Goals and Life Lessons

Bijal - Ben Lomond, California
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I woke up in a cold sweat. My heart was pounding and I felt paralyzed. I kept telling myself that what had happened was just a nightmare. I turned around to try and go back to sleep but the minute my eyes closed, they popped open again; what I thought was a nightmare was actually my reality – My mom had just been diagnosed with cancer, and only had six months to live. I was frightened for her, and myself, and I fully expected my mom to end all of her commitments. Instead, in a way that surprised and encouraged me, my mom inspired me by setting goals for herself and ensuring that they were fulfilled.

My mom chose not to let her cancer get in the way of any of her goals, and throughout her illness, she made it a point to tell my family that she wasn’t going anywhere until she celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary. Her anniversary was thirteen months away from her diagnosis, but she still insisted on fighting, and it was this courage and determination that really managed to inspire us all.

Throughout my mom’s battle with cancer I was faced with many hurdles and hardships. I couldn’t come to terms with my mom’s prognosis, and as a result, I struggled academically as well as socially. I just couldn’t seem to grasp what was happening. It was at these low points that my mom would always say to me, “never give up, always follow your dreams, and be the absolute best you can be.” She really lived her life by these words, and it shows in her fight to stay alive.

Thirteen months after her diagnosis, a few weeks before her anniversary, we were able to throw her and my dad a party, and she was able to celebrate. It was on the day of her actual anniversary that the doctor told us that she only had a few more days to live. She passed away peacefully after fourteen months, and to this day, I am amazed at her immense courage and her determination to attain her goal. It was witnessing this determination that has really formed the person that I am today. I strongly believe in the necessity of pursuing my goals, and in that process, I will do whatever it takes to ensure that I am successful in attaining those goals.

After my mom passed away, I made it a point to live up to her example. I set very high goals for myself, and I did all I could to fulfill those goals. One obstacle was my poor academic performance. I knew that my academic record could potentially hinder my ability to attend a good university, which was a goal that I had set for myself. I did all that I could to ensure that I would be accepted. I took supplemental classes at my local community college, and I volunteered in many community services projects. I was greatly determined, and in the end, I was accepted into many great universities.

I learned a lot from my mom’s battle with cancer, and it has taught me some really valuable life lessons. Most important of all, it has taught me to always keep trying to fulfill my goals and the benefits that can be reaped from attaining them. These lessons have become truly invaluable to me, and they have really become the basic principles of my life. In the future, I look forward to the benefits that can be attained by setting goals for oneself, and this motivation has become a driving force in my life. Reflecting on my mom’s perseverance, and all that I have gone through, I know that I will be able to successfully attain any goals that I set for myself in the future.