This I Believe

Troy - Grove City, Ohio
Entered on December 14, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change

I believe in change; that change happens the most when we change what we think and how we feel. I’ve heard all my life that a tiger cannot change its stripes. In business circles I’ve been told that it is impossible for a person to really change, except for those who have had traumatic experiences. Over time, I’ve learned that isn’t true.

At one time, my life seemed like one big practical joke in which I was destined to look stupid no matter how hard I tried. When I was eighteen, having just started college, I gave up my scholarship to get a job, get married, and start a family. That appeared to be a good direction to go. Reality sunk in years later as I found myself stuck in a minimum wage job, and discovered my wife was leaving me for another guy.

It seemed as if there was no meaningful purpose to life. I noticed that some appeared to be able to keep their feelings of meaninglessness a secret. I wished I could; however, I had come to the point where I could no longer ignore my feelings. I had to know–once and for all–what the point was, if any, to being alive.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered one of life’s little secrets. Once I became determined to acknowledge the needs, weaknesses, and fears that had been haunting me, I found it was actually possible to change them! That revelation gave new meaning to my life.

Many years have gone by since then. Over and over again I took the same unique approach to changing what I think and how I feel. I sit down and identify my greatest need, weakness, or fear, and then set out to pursue a specific dream that will be so challenging that I can only achieve it once my need has become an asset, my weakness has become a personal strength, or my fear has been turned into courage. In the process of pursuing my dreams, I have changed in innumerable ways. I have achieved three dreams so far, including finding and marrying the love of my life. That was twelve years ago.

Now I believe not only that it is possible to change, but that it is my destiny! My needs, weaknesses, and fears are not there to torment me. They are there in order to point me in the way I should go–the way in which I will be able to finally become the kind of person I really want to be! I believe that we are all not only capable of changing in meaningful ways, we are meant to.