I Know I Can

Jamie - Troy, Michigan
Entered on November 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

It was supposed to be a powerful moment. My entire swim team was standing together, lighting the dark room one candle at a time stating our hopes for the meet the next day. Everyone was talking about how she hoped she would do this, how she wanted this girl to do well, and then it was my turn. The room was almost entirely lit, but somehow it still seemed dark to me. Everyone was talking about wanting and hoping as if they weren’t sure it would happen. “Tomorrow,” I stated, “we will do well, because at this point, it’s not a matter of hoping, it’s a done deal.” I truly believed in my words, and still do. A positive attitude is everything.

The next day, I was right. As a team, we did do well, but the best part was that I stepped up on the block without the nerves that usually ail me. I was ready to race, mostly because I wanted to see exactly how fast I would go. A positive attitude changes the way I look at things. When my mom tells me to go clean my room, if I drag my feet and complain, it becomes a chore. But if I decide that my room really is dirty and could use a good cleaning, cleaning my room becomes a choice that I made, and suddenly its not so bad. There’s a reason why people who are bright and smile and truly believe that tomorrow will be a better day always have someone to turn to on the rare occasion that they do need a pick-me-up.

Why do you think the world keeps moving forward? It’s not because the brilliant thinkers have an idea, present it with an “it can never be done” clause, and then go to work to prove themselves wrong. We advance because the magnificent minds of our world come up with an idea, believe in it, and see it being developed and used. It’s why the human race going to find a cure for cancer and AIDS and all the other terrible diseases in the world, deep down people know it can be done, and they want to see it happen.

Forgive me for my clichés, but if I ever met a genie, I’d wish for everyone to see the silver lining. I’d wish for everyone to make the best out of a bad situation. I’d wish for everyone to have an epiphany and see the good things in life, because that’s the first step. I always try to see what good can come out of something seemingly bad, and when I focus on the good things, the seemingly bad aspects disappear like they never existed.

When I’m in the pool at practice, the worst thing I can do is look at what’s asked of me and say “I can’t do it.” If I say, “I can’t,” then I won’t. It’s as simple as that. Even if the practice seems impossible, I have to tell myself I will succeed and try my best because it’s the only way to ensure that I will be proud of myself after practice. I take the little engine that could one step further, instead of saying “I think I can,” I tell myself, “I know I can,” because thinking implies room for doubt, but knowing provides empowerment.

Try it. The next time you are faced with a task, no matter how daunting, tell yourself you know you can do it. You’ll see why I believe in the power of a positive attitude.