This I Believe

Joseph - Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

Dear Joe,

Over these past eighteen years, you have learned a whole lot about yourself. Not all of it has been positive, however, and some of it you wished you would have never learned to begin with. Life is one great big learning experience, and you need to try to take something away from every adverse situation. There are many things you’re taking away from high school into college and beyond, and hopefully these values will hold true for years to come.

No one can change but you. If you’re not happy with the way you look or the way you interact with others you need to do something about it. There is no sense in playing the victimization card and secluding yourself from others. When there’s an issue bothering you, either talk to somebody about it or take it upon myself to do what you need to do. Another problem in high school you struggled with is how other people viewed you. Sometimes this led to negative thinking and brought you down. The key is to understand that other people are going to believe what they want to believe, and there is nothing you can do about it. Most likely, there focus is not on you at all, and it is all for nothing anyway. The point is, the only power people have over you is the power you give them.

Another belief that you found important is respect for the common man. Although you may not like everybody you ever meet, try to hold some respect for everyone. This is especially important for the kids who may not have many friends in the first place, which leads into another law to live by. Be a friend. Whether it is to yourself, or to those who are worse off, treat people as you would want to be treated. Making friends, however, is much easier than keeping them.

It’s important to take something away from every experience, because only by learning is the way we grow. Whether what you go through is good or bad, everyone needs to go through some growing pains from time to time. However, its how we respond to adversity is what makes us the people we are. You may fall down a couple of times before you succeed, and that is okay. Just dust yourself off and start all over again, it even happens to the best of us.

Don’t lose sight of what goals you make for yourself and remained focused on exactly what you want. Joe, you’re believer in that if you visualize success it will more likely come true. It is simply positive thinking, and you have learned over the years that this does wonders to make you feel better about yourself. After college, you can see a happy family who will love you for who you are and not how much money you make or you’re looks. With this concept cemented in your mind, you know that this will come true.

One more thing that you wished you would have learned at a much younger age is that life is about having fun. Only you can bring the fun to the party so to speak. By gaining confidence and taking a reasonable amount of pride in yourself, you can enjoy a better quality of life. Above anything else, don’t lose sight of who you are. By maintaining your integrity and never forgetting what you stand for, you will go far in life.