Caitlyn - St. Charles, Missouri
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that you will never know how much you can achieve if you do not push yourself. I discovered this when I came to high school. I realized that if you just go by life without ever pushing yourself harder or challenging yourself, you will settle. You will only do the things that you know for certain that you are capable of doing.

Had Thomas Edison not pushed himself to keep trying even after he failed many many times, he would never had invented that little thing we use every single day known as the light bulb. Had the Wright brothers quit pushing themselves further each time they failed to fly a plane, we would not be able to get from one end of the country to the other in a miraculous five hours. This list of people who knew how to push themselves to achieve their dreams goes on and on. These people are great examples of what we can achieve if we push ourselves. They did not know they could invent the light bulb or the airplane, but they were determined and they pushed themselves and discovered that they could go achieve more.

I said earlier that I discovered this belief when I got to high school. This is true because of the things that I have accomplished in my high school career that I had never even considered doing before. I ran for freshman class president, and I won. I ended up being on Student Council for four years—leading me to my position as president. I took classes I heard were hard and knew were hard, but I pushed myself until I succeeded in them.

When you are able to push yourself further beyond the ordinary things that you know you are capable of, you can achieve things that you never even knew you could. I believe this is how you should lead your life if you want to be successful. You must be able to push yourself and go beyond the everyday things that require little effort. In doing this, you will reap the benefits tenfold. You will learn to do things you never thought you could. You will tackle your dreams and your goals and. You will ultimately succeed in life and learn that you can do more than you ever thought you could. After all, if you settle for the ordinary that you know you are capable of, how will you ever reach the extraordinary? 411