring. As a team, we made the commitment and focused on what we had to do. We went 9-0 that season, undefeated. During my senior year of playing football, the team’s effort was not all there. Our team did not show the same level of discipline and focus as the previous year. Instead, I started focusing my energy into higher education because I knew playing sports would not be forever. We went 3-6 that season, a dismal turn around from our previous season. However, I took with me those experiences, learning that I had come a long way in a matter of 1 year. I became disciplined and had this incredible level of focus; in essence I felt like whatever I did from then on, I could commit to 100%.

I was nervous and excited at the same time when I first started my college career. It was like starting all over again. I moved from Brooklyn to Albany on my own to pursue higher education and found myself adapting well to the change. I focused a lot of my time and energy into my academics as opposed to partying like people say the typical freshman would. My first semester in college I earned a 3.4 grade point average, I was proud of myself. I compared my grades to the rest of my peers and realized that I had done much better than most of them. My peers were in academic probation and on the verge of being expelled if they did not turn around their behavior. This experience made me realize that disciplining yourself to not go out on a Friday or Saturday night and staying in to study is extremely important to your success. If I had gone out and partied all the time my first semester, I highly doubt I would have earned the grades to apply to Syracuse University and transfer.

I believe that ultimately everyone determines their own success. I was fortunate enough to have had experiences like this to focus my time and energy that helped me become the person I am now. I believe that if we all look deep down at what we want, we can most certainly get it. I believe that all it takes is discipline and focus.